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7 Events to Check Out During the 10th Annual Climate Week NYC
Monday marks the start of the 10th annual Climate Week NYC. From Sept. 24 to the 30, non-profit The Climate Group has invited businesses, governments, nonprofit organizations, universities and art and music organizations to host a wide variety of affiliated events devoted to raising awareness and prompting action around climate change.
"Climate Week NYC is the largest climate week in the world and as one of the key summits in the international calendar—which runs alongside the United Nations General Assembly—has been driving climate action forward since its launch in 2009," The Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson said in a New York City mayor's office press release. "We are thrilled to be hosting our 10th Climate Week NYC and to appear on the world's stage, to continue to advance climate action to the top of the global agenda."
It's a jam-packed week—last year's week hosted more than 140 affiliate events. So if you're lucky enough to be in New York, it's a great chance to learn more about climate change and what you can do about it. You can see the full 2018 events program here, but if that's too overwhelming, below are seven events that demonstrate the full variety of what Climate Week NYC has to offer.
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming is a best-selling book edited by Paul Hawken that outlines 100 existing climate solutions that, if applied globally and to scale over the next 30 years, could bring the earth to "drawdown," the point at which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and then begin to decline. Even after the book's publication, Project Drawdown continues to research and promote climate solutions. The event will feature a presentation by Drawdown senior writer Katharine Wilkinson followed by a panel discussion moderated by 350.org founder Bill McKibben.
When: Monday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: 2 West 64th Street, New York, NY
Hosts: New York Society for Ethical Culture, Pachamama Alliance, and 350NYC
This stimulating evening of panel discussions features the work of people using their artistic and technological skills to confront the problem of climate change. The first panel focuses on art with the Climate Museum, the first institution dedicated to cultural engagement with climate change, Storm King Art Center, which is currently showing an innovative climate art exhibit, and artist Justin Brice Guariglia, whose work is both part of the Storm King exhibit and the Climate Museum's Climate Signals installation featuring 10 solar-powered road signs with text written by Guariglia on display around NYC until Nov. 6. Next, The ixo Foundation, which develops ixo Blockchain for Impact, and SolarCoin, which uses blockchain technology to create a digital currency promoting solar energy, discuss innovation with sustainability financing company South Pole and SDG Futures, which is working on developing a 2019 TV program promoting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, speaks with fellow Yale professor Dan Esty, director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, about the "Politics, Policy and Communication" of climate change.
When: Tuesday, Sept. 25, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: 46 East 70th Street, New York, NY
Host: The Explorers Club
Cost: $5 to $25
Climate Analytics is a non-profit based in Berlin dedicated to bringing together experts on both the science and policy of climate change. It makes sense, then, that it is hosting an event discussing the latest science on the benefits of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and what this means for the successful implementation of the
Paris agreement. The event will feature an update on the significance of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the impact of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, presented by Princeton scientist Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, as well as talks on the climate and policy implications of that goal by Climate Analytics members Dr. Tabea Lissner, Dr. Bill Hare & Jasmin Cantzle.
When: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave, New York, NY
Host: Climate Analytics
Cost: Free, register here
Buildings are responsible for 70 percent of New York City's greenhouse gas emissions. This event will focus on how to reduce those emissions, especially in buildings housing low-income communities, in a way that preserves affordable housing. The panel will feature speakers from the mayor's office and environmental justice organizations like
WeACT and NYC Environmental Justice Alliance.
When: Thursday, Sept. 27, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: McNally Amphitheatre, Fordham University Lincoln Center, 140 West 62nd Street, New York, NY
Host: NYC Climate Action Alliance
Come to the closing night of
Elements of Change, a play by Divya Mangwani based on the UNICEF Climate Comic Contest winner "Tré: The Adventures of Brother Earth" by Sona Sridhar. The theatrical event is part of a larger collaboration coordinated by Greenpoint Innovations (GPI) under the banner of THE POINT that seeks to leverage the arts for climate action. Also part of the collaboration: a mural by South African street artist Sonny and Brooklyn art duo ASVP on the walls of Intermediate School 318 in north Brooklyn. You can track the mural's progress on Instagram. This is the third year in a row that GPI, a purpose-based company founded by Stephen Donofrio to use data, media and the arts to promote sustainability, has coordinated an NYC Climate Week event, according to Broadway World.
When: Friday, Sept. 28, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42nd Street, New York, NY
Hosts: UNICEF, Comics Uniting Nations, Greenpoint Innovations, Hypokrit Theater Company and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
Cost: Free, but tickets are limited, register here
Global Citizen is dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030 by encouraging people around the world to pressure governments to take action on gender equality, the environment, food security, education, global health and sanitation. By downloading the
Global Citizen app, you can take recommended actions to enter a lottery and earn tickets to the 2018 concert. 48,000 tickets will be given away in total. Headliners include Janet Jackson, The Weekend, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B and Janelle Monáe, with special guest John Legend.
When: Saturday, Sept. 29, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Doors open 2 p.m.
Where: Great Lawn, Central Park, New York, NY
Host: Global Citizen
This event is not officially affiliated with Climate Week NYC, but it matches up in spirit. The Climate Museum is inviting the public on a guided tour of Rockaway Park. Hurricane Sandy devastated the Rockaways more than five years ago, and the walk bears witness to that devastation, as well as the steps the community has taken to rebuild and prepare for the future. The event closes on the boardwalk with a workshop by local artists on processing climate-based emotions through visual art.
When: Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Rockaway Park, Queens, NY
Host: The Climate Museum and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy
This post was reformatted for clarity.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tracy L. Barnett
Sources reviewed this article for accuracy.
For Sicangu Lakota water protector Cheryl Angel, Standing Rock helped her define what she stands against: an economy rooted in extraction of resources and exploitation of people and planet. It wasn't until she'd had some distance that the vision of what she stands for came into focus.
Last week, the Peruvian Palm Oil Producers' Association (JUNPALMA) promised to enter into an agreement for sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil production. The promise was secured by the U.S. based National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in collaboration with the local government, growers and the independent conservation organization Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo.
The rallying cry to build it again and to build it better than before is inspiring after a natural disaster, but it may not be the best course of action, according to new research published in the journal Science.
"Faced with global warming, rising sea levels, and the climate-related extremes they intensify, the question is no longer whether some communities will retreat—moving people and assets out of harm's way—but why, where, when, and how they will retreat," the study begins.
The researchers suggest that it is time to rethink retreat, which is often seen as a last resort and a sign of weakness. Instead, it should be seen as the smart option and an opportunity to build new communities.
"We propose a reconceptualization of retreat as a suite of adaptation options that are both strategic and managed," the paper states. "Strategy integrates retreat into long-term development goals and identifies why retreat should occur and, in doing so, influences where and when."
The billions of dollars spent to rebuild the Jersey Shore and to create dunes to protect from future storms after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 may be a waste if sea level rise inundates the entire coastline.
"There's a definite rhetoric of, 'We're going to build it back better. We're going to win. We're going to beat this. Something technological is going to come and it's going to save us,'" said A.R. Siders, an assistant professor with the disaster research center at the University of Delaware and lead author of the paper, to the New York Times. "It's like, let's step back and think for a minute. You're in a fight with the ocean. You're fighting to hold the ocean in place. Maybe that's not the battle we want to pick."
Rethinking retreat could make it a strategic, efficient, and equitable way to adapt to the climate crisis, the study says.
Dr. Siders pointed out that it has happened before. She noted that in the 1970s, the small town of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin moved itself out of the flood plain after one too many floods. The community found and reoriented the business district to take advantage of highway traffic and powered it entirely with solar energy, as the New York Times reported.
That's an important lesson now that rising sea levels pose a catastrophic risk around the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world's cities are along shorelines. In the U.S. alone coastline communities make up nearly 40 percent of the population— more than 123 million people, which is why Siders and her research team are so forthright about the urgency and the complexities of their findings, according to Harvard Magazine.
Some of those complexities include, coordinating moves across city, state or even international lines; cultural and social considerations like the importance of burial grounds or ancestral lands; reparations for losses or damage to historic practices; long-term social and psychological consequences; financial incentives that often contradict environmental imperatives; and the critical importance of managing retreat in a way that protects vulnerable and poor populations and that doesn't exacerbate past injustices, as Harvard Magazine reported.
If communities could practice strategic retreats, the study says, doing so would not only reduce the need for people to choose among bad options, but also improve their circumstances.
"It's a lot to think about," said Siders to Harvard Magazine. "And there are going to be hard choices. It will hurt—I mean, we have to get from here to some new future state, and that transition is going to be hard.…But the longer we put off making these decisions, the worse it will get, and the harder the decisions will become."
To help the transition, the paper recommends improved access to climate-hazard maps so communities can make informed choices about risk. And, the maps need to be improved and updated regularly, the paper said as the New York Times reported.
"It's not that everywhere should retreat," said Dr. Siders to the New York Times. "It's that retreat should be an option. It should be a real viable option on the table that some places will need to use."
Leaked documents show that Jair Bolsonaro's government intends to use the Brazilian president's hate speech to isolate minorities living in the Amazon region. The PowerPoint slides, which democraciaAbierta has seen, also reveal plans to implement predatory projects that could have a devastating environmental impact.