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The City of Euclid Goes Green

Renewable Energy

City of Euclid

The City of Euclid and Euclid Public Library partnered to install photovoltaic solar panels on their rooftops in one of the largest joint public projects in Ohio. The city and the library worked with Ohio Cooperative Solar (OCS), an employee-owned energy cooperative, by leasing their rooftops to OCS for the installation of the solar systems and by purchasing electricity from OCS.

“We are proud to be partnering with OCS in a cooperative effort to produce clean renewable solar energy and to create jobs in the Cleveland area,” said Mayor Cervenik.

“Being the first library in our state to work on a cooperative solar project is a significant step,” said Euclid Public Library Director, Donna Perdzock. “Both the city and our library are taking large strides toward adopting measures to go green. This project is paving the way toward a more responsible use of energy for the next generation.”

“With utility costs anticipated to continue to increase each year, over the life of the contract the energy produced by the solar systems will cost less than that provided by the utility company, resulting in annual savings to both the library and the city,” Cervenik said.

In addition to offsetting nearly 150 tons of carbon dioxide per year, the project includes an important educational component providing information to Euclid residents and businesses about the potential benefits and cost savings of solar energy. The library and city hall have electronic displays (kiosks) in their buildings that provide “real time” information on the amount of energy being produced and the amount of carbon dioxide being offsetted by using solar panels to generate electricity.

The project was funded in part through an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. OCS who designed and installed the solar system is a member of the Cleveland-based Evergreen family of cooperatives, which is funded in part by the Cleveland Foundation. The Evergreen Cooperatives are pioneering innovative models of job creation, wealth building and sustainability.

Mayor Bill Cervenik concluded the ceremony by stating, “From wind turbines to solar panels, from building upgrades to efficient traffic lights, from habit restoration to curbside recycling, the Euclid community cares about their environment and economic future. Going green is about sustainability, not only environmental sustainability. All of these projects are good for our planet but they are also good for our economy and budgets.” The work that public and private members of the community are undertaking shows that Euclid is taking its environmental and economic well-being in its own hands and steering the course for a prosperous future.

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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.

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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."

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