Local Climate Action Summit.
September 27-28, 2018
During Climate Week NYC
at The Cornell Club, 6 East 44th Street, NY, NY 10017
You may register here
We are thrilled to be hosting a Local Climate Action Summit during Climate Week NYC, in partnership with the USDA Northeast Climate Hub and NY Sea Grant, which we would like to invite you to attend. The Summit will take place on Friday, September 28, 2018 from 8am – 5pm at The Cornell Club in New York City (6 E 44th St, New York, NY 10017).
The Summit will focus on the challenges local communities are facing in the Northeastern US with climate change, the leadership roles and actions they are taking to respond, and the importance of action at all levels to address challenges. The Summit will bring together local officials and experts to share ideas and gather input on what communities need to ramp up climate action on a local level. It will feature discussion with experts and NGOs working to support local climate action, updates from researchers on community impacts and needs, resources available to communities, and lessons learned from Cooperative Extension, NGOs, and municipal officials across the Northeast that are working to implement climate adaptation and mitigation projects. The discussions covered will share best practices on local climate action planning, addressing community needs and building partnerships between policy makers, researchers and Extension. We also hope to get your input on a new Cooperative Extension Volunteer Climate Stewards Program being developed to help communities in the Northeast.
Should you have any questions or would like to request an invitation, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. The last date to register is Friday, September 21st – but space is limited. We look forward to meeting you, and hope you can join us for the Local Climate Action Summit on Friday, September 28th! The final agenda is below.
The Local Climate Action Summit, held in New York City during Climate Week NYC, focuses on the challenges local communities are facing in the Northeastern US with climate change, the leadership roles and actions they are taking to respond, and the importance of action at all levels to address challenges. The Summit will bring together local officials and experts to share ideas and gather input on what communities need to ramp up climate action on a local level. Community leaders will share input on how new and existing partnerships can best support the needs and actions for local communities. The focus is to better identify how we as a community of practice could support local climate action, address community impacts and needs, extend resources available to communities, and learn from the experiences of Cooperative Extension, NGOs, and municipal officials across the Northeast that are working to implement climate adaptation and mitigation projects. An overarching objective is to gain stakeholder input on a new Cooperative Extension Volunteer Climate Stewards Program being developed to help communities in the Northeast.
Key Questions Driving the Summit:
- How is climate change affecting local communities and how are they responding?
- What does local climate leadership look like?
- What are the latest research findings on local energy and climate change action?
- How can universities, NGO’s and local governments support local efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change through effective partnerships?
- How could a newly developed Extension Volunteer Climate Stewards Program best help local communities with climate change mitigation and adaptation projects?
Day 1 – Thursday Evening, September 27, 2018
6:30 – 8:30pm Informal Networking for Participants:
Bierhaus NYC, 712 3rd Avenue, NY, NY 10017, Tel: 212-867-2337
Group Reservation held under Danielle Eiseman’s name
Day 2 – Friday, September 28th, 2018 8:00am – 5:00pm
|8:00 – 8:40am||Registration link here and Continental Breakfast, Visit Information Tables|
|8:40 – 8:50am||Welcome and Overview of the Summit: Allison Chatrchyan, Cornell University|
|8:50 – 9:20am||Keynote speaker: Connecting Local, Regional and Global work on climate change: Adam Parris, Executive Director, Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay|
|9:20 – 10:40am||Panel Discussion 1: Planning and action at the local level|
|Moderated by: Dazzle Ekblad, NYS Climate Smart Communities Program
Julie Noble, Kingston, NY
Katie Walsh, CDP Cities North America
Ann Goodman, CUNY, ASRC Environmental Initiative
Brooks Winner, Climate Table, ME
|10:40 – 11:00am||Networking Break & Visit Tables with Climate Action Resources|
|11:00 – 12:20pm||Panel Discussion 2: How communities are responding to climate change impacts|
|Moderated by: Erin Lane, USDA NE Climate Hub
Bruce Packer, Mayor of Glen Rock, NJ
David Kooris, Resilient Bridgeport, CT
Tara Paxton, Brick Township, NJ
Juli Schroeger, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, NY
|12:20 – 1:20pm||Lunch and Keynote Address: Is your Community Prepared for Climate Change? Resources from ICLEI USA: Kale Roberts, ICLEI USA|
|1:20 – 1:35pm||Introduction and overview of the New Extension Volunteer Climate Stewards Program
Danielle Eiseman, Cornell University, Overview of the Proposed Program
Allison Chatrchyan, Cornell University: research on community needs
|1:35 – 2:15pm||Stakeholder Input to the New Extension Volunteer Climate Stewards Program Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Moderator of Breakout Session – facilitators at each table to lead Discussion:
|2:15 – 2:45pm||Tables Report Out and Discussion|
|2:45 – 3:00pm||Networking Break & Visit Tables with Climate Action Resources|
|3:00 – 4:20pm||Panel Discussion 3: Overcoming Barriers to Local Climate Action and Lessons Learned.|
|Moderated by: Shorna Allred, Cornell University
Jackie Guild, Annapolis, MD
Terrance Carroll, Tompkins County CCE
Marjorie Kaplan, Rutgers Climate Institute
Steve Walz, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Andrew Reinmann, CUNY Environmental Sciences Initiative
|4:20 – 4:45pm||The Importance of Local Climate Action for Resiliency: Randi Johnson, USDA NIFA|
|4:45 – 5:00pm||Wrap Up and Adjourn|
Come share your story of how extreme weather and climate change is affecting you or your community. Initiated by the Government of Fiji at COP23, the purpose of a Talanoa Dialogue is to share stories, build empathy, and make wise decisions for the collective good. The process of Talanoa involves the sharing of ideas, skills and experiences through storytelling.
The dialogue will take place on Wednesday, October 3rd, from 7:00-9:00pm, at the Borg-Warner Room in the Tompkins County Public Library. The address is 101 E. Green St, Ithaca, NY 14850. The event is Free and Open to the Public, and Refreshments will be provided – anyone with a Climate Change story to tell should attend!
During the process, Ithaca and Tompkins County community residents will share stories of how climate change has affected them. Our answers to Three Questions (Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?) will be collated and submitted to the United Nations ahead of the COP24 Conference in Poland. Communities across the globe are holding their own Talanoa Dialogues, and we want Ithaca and Tompkins County’s stories to be heard.
The goal of the evening is to humanize local climate change impacts, and increase the pressure on governments and NGOs to increase their commitment to climate change action. Organized by the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, CCE Tompkins County, and the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, and supported by the Cornell Global Climate Change Science and Policy Course and Engaged Cornell. Please contact Jake Brenner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Allison Chatrchyan (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
Uncontrolled Climate Change could result in disaster for our kids. Will we do something? Read the USA Today Article.
By Mike Hoffmann, Opinion Contributor, USA Today, Aug. 31, 2018
There is a one in 20 chance climate change could end in disaster by 2050. This is too great a risk. When will we start to protect our children?
Would you put your child or grandchild on a plane that has a one chance in 20 of a disastrous crash? It’s hard imagining anyone doing that, but it is essentially what we are doing to our kids and grandkids by not raising our voices about climate change and the 1-in-20 chance that disaster lies ahead for them. It is bad enough that we are likely on the path to exceed the 3.6 degree Fahrenheit goal stated in the Paris Agreement, which will result in dire consequences such as increasing droughts and wildfires and inundation of low lying coastal areas because of sea level rise.
If we continue on that path without taking the necessary actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there is a 5 percent chance of catastrophic consequences — even an existential threat to humanity by mid-century, according to experts at the Scripps Institute.
We can see the change is happening
We all take chances, but few would board a plane with a 5 percent chance of crashing. In reality, air travel is incredibly safe because we trust those who design, build and test aircraft and manage the flow of thousands of flights a day.
A lot of engineering and science has made aircraft and air travel safe. The same holds for the science behind climate change — a lot of smart and dedicated people who have their own children and grandchildren, working hard to understand what is happening now and what the future holds, and find solutions.
Think of one person who is much younger than you whom you care deeply about — a son, daughter, grandchild, sibling, niece, nephew — and whisper their name and put them on that plane and watch them take off on their journey. Then consider what their future holds given what is happening all around us — it’s getting warmer, large wild fires are more frequent in California, it’s getting too hot to fly planes out of Phoenix, there are more downpours hitting New York City and Boston, and Alaska is melting. And then consider what that younger person’s life journey looks like in a changing climate: It’s not going to get better. By attaching the name of someone you care about, it becomes personal and for many, strikes home.
We care about our kids and grandkids. In the USA, there are an estimated 49 million children under the age of 12, and more than 70 million who are under 18. They can’t vote, and few contribute to political causes or participate in political debates. They don’t have a lot of power, although they are gaining ground on their own in the courts. They are depending on us to ensure a safe and prosperous future, like that air traffic controller who is keeping your loved one safe, but let’s take a look at what lies ahead for them. Ask yourself, what course, what flight plan, are we setting for their future?
Our kids face the consequences of our choices
Let’s fast-forward to the year 2048, when today’s under-12 crowd will be in their early 30s and 40s. Most of them will be settled into careers, with young families, and relatively secure — or maybe not. It all depends on the path we choose to take now.
Path A: It was nearly miraculous given the overall political climate in 2018, along with the disbanding of an important federal climate-change advisory panel, but the 86-member bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus rapidly grew in number and influence — a bit of an awakening with a good dash of bravery. They took to heart the report created by experts from 13 federal agencies on the status of the climate. Climate change was seen as a great challenge but also seen as a way to bridge the political divide. Climate change was accepted as fact, and the challenge confronted through an integration of science and public policy.
So, in 2048 a new clean energy economy is booming, gross domestic product is up $290 billion, as is household income, energy bills down, and an estimated 2 million additional jobs have been created. The United States took advantage of the opportunity for economic development and transformed an inefficient system to one much smarter. By doing so, the nation led the world down a more stable path, with less geopolitical upheaval and more cooperation, and a more just society. Taking on this grand challenge was not easy, and the work will continue for decades to come, benefiting today’s 12 and under crowd and their children and grandchildren.
The other, avoidable path ends in disaster
Path B: If we continue on today’s path and do not address the climate change challenge, the world in 2048 will likely be unravelling, a disaster. And those 30- to 40-year-old’s have several more decades expected lifespan ahead. Their trajectory, their flight, their agenda has been set and will get worse. And they are asking why we didn’t do something about this when we were young, when in fact 70 percent believed that global warming was happening and were concerned about the impact on future generations. It was so obvious at the time that something was up with the climate.
And then there were the predictions of how it would get worse in the future, which is our present day in 2048 — a long, clear and dangerous list. What were the deniers, the doubters, thinking, especially those in leadership roles? Calling climate change a hoax (Donald Trump), denying the science (Rick Perry) or spreading myths (Lamar Smith), yet the rest of the world was recognizing the challenge by signing the Paris climate accord and agreeing to do something about it.
The science behind climate change was more solid than the science behind smoking being a cause of cancer — but it was rejected by people who should have known better.
So today, those who won’t accept the truth about climate change are messing with our children and grandchildren — their life journey. For the vast majority who do believe we face a grand challenge, raise your voice, get involved, and whisper that name again. It’s personal, very personal. What will they say about us in 2048? Did we try?
Mike Hoffmann is executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, faculty fellow at Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and a professor in the Department of Entomology. See also his TEDx Talk, Climate Change: It’s time to raise our voices.
and They’ll Want More of Our Food.
CICSS Dr. Mike Hoffmann quoted in recent New York Time’s article: Climate change is expected to make insect pests hungrier, which could encourage farmers to use more pesticides.
By Kendra Pierre-Louis, Aug. 30, 2018, The New York Times. © 2018 The New York Times Company.
Ever since humans learned to wrest food from soil, creatures like the corn earworm, the grain weevil and the bean fly have dined on our agricultural bounty. Worldwide, insect pests consume up to 20 percent of the plants that humans grow for food, and that amount will increase as global warming makes bugs hungrier, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. That could encourage farmers to use more pesticides, which could cause further environmental harm, scientists said.
For every degree Celsius (two degrees Fahrenheit) that temperatures rise above the global historical average, the amount of wheat, corn, and rice lost to insects will increase by 10 to 25 percent, the study says. Temperate agricultural regions, like those in the United States and Western Europe, would be particularly hard hit.
The international Paris Agreement is designed to keep warming below two degrees Celsius, but the world’s countries are far off track from meeting that goal. By eating such a large amount of crops in the field, “insects have consumed something like one out of every eight loaves of bread before it even gets made,” said Curtis Deutsch, a professor of chemical oceanography at the University of Washington and an author of the study. “If we warmed four degrees, which is what climate models typically predict for the end of this century, then that amounts to insects eating two of our eight loaves of bread instead of one.”
Higher temperatures speed many insects’ metabolisms, making them eat more. Their life cycles also get faster, causing them to reproduce more quickly. Both effects would diminish crop yields even as the human population continues to increase, putting additional strains on the global food supply, the study says. To arrive at their estimates, Dr. Deutsch and his colleagues used statistical models to simulate the effects of global warming on insect feeding and reproduction. They focused on wheat, corn and rice crops because they account for 42 percent of the calories directly consumed by humans.
Other factors could help mitigate crop losses. Beneficial insects could also thrive in a warmer climate, said Michael Hoffmann, a professor of entomology and executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, who was not involved in the study. Those insects could end up “offering some suppression of the pests, so that the damage may not be as great as they are suggesting,” Dr. Hoffmann said.
Still, higher temperatures can spell bad news for thirsty crops regardless of insect activity. A study last year in the journal Nature Communications found that the pressures from increased summer temperatures could lead to a significant decline in agricultural yields. This summer’s European heat wave, which is in keeping with patterns of climate change, reduced Germany’s grain production by roughly 20 percent.
That study found that improved irrigation could offset at least some of the losses. But it is less clear if insecticides could help stave off multiplying pests. “The one out of eight loaves of bread that we currently lose already reflects what we can do to manage crop losses to insects,” said Dr. Deutsch. Pesticides could help where they’re not already in use, but in other regions, “there’s a real question as to whether or not they’re already at their maximum effectiveness,” he said. In addition, pesticides can unintentionally harm other organisms, and some have been linked to human health problems. Their manufacture, transport and use also contribute to global warming.
Dr. Deutsch said the real solution was to drastically reduce the level of greenhouse gases that humans emit. “If you want to solve a big problem with a million tendrils, you have to go to the root of it,” he said. “Otherwise, you’re manufacturing a million Band-Aids. I don’t think that’s feasible. It’s also much harder.”
Kendra Pierre-Louis is a reporter on the climate team.
Before joining The Times in 2017, she covered science and the environment for Popular Science. @kendrawrites
Climate Change Science, Communication, and Action Online Course.
September 11-October 23, 2018
Register Now: Climate Change Science, Communication, and Action
Description: Interested in working toward climate solutions? Want to learn more about how to talk to people about climate change? This course covers the basics of climate change, from science to action, and will assist you in developing a consistent climate message.
In this 6-week online course, you will start by getting to know each other and the basics of climate science and climate change impacts on our food and water supply, and human health (weeks 1-2). You will then learn about climate change communication and environmental psychology research and consider how this can inform your educational and environmental practices (weeks 3-4). Finally, you will learn about climate change and mitigation community solutions as well as examples of climate change communication in action (week 5-6). Each week will feature a discussion question and a quiz. For your final assignment, you will complete a project plan that details how you will apply course material to your practices. You will have two extra weeks after the course ends to submit your final assignment.
The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Climate Change is the newest addition to the Teacher-Friendly series from the Museum of the Earth. This book includes both the basics of climate change science and perspectives on teaching a subject that has become socially and politically polarized. The focus audience is high school Earth science and environmental science teachers, and it is written with an eye toward the kind of information and graphics that a secondary school teacher might need in the classroom. Print copies are available for purchase here and a PDF version is available above as a free download.
CICSS and the Atkinson Center are again organizing the Cornell Delegation to the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP24), which will be held in Katowice, Poland – December 3-14, 2018. A huge number of Faculty (14) and Students (86) applied to be part of the delegation, of which only 18 participants will likely receive a UN badge. Cornell’s delegation will feature an exhibit on Cornell research and engagement work, side events, and press conferences.
The COP is the annual meeting of all countries around the world that are parties to the UNFCCC and the Paris Accord – countries meet every year to negotiate their commitments, and university and NGOs participate as observers to share information – and press for global climate action (https://unfccc.int/).
Check back here to out what faculty and students are doing at this year’s conference, and follow our work at #CornellCOP24!
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announced nine grants on Wednesday, with a total of over $8 million dollars. These grants were awarded to research centers focused on the study and development of new approaches to the agricultural sector. USDA awarded the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions $250,000 to partner with the USDA NE Climate Hub and UMD on a Climate Outreach and Extension grant. CICSS will develop a plan for a new Extension Climate Master Volunteer Program to support Climate Smart Communities in the Northeast.
The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA), facilitated by the United Nations FAO, published a new case study about Cornell’s Climate Smart Farming Program – highlighting the resources, training and decision support tools for farmers in the Northeastern United States. The case study explores the research and extension outreach program that is providing these support tools for farmers in the NE USA. Cornell’s CSF program is built on trusted two-way feedback between researchers, extension staff, and farmers.
Cornell is a member of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) – and supports its Knowledge Action Group. GACSA is an inclusive, voluntary and action-oriented multi-stakeholder platform to increase adoption globally of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices and policies to:
- Improve farmers’ agricultural productivity and incomes in a sustainable way;
- Build farmers’ resilience to extreme weather and changing climate;
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture, when possible.
Its vision is to improve food security, nutrition and resilience in the face of climate change.
On June 8th, CICSS team members headed to Washington D.C. to address the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) about ongoing projects. Executive Director, Mike Hoffmann, opened the conversation by sharing Cornell’s plans to reach carbon-neutrality by 2035. Next, having witnessed climate change’s initial impacts on the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences undergraduate student, Marc Alessi, gave poignant remarks about his observations’ implications for both his and the world’s future. Lastly, Director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center, Art DeGaetano, and CICSS Director, Allison Chatrchyan closed out the discussion by highlighting the Institute’s successes in Extension and the development of Climate Smart Farming decision tools for farmers in the Northeast. They also stressed the importance of the close partnership between CICSS and the Regional Climate Center.
The Cornell Climate Smart Farming (CSF) Program and the Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) led a joint webinar hosted by the USDA Northeast Climate Hub on Thursday, May 4, 2017 to educate extension professionals, government employees, and other stakeholders about the online tools available to help them make more informed decisions in the Northeast. View this informative webinar at the Conservation Webinar Portal.
CICSS Executive Director, Mike Hoffmann, who recently traveled to Vietnam with Cornell undergraduates to experience how the country is thinking about and responding to climate change continues to reflect on this experience. In a recent article in The Hill, he focuses on the students’ perspective on climate change, finding that millenials, especially the group that traveled to Vietnam, are extremely aware and concerned about climate change.
After serving in the Vietnam war and not returning for decades, CICSS Executive Director Mike Hoffmann has made two trips to Vietnam in the past year to look at the impacts of climate change on the nation. On Dr. Hoffmann’s second trip, he brought along Cornell undergraduate students for a service-learning course so that they could also see the first-hand impacts of climate change in the country. These students lobbied in Washington D.C. after their trip for action on climate change and the continued support of Asian Studies by the U.S. government.
These experiences have given Dr. Hoffmann a unique perspective on the issue of climate change and how it is affecting countries such as Vietnam. Read his perspective in a recent article written for the Cornell page on Medium.com.
Shannan Sweet and David Wolfe conducted a New York State Drought Survey in 2016 in order to determine the impacts of the drought on farmers in New York. The survey aimed to elucidate impacts by commodity and also based on whether farmers irrigated or not.
Read about this survey, the results, and the recommendations based on this research in the third edition of the CICSS Research and Policy Brief Series, entitled “Anatomy of a Rare Drought: Insights from New York Farmers” on our Publications page.