Sunday, October 15, 2017

NY Climate Solutions Summit -- October 28th in Rochester

What: NY Climate Solutions Summit

When: Saturday, October 28th, 8am-5pm

Where: The Harley School 
1981 Clover Street, Rochester [Map]

Keynote Speakers:
  • Aaron Mair, Former Sierra Club President  

  • Sandra Steingraber, Acclaimed Author & Ecologist  

The NY Climate Solutions Summit invites both new and experienced clean energy and climate organizers from across the state to gather and learn about case studies, experiences, projects, resources, and skills that will help their communities implement climate change solutions.

Presenters will share case studies on solar, wind, renewable heating, energy efficiency, transportation, environmental justice, and land use, in addition to workshops on movement building and technical skills. More details on the full program can be found here.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

Planning team members:
Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, ACE NY, New Yorkers for Clean Power, Mothers Out Front, NY GEO, and the Alliance for a Green Economy.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Panel Discussion Forum at Burchfield Penney Art Center: Communicating Climate Science

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  Humanities New York 

 Turning the Tide:
Communicating Climate Science

Thursday, Sept. 28, 6 PM

Burchfield Penney Art Center

1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo
FREE and open to the public. 

Doubt, while fundamental to the scientific method, has played an out-sized role in the public debate on climate change. Why do so many Americans distrust science in this specific context? 

Join our panelists in a discussion of the history of environmentalism, the politicization of science, and more for the launch event of the Buffalo Humanities Festival 2017: Environments.

  • Jacqueline Patterson is the Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program.
  • Jason Briner is Director of the Paleoclimate Lab and Associate Professor of Geology at the University at Buffalo.
  • Elizabeth Mazzolini is author of The Everest Effect and Associate Professor of English at the University at Buffalo.
  • Adam Rome is author of The Genius of Earth Day and Professor of History at the University at Buffalo.
  • Ryan McPherson is the Chief Sustainability Officer at the University at Buffalo. Ryan will moderate.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bill McKibben - Renowned Environmental Author, Educator and Activist - to Speak in Buffalo

Bill McKibben 

will speak on 

“The Desperate Climate Fight: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Moment,”

 Friday, Sept. 29, 8pm at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages. He is a founder of the first planet-wide, grassroots climate movement,, which has coordinated tens-of-thousands of rallies in 189 countries since 2009. 

Time Magazine called him 'the planet's best green journalist' and The Boston Globe said that he was 'probably the country's most important environmentalist.' 

Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, he holds honorary degrees from a dozen colleges and universities, including the State University of New York. In 2011 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’

Bill McKibben will deliver the featured lecture of the Buffalo Humanities Festival, a three-day event featuring  environmentally-themed talks, music, performances, community debates and other activities that focus on issues of local, regional and national environmental justice and economic sustainability.

General admission tickets for Bill McKibben’s lecture are $20 for the public and $15 for students. Click here to buy tickets online.

There is a separate VIP reception with McKibben in the AK Café. The VIP reception is included with the purchase of a VIP Full Festival Pass, which is $60 for the public and $40 for students.

A complete festival schedule, including additional ticket information is available online -- Click here.

Buffalo Humanities Festival: ENVIRONMENTS

 Saturday, Sept. 30, 10:30 AM

Rockwell Hall, Buffalo State College

The full festival day begins with a performance by Deke Weaver of “BEAR and the Unreliable Bestiary” and continues with talks, panels, and community conversations focusing on issues of environmental justice and economic sustainability, activism and planning, and the global climate change crisis. 

Lunch by West Side Bazaar is included with tickets purchased by Sept. 25th. The closing reception features music by 12/8 Path Band and beer by Community Beer Works.

 Saturday Schedule

10:00 AM | Registration/Check-In Open

10:30 AM | Deke Weaver presents “BEAR and the Unreliable Bestiary”

11:30 AM | Session I

§  Panel Discussion: Listen! Youth Voices on Climate Justice | Members of Western New York Environmental Alliance’s Youth Climate Justice Campaign, Massachusetts Avenue Project, and Ujima Theatre

§  Reflecting on Earth’s Reflectance, or Adventures in Albedo Enhancement | Judith Goldman, Assistant Professor of English, University at Buffalo

§  Fostering Community Empowerment through Social Justice and Environmental Narratives | Erin E. Robinson, Professor of Sociology, Canisius College

§  Reimagining Education: Engaging Poverty in Higher Ed | Kevin D. Blair, Professor of Social Work and Chair of the Social Work Department, Niagara University and David B. Taylor, Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Niagara University

12:30 PM | Lunch by West Side Bazaar

1:15 PM | Session II

§  In Our Own Image | Eric Dolph, Professor of Interior Design, SUNY Buffalo State

§  Who Speaks for the Corals? Despair and Hope in the Anthropocene | Irus Braverman, Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography, University at Buffalo

§  Human Judgment and Environmental Impact | Jason Grinnell, Chair of the Philosophy Department and Associate Professor of Philosophy, SUNY Buffalo State and Amy McMillan, Interim Director of the Honors Program and Associate Professor of Biology, SUNY Buffalo State

§  Achieving a Regenerative Economy Through a Just Transition | Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Deputy Director of People United for Sustainable Housing, Inc. (PUSH Buffalo)

2:15 PM | Break

2:30 PM | Session III

§  Building The Future—What Makes An Effective Change Agent? | Ryan McPherson, Chief Sustainability Officer, University at Buffalo

§  My Walks with Olmsted | Adam Rome, Professor of History, University at Buffalo

§  Evolving Resistance and the Environmental Movement | Leslie James Pickering, former Spokesperson for the underground Earth Liberation Front and a Co-Owner of Burning Books and David Reilly, Director of International Studies and Chair of the Department of Political Science, Niagara University

§  Nature, Culture, Narrative | Barbara Porter, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Canisius College

3:30 PM | Reception
with music by 12/8 Path Band and beer from Community Beer Works

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Panel Discussion: Solar-Powered Carousel Project - Learn about Progress and How to Get Involved

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The Buffalo Heritage Carousel

A Solar Powered Carousel at Canalside!

At the Burchfield Penney Art Center
1300 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14222

Saturday, September 30th at 10:30 am until 12:30 pm

~Free and Open to the Public~

Please join us on Saturday, September 30th at 10:30 am until 12:30 pm for an exciting and informative discussion of the wonderful progress that has been accomplished in the restoration of WNY 's own Buffalo Heritage Carousel, which will be Solar Powered! Find Out What's happening with the historic preservation of a locally manufactured treasure, and see how you can get involved in this extraordinary project, soon to be showcased at Canalside in  Buffalo,NY!

Featured Panelists will include:
 Principal Architect at Eco_Logic Studios,Kevin Connors
 UB Assistant Professor of Architecture, Martha Bohm
  Megan Hahin, Education Director of the Herschell Carousel Factory Museum
Rose Hirsch, Carousel Horse Restoration Specialist

For More Information Visit Us at:

Distinguished Lecture: Global Climate Change and Human Health

 University at Buffalo
RENEW Distinguished Lecture Series Presents
Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., A.T.S.

Global Climate Change and Human Health: Global is Local

Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Director of the NIEHS and NTP, has spent more than 35 years researching, evaluating and educating the public on risks associated with hazardous environmental exposures. UB’s Institute on Research and Education in Energy, Environment and Water (RENEW) welcomes Dr. Birnbaum from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on September 15th, when she will discuss the impacts of global environmental health and what it means for local families and communities. She will discuss 21st century environmental health challenges associated with extreme weather events, community health resiliency, economic impacts of climate change on health, and co-benefits for health of mitigation/adaptation efforts.
September 15th, 2017

11:45am - 1:30pm

403 Hayes Hall, UB South Campus

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Community Mayoral Debate: Social Justice Advocates will pose Questions to Buffalo Mayoral Candidates

The event is non-partisan and will not endorse any candidate. The organizers encourage everyone's involvement and education in the process.
Indigenous peoples are one of the populations in the city that can be invisible and marginalized in the overall debate surrounding the city. This event will be to shift the conversation. 

There will also be groups addressing issues of racial justice, environmental justice, fair economics and other issues. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Report: Wind and Solar Power Reduce Pollution, Benefit Our Health and Climate, and Save Money

Wind and solar power are saving Americans an astounding amount of money

Not getting sick and dying from pollution is worth quite a bit, it turns out.

By David Roberts  | | Aug 18, 2017

Wind and solar power are subsidized by just about every major country in the world, either directly or indirectly through tax breaks, mandates, and regulations.

The main rationale for these subsidies is that wind and solar produce benefits to society that are not captured in their market price (a.k.a. “positive externalities”). Specifically, wind and solar power reduce pollution, which reduces sickness, missed work days, and early deaths. Every wind farm or solar field displaces some other form of power generation (usually coal or natural gas) that would have polluted more.

Subsidies for renewable energy sources are meant to remedy this market failure, to make the market value of renewables more accurately reflect their total social value.

This raises an obvious question: Are renewable energy subsidies doing the job? That is to say, are they accurately reflecting the size and nature of their benefits to society?

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab published a comprehensive report on the health and environmental benefits of wind and solar in the US between 2007 (when the market was virtually nothing) and 2015 (after years of explosive market growth).

Below are the main conclusions:
  • From 2007 to 2015, wind and solar in the US reduced SO2, NOx, and PM2.5 by 1.0, 0.6, and 0.05 million tons respectively;
  • Reduction of those local air pollutants helped avoid 7,000 premature deaths (the central estimate in a range from 3,000 to 12,700);
  • Those avoided deaths, along with other public health impacts, are worth a cumulative $56 billion (the central estimate in a range from $30 to $113 billion);
  • Wind and solar also reduced CO2 emissions, to the tune of $32 billion in avoided climate costs (the central estimate in a range from $5 to $107 billion).
If you add up those central estimates, wind and solar saved Americans around $88 billion in health and environmental costs over eight years. Not bad.

Costs and benefits

In this case, as in all such cases, it is somewhat misleading to simply compare total subsidies with total health and environmental benefits. The total amounts are not all that matters. It also matters how costs and benefits are distributed — i.e., equity matters as well.

To put it bluntly: A dollar in federal taxes is not equivalent to a dollar of avoided health and environmental costs. The latter dollar is worth more than the former dollar.

Why is that? Simple: Federal taxes come disproportionately from the wealthy, via our progressive federal income tax, but health and environmental benefits disproportionately help the poor. And as any good economist will tell you, the same dollar is worth more to a poor person than it is to a rich person.

This is something that often gets lost in discussions of environmental regulations. It’s not just that their total benefits almost always exceed their direct costs. It’s that those benefits are uniquely egalitarian and progressive.

In the case of climate change, any reduction in CO2 emissions benefits everyone on Earth (egalitarian), while disproportionately helping the poor, who suffer earliest and most from climate impacts (progressive).

In the case of local air-quality benefits, cleaner air benefits everyone in the region who breathes (egalitarian), while disproportionately helping the poor, who are more likely to live in close proximity to fossil fuel power plants (progressive).

In terms of equity, converting a dollar of wealthy people’s money into a dollar of health for low-income communities seems like a good deal to me. And if you can get multiple dollars of low-income health benefit for every dollar of high-income taxes, well, that’s a no brainer.

Everybody breathes. Any dollar of federal income taxes used to produce a dollar of air and climate benefits is a net gain for justice.

Excerpts of the article are shown above. To read the full article, visit

Sunday, August 20, 2017

COMMUNITY FORUM: Educational Presentations on Mitigating Climate Change

ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter

Conservation Committee

presents a



 Mitigating Climate Change

September 16, 2017

 Free and Open to the Public.


The program will discuss methods that are currently being utilized or are being researched to decrease the effect of climate change on people, communities and aquatic ecosystems. This program is offered at no charge as part of an educational outreach to educate individuals, policy makers and community activists about climate change and how each one of us can participate in decreasing the effect it has on the planet.


Our expert speakers will share a wealth of knowledge on a topic they are passionate about:

  • Christopher Page, MS – Senior Biologist, Mote Marine Laboratory in the Florida Keys will speak about Coral Re-skinning to mitigate the effect of climate change on coral reefs. He will discuss the importance of coral reefs and the impact climate change is having on them.
  • Zoé A. Hamstead, PhD – Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo School of Architecture & Planning and Director of the Community Resilience Lab, Dr. Hamstead will share her research on the impact of extreme heats on communities and the development of socially equitable, livable & healthy urban communities.
  • Leah B. Bernhardi, BS, MS, J.D. will share her experience in December 2015 when she spent a week in Paris, France attending the 21st Conference of the Parties for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She will discuss the Paris Agreement, what other countries are doing and what we can do about climate change



Daemen College
Schenck Hall / Auditorium Room 107
4380 Main Street
Amherst, NY 14226  [Map - Click here]


Doors open at 8:30 am, refreshments will be available.
Presentations start at 9:00 AM. The program ends at noon.

For more information, contact Jay Wopperer at

Co-sponsored by:  Daemen College Global & Local Sustainability Department