Friday, April 25, 2008

In the NEWS 4/25

Solar-energy systems exempted from sales tax
by Matthew Spina
NY State and Erie County will not charge sales tax on the purchase and installation of residential solar-energy systems. Other incentives include state energy grants, property tax exemptions for structural improvements, and the ability to sell surplus electricity to local utility companies. To read the report, click here.

Home grown wind power
What are the options for using a small windmill to produce electricity at home? To find out, click here. See also Wind Power for Homes in the Side Panel for links to further information.
Bill Nowak from the Wind Action Group recommends the following local contacts involved in small wind installations:
Richard Meyers at:
Amherst company, Greennorth:
Lake Effect Energy, c/o Dave Bradley:

Expanded Metro Rail offers many benefits
by Joseph H. Radder
Electrified inter-city rail and electric intra-city light-rail rapid transit will take millions of cars off the road and, in time, save billions of gallons of oil, not to mention the dramatic reduction in air pollution." Click here.

We need to act now to save our planet

by Louis DeRosa
"When will we, as a collective, make the decision to save our own lives and the lives of future generations?" Click here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

In the NEWS 4/20

Going Climate Neutral
by Walter Simpson
It's possible to adopt an earth-friendly lifestyle. Learn about your carbon footprint and how to conserve energy at home to reduce your impact on climate change, click here.

Global Warming is Melting our Children's Chances

by Gerry Rising
Brief summary about the causes and consequences of global warming, click here. Includes a tribute to Walter Simpson. Contact information for UB Green and climate change presentations: 829-3535 &

Buffalo must become more Bike Friendly
by Robin Douglas

A Greener way to keep it Clean
New detergent products claim to be safer than those currently under the kitchen sink, click here.

The Dawning of EARTH DAY
TIME Magazine, April 27, 1970: Ralph Nader was at SUNY Buffalo, read more here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper 'Spring Shoreline Sweep'

Cleanup crew at Broderick Park along the Niagara River in Buffalo

For additional photos including participants not shown, click here.
To visit the Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper Web site, click here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Friday, 11am to 2pm
Envirofair at Buffalo City Hall

Get a free Compact Fluorescent Light bulb, reusable bag and tree seedling
Click here for more information

Friday, 6pm to 8pm

Earth Day Forum: Clean Air ~ Clean Water

at the Buffalo Museum of Science

Features panelists from:
~ The DEC Nursery has graciously donated 500 seedlings to distribute ~

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In the NEWS 4/13

A Meeting of 'Green' Minds:
by James Heaney
Some highlights of Buffalo's Green Economy Summit, click here.

The economy is hurting in Buffalo, the second-poorest U.S. city of its size. There's lots of talk, both locally and from presidential candidates, about creating Green jobs to help both the environment and the economy. What exactly is a green job? To learn more, click here.

Bill Nowak, one of the organizers of the Green Economy Summit, will speak about Wind Power and New Job Opportunities on Wednesday April 16 at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian-Universalist Church on Elmwood Ave. at W. Ferry St.

'Green' Buildings:
by James Heaney
How to help save energy, money and the planet, click here.

The above article addresses construction of new buildings. Buffalo has lots of beautiful old buildings that need to be made more energy efficient, creating opportunities for green jobs. The Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) program has retrofit standards, called LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB). Read more here.

Finding Gold in Green Buildings:
by James Heaney
Part 2 of the "Green Buildings" News report, click here.

Buffalo Spree Magazine:
The Green Issue, click here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


NY State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt

hosts a

Green Economy Summit

featuring Empire State Development Upstate Chairman


April 12, 9AM at Buffalo State College

To download a Conversation Starter for a Green Economy, click here

To visit the Green Economy Summit Wikispace, click here

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Being 'Green' doesn't just apply to environmental and climate activists who warn us about the hazards of global warming. The Green movement has made its way into our churches. The unifying concept is stewardship of Earth, caring for all of our natural resources to benefit present and future generations of people, animals and plants. That concept is also uniting members of different faiths and churches around global warming and the effects of climate change on humanity.

Recently, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE) issued an interfaith statement and a letter to Congress to address those issues (1). NRPE partners include the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, the Evangelical Environmental Network and the National Council of Churches of Christ. Four thousand congregations of the Interfaith Power and Light campaign are mobilizing a national religious response to global warming while promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation (2).
One consequence of global warming predicted by climate scientists is extreme weather events, like Hurricane Katrina. Western New Yorkers from eight different churches joined Presbyterian Disaster Assistance in New Orleans to provide hurricane relief, connecting people and rebuilding lives (3).

Large church buildings with vaulted ceilings can require enormous quantities of energy for operation. Climate scientists tell us that to fight global warming we must act by reducing substantially the emissions of carbon dioxide derived from burning fossil fuels, our primary sources of energy. Action in our churches could include energy-saving measures, such as installing energy-efficient heating and lighting (4), and improving weatherization. The financial cost of saving energy this way can be recovered over time in the form of lower utility bills. An Episcopal church in Massachusetts saved $17,000 per year after installing a new boiler with zoned heating, programmable thermostats, and more efficient lighting (4). A simple analysis of a church's energy footprint can identify how to save energy (5), and a detailed energy audit can determine how much can be saved.

Certain congregations are taking even further action against global warming, along the same science-based lines promoted by climate activists. Global warming pollution can be eliminated by switching to clean energy sources which emit no carbon dioxide and are renewable and sustainable. Some Unitarian churches have installed solar electric panels and geothermal heating-cooling systems (6). Local examples of Green power for large buildings include solar panels at the University of Buffalo and a geothermal system in Ani DiFranco's Asbury Hall (Babeville) at a former church, both subsidized by NY State to help reduce costs. Other churches have designated clean energy such as wind or hydro power as their electricity source for a small extra utilities cost (
6). Local examples of wind and hydro are Steel Winds and the Niagara Falls Power Project. In addition to reducing global warming pollution, a shift to clean energy sources eliminates mercury pollution and other health-threatening emissions derived from coal-fired electricity plants.

On a final note, the Church of England came up with a creative solution to help reduce global warming:
during Lent this year, all congregation members were asked to cut back on carbon emissions rather than chocolate consumption (7)!

(1) New York Interfaith Power and Light
(2) Interfaith Power and Light Campaign
(3) Presbyterian Disaster Assistance - Katrina
(4) Churches go Green
(5) Shrinking the Footprint
(6) Churches relying on renewable energy sources.
(7) Cut out carbon for Lent says Churches

Local Event:
A talk "Could the WIND Bring New Jobs to WNY? YOU BET!" will be presented by Bill Nowak, Communications Chair of the Wind Action Group, on April 16th, 7PM (refreshments at 6:30 PM), at the WNY Climate Action Coalition meeting, Unitarian-Universalist Church, Elmwood & West Ferry in Buffalo.

Web Extras:
  • Rev. Sally Bingham, president of the Interfaith Power and Light, talks about her life as an Episcopal priest and environmental activist: video, click here.
  • For a closer look at Hurricane Katrina Relief through the eyes of local volunteer workers, click here.
  • Video by the National Resources Defense Council about the impact of Katrina, 2 years later, and the inaction of the federal government, click here.
  • Young Stewards of the Earth: video-slide show with music, click here.