Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Buffalo Climate Activists Takin’ it to the NYC Streets

Advocates for action on climate change will take it to the streets in New York City

By Lynda Schneekloth
Chairwoman, Sierra Club Niagara Group

 It’s not as if no one has tried to get the attention of the government of the United States and other world leaders since the early 1990s.

It’s not as if we haven’t known that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas for well over 100 years. But the world is full of distractions, disinformation and people getting very wealthy by not addressing climate change and staying the course with fossil fuels. One has to admit that the climate scientists had it wrong 20 years ago. They thought that we had until 2050 to substantially limit greenhouse gas emissions to avoid serious catastrophe.

The Kyoto Protocol, now 17 years old, outlined actions we might take, but didn’t. The United States in particular seems to be sleepwalking into the future regarding climate change. Now we know that scientists seriously underestimated how quickly things were changing.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change tells us of the irreversible climate impacts occurring right now, and outlines disastrous impacts into the future. Leaders in the climate movement tell us this is Decade Zero. We take action now or it will be too late.

The question is: How do we get the attention of people? How do we connect with world leaders, our president and Congress, governors and local officials? How do we get the attention of everybody, since climate disruption is not simply an environmental problem, it is a planetary crisis? Pope Francis says, “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?’ ” Suicide or perhaps genocide?

Now is the time to take to the streets, to shift this movement out of a segment of our society and to bring all of the people together to be more effective. It is time to take to the streets to address climate change, to invest in a new energy economy that has green jobs, to stop the monopoly of the fossil fuel giants and build shared energy production and distribution – in other words, to fight for a just transition to a new, more sustainable world.

And we are taking to the streets on Sunday in New York City at the gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, who will meet to discuss world action on climate change.

More than 100,000 people are expected to march – an alliance of environmental, climate and labor movements, indigenous communities and other social, economic and democratic justice movements, all calling for ecological sanity.

We are building a big, loud movement together, for it appears that taking to the streets is the only way to protect global ecosystems from collapse and ensure a future for our children.

The text of the above article was originally published as an 'Another Voice' op-ed at The Buffalo News online on September 16, 2014. 
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For Bus Tickets to the NY City Climate March,  Click Here

"Students on hundreds of campuses, and thousands of youth vote leaders across the country are bringing their power and voices to the People's Climate March to say enough is enough," said Maura Cowley, director of Energy Action Coalition.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Daemen Summit to include Solar Power Prospects

WHAT: Summit - “A Decade of Progress: Sustainability Comes of Age in WNY”

WHEN: Saturday, September 27, 2014, 8:30am-12:00pm

WHERE: Wick Student Center, Daemen College  

COST: Free - Open to the Public

Keynote Address: Ian Diamond, a senior manager of commercial product development at SolarCity. SolarCity is planning to build one of the world’s largest solar panel factories in the proposed RiverBend clean energy complex in South Buffalo.

Summit Address: Robert Knoer, a local environmental attorney and the former chairman of the Western New York Environmental Alliance.

Roundtable Discussion: Local progress in improving the environment, social justice, community sustainability, and future regional priorities.

Panel Participants: Justin Booth from Green Options Buffalo; Katy Duggan-Haas from Modern Recycling; Dennis Elsenbeck from National Grid; Melissa Fratello from Grassroots Gardens; Erin Heaney from the Clean Air Coalition; Brendan Mahaffey from the City of Buffalo Office of Planning; Ryan McPherson from the Western New York Environmental Alliance; Mary Rossi from the Western New York Stormwater Coalition; and Art Wheaton, from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Western New York Apollo Alliance.

Exhibitors please note that table setup begins at 8:00am.

For more information, visit: http://www.daemen.edu/academics/centersinitiatives/CSCCE/Pages/Summit.aspx

Urban Revival in the Rust Belt

SolarCity, a clean energy provider.
By Susan Milligan  | U.S. News

The old Republic Steel site in Buffalo, New York, long stood abandoned, a painful reminder to the region's residents of how enduringly damaging the decline of the steel industry had been. Now, the site is being developed by the solar panel company SolarCity, bringing potentially thousands of jobs to this snowbelt city. At Canalside, a still-developing project to take the city's historic old canal and make it a hot spot for live musical performances, dining and skating in the winter, locals blend with construction workers who are taking a lunch break while working to build HarborCenter, a mixed-use hockey-themed complex that will include a Marriott hotel, restaurants, downtown parking and two ice rinks.

Long-suffering Buffalo, along with other Rust Belt cities hit with the double whammy of the New Economy and the Great Recession, is coming back. And local politicians and urban experts say these cities are in a historic renaissance that belies the late-20th-century presumption that industrial America was finished. Urban expert Alan Mallach calls them "Legacy Cities" – cities whose workers helped build this country that are now struggling their way back decades after the New Economy took hold.

"This is the American heartland. This is where 'what made our country great' all began," says Mallach, senior fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. "You look at these cities today, and they are struggling, but at the same time they have incredible assets and have incredible resources for this country."

Experts say affordable housing, a slew of new investments in growing fields and stable workforces have put places like Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh back on the map for both new college grads and Rust Belt natives who left to find work but feel a tug back to the homefront.

"What has happened in the last seven years in Buffalo is that it has regained the confidence it lost after many decades of economic decline," says Rep. Brian Higgins, a South Buffalo Democrat who for many years has fought to develop the city's waterfront from an industrial dumping site into a festive and bustling gathering place.

When things are looking gloomy, "people retreat unto themselves, they become very territorial and don't embrace the larger vision," making it harder to accept fundamental changes in the economy, adds Higgins, who also taught a course on the western New York economy at SUNY Buffalo State.

"What's changed is that people are seeing tangible proof" that things are on the upswing, he says.

Read More about how Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Cleveland are moving back on track at U.S. News.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FLASH MOB for People's Climate March - Friday at 6:30pm

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Join us on Friday, Sept. 12 at 6:30PM on Elmwood Ave. & West Ferry St. in Buffalo for a FLASH MOB to invite the public to Get on the Bus for the People's Climate March in NYC!

The choreography is easy and civil. Participants holding orange buffalo cutouts (see image - we have 100 of them) will walk across the street at the intersection when permitted by the lights for just 10 minutes. And then we’ll stop.   

While we cross the street, we’ll be handing out postcard ads for the People's Climate March to be help in New York City on September 21st.

Please come and invite your friends! It will be fun and effective!

Did you know that 1000+ Organizations are Partnering with the People's Climate March? Click Here to see the list.

Update - Sept. 12:  Peoples Climate March & Flash Mob  
Interview: Lynda Schneekloth, Chair, Sierra Club Niagara Group. Read the interview at Buffalo Rising

Sunday, September 7, 2014

'DISRUPTION' - Powerful Film about Climate Change


When it comes to Climate Change, 
why do we do so little when we know so much?

Disruption lays bare the science, the shattered political process, the industry special interests and the civic paralysis that have brought us to this social, moral and ecological crossroads.

This is the story of our unique moment in history. We are the first generation to feel the impacts of climate disruption, and scientists say that we are the last generation that can do something about it. 

The film also takes us behind-the-scenes of the efforts to organize the People's Climate March, which promises to be the largest climate rally in the history of the planet.

Watch Disruption online [ watchdisruption.com ] and share it with your friends.
  Stay tuned for local showings of Disruption at venues in the Buffalo area.

Take Action on Climate Change: Get on the Buffalo Bus to NY City for the People's Climate March! Sierra Club Niagara Group has chartered buses and tickets are available here.

Can't go to the Climate March? Take Action by making a Donation to Sponsor Riders who can go in your place.

Over 1000 Organizations are Partnering on the Climate March! Businesses, unions, religious groups, environmental groups, schools, social justice groups, and more. To see the list, Click Here.

UPDATE - Sept. 9: THURSDAY, September 11, SCREENING of ‘DISRUPTION' - Viewing and discussion of film and the Sept. 21 People’s Climate March. 6:00pm-8:00pm, University at Buffalo, North Campus, Capen 107, Amherst. Free & open to public

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CLIMATE MARCH in NY CITY - Reserve Bus Seats Now!

HOP on the BUFFALO BUS to NY CITY 
for the
 People's Climate March
  
In September, world leaders are coming to New York City for a landmark UN summit on the Climate Crisis. The UN Secretary­ General is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce Global Warming Pollution.

With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we'll take a stand for justice to bend the course of history.

On September 21st, the People's Climate March will peacefully flood the NY City streets in historic numbers to demand the world we know is within our reach: 
  • a world with an economy that works for people and the planet
  • a world safe from the ravages of climate change
  • a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities

Over 1000 groups, representing social justice, schools, different faiths, businesses, unions and more, have signed on in support of the People's Climate March together with the Sierra Club, 350.org and other environmental groups.

Hundreds of Climate Rallies will also be held around the World!

This promises to be the Largest Climate Action Ever!


Join us on Sunday, September 21 in New York City!

Reserve a Seat on the Buffalo Bus
  
Area Residents & Students: Sierra Club Niagara Group and local allied groups have chartered Buses to NYC.
  • Full Fare is $50 round trip
  • Scholarship Fare is $25 for students and others who need support
Buffalo Buses will depart at 11:30 PM on Saturday Sept. 20 from UB South Campus on Main St. (NFTA Park & Ride parking lot) and will return around 11:30 PM on Sunday Sept. 21 

or

Pay by Check 

(Note: Checks for Bus Tickets not accepted after Sept. 12, 2014)

Make check out to “Sierra Club Niagara Group” (write Climate March in the notation) and mail it to: Larry Snider, 69 Burdette Dr., Cheektowaga, NY 14225. Provide your contact information including an e-mail address and phone number. Your seat(s) will be reserved when the payment is received as long as there are seats available.

 

Consider Sponsoring Riders: If you can not go to NYC but wish to show your support, consider sponsoring riders by making a Donation Online or by sending a Check (see address above - write Donation in the notation).

Thank you for your support!


Questions? Email niagarasierra@gmail.com

or Call 716-984-2833

For Updates, visit niagarasierraclub.com

Watch this inspiring video from PeoplesClimateMarch.org


Exhibitor Invitation: WNY Environmental Summit -- September 27

Your organization is invited to have a free exhibit table at the 10th Annual WNY Environmental Summit at Daemen College.  This year’s theme is “A Decade of Progress: Sustainability Comes of Age in WNY”.

DateSaturday, September 27, 2014
Time8:30am-12:30pm (table setup begins at 8am)
Location:  Wick Student Center, Daemen College
Cost:  Free

The annual Summit brings together a wide audience of interested citizens, business people, students, politicians and environmental organizations.  The free event aims to share information on how to improve sustainability in our communities and our homes and appreciate our connection with our environment.  Environmental and civic organizations, green businesses, and government agencies are encouraged to participate.

To reserve your table, please reply to this email (or contact Brenda Young at byoung@daemen.edu) with the following:

Organization Name:
Contact Person:
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:
Do you need electricity?  Y/N   (limited spaces, please provide your own extension cord)

Exhibitors will be contacted with setup information in early September and information on submitting up to 2 PowerPoint slides for an ongoing loop displayed during the Summit.  

Exhibit space is limited to a 6 foot table which we provide.  Wall space is not available for all tables, so if you have special requests, please let us know and we will try our best to accommodate you.  Please bring your own tablecloth or cover, if desired.

Click 'Read more' (below) to see a draft Agenda and check for Updates Here. 

'Taste the Future' at Developing Urban Farm in North Tonawanda

GroOperative - Worker-owned Urban Farm - invites you to Taste the Future

A developing worker cooperative called GroOperative is hosting a fundraiser called Taste the Future in North Tonawanda on Saturday, September 6th and is inviting the community to come out to support the venture, offering food, live music and samples of prototype beers. The event will go from 6pm to 10pm at The Strand, a former theater renovated as a music and performance venue at 540 Oliver St.

There is a presentation on cooperatives in general and on GroOperative’s vision in particular that begins at 7pm at the Strand on September 6th, followed by a question and answer session. The team leading the effort consists of four young men from the Buffalo area with backgrounds in building trades, brewing, sales, administration and food production. Live blues/roots/funk music by David Michael Miller & Friends begins at 8pm.

GroOperative aims to provide high-quality food and high-quality jobs in Western New York, ideally in the City of Buffalo, through a worker-owned vertical farming system. Worker-ownership means a type of cooperative where the people who work at the business are also the owners, participating in making decisions both big and small. Vertical farming is a relatively new, indoor gardening and farming system that stacks trays of growing plants vertically, making the most use of available space.

Entry to the event is by donation, with a suggested donation of $20. Proceeds from the Taste the Future event will go toward GroOperative’s development, helping to cover costs of things like legal fees, grant-writing,  website maintenance and aquaponics research & development. For more information, click 'Read more' (below) and also visit www.grooperative.com.

COSMOGENESIS: Science meets Art on Stage

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  • WHAT: Performance Art -- "Cosmogenesis: The Story of Us -- A Story of the Cosmos, Deep Ecology and Human Choice,” with Rebecca Sophia Strong
  • WHEN: September 12, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  • WHERE:  Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo
  • TICKETS: $20 at the door
"We are really excited about this show because it uniquely brings the science of the 13.8 billion year story of the Universe (kinda like the recent Neil DeGrasse Tyson's "Cosmos") together with Performance Art, creating a hilarious, engaging and surprisingly informative theatre experience.

The show has toured around the country and will be performed in Scotland at the end of September."
--  Rebecca Sophia Strong and the Cosmogenesis Staff
Watch the Video Trailer: