Posts tagged climate change

Help ST Finish What We Started on Dryden Pipeline

Everyday you are probably getting 2 or 3 calls to action to help stop some new outrage. It’s important to help wherever you can, but it’s also important that our movement follow through on earlier efforts to make positive change and head toward greater stewardship and justice in our communities. We’re asking our supporters to take a minute today and help us complete a critical step in our community’s shared commitment to protect the climate and stop new fossil fuel infrastructure from being built in our county.

Three years ago, in the early summer of 2014, we began to hear about a proposed new gas pipeline to run through West Dryden to provide heating fuel for new development in Lansing. The large capacity of the pipe would mean that Tompkins County would be unable to meet its goal of 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.

ST helped organize local opposition to the project and teamed up to present several workshops on viable alternatives to the pipeline to meet Lansing’s energy needs. A countywide task force on energy and economic development eventually came to the same conclusions and recommended to the Public Service Commission (PSC) that NYSEG address reliability concerns for existing Lansing gas customers by adding pressure boosters to the current pipeline. In addition, NYSEG would provide incentives to developers to build new structures in Lansing using smart design and ultra-efficient heat pumps to meet commercial and residential heating loads. (Many industrial processes can be powered with electricity rather than gas as well.) Read the rest of this entry »

Climate Fund Grant Helps Schuyler County Farmer

Mary Wessel sitting

 

Peace is kept in the barnyard at Wildwood Farms by 5 white nanny goats supervising the dozens of ducks, chickens, guinea hens, and cats rescued by farmer Mary Wessel. After living in Norway for most of her adult life, Mary returned to the States to rejoin her family in upstate NY. She purchased a 6-acre homestead on the ridge above Queen Catherine marsh in Schuyler County and began the hard work of creating a sustainable refuge for humans and animals alike.   Watch Mary Wessel talk about her farm.

Like many rural dwellings, the farmhouse consisted of a series of additions tacked onto the original cabin with its massive stone hearth – none of them insulated or tightly constructed. When Mary’s elderly mother needed to move in with her, the utility bills skyrocketed as Mary tried to keep her mother warm with electric space heaters and DIY attempts to reduce the drafts. Finally she turned to Snug Planet for help. Read the rest of this entry »

Heat Pump Workshop for Developers and Builders

Slide18Sustainable Tompkins will be hosting a special presentation on “Building and Heating With the Climate in Mind” on Tuesday, March 17 from 1:00-3:00 pm at Hotel Ithaca (222 S. Cayuga St.).  This event is for anyone connected to the building sector in our area: developers, architects, engineers, builders, mortgage bankers, realtors, contractors, electricians, suppliers, designers, plumbers, elected officials, and planning boards.

NYS and Tompkins County are set to make progress on their climate action goals by enacting new energy systems and policies to promote efficiency, demand management, and renewable supplies.  The building sector is on a parallel course, with leading edge developers demonstrating impressive energy savings with better design and deployment of proven technologies.

Tompkins County recently affirmed its commitment to support economic development that helps us reach our goal of 80% emission reductions by 2050.  Read the rest of this entry »

Join us to watch “Disruption” on September 7 at 6:45 pm

Sustainable Tompkins is hosting a free public screening of “Disruption” — a new, fast-paced cinematic journey through the wild world of climate change: the science, the politics, the solutions, and the stories that define this crisis at this pivotal point in human history.

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The movie is about an hour long, and after we will discuss the upcoming People’s Climate March in NYC on September 21, and what’s percolating on the climate and energy front in Tompkins County this fall.

If you’ve been thinking about doing more, NOW is the time!  There are so many initiatives underway, but they will need many more of us helping if we are to be successful and get them done in a timely way.  Come discover what you can do or, come share what you are doing!  Bring your friends and family and help them get engaged in this movement.

Watch the trailer here.  You can register to attend here.  Or just show up!  The event will start at 6:45 pm at the Sustainability Center at 111. N. Albany St – at the intersection with State St.

Salon series on “The Climate, the Market, and the Commons” well received

April 17 Gay and speakers

Sustainable Tompkins has concluded its well-attended series of spring salon discussions on “The Climate, the Market, and the Commons.” The salons featured guest speakers and group discussions that addressed the role of business, government, and the citizenry in dealing with climate change.  The salons were held at the Sustainability Center and attracted crowds of 65-85 people.  After initial presentations by guest respondents, the attendees moved through sets of discussion questions related to the evening’s topic.

The first salon in our series addressed the question of “Why are we stuck in climate denial?,” exploring the hurdles of even beginning to address the issue in a meaningful way.  The second salon, “Can business and technology save us?,” contrasted reasons for optimism for a “bright green” technological shift with evidence for a likely economic and ecological system collapse before a transition to clean energy can be completed. “Will government intervene?”, the third salon, brought together representatives from local, state, and federal government to discuss the public sector’s role in addressing climate change. And the last salon took up the question “Is it Up to the People?” with a focus on the clear need for leadership from the grassroots to help shift the market and push government to protect the commons.

You can view videos or listen to podcasts of the salons in the ‘The Climate, the Market, and the Commons’ series:

  • Why Are We Stuck in Climate Denial?    video / podcast – April 17, 2014
  • The Market and the Climate.     video podcast  – May 11, 2014
  • Will Government Intervene?    video podcast – June 5, 2014
  • Is it Up to the People? video / podcast – June 19, 2014

Many thanks to our video sponsors (Home Green Home and PPM Homes) and to Crooked Carrot Farm and Ithaca Bakery for catering donations. Thanks also to the Park Foundation, the guest conversants, the volunteers who worked hard to make the evenings run smoothly, our members, and all of the people who contributed to make the Salons possible.

 

Exploring the Connections: The Climate, the Market, and the Commons

Speaker at May 8 climate salonIf we want to calm the climate, if we want energy democracy, if we want to reform our governments and our economy…. this is the time to prioritize those goals above our private endeavors.  We invite you to join us at The People’s Salon on Thursday, June 5, 7 pm, 111 N. Albany.  It’s time we talked about reclaiming our government on behalf of the public good.

With thanks to Ithaca Bakery for catering and Home Green Home for sponsoring the video recording, we also welcome our guest respondents Mayor Svante Myrick, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, and Professor Tony Ingraffea to the June 5 salon at the Sustainability Center.

We have been compiling some reading materials that may be useful to our shared conversation about what the climate situation requires of us as consumers, voters, taxpayers, and community members.  Check out the list below.  You can also access the video and a podcast of our first salon on climate denial, or the second salon video and podcast on the role of business and technology.  If you have suggestions to include, please email gay@sustainabletompkins.org.

Reading Resources for The People’s Salon: Conversations that Matter to Your Future

JUNE 5 SALON: WILL GOVERNMENT INTERVENE?

BOOKS:

Governance, Sustainability, and Evolution.  John M. Gowdy. 2014.  Ch. 3 in Governing for Sustainability: State of the World 2014.  Island Press.

The Too-Polite Revolution: Understanding the Failure to Pass U.S. Climate Legislation.  Petra Bartosiewicz and Marissa Miley. 2014.  Ch. 11 in Governing for Sustainability: State of the World 2014.  Island Press. Read the rest of this entry »

Climate Denial Salon Attracts Large Crowd

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We were delighted to see over 80 people join us for the first conversation salon in our series on The Climate, the Market, and the Commons.  A team of local videographers led by Cris McConkey volunteered to film the event, and we’ll post the link to it once it is edited and uploaded.  Thanks to the Ithaca Journal for covering the event for us!

The Climate, the Market, and the Commons

Climate change presents a troubling predicament.  Unlike the ozone hole, which was addressed relatively quickly, the threat of global warming continues to advance while humanity remains strangely paralyzed in responding to the various risks of climate impacts – even as those risks become certainties.  Maybe it is time we really talked this through.  

Sustainable Tompkins is launching The People’s Salon: Conversations that Matter to Your Future with a shared public inquiry into the climate dilemma.  “The Climate, the Market, and the Commons” will be the theme for a series of conversation salons held on Thursday evenings, 7-9 pm, on April 17, May 8, June 5, and June 19 at the Sustainability Center, 111 N. Albany St., Ithaca.

Lautrec salonWe face a complex global problem with no easy local solutions. Even though we will all pay the costs of climate change to some degree, most people are not active in efforts to protect our atmospheric Commons.  How can we change this dynamic?

Perhaps the place to start is to talk with each other and try to address some of the complexity we are facing.  We need to develop a better understanding of why we are so slow to respond, how the structure of our economy both creates the problem and offers solutions, and what (exactly) are we, The People, going to do about protecting our shared future.

At the salons, three speakers familiar with each topic will kick start the conversation before the audience is invited to share their own viewpoints, questions, speculations, and proposed actions.

At the opening salon on April 17, Nancy Menning (Philosophy & Religion) of Ithaca College, and Dave Wolfe (Horticulture) and Lauren Chambliss (Communication) of Cornell University, will outline some of our motivations for remaining in denial about climate change, and offer insights into how we might dismantle what seems to be a key barrier to mobilizing to slow climate change. Read the rest of this entry »

The People’s Salon: Conversations that Matter to Your Future

 The Climate, The Market, and The Commons

 Thursdays at 7:00 pm, The Sustainability Center, 111 N. Albany, Ithaca

April 17:  Why are we stuck in climate denial?
May 8:      Can business and technology save us?
June 5:    Will government intervene?
June 19:    Is it up to the people?


Every day, the planet reports in with another example of a climate in disarray.  Predictions of near and long-term damage to our economy, our health, and basic life necessities are growing louder and more alarming.  Yet, we seem strangely paralyzed in responding appropriately to the threat.

Russian salon

 

We need to talk.  We need to develop a better understanding of why we are so slow to respond, how the structure of our economy both creates the problem and offers solutions, and what (exactly) are we, The People, going to do about protecting our shared future.

The conversation salons will begin with brief sketches by thoughtful citizens of some of the main perspectives on each topic before we open up the discussion to all salon attendees.  Come prepared to listen, to be challenged, and to make your voice heard.  Watch for our column in Tompkins Weekly and on our website for a briefing on each salon’s topic.

For more information, email gay@sustainabletompkins.org.

 

‘Talk of the Town’ Radio with Sustainable Tompkins

Local radio host Juliana Garcia invited ST’s President Gay Nicholson and Board Chair Tom Shelley to join her on February 15 for her weekly ‘Talk of the Town’ show on WVBR.  Listen here to check out our wide-ranging conversation about living more sustainably.