Times Union | April 22, 2015 | Photo Gallery by Paul Buckowski
ALBANY — Cyclists gathered Wednesday lunch-time in Albany for an Earth Day bicycle parade to celebrate Capital Region institutions who utilize solar energy. The event began near Tivoli Park and ended with refreshments at the pedestrian bridge on Broadway next to the Dormitory Authority. Representatives from CDTA were on hand to demonstrate how to mount a bike onto a bus rack.
Times Union | April 22, 2015 | Column by Matthew Hamilton
Recent state and federal checks of tracks and crude oil tank cars found 84 defects, including some in the Albany area, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said Wednesday.
Green Education and Legal Fund | April 22, 2015 | Press Release
(Earth Day) More than 70 environmental, faith and labor groups today announced they are launching a campaign on Earth Day to require New York State to transition to 100% clean energy by 2030.
AlterNet | April 22, 2015 | Column by Reynard Loki
A short documentary warns about the dangers posed by trains that transport explosive crude oil across North America.
At 11:45 today, the corner of Judson and Livingston near Tivoli Park will be filled with bicyclists about to embark on an Earth Day Bicycle Parade. This ride has become an annual event co-sponsored by the city of Albany, the People of Albany United for Safe Energy (PAUSE) and many other organizations. See attached flyer. As in previous years we are fortunate to be escorted by the Albany Police on bicycles. From 11:45 until noon, renewable energy experts plus elected officials and civic leaders will speak to the press. During this time the CDTA will also demonstrate how to mount bicycles onto the bus racks. We will then depart and ride past several institutions with solar panels before arriving at the pedestrian bridge on Maiden Lane off of Broadway. Children from the Castle Island Montessori School will join the adults during the Washington Park portion of the parade.
“This year we will be celebrating institutions in the city with solar panels because they are at the forefront of our fight to mitigate climate change” states PAUSE spokesperson Sandy Steubing. “We are on a trajectory of catastrophic climate change unless we dramatically move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources of energy. The Spectrum 8 Theatres, the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany (FUUSA) and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) are showing us what a good institutional citizen looks like in the 21st century. They are, indeed, models to be emulated.”
Dr. Chris Bystroff remarks on the FUUSA solar panels: “ The 25kW solar rooftop array was installed Feb 2013 by US Light Energy. To date it has produced over 50,000 kWh of electrical power, avoiding over 27,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, equivalent to saving over 750 trees.”
Dr. Dave Hochfelder of Solarize Albany describes his organization: “We are a volunteer group of Albany County citizens who have come together to promote solar energy in the county using the community solar (Solarize) model. The Solarize framework was developed by the US Department of Energy (DOE), and has been used by dozens of other communities across the United States. Our objectives are to educate residents about solar energy and increase the number of residential and small business solar installations by leveraging the cost benefits of bulk purchasing.”
Dr. Steve Breyman of RPI talks about the 2030 plan: “My Environmental Politics & Policy class this semester is checking Prof. Jacobson and colleagues’ claim that NYS can transition its energy system, the whole thing—transportation, heating and cooling, electricity generation, industry, agriculture—to one powered completely by wind, water and solar power with off-the-shelf technology by 2030, or at the latest by 2050. The feasibility study is, as one might imagine, a complex undertaking. Our preliminary findings indicate that, in technical terms, the transition may indeed be feasible; the political feasibility, the willingness of elected officials to get on the right path, is much less certain.”
Rev. Sam Trumbore of FUUSA brings it all home: "We feel morally bound to future generations to move toward a low carbon, sustainable world now."
Have We Passed the Point of No Return on Climate Change? asks the 4/13/15 Scientific American publication. Within that article Greenpeace is quoted “We have until around 2020 to significantly cut back on greenhouse gas output around the world—to the tune of a five percent annual reduction in emissions overall—if we are to avoid runaway climate change. We need to radically change our approach to energy production and consumption” they conclude. Yet the EPA reports that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States have increased by about 7% between 1990 and 2013.1 We need to do much better than this.
In addition to the Bicycle Parade, PAUSE will place Earth Day lawn signs throughout city parks on Earth Day evening so residents and workers may enjoy the spectacle of ‘blooming’ lawn signs on Earth Day morning.
This is a day to celebrate the natural resources and beauty of the planet. Given the escalation of green house gas emissions, how many more Earth Days within a stable climate system do we get?
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