Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Bowen also mentions the Community Vision Council, a group organizing the first annual Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference just a month from now, from Nov. 19 to 21 at Brooklyn College. The conference will explore how activists and workers can examine the intersections of food, race, poverty and social justice and tackle issues around hunger, access, food-related illnesses and more.
Critics of the food justice movement most commonly, and justifiably, decry it as Whole Foods-elitist, white, wealthy and largely oblivious to the realities of most Americans and unable (or unwilling) to address said issues. How great to see these much-needed conversations and activism take root here.
Anyone plan to attend the conference?
Photo credit: David Barrie via Flickr
Here are some of the graphs for New York:
Monday, October 25, 2010
The filing plaintiff, longtime outspoken LEED critic and engineer Henry Gifford, owner of Gifford Fuel Saving of Manhattan, is part of a class of plaintiffs consisting of business owners who paid for LEED certification and taxpayers who claim they helped subsidize LEED buildings. Gifford, deemed worthy of a New Yorker profile in 2003, not only claims he has been harmed by USGBC, but claims to represent the interests of the other plaintiffs who say they paid for LEED certification under false promises. Under the suit, they demand that USGBC pay $100 million in compensation and legal fees to victims, and stop their alleged deceptive practices.
But the case seems shaky, at best. Gifford cites his evidence of misrepresentation on his own analysis of data from the most thorough study done of LEED construction to date, a Gifford claims that, under his own analysis, LEED buildings are, on average, 29 percent less efficient -- a sharp contrast to the findings from the NBI study (supported by the National Research Council Canada) which found LEED-certified building an average of 25 to 30 percent more efficient than the average building.
"I'm afraid that in a few years somebody really evil will publicize the fact that green buildings don't save energy and argue that the only solution [to resource constraints] to more guns to shoot at the people who have oil underneath their sand," he told Environmental Building News.
Hmm. EBN interviewed several lawyers who explained that consumers have numerous opportunities to verify their energy consumption under LEED and that LEED design alone could not reduce energy use if residents do not also adjust other living factors. They're sure the suit won't get too far.
But if the suit succeeds, what could it mean for green building? Read more details to the debate here.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
After writing a completely legitimate memo critiquing budget cuts to already strapped state environmental programs, Pete Grannis, New York State's commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation was fired Thursday, prompting environmental activists and other politicians to call for his immediate rehiring.
were slashed about 12 percent from last year's totals -- have left them "hanging by a thread." About 209 people would lose jobs, bringing the total lay-offs to nearly 800 within the past few years, and leaving even fewer people to manage all the offices oversee.
Since when is critique of Albany's disastrous budgetary crisis worthy of firing? Perhaps if Grannis had been talking crazy -- instead, tons of Albany insiders back his concerns. So far, state Assemblyman Bob Sweeney, chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Assembly member Kevin Cahill, head of the Energy Committee, and eight other Assembly members including Jim Brennan of NYC have all spoken up in favor of rehiring Grannis, writes Brian Nearing of the Times-Union. Leaders from more than a dozen environmental groups have spoken out Gov. David Paterson for the firing.
In its statement on the firing, the Sierra Club called it "the latest in a series of appalling assaults to the environment coming out of Governor’s office." "While we may have locked horns with Pete over gas drilling, he has 40 year record of protecting the environment and has fought to keep his decimated agency together – always doing more with an ever-shrinking pool of funding and staff." Others critique the suddennes and process of the firing, especially since the governor's office moved without consulting the Assembly or Grannis.
Grannin also wrote in his memo that the budget cuts, and future cuts, will not only devastate programs based in state parks, hunting, hiking, fishing and camping, but also weaken the state's efforts to reign in the corporate push for the uber dangerous, environmentally devastating natural gas drilling within the Marcellus Shale further upstate. (Check this video here).
Irked? Call or email the Governor's office at 518-474-8390 and email@example.com to call for Grannis's reinstatement.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
For those who have never attended a clothing swap, it's super fun, super simple, super cheap (i.e. free) and green, based on that good old theory of "one person's trash is another person's treasure," etc., etc. Drop off your gently-used clothes at the swap, sift through the pile of awesome used clothes donated by your classmates, and pick up new duds for yourself! If you hadn't noticed, CUNY Law students are an extremely well-dressed bunch. Trust us, you'll definitely go home happy!
Monday, October 18, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Why not carry some resuable utensils? Why didn't we think of this before?
The Green Coalition is again selling some high-quality, convenient reusable silverware sets (above) for $10 in the cafeteria by Margie. The sets include a fork, knife, spoon and two chopsticks and come in a colored canvas case.
We've only a limited number of sets (for now). Get 'em while their hot!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
After reviewing Simon's new book, "Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other, In Praise of Adoption," Grist.org's Lisa Hymas interviewed Simon and asked whether he felt parents should justify their adoption by environmental concerns.
Simon, rightfully, argues parents shouldn't be solely motivated by reducing their carbon footprint or eco-claim. Why? "Because I think you ought to have children out of joy, not out of sense of duty."
But nor should prospective parents be solely motivated by the fact they cannot conceive children themselves, which is often the case for parents who adopt children today.
"We've known people who have gone through so many rounds of assisted fertility, and that just strikes me as utterly useless when there are already children in the world," said Simon, who with his wife underwent fertility treatments before adopting. "If somehow you could connect the number of people in this world who want to have children and more of the youngsters out there who could use families, that's a kind of global warming we could all use."
The decision and act of raising children, of course, remains incredibly emotional, personal and difficult, thus it is tough to make many arguments in terms of any sort of public policy. Any thoughts on Simon's book and population arguments in terms of climate and environmental concerns?
Photo credit: BZO via Flickr
Monday, October 11, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
It's pretty fantastic: Organizers and everyday people in more than 150 countries will be building solar panels, working in community gardens, constructing wind turbines and running bike workshops and much more, all to fight climate change.
350.org, the main organizer of the day, says this: "We're getting to work--what about you?"
In Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Food Coalition is hosting a day of work at BKFarmyards to support the High School for Public Service Youth Farm with a pot luck communal dinner following from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative will lead a cleanup along Columbia Street, part of a larger project to clean up the Greenway, a planned 14-mile, off-street, landscaped route for cyclists and pedestrians, from Greenpoint through Sunset Park. Here in Flushing, the Queens Botanical Gardens will host demonstrations of how to compost and how to turn items like old clothes into new things from 1 to 4 p.m., along with a cleanup of the Gardens, devastated from the recent tornado.
To join, or to find more events planned near you, visit:
Monday, October 4, 2010
For the heck of it, let's just tack on a couple green edits, shall we?
- If possible, use spill-proof containers that are "perferably" reusable water bottles and thermoses, and..
-If possible, recycle or reuse small snacks packaging (recycle bins conveniently placed around the library).
Guess that'd be tough to get on a small sign...
Friday, October 1, 2010
Check back here regularly for updates and more details! If anyone has any questions or ideas for the Coalition, or would like to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.