Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan re-budgeted

logo The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate
Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council logo

Before we get to the CAP, salute to climate action warrior and Gadfly follower Christine!

Martha Christine, “Let’s follow lead of young people on climate change.” Morning Call, November 7, 2019.

  • We have some amazing young people in the Lehigh Valley. Last week I joined more than two dozen informed and engaged Lehigh University students, along with a handful of community members, to comment on the Global Youth Climate Action Declaration.
  • The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) is one solution gaining bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. It has 68 sponsors, including Congresswoman Susan Wild. It’s designed to cut carbon emissions by collecting a fee from fossil fuel companies and returning funds to households through monthly dividend checks. It’s good for people, good for the economy and good for the climate.

Gadfly followers have been wondering what happened to the plan to hire a consultant to write a local Climate Action Plan before the end of 2019.

Nicole Radzievich’s Morning Call story on the 2020 budget contains the following:

“The budget reflects the city’s strong financial position, and I’m excited that the administration has funded my request for the Climate Action Plan,” said Councilman J. William Reynolds, who attended the event.

The city had planned to hire a consultant to develop a blueprint for the city to reduce its carbon footprint, but the the $30,000 the city allocated for it fell about $50,000 short of what was needed.

The high price of consultancy. Now we know!

It’s Saturday, November 9, do you know where your local Climate Action Plan is?

“The Pollinators” film

logoThe latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate
Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Councillogo

Re-posted from LVMM Friends Facebook page:

On Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 6:30, at the Promenade Theater in Center Valley , “The Pollinators “ will be shown, IF enough tickets are sold in advance. Buy tickets at On Demand Films, search film title and state. This is an informative and beautiful documentary, including the role of migratory beekeepers from our state. As the Beeman says, “Save the bees, pollination, food for us!”

Council passes the resolution recommending state action on the single-use plastic bag legislation

logoThe latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Councillogo

Followers know the sad news that our local Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) proposed ban of single-use plastic bags took a hit because of a one-year legislative moratorium in order to study the issue.

At Council Tuesday October 15, however, Council passed a resolution from the Administration supporting passage of the ban:

Plastic Bags Support Resolution-1

EAC member Elisabeth Cichonski spoke in favor of the resolution:

And the resolution passed, Councilman Reynolds speaking for it and, as he has done before, advocating additional measures to insure the good goals of the proposed legislation will be achieved.

Good work, all around!

It’s Thursday, October 17, do you know where your local Climate Action Plan is?

The Festival’s amazing “Sustainability Forum” for high school students

logoThe latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Councillogo

Kathy Fox is a member of the Bethlehem Environmental Advisory Council, a co-chair of the Northampton County Council of Democratic Women’s Environmental Committee, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem Food Co-op.  Kathy involves herself in positive organizations and activities that foster community, environmental awareness, education, and good health. 

Gadfly:

There were so many wonderful experiences to be had during Festival UnBound. I wish I could have done them all. I wanted to highlight one event that was meaningful to me personally. Touchstone Theatre’s Festival Unbound was about having a conversation about where Bethlehem is going as a community from this time forward. The festival included a Sustainability Forum for high schools students. Students attending Freedom, Liberty, Bethlehem Catholic, Charter Arts, and Moravian Academy had an opportunity to tell the City their opinion on how to make Bethlehem a more sustainable community. 178 students submitted essays, which outlined their individual opinions on the most important way for Bethlehem to be more sustainable.

All of the essays were read by Paul Pierpoint, then the students were invited to attend the Saturday afternoon Sustainability Forum at Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University. Community leaders involved in sustainability and environmental projects were asked to help by facilitating small groups of students, where each student presented his or her idea to their group. Their ideas were summarized on a white board, and the students in each group voted on the one idea their group would present to everyone at the concluding session. The attending parents and interested citizens from Bethlehem were allowed to walk around and visit each group to hear the discussion.

[Here’s a short video of Paul Pierpoint commenting on the student essays at the panel discussion of “Prometheus / Redux.”]

It was an amazing experience for me to listen to the well thought-out, researched, and heartfelt opinions of these young people. Our future depends on us older citizens listening to them and using our decision-making abilities and positions of influence to make effective change to sustain our world for the future generations.

The 178 essays will be bound and given to Mayor Donchez and City Council for them to read, digest, and understand what our city’s youth feel will make our community a better, more sustainable place.

It was an honor to participate as a facilitator at the Forum along with notable and passionately involved members of our community. The other facilitators were Willie Reynolds (City Councilman), Steve Samuelson (PA State Representative), Darlene Heller  City Director of Planning), Don Miles (Sierra Club-Lehigh Valley Chapter and environmental attorney), Bruce Wilson (Lehigh Valley Green Builders), and Karen Beck Pooley (Board member of the Bethlehem Area School District). I was very happy to represent the Bethlehem Food Co-op and the Bethlehem Environmental Advisory Council.

Anne Hills and Reese, a young songwriter from Emmaus High School, started us out and ended our day with original music they composed and sang.

I apologize for not mentioning a couple of key people involved because I cannot remember everyone’s names.

I am grateful every day for the good in Bethlehem.

And thank you Touchstone Theatre for everything you do for the community.

Kathy

The Festival is over, but Gadfly will be posting for a while on the panels and other activities that were part of the Festival. Yes, thank you Touchstone Theatre for everything you do for the community.

Action on the single-use plastic bag ban

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

Followers know the sad news that our local Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) proposed ban of single-use plastic bags took a hit because of a one-year legislative moratorium in order to study the issue.

At Council tomorrow night Tuesday October 14, however, the City has proposed a resolution supporting passage of the ban:

Plastic Bags Support Resolution-1

Councilman Reynolds — ever aggressive on this issue — is urging the City to even think beyond a legislative ban to effective educational programs to help insure that the goals of a ban are accomplished:

Reynolds Memo Plastic Bag Support Resolution-

Two good ideas!

It’s Monday, October 14, do you know where your local Climate Action Plan is?

Climate action: needs lots of people getting out in the street and making demands

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

Gadfly:

I agree with Kathy, except that I don’t think we can expect legislation to solve this problem — especially given the current legislature. It’s going to take lots of people getting out in the street and demanding action. Turn the “climate strike” into more of a walkout and less of a rally-type event. Picket lines at legislators’ offices.

Peter Crownfield

Festival UnBound
Ten days of original theatre, dance, music, art and conversation designed to celebrate and imagine our future together!
October 4-13

“Instead of working to mitigate climate change, many PA legislators are making things worse”

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

Kathy Fox is a member of the Bethlehem Environmental Advisory Council, a co-chair of the Northampton County Council of Democratic Women’s Environmental Committee, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem Food Co-op.  Kathy involves herself in positive organizations and activities that foster community, environmental awareness, education, and good health. 

A tip o’ the hat to Steve Repasch for passing on “How Penn State Is Cutting Greenhouse Emissions In Half — And Saving Money” as “something to add to the climate discussion.”

Gadfly:

I agree with Ted Morgan’s statement in his recent “Your View” article about the enormous challenge of mitigating climate change, wherein he stated, “those political actors and fossil fuel producers who resist the necessary changes are guilty of crimes against humanity.”  Have you read or heard of the PA legislature’s package of bills deceptively named “Energize PA”?  They are nothing but eight industry-focused bills with the main purpose of promoting more fossil fuels. HB 1100, which gives a huge tax credit for petrochemical manufacturers, has already passed. And now they are working to pass three more bad bills: HB 1102, 1106 and 1107, which support the fossil fuel industry and strip the PA DEP of its ability to protect our environment and public health. The natural gas industry is eyeing Northeastern PA as a place to build more petrochemical plants.  Contact your representatives immediately, and tell them we don’t want PA to be supporting the fossil fuel industry and why we should be transitioning away from fossil fuels, not subsidizing them. Instead of working to mitigate climate change, many PA legislators are making things worse. We need legislators who protect their constituents, not support industries which damage public health.

Kathy

How to Festival UnBound

Festival UnBound
Ten days of original theatre, dance, music, art and conversation designed to celebrate and imagine our future together!
October 4-13