Resolution 36 was co-sponsored by Mayor Biskupski and Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina. It specifically cites wind, solar, geothermal, and wave technology as renewable sources cities should be embracing to combat climate change.
Posts tagged ‘climate’
The new bike share program in Las Vegas was a highlight at the Western Adaptation Alliance meeting this week. Bina Skordas, Sustainability Program Manager for Park City Municipal Corporation, takes one for a spin!
With huge changes in national-level politics lately, it’s worth remembering that cities continue to remain key players in policy development and implementation on many fronts. Climate change is no exception.
Cities have a critical responsibility to ensure our infrastructure is up-to-the task of dealing with new weather patterns, extreme events, and more; and that our neighborhoods and economic systems are ready for the changes coming their way because of climate change. We have residents to care for, roads and storm water systems to protect, and services to keep on-line.
Cities also have the ability to walk-our-talk– taking measures to reduce our emissions and overall impact on the environment.
All of these are reasons why cities are effective actors for dealing with some of society’s most difficult problems; and why networks–with cities at the heart– are some of the most effective ways to do so.
In that spirit, we’d like to share with you a few of the ways we’re engaging in several local and regional climate-related networks to create a more resilient future:
Climate Adaptation in Las Vegas
Earlier this week, our Program Manager Tyler Poulson and Communications Manager Sophia Nicholas traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to meet with sustainability staff from nearby cities to discuss climate adaptation strategies for the Southwest and Intermountain west.
This “peer-exchange” was funded entirely by a grant and involved municipal staff from cities in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.
The purpose: When so much of the climate adaptation conversation revolves around sea-level rise (and justifiably so), this group, called the Western Adaptation Alliance (WAA), formed to discuss and learn from each other on preparing our communities for the unique climate threats facing the arid west.
This year’s annual WAA meeting saw a re-invigoration of our commitment to working at the city-level to prepare for these risks. Read more
Today the American Lung Association released its 17th annual State of the Air report, which ranks the air quality in our nation’s cities and counties. Salt Lake City, Provo and Orem ranked 6th for short-term particulate exposure.
Mayor Biskupski has announced an aggressive air quality platform that aims to drastically reduce pollution through improving energy efficiency in buildings, increasing use of renewable energy like solar, sourcing cleaner vehicles, and creating a robust clean air network focused on advancing clean air legislation.
Join the City of Salt Lake and do your part to reduce pollution!
- Sign up for air quality email alerts provided by the Utah Department of Air Quality, or download the UtahAir app for iPhone or Android.
- Explore what the Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) is doing to improve air quality. Salt Lake City and its UCAIR partners are taking action every day. #ShowUCAIR.
Take action even on voluntary air days. This is when we have the best chance to keep our air cleaner, longer – especially when we know that an inversion has set up in the valley.
Skip and reduce trips.
- Aim to leave your car parked, one more day a week. Modern vehicles emit the vast majority of trip pollution in those first two minutes on the road. Skipping car trips by using public transportation, arranging a carpool or other alternatives make a measurable impact.
- On days you must drive, chain your trips together to reduce “cold start” pollution.
Explore Salt Lake City on public transit. Ride UTA can help you plan your next transit adventure.
Commit to being idle free! This is one of the easiest things you can do to have a positive impact. Idling wastes gas and money and adds unnecessary pollution into our air. Plus when you idle, you’re exposing yourself and your passengers to higher levels of harmful pollutants.
Skip the fire! Burning wood, whether in your fireplace or fire pit, has a huge impact on our air quality. One fireplace can emit as much particulate pollution as 90 sport utility vehicles.
Get active. Biking is a great way to get some exercise and limit your impact on air quality. The Bicycle Collective shares some great tips in this UCAIR spotlight.
Take the Clear the Air Challenge! Find new ways to drive down your miles and measure your impact.
Increase the energy efficiency of your home.
- Weatherize your home, and cash in on Rocky Mountain Power and Questar Adding insulation and upgrading your windows will not only save you money on your utility bills, it will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
- Upgrade your furnace and water heater. Rebates are available for residents who upgrade their furnace and water heaters. Water heaters are a significant source of NOx emissions and that adds to Utah’s wintertime PM 2.5, problem.
- Swap out your lightbulbs to LEDs. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with ENERGY STAR rating, you can save $75 each year.
Opt for people powered or electric tools for yard work.
- Get exercise while doing yard work by using push mowers instead of gas powered lawn mowers. According to the U.S. EPA, a new gas lawn mower produces as many VOCs and NOx emissions in in in one hour as 11 new cars.
- Not able to use a push mower or manual tools? Look for electric alternatives to mowers, leaf blowers and weed whackers.
Install Solar! Installing solar on your home does not have to be overly complex or costly. Check out Solar Simplified and find out how to start the process. If you aren’t able to install rooftop solar, keep an eye out for Rocky Mountain Power’s Subscriber Solar program launching soon!
Citizens’ Climate Lobby hosted it’s 2016 Wild West Regional Conference in Salt Lake City this past weekend. The event was rich with information about legislation, advanced communication, climate science and more.
Highlights included a panel discussion on exerting political influence with panelists Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Patrice Arent, Member of the Utah State House of Representatives, and Robert Axson, Central State Director for Senator Mike Lee. Panelists emphasized the importance of building relationships across the political spectrum.
Mark Reynolds, Executive Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby lead several informative and inspirational sessions focused around CCL’s mission to create the political will for climate solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power.
Another panel discussion titled Broadening our Reach to Under Represented Groups consisted of presentations by Piper Christian, high school student and COP21 attendee, on engaging young people on climate change, Nate Salazar on speaking to the Hispanic population, Dave Christian, Psychologist, on communicating with other political views, and Susan Soleil on Faith Communities and the Moral Imperative for Climate Justice. These panelists encouraged increasing diversity in political involvement by including young people, minorities, and people of faith.
The keynote presentation featured Dr. Rob Davies, physicist, Utah Climate Center, Utah State University speaking on ways to communicate about climate change that resonate with people’s emotions so that they feel motivated to take action. The conference also included an evening performance by The Crossroads Project. This multi-media presentation combined video, classical music by the Fry Street Quartet, and monologue by Rob Davies about climate change science.
To learn more about Citizens’ Climate Lobby, visit their webpage.
Salt Lake County Health Department is hosting a free Climate Variability and Health Symposium on April 6&7. The event is brings together a diverse audience of health professionals, climate experts, and the general public to study and discuss the local impacts of climate variability. The symposium will focus on the threat climate variability poses to human health, and the disproportionate impact those changes could have on vulnerable populations.
Presenters will cover a broad range of topics relevant to climate variability and public health, including the impact of changing temperatures on our food supplies, water availability (and quality), insect populations, air quality, and how best to protect our most vulnerable constituents. The symposium’s goal is to increase understanding of the public health issues climate variability presents, and encourage discussion on how to build a healthier, more resilient community.
For more information and to register, visit the Symposium event page.
In addition to the academic portion, the symposium will also include a public open house on Thursday evening, April 7, that includes family-friendly activities for all ages. Salt Lake County Health Department’s Climate Adaptation and Health Open House brings together members from many different parts of the community—scientists, skiers, students, families, and public health professionals—to learn and share knowledge about the local impact of climate variability.
With fun activities, educational booths, games, and engaging speakers, this event will have something for everyone. The goal is to educate and inspire the public to leave thinking how they can participate in climate adaptation and mitigation.
Presentations and activities:
-Utah Climate Action Network presentation
-Presentation on Salt Lake County’s Climate Adaptation Plan for Health
-Panel discussion with local business, scientific, and faith leaders
-Climate change displays by high school students
-Education stations for kids
For more information, visit the Open House event page.
The 2016 Utah Bike Summit: Shifting Into High Gear will take place April 5th at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. The Utah Bike Summit is the statewide bicycle conference. The summit brings together everyday riders, bicycle and trail advocates, representatives from Utah’s bicycle industry, planners, engineers, representatives from Utah’s tourism industry and health fields, and local and state government officials in order to make Utah more bicycle friendly. Regardless of your interest in bicycling (transportation, recreation, road, mountain, commuter), the Utah Bike Summit is for you and all are encouraged to attend.
This year’s keynote speaker is Danish bicycle transportation expert Mikael Colville-Andersen. Here is a link to one of Mikael’s TED Talks. There will also be a closing address from Andy Clarke who served as the president of the League of American Bicyclists for 12 years before stepping down last year. In addition, there will be an update from UDOT Deputy Director Shane Marshall. The remainder of the day will be filled with breakout sessions that cover a wide variety of subjects related to increasing and improving bicycling across Utah.
- All educational/breakout sessions and keynote address
- Networking opportunities
- Catered lunch
Regular registration rates are available through March 18th.
For more information and to register, visit : http://bikeutah.org/utah-bike-summit/utah-bike-summit-2/
Salt Lake City Green is excited to announce the spring 2016 Salt Lake City Master Recycler program! Register at SLCMasterRecycler.com.
What is Master Recycler?
Salt Lake City Green is working to build out a network of residents who are trained and certified Master Recyclers who understand all aspects of waste reduction, city services and bin downsizing options.
Master Recyclers commit to attending eight weekly workshops running from May-June 2016. Classes are scheduled for Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m. A full class schedule is below.
Workshops will cover a variety of topics and emphasize opportunities for hands-on learning. Every workshop includes a field trip for a behind-the-scenes look at the Salt Lake County Landfill, Salt Lake City Sanitation, Rocky Mountain Recycling, landfill composting operation and Momentum Glass Recycling. You’ll even “tag” along with Salt Lake City’s can inspection team!
What’s in it for you?
- A tote bag full of Master Recycler swag, including t-shirt and stainless steel water bottle.
- The knowledge to help your friends, neighbors and kids maximize your recycling & reduce your impact on the environment.
Sign up! Visit SLCMasterRecycler.com.
Program Schedule – Spring 2016
|Tuesday, May 3rd
|Master Recycler Program Introduction
Tour: Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management
|Tuesday, May 10th
|Salt Lake City Sanitation and Waste Reduction
Tour: Salt Lake City Sanitation Department
|Tuesday, May 17th
Tour: Rocky Mountain Recycling
|Tuesday, May 24th
|Residential and Municipal Composting
Tour: Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management Municipal Compost Facility
|Tuesday, June 7th
|Residential Waste Reduction
Activity: Curbside Inspections and Outreach
|Tuesday, June 14th
|Commercial Waste Reduction
Tour: Momentum Recycling Glass Recycling Facility
|Tuesday, June 21st
|Effective Community Engagement
Activity: Waste Audit
|Tuesday, June 28th
|Climate Impacts of Waste
Guest Speaker: TBD
Photos from the first Master Recycler class