Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August update: Will Allen, September film screening, a proposal, 350 on 9/24

Beyond Oil NYC Update - August 2011

In this issue:

- Screening of Transition video shorts, 9/14
- Report and photos from Growing Power workshop on greenhouse building in Brooklyn
- A proposal on how neighborhood groups can make money from promoting sustainability
Join 350.org on 9/24 with Moving Planet


Here's a monthly update from our exploration into making NYC more sustainable.
In July, Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power, led a workshop on urban agriculture in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. We have great photos from Murray Cox. We also organized a well-attended screening of End of Suburbia at Orchard House Cafe, and helped promote a screening of Urban Roots at the Horticultural Society. We're going back to Orchard House in September with a new approach: a series of short videos rather than a single documentary.

My talk at a June conference on African children in conflict zones led to an invitation to co-host an online radio show about African environmental issues. So far that's going well. At the NYC Solar Summit that month I got some ideas on promoting solar PV installations, now in process. Look for details in the fall.

What started as an article on applying Transition organizing methods turned into a proposal for brainstorming events that would bring together entrepreneurs and sustainable business sectors. The goal would be to identify new business models that would allow neighborhood and civic groups to earn revenue from sustainability projects. And incidentally, build public support for PlaNYC. Since the next Mayor may be less green than Bloomberg, or face more economic constraints, PlaNYC is less sustainable than you might think...



Transition Video Shorts and Networking, Wed., Sept. 14, 7-9:30 PM
Orchard House Cafe, 1064 First Avenue (at 58th Street), NY, NY 10022
www.orchardhousecafe.com No charge.

Transition organizing starts with raising awareness about concepts that are very basic, but not widely discussed: to be sustainable communities must address not just climate change, but resource depletion and the economic changes now underway. Following some shorts like "The End of Growth;" "300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds;" and ABC's April report on world oil production, we'll screen a great presentation by Richard Heinberg on his new book, followed by networking and discussion. Here's the trailer.

Urban agriculture in Brooklyn

On July 19 and 20 - the hottest days of the year - Will Allen and his team from Growing Power came to the Brooklyn Rescue Mission in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to build their signature urban agriculture system: a greenhouse with a fish tank, and industrial size worm bins. Photos by Murray Cox. Read the report.

A modest proposal about how neighborhood groups could make money by promoting sustainability - and help maintain future PlaNYC efforts.

It explains how representatives of entrepreneurial groups and sustainable business sectors could come together, to find ways for neighborhood civic groups to earn revenue through sustainability projects. Just one good idea could provide funds for struggling nonprofits, while also building public support for PlaNYC.

Maybe the City's official program to build public support - the Change By Us social media website - will make a real difference in the number of New Yorkers getting involved with green programs. Please look at it and let us know what you think.

Maybe City leaders can be convinced to support social movements that catalyze neighborhood level sustainability organizing, like Transition or Bright Neighbor, a great online platform that's being used throughout Portland, OR. That's probably not likely - but isn't it worth raising the suggestion?

Review the proposal here. With just a few co-sponsors among business schools, green business groups, or civic groups, the process could take off. Add your response to the comment section.  If you don't like it, please say so - and please suggest what you think are better ideas.

Join 350.org on Sept. 24 with Moving Planet

Join a bike/march and rally in NYC in support of moving away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future. It's part of an international day of action called Moving Planet, aimed at demonstrating the strength of the climate movement and showing decision makers that the climate crisis must not be ignored. Share the new video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ztEgLXSiek.

Contact 350.orgNYC@gmail.com. 350's NYC volunteers are partnering with with Al Gore's Climate Reality Project "24 Hours of Reality" on Sept 14th, and with Climate Week NYC Sept 19th - 26th, http://www.climateweeknyc.org/.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading.

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