Monday, April 8, 2013
Once again, students from across New York will converge in Ithaca for the Youth Power Summit, happening April 20th-21st. The last event happened two years ago in 2011. This will be happening at the same time as the Climate Smart & Climate Ready Conference, also in Ithaca, taking place April 18th-21st.
The mission of the summit is to create a place "where young people, students, community members, faculty, and community business leaders will converge to explore the intersectionality of economic, social, and climate justice issues" in order to develop strategies to achieve "a just, sustainable, and prosperous community".
Some of the different organizations being represented there include the New Economics Institute, the Green Umbrella, Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, and many others.
I am very excited to be attending all the events happening during the coming week- nearly as excited as I was about the Keystone XL protest down in Washington, D.C. a few months ago! I know I will meet a lot of highly motivated and intelligent people who will help lead our nation and the world to a more sustainable future. One person I am extremely excited to hear is keynote speaker Mark Hertsgaard, renowned independent journalist and author, whose most recent book focused on living through the next fifty years of climate change.
This gathering is definitely something students cannot afford to miss!
Monday, March 4, 2013
Well, it’s finally March! The days are getting longer, and the weather starting to show hints of warming up. While I am a big skier and love looking at animal tracks in the snow, springtime will offer a good respite from the aura of dreariness that often surrounds winter. I have finally unlocked my bike from the rack it has been chained to for the past few months and filled my bike up with air in the Center for Natural Sciences. There are some bike trails across the street from the campus that I’m hoping to ride after midterms week is done with- I haven’t been back there since October! But in the meantime I’ll be hitting the books…. Springtime just can’t come fast enough, can it?
P.S. For those bicyclists out there, the club Bomber Bikes has just this past semester received space to store bikes during winter break, and is currently working on obtaining the funds needed to purchase tools, stands, and various other bicycle paraphernalia.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
This Sunday, over 20,000 people are expected to gather in Washington D.C. to rally against the further development of the Keystone XL Pipeline. For those who are unaware, the pipeline in question is being built by the TransCanada Corporation from Alberta, Canada all the way down to Texas, and will be transporting tar sands oil. Greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands production are 2 - 3 times that of conventional oil production, and emit many other pollutants hazardous to inhabitants near the area of production. James Hansen, NASA climate scientist, has predicted that it will be “game over for the climate” if the tar sands are continued to be exploited.
What really bugs me most about the issue, strangely enough, is not even the environmental and human rights issues that would come of the pipeline, but the lies and assumptions put forth by proponents of the project. For instance, most jobs created by KXL would be temporary, and the local communities surrounding the pipeline would not see much benefit.
Furthermore, KXL would not reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, as it is an export pipeline, and it will actually increase gas prices in the U.S. Don’t believe me? TransCanada’s application for the pipeline stated,
“Existing markets for Canadian heavy crude, principally PADD II [U.S. Midwest], are currently oversupplied, resulting in price discounting for Canadian heavy crude oil. Access to the USGC [U.S. Gulf Coast] via the Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to strengthen Canadian crude oil pricing in [the Midwest] by removing this oversupply. This is expected to increase the price of heavy crude to the equivalent cost of imported crude. The resultant increase in the price of heavy crude is estimated to provide an increase in annual revenue to the Canadian producing industry in 2013 of US $2 billion to US $3.9 billion.”
I have been working with the rest of the E-Board of the IC Environmental Society to organize a trip down to D.C. for the protest for the past month. All told, IC, Cornell, and the town of Ithaca will be sending four full buses down to the protest! This will be the biggest climate rally to date, and I am very excited to see what comes of it!
Sunday, February 10, 2013
After experiencing a very disappointing winter last year, I am very happy to finally see Ithaca receive plenty of snow! While the snow might dissuade people from going out to a party or visiting friends across campus, it did no such thing for this environmental studies major! I saw it as a perfect opportunity to go exploring the Ithaca College Natural Lands through a different medium than what I am used to. Taking out my cross-country skis for the first time in a year, I went to the campsite from my Winter Sentinels class and analyzed some fox tracks, stalked deer by the powerline cut, and took some great pictures that I will submit to the ICNL photo contest. Ithaca College has so much to offer during the winter, that no environmental studies or science major should ever be bored! And if you don't have the right equipment to go out trekking in the snow, everything can be rented at the Office of Recreational Sports. I can't wait to get out there again! I think next time I'll try snowshoeing...
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Last blog entry I was exceptionally transfixed on lack of snow in Ithaca. Well in the past month it has snowed maybe 6 or 7 times with varying amounts of snow. I've greatly treasured each snowfall, enjoying whatever type of precipitation comes. Unfortunately, the beautiful snowy weather only would last for a few days and then BAM... a 50 degree day! This winter has sadly lead to a very early spring. Yesterday, I saw buds blooming in a yard as I passed by, and it was only 40 degrees. On Friday I watched a flock of geese swim around in Chapel Pond and I even saw a male duck. My friends in the Non-Timber Forest Products course, taught by Jason Hamiliton, already started to tap the maple trees as sap is beautifully flowing at least a month early. All I know is that I do appreciate the warm weather because I love being outside but, I truly miss the winter weather. In two weeks I will be heading to Northwest Scotland to an eco-village called Findhorn. I will be experiencing cold weather with temperatures below zero but, who knows maybe Findhorn is greatly affected by the global temperature shift. My good friend is heading to Mongolia right after I venture to Scotland and I she will be experiencing extreme winters 20 or 30 degrees below 0 and I cannot even fathom what that temperature really feels like. I wish I could express how I truly feel about this weather but, I am interested in the side affects of lacking a truly chilly, snow-filled winter. I wonder what will lie ahead for the up-incoming seasons.