The candidates might not be talking about climate change and energy transition, but we are!  Sustainable Tompkins and the Tompkins County Planning Department will be hosting a brown bag lunch with Vermont-based author and social entrepreneur Greg Pahl on Wednesday, October 31 from 12-1:30 in Borg Warner West at the Tompkins County Public Library. Many of us are actively working on greater energy security and resilience for our area — join us to explore with Greg what other communities are doing to quickly transition to renewable energy that is locally owned and operated. (RSVP by October 30, 2012 to

His latest book, hot off the press, is Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance and Launch Local Energy Projects. Our Finger Lakes Bioneers staff helped arrange for Greg to give presentations and sign books at SUNY Cortland on Monday Oct. 29th, Ithaca College on Tuesday Oct. 30th, RiverRead Books (in Binghamton) on Oct. 31st, and Hartwick College on Thursday Nov.1st. (See here for venue details.)

 Pahl’s new book offers a practical guide to producing local, renewable energy to power your community. More than ninety percent of the electricity we use to light our communities, and nearly all the energy we use to run our cars, heat our homes, and power our factories comes from large, centralized, highly polluting, nonrenewable sources of energy. It doesn’t have to be that way. In Power from the People, Pahl explains how American communities can plan, finance, and produce their own local, renewable energy that is reliable, safe, and clean. Pahl uses examples from around the nation and the world to explore how homeowners, co-ops, nonprofits, governments, and businesses are already putting power in the hands of local communities through distributed energy programs and energy-efficiency measures. Renewable, community-based power is a necessary step on the path to energy security and community resilience, particularly as we face peak oil, cope with climate change, and address the need to transition to a more sustainable future.

About the Author
Greg Pahl is the author of numerous books on energy and also writes for Mother Earth News and various other publications on biodiesel, wind power, wood heat, solar energy, heat pumps, electric cars, and a wide range of other topics related to living in a post-carbon world. His books include Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy (2005, Chelsea Green), Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options (2003, Chelsea Green), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Saving the Environment (2001, Macmillan/Alpha Books), and The Unofficial Guide to Beating Debt (2000, IDG Books). Pahl has been involved in environmental issues for more than twenty-five years. In the 1970s he lived off the grid in a home in Vermont with a wind turbine atop an 80-foot tower that provided for his electrical needs. He is a founding member of the Vermont Biofuels Association as well as the Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op. Pahl attended the University of Vermont and was a military intelligence officer in the US Army during the Vietnam War. He lives in Weybridge, Vermont. Pahl is a co-founder of the Acorn (Addison County Relocalization Network) Energy Co-Op which is based in Middlebury and serves the 23 towns of Addison County. This effort has resulted in biofuel-pellet and solar energy collaborative enterprises now serving these communities. Bill McKibben is a member of the Advisory Board.