Thu, 17 May 2007
More than 50 businesses, organizations, educational institutions, agencies, and individuals were nominated for the first (and presumably not the last!) Philadelphia Sustainability Awards. PennFuture, together with a team of core partners, came together to honor those who are making Philadelphia a more livable, healthy, sustainable city-- what is truly the next great city.
In this podcast, PennFuture's Christine Knapp talks with Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Michael DiBerardinis, and a number of the nominees and winners of this year's awards. Secretary DiBerardinis was rooting for his home team, the Philadelphia Eagles, for their Go Green program.
Christine also spoke with folks from RecycleBank, Philly Car Share, Judy Wicks from White Dog Cafe, Re:Vision Architecture, all award winners that evening, as well as Whole Foods Market, another nominee.
To learn more about the work PennFuture is doing in Philadelphia and across the Commonwealth to ensure that every environmental victory grows the economy, visit our Web site. As always, we welcome your support and your feedback. Comment below or e-mail us at podcast (at) pennfuture (dot) org.
Fri, 11 May 2007
On April 14 this year, Americans in all 50 states came together to call on leaders to take immediate action to stop global warming in a day of events called Step It Up. It was the largest day of citizen action focused on global warming in U.S. history, and was a "viral," grassroots movement, organized online, through e-mail activity, and by simple word-of-mouth. Over 1200 events and actions were organized on April 14, by people from all walks of life, focused on one message: asking Congress to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.
There were a number of events held throughout Pennsylvania. PennFuture was fortunate enough to be the recipient organization of a portion of the proceeds generated at one of those events held in King of Prussia, PA at Kildare's. PennFuture's Brian Glass and Joy Bergey were among the many participants, and they made the rounds in between speeches, entertainment, and fun to talk with a number of folks there to call in unison for our elected officials to step up action on global warming.
Brian speaks first with two of the three Kildare's event organizers, Chris Duvall and Keith Parsons, who describe how they together arrived at the idea for their own awareness event on global warming, teamed up with David McGrogan of Kildare's who had previously held a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina at his restaurant, and then folded their idea into the Step It Up model. PennFuture members Tom and Dolly Wallis share their personal story about changes they've made at home, including buying renewable energy and using a geothermal heat pump for their heating and cooling needs, motivated to do so as grandparents who want to leave things better for their grandchildren. Brian then talks with Mark Highland, president of Organic Mechanics, a new sustainable, peat-free potting soil company based in the Philadelphia area. Most potting soil has over 90 percent peat content, and since peat is a natural carbon sink, harvesting it for use in potting soils means that carbon is being released into the atmosphere as a source instead.
Joy talks with Albert Yee from Philly Car Share about how this flexible auto-sharing program is enabling people in and around Philadelphia to go car-free and cut their carbon footprint in the process. PennFuture is a member of both Philly Car Share and Flexcar, another similar program that is now in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. She also speaks with Sarah Hetznecker and Gary Sheehan from Mesa Energy LLC, recently acquired by Sun Technics in Germany, a solar PV design and solar thermal installation company. Mesa is aiming to be a full-service renewable energy project design and installation company in the next couple of years.
This Step It Up event also featured area elected officials who have taken leadership roles on state action to cut our contributions to global warming. Since Pennsylvania is third worst in the U.S. for emissions of heat-trapping gases that cause global warming, emitting one percent of the world's total (more than 105 nations combined!), we are a huge part of the problem. Brian talks with Rep. Greg Vitali (D-166) and Sen. John Rafferty (R-44), who are both sponsors of global warming legislation (HB 110 and SB 266).
We end the podcast with words from legendary Philadelphia D.J. Pierre Robert, of rock radio station WMMR 93.3. He is famous for addressing listeners as "citizens," and has quite a bit to say about what he's learned about global warming, and how he has made personal changes to reduce his own environmental impacts. It's a must-listen!
PennFuture would like to thank all the organizers and participants of the King of Prussia Step It Up event. To learn more about how you can get involved in our Cool Pennsylvania campaign to stop global warming here at home, visit our Web site. There you can take action on this issue, join our weekly global warming e-mail list to stay informed, and make a donation to help us continue our important work on this and other issues. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback. Simply e-mail us at podcast (at) pennfuture (dot) org, or click on "Comments" below.
Fri, 4 May 2007
PennFuture and the Pennsylvania Interfaith Climate Change Campaign recently hosted a conference called Global Warming: It's Time for Action at Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital. Nearly 200 people attended the conference, featuring panelists and presenters who are experts on the science and policies of global warming.
Our keynote speaker at the conference was U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr., newly elected Senator from Pennsylvania, who campaigned on a strong environmental platform, including support for immediate federal action on global warming. Senator Casey, while previously serving as Pennsylvania State Treasurer, introduced some groundbreaking initiatives to help the Commonwealth cut our contributions to the heat-trapping gases causing global warming, by incentivizing energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy. In this video podcast from the conference, Senator Casey is introduced by PennFuture's President and CEO John Hanger.
The podcast covers most of Senator Casey's keynote speech at the conference. Special thanks to conference attendee and blogger Agent Ska who was on hand to video the speech! We commandeered her home video so that you could have a taste of what you missed at the conference.
Other presenters at the conference included Sr. M. Christopher Moore, Provincial Minister at the Felician Sisters of Pennsylvania, who shared the green renovation and sustainable ministry at the order's Provincial House and school in Coraopolis, PA.; Alan Traugott, Board Director for the Green Building Alliance, who shared an update on state legislative initiatives for green building and on Pittsburgh's Green Government Task Force, that is developing strategies to cut Pittsburgh's contributions to global warming; Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, Climate Scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, who provided an update on the latest in global warming science and impacts specific to Pennsylvania; and Rep. Jake Wheatley, Jr. (19) who addressed the need for state policy on global warming and the disparate impacts of climate change on urban, minority, and poor populations.
To learn more about PennFuture's Cool Pennsylvania Campaign to stop global warming here at home, visit our site. You can also take action by urging your elected officials to pass global warming legislation, signing a petition to the Governor, and joining our weekly global warming e-mail list where you will receive the latest news in a handy digest format. As always, your contribution to PennFuture will ensure that every environmental victory helps grow Pennsylvania's economy, and that together we can create a just future where nature, communities, and the economy thrive. For more information, e-mail us at podcast (at) pennfuture (dot) org. We welcome your comments! Just click on "Comments" below.
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