Rooftop Solar Update

The ACC has received well over 400 letters opposing TEP’s proposal to charge an extra fee (read “penalty”) to owners who install new rooftop solar systems, and at the hearing in Tucson on June 10, ACC staff recommended that any consideration of that fee take place in the context of a full rate hearing. The judge will make a recommendation to the Commission, which will then consider how to proceed. See article in the Arizona Daily Star

In the meantime, please continue to send letters or emails to the 5 commissioners opposing the TEP fee proposal and supporting expansion of rooftop solar. Information and guidelines can be found on the Sustainable Tucson website
For even more information, or if you prefer to submit comments on line, you can also go to the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter website:

Join Sustainable Tucson and the US Green Building Council-Sonoran Branch

What does LEED Platinum housing look like? What’s being done to help the growing numbers of grandparents raising their grandkids? Join Sustainable Tucson and the US Green Building Council-Sonoran Branch for a tour of Primavera Foundation’s Las Abuelitas Family Housing. The tour will be led by Savannah McDonald, of Poster Frost Mirto, Inc., the architects of the project.

The event is free but space is limited so pre-registration is required – and spaces for the tour are going fast. Go to the event page to register.

-A mixer with summer heat-quenching Aguas Frescas served by Dish-for-Dosha will follow the tour. –

When: June 18, 2015
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Where: Las Abuelitas Family Housing
440 E. 26th St., Tucson, AZ

Tour is now full. Please join us for the mixer at Las Abuelitas Community Room.

Architecture and Sustainability in Tucson’s Built Environment

Our built environment — housing, public facilities, commercial buildings — is vital to sustainability in our cities and towns. But what goes into making that built environment sustainable? What makes a building “green”? How does a building qualify for LEED certification? And what does LEED certification mean?

Beyond these technical questions, we want to examine broader social and environmental issues relating to our built environment. Can sustainable buildings, for example, affect our health? How can multi-family or low-income housing be made “green”? And even, can energy-efficient buildings impact climate change?

Join us at the next Sustainable Tucson meeting for an exploration of these and related issues, at the first event in a collaboration between the Sonoran Branch of US Green Building Council – Arizona and Sustainable Tucson on “Architecture and Sustainability in Tucson’s Built Environment.”

At this first event, the Sonoran Branch of USGBC-Arizona will present a panel discussion addressing local, sustainable buildings and green certification systems. The panel will offer perspectives from professionals in several fields within the residential and commercial building industries.

Richard Franz-Under, Green Building Program Manager for Pima County Development Services and a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional, will moderate the panel. The panel will feature:
• Nicole Brule-Fisher: a Realtor with RE/MAX Trends and President of Tucson Association of Realtors; the first Tucson Realtor to become a certified Eco-Broker and the first to become a National Association of Realtors GREEN designee
• Andrew Hayes: working with Hayes Construction, a custom home building company that provides earth-friendly practices in its projects and incorporates no-cost solutions to make homes more energy efficient
• Thomas C. Mannschreck: president, CEO, and owner of Thomas Development Co., a Boise, Idaho-based real-estate development company, and of Thomas Investments Limited Partnership, a family-held, real-estate investment entity; through Thomas Development Co., developer of four LEED Platinum multi-family housing projects for low-income seniors and families
• Rob Paulus: an architect, developer, and musician; founded Rob Paulus Architects to create unique, award winning, and regionally-specific architecture; active in promoting high quality design with appropriate density for our community.

Check out a recent Arizona Daily Star article on Tucson Association of Realtor and Sustainability.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,
101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

……………………………………………………..
The second event in “Architecture and Sustainability in Tucson’s Built Environment” will be a free tour on June 18 of Primavera Foundation’s Las Abuelitas Family Housing, a LEED Platinum project by Poster Frost Mirto Architects that provides housing for low-income grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. A mixer will follow the tour.
For more information about the tour, please visit the event listing http://www.usgbcaz.org/event-1920945. Space will be limited for the tour, so registration (available at the event listing) is required.

The Economics of, and Threats to, Rooftop Solar

[You can see the presentations below. ]

• Are new proposals to state regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission by Tucson Electric Power and Trico making it more difficult and expensive for Tucsonans to “Go Solar”?
• Are local solar jobs at stake?
• What is the value of rooftop solar?
• Are you concerned?

Come to Sustainable Tucson’s May 11th meeting to become an informed citizen.

Speakers will include:

• Bruce Plenk: Local solar consultant (Solar Possibilities Consulting), current chair of the Southern Arizona Solar Partnership, and member of the Tucson Pima Metropolitan Energy Commission
• Russell Lowes: Sierra Club Rincon Group Energy Chair, Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter Solar Task Force Chair, and Research Director at www.SafeEnergyAnalyst.org
• Ron Proctor: Core team member Sustainable Tucson, Co-chair City of Tucson Climate Change committee, homeowner with 1Kw PV grid-tied system since 2006.

The meeting will also outline opportunities for advocacy on these important issues, including suggestions for crafting your message to policy makers.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,
101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

Take Action Now. The Arizona Corporation Commission has to approve efforts to stifle distributed solar with new fees. They will be holding public hearings soon and your emails to the Commissioners will be counted and noted. Act Now

Russell Lowes –
Bruce Plenk –
Ron Proctor –

Lessons from Sustainable Urban Design: Films and Discussion

As activist citizens, we have been working towards sustainability in many ways, particularly looking at issues impacting life in our city, including the work of the Broadway Coalition featured at last month’s General Meeting.

This month, we’ll carry on the discussion started by that examination of the Broadway Corridor, by looking at some positive examples of steps that various cities have taken to create more sustainable and livable communities — plus one less-than-positive example. After viewing film segments showing what has been done around the world, we’ll open the discussion to consider whether any of those steps are happening also in Tucson, and whether they could — and should — happen here.

Linda Samuels from the UA’s Sustainable Cities project will join us for this community discussion.

The selection of film segments will feature:
• Bogota, Colombia
• Copenhagen, Denmark
• New York City’s High Line
• Jane Jacobs
• Phoenix, Arizona
• Singapore
• Curitiba, Brazil
• Portland, Oregon & City Repair

Join us for this look at some exciting urban alternatives and continue the conversation of what we can do to create changes that we want to see in our city.

Location: Downtown Main Library, lower level meeting room.
Doors open at 5:30. Program starts promptly at 6:00.

Broadway Coalition Vision: Let’s Make the Broadway Project Sustainable Now!

Please ACT NOW: Email your objections to the City’s Broadway Plan. Here is a model letter with email addresses by Broadway Coalition member Laura Tabili to help list the community’s concerns.

“Broadway Corridor Plan Aims to Demolish 37 Tucson Buildings” reads the Arizona Daily Star lead headline from Feb.24th. City of Tucson staff and consultants are proposing an alignment of the 2-mile project that contains unjustified widths and unnecessarily destroys historic buildings and businesses. Also troubling, this staff plan varies from what elected city leaders have voiced is their preference — the most narrow solution for six lanes which meets the safety concerns for all modes of mobility.

Many people in Greater Tucson are asking, “Why are we widening roads that don’t need it, especially when our existing roads are in such a state of disrepair? ” “Why not eliminate potholes, rather than small businesses!”

The sustainability community is asking, “Why is the City promoting a wide, car-oriented design when future trends indicate accommodation to more “people and place”centered mobility and low carbon living?” If Tucson is going to actually respond to the challenges of global warming and climate change, don’t we also have to build a “climate-friendly” transportation system?

Clearly, an irreversible Tucson Tragedy is in the making if we don’t act soon.

Come hear members of the Broadway Coalition describe their vision for the Historic Broadway Redesign Project including improvements for bicyclists, pedestrians, autos, and transit riders and creating vibrant places where people want to go to meet, shop, and enjoy life. Hear the Coalition rally the community to communicate to the City of Tucson that very little widening if any is necessary to make Historic Broadway the next great destination of historic significance and thriving small businesses.

The Coalition has already convinced the City, County, and RTA that 8 lanes is excessive. Now we just need to show that the narrowest width alignment is best for all.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6 pm.

We hope to see you all there.

To read the City Staff report and alignment maps, go to: http://www.tucsonaz.gov/broadway

The deadline for public comment on this alignment is midnight, March 11, 2015. Send comments to:

Email to broadway@tucsonaz.gov by midnight, March 11,

Hand-delivered hard-copy to the address below by 5pm on March 11, 2015

By postal mail to the address below – must be postmarked by March 9, 2015. Address to use:  Tucson Department of Transportation, 201 N. Stone Ave, 6th Floor, Tucson, AZ  85701

Monday, March 9th, 5:30 – 8:00
Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room
101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

Best Wishes from Sustainable Tucson!

Three Articles to Start Off the New Year:

Best New Year’s wishes! Happy Holiday reading from ST!

While Sustainable Tucson will continue to focus on the economy, local production, and democratization of resource decisions, climate and energy issues will continue to dominate the global sustainability movement as well.

We have three excellent articles for everyone to consider, thanks to the efforts of the Post Carbon Institute’s “Resilience.Org” website.

The first is an interview with Naomi Klein, author of the new game-changing book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism versus The Climate.” She exposes the inherent collision course of our extractive, growth-based economy with catastrophic climate change and shows how a bottom-up transformation could avert disaster.
Read at:
http://www.sustainabletucson.org/2014/12/climate-the-crisis-and-the-movement/

“What Climate Change Asks of Us” by Margaret Klein explores the human moral imperative to respond to this unprecedented danger with public expression and mobilization.
Read at:
http://www.sustainabletucson.org/2014/12/what-climate-change-asks-of-us-moral-obligation-mobilization-and-crisis-communication/

The third article by Richard Heinberg, ” The Oil Price Crash of 2014″ helps us understand what is happening in the global energy markets and geopolitics. While over-supply and low-cost oil from Saudia Arabia and the Middle East is squeezing out investment in U.S. high-cost tight (fracked) oil  and making renewable energy less competitive, the production costs of building clean energy systems may be declining.
Read at:
http://www.sustainabletucson.org/2014/12/the-oil-price-crash-of-2014/

 

A PUBLIC BANK FOR ARIZONA?

 A PUBLIC BANK FOR ARIZONA?

 

How public banking can build Arizona’s

economy and benefit Arizona’s citizens.

Monday, December 8, 2014, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,

101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

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Following the Wall Street crash and the housing market collapse a few years ago, the Move Your Money campaign encouraged millions of Americans to take their money out of big commercial banks and hold the funds locally in credit unions and community banks.  In 2013, the Tucson City Council emulated the Move Our Money campaign by moving $5 million of the City’s rainy day fund from a big commercial bank to a community bank to encourage local business development–an action that spurred $9 million in loans to 16 local small businesses.  In May, 2014, the City Finance Department reported to the Mayor and Council that the program could be expanded to $10M.

Across the U.S., millions of dollars of taxpayer funds are held in big commercial banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, and invested on Wall Street.  What if Arizona had a state-owned public bank—similar to the one in North Dakota—and the state’s rainy day funds were held and invested in Arizona?

Local investment of state funds would translate into jobs and a stronger economy…How? An Arizona public bank could create jobs by investing in public works projects; could boost entrepreneurship by backing small business loans through community banks; could build our state’s future by helping finance college loans—and much more.

Isn’t it time that Arizona invested in Arizona—instead of Wall Street?

Here are a few reasons why Arizona could use a public bank:

  • Arizona has a crumbling infrastructure and “no money” to fix roads, bridges, and public buildings.
  • Arizona’s entrepreneurs can’t get the capital they need to grow and innovate.
  • Cities and towns are strapped for cash and have to sell bonds and pay high fees in order to get credit.
  • Arizona has the 3rd lowest credit rating in the U.S., making borrowing extremely expensive.
  • Arizona is among the 10 worst states in the country for home foreclosures.
  • 10 Arizona banks have failed in the last few years.
  • University tuition continues to increase, pricing young Arizonans out of the market for higher education.

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Come to our next Sustainable Tucson public meeting on December 8, 2014 to learn more about alternative economic strategies such as public banking from our four presenters:

Jim Hannley and Pamela Powers Hannley, newly appointed co-directors of Arizonans for a New Economy, will discuss the benefits of public banking and what it would take to create a public bank in our state.

Silvia Amparano, City of Tucson Finance Director – Speaking about the Community Banking Program

Phil Lopes, Legislative District 27 – Addressing legislative strategies for a state-owned bank

Someone from Karin Uhlich’s Ward 3 office has been invited to give us background and updates on the moving of $5M of Tucson’s rainy-day fund into an Arizona-based community bank and how that helped fund 16 small, local businesses.

 

Last chance for meaningful climate change mitigation? – City-Utility Partnerships

The most recent Greenhouse Gas Inventory (2012) for our region has recently been released, showing a slight decrease since its peak in 2010. Nationally, this same trend is attributed to reduced emissions from electricity generation, improvements in energy efficiencies, reduction in travel and yearly fluctuation in prevailing weather conditions. For the Tucson region the two largest sources of GHG emissions are Electricity (63%) and Gasoline (22%).

Meanwhile, the latest AR5 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is endorsing a “carbon budget” or limit to how much carbon can be put into the atmosphere. Given current rates of fossil fuel burning, we will burn through that budget by 2040. And even if we do transition to a zero-carbon culture by that time we will only have a 50/50 chance of stabilizing a 2 degree C rise in temperatures.

To date the planet is experiencing less than a 1 degree rise, producing changes outside “normal” including increasing temperatures, decreasing water supply, increasing health and social problems, increasing intensity of wildfires and flooding, and greater demands on our infrastructure including electricity production and mobility. If we put 2 and 2 together, the climate change picture is definitely not pretty – the challenge huge and “solution” – imperative.

Minneapolis just reached a milestone agreement to partner with their electricity utility to reach their goals to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050.

http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2014/10/17/minneapolis-utility-fight-ends-with-unique-clean-energy-deal/

Could Tucson do the same? What would it take? Where will leadership come from?

Join Sustainable Tucson’s public meeting to find out more about the latest GHG inventory and the potential to leave future Tucsonans with a habitable climate and sustainable future.

Speakers will include:

Suzanne Cotty, Senior Air Quality Planner and report author

Tucson Electric Power Co representative: invited

Come to Sustainable Tucson’s November 10th meeting to find out more.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,

101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

 

LET’S TALK TRASH (Rescheduled)

From Garbage to Gold: Turning Organic “Waste” Into a Valuable Resource

Meeting at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

  • Compost is a good alternative to chemical fertilizers…It doesn’t pollute groundwater, wells, or waterways.
  • Compost keeps organic materials out of landfills, reducing methane gas emissions.
  • Compost sequesters carbon deep in the soil.
  • Compost promotes healthy microbial activity in the soil, providing micro-nutrients to plant roots and discouraging soil diseases.
  • Compost improves soil structure, thereby protecting topsoil from erosion.
  • Compost helps soil retain more rainwater.
  • Compost helps grow plants rich with nutrients that sustain good health.
  • Compost manufacturing supports green jobs.
  • Composting is easy and it’s satisfying.
  • Composting turns food scraps into new food!

Come to our next Sustainable Tucson general meeting on October 13, 2014 to learn more about composting from our four presenters:

CHET PHILLIPS, Project Director of the UA Compost Cats, will talk about their innovative student-run program, in which they collaborate with the City of Tucson, the Reid Park Zoo, and the San Xavier Co-op Farm to turn more than 1.5 million pounds of food waste into a valuable agricultural resource.  In 2013, Compost Cats received the Recycler of the Year Award from the Arizona Recycling Coalition.

EMILY ROCKEY, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Fairfax Companies, which includes Tank’s Green Stuff, will tell us about their large-scale composting operations.  Tank’s Green Stuff rescues local plant material that would otherwise be considered “waste” and transforms it into something valuable: a rich, water saving, nutrient filled organic compost.

LINDA LEIGH, Co-owner with partner Doug Shepherd of Vermillion Wormery, will talk about the use of worms for composting, aka vermicomposting, to achieve their goal of zero organic waste.  They partner with restaurants and friends, taking kitchen scraps and feeding them to earthworms to produce a beautiful, full-of-life soil amendment called vermicast.

JOY HOLDREAD, Proprietor and resident of Joy’s Happy Garden, will be sharing with us her creative low-cost, low-water, low-labor composting strategies for sustainable desert living.  Her goal to encourage folks to compost, reduce waste, and conserve water locally is a great plan for a more sustainable Tucson.  Joy is a passive-aggressive desert gardener!

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PLEASE NOTE:  Because of the number of presenters, we are starting earlier than usual this month.  Doors will open at 5:00 pm and the program will start promptly at 5:30 pm.
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Special AUGUST 18th Meeting — Thomas Greco Presents: HOW CAN TUCSON THRIVE?

 

Monday, August 18, 2014, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone

(free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

HOW CAN TUCSON THRIVE IN THE FACE OF ONGOING ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL MALAISE?

WHAT AILS OUR TUCSON ECONOMY?

HOW CAN TUCSON THRIVE IN THE FACE OF ONGOING ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL MALAISE?

WHAT CAN LOCAL BUSINESSES DO TO HELP THEMSELVES?

These are a few of the questions that will be addressed by Thomas H. Greco, Jr., renowned economist, author, and lecturer in his presentation:

BUILDNG HEALTHY COMMUNITIES IN THE NEW ECONOMY!

“As the national and global institutions break down, it is becoming increasingly important to re-localize our economic activity and work to make our communities more self-reliant and resilient.”

Mr. Greco’s presentation will highlight the crucial importance of creating local liquidity based on local production. He asserts that “Banks no longer do much to provide essential credit to local small and medium-sized businesses, and when they do, the terms are onerous, requiring collateral, burdensome repayment schedules, and high rates of interest.” He will describe the processes by which the credit of local producers can be mobilized to provide them with the means of payment that are abundant, reliable, locally controlled, and at a fraction of today’s costs.

Learn how communities around the world have started to monetize the value of local production and creativity to “pump the blood of commerce to all parts of the economic body.”

Tom will help us explore the opportunities and issues involved in creating our own exchange media and complementary currencies; discussing for example: “What would it look like, how would it be created, earned, managed and recycled, what are the relevant metrics, how will it be funded, and how do all of the pieces fit together?

WHEN: Monday, August 18, 6pm-8pm (Doors open at 5:30)

WHERE: Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone Ave., Tucson

Tom’s Websites: www.beyondmoney.net; www.reinventingmoney.com

Inquiries: Norman Soifer. 326-6792. norman@re-energizers.com

 

 

Summer Movie Night: Inequality for All

[NOTE EARLIER START TIME: 5:00 pm]

We don’t need to be expert economists to recognize the dramatic disparity in wealth between the rich and, well, everyone else. Since the 1970s, the gap between rich and poor has steadily widened, exacerbated by the recent financial crisis but tracing its roots to policies put in place several decades ago.   How can we better understand those policies and their impact, to better prepare ourselves as advocates and fighters for change?

Join us for a thought-provoking meeting, with a showing of the film Inequality for All, featuring Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and now a professor at UC Berkeley.  Prof. Reich examines the widening income inequality in the US, exploring not just its impact on the US economy and threat to the American middle class, but even its disruption of life in the country overall.

Please Note: Because of the length of the movie, we are starting earlier than usual this month.  Doors will open at 5 p.m., and the program will start promptly at 5:30 p.m.

“We make the rules of the economy – and we have the power to change those rules.” – Robert Reich

As always the meeting is at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

Inequality for all trailer

ST July Mtg — Tucson CAN Have Abundant Urban Food Production

Tucson CAN Have Abundant Urban Food Production

Monday, July 14, 5:30-8:00 pm

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone

(free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

Urban agriculture is becoming much more common — in many forms, not just backyard gardens. Voters of Tucson recently adopted a General Plan that endorses urban food production, and City of Tucson is developing a Sustainability Land Use Code that supports urban agriculture, while still maintaining appropriate nuisance and noise regulations. We need urban food production (including distribution/sale) to flourish, legally, in Tucson  — as it has in so many urban areas around the country and around the world.

 

Many things will need to happen to bring this about, but at least one important thing is for City regulations to allow it to happen. For example, under current codes, up to 24 chickens are allowed almost anywhere — as long as your lot is over 100’ in all directions (very rare within the city). Over the past few years, much work has been done to develop appropriate regulations, with numerous opportunities for public input. But now, because of misunderstandings, the whole process may get dropped, leaving the city with its current, restrictive and/or confusing regulations.

 

Tucson needs pro-food-production regulations and a vision of a community with an abundant, flourishing local food system. The July Sustainable Tucson meeting will provide an opportunity to join the discussion of that vision and what is needed to make it happen.

 

The program will begin with short videos showing some ideas of what has succeeded in other cities — and could be possible here. Then, Merrill Eisenberg, retired professor, UA College of Public Health, will provide a brief overview that summarizes work to this point and contrasts current and proposed regulations. We will then discuss how to get appropriate regulations passed and how to promote a community vision for creating a secure and sustainable local food supply for Tucson.

 

Come to Sustainable Tucson’s July 14th meeting and be part of the discussion.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

ST June Meeting – BUILDING RESILIENT NEIGHBORHOODS: Eco-villages and Social Cohesion

BUILDING RESILIENT NEIGHBORHOODS:

Eco-villages and Social Cohesion

Monday, June 9, 2014, 5:30 – 8:00 pm

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,

101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

With climate change increasing the likelihood of heat waves, flooding and other emergencies that may overwhelm first responders, and when “sheltering in place” becomes the default response, will your neighborhood be a caring and sharing place? Do you have a neighborhood association or group projects?

What is the level of trust on your street? How meaningful are conversations with your neighbors? Do you recognize your neighbors? Are they trustworthy? Do they keep to themselves?

Whether at an Eco-village start-up in Avra Valley, or an Tucson urban neighborhood the challenges and opportunities are great.

Join Sustainable Tucson’s public meeting to explore the value of community cohesion. It may move you to organize where you live.

Speakers will include:

David Burley, organizer at Tortillita Eco-village, Avra Valley. This rural effort to create community can teach us much about starting from scratch including the fundamentals of sharing water and gardening.

Joanie Sawyer, teacher and community activist, past City of Tucson PRO neighborhoods facilitator, Sustainable Tucson core team founder.

Michael Ray, Limberlost Neighborhood Association, President; Inventor and owner of Nurse Tree Arch, LC3.

Both Joanie and Michael are members of the Vulnerable Communities and Neighborhoods Task Force, 2014 (an outcome of the 2013 Climate Smart Southwest national conference).

Come to Sustainable Tucson’s June 9th meeting to find out more.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

ST May Meeting: CAN MUSHROOMS SAVE THE WORLD?

 

Sustainable Tucson’s May Meeting:

CAN MUSHROOMS SAVE THE WORLD?

 

Monday, May 12, 2014,    5:30 – 8:00 pm

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,

101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

 

What do human health, environmental detoxification, consumer waste recycling and a great-tasting and healthy locally produced food source have in common? – MUSHROOMS! Learn about the current state of the mushroom industry, its potential for growth, the health implications for mushrooms in our diets, and their potential role in environmental cleanup and recycling.

Join Sustainable Tucson’s public meeting to explore the value of mushrooms to our environment, economy and enjoyment.

Speakers will include:

Barry M. Pryor, PhD, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the School of Plant Sciences. Dr. Pryor is internationally renowned for his work studying fungi in the genus Alternaria, and this research includes study in Alternaria ecology, biology, systematics, mycotoxicology, and the role of Alternaria in childhood-onset asthma. Additional research programs include disease management in agricultural and horticultural crops, characterization of fungal communities in native ecosystems, and cultivation of edible mushrooms and their co-utility in landscape and consumer waster recycling.

Andrew Carhuff, Old Pueblo Mushroom Growers. OPMG is growing oyster mushrooms and selling at 3 local farmers markets as well as to local eateries. All this is being done using local growing materials with efficient water use. Andrew is willing to share his experience as a Tucson business start up with this “growing” sustainable crop.

Come to Sustainable Tucson’s May 12th meeting to find out more.

 

For an excellent 17 minute introduction to 6 ways mushrooms can save the world, watch Paul Stamets on TED Talks:

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

April 20th: “Welcome the Third Economic Revolution”

Welcome the Third Economic Revolution

A talk on converting from a Consumer Killer Economy to a Sustainable Green Economy
by John ‘Skip’ Laitner, featured speaker at Sustainable Tucson’s December 2013 General Meeting.

Skip is a Resource and Energy Economist, International Economic Conversion Consultant, and Visiting Fellow to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Hear how he is advising the Government of Normandy, France in their conversion to an Energy-Efficient Economy NOW. They are not waiting until all of Greenland’s ice is in the sea.

SUNDAY, APRIL 20 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Milagro Cohousing Common House at 3057 N. Gaia Place in the Tucson Mountains
Refreshments, Q A, Tours of this eco-designed neighborhood following the talk.

Bring a Friend and learn how we can achieve prosperity by reducing energy consumption through conservation, efficiency and renewables and  reduce our climate changing greenhouse gas output!

More information from Holly at 520-743-1948

ST’s April Meeting: Local Water – Localized Food?

Sustainable Tucson’s April Meeting:

Local Water – Localized Food?

 

Monday, April 14, 2014,    5:30 – 8:00 pm

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,

101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

 

How much local food can Tucson produce? And how much local water is available to produce it?

For several thousand years the Tucson region has been producing food for its human population using renewable rainwater and surface flows. Now our food supply is almost entirely imported from long distances, at great energy cost and with potential for disruption. Many Tucsonans are growing food locally for a variety of reasons, and these efforts will tend to make Tucson more resilient should those disruptions come.

But how much is Tucson’s locally grown food dependent on the water supplied by the Central Arizona Project canal with its huge carbon footprint and diminishing supply? Is it possible to grow local food from our seasonal rainfall and, if so, how much? What about water-supplied agriculture from our watershed and aquifer?

Come to Sustainable Tucson’s April 14th meeting to find out.

Speakers will include:

Jay Cole: Off-grid Water Harvesting at the residential scale

Victoria White: Gardening in Avra Valley

Tarenta Baldeschi: Avalon Organic Gardens and Ecovillage, Tumacacori; Community-Scale food production

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

ST March Meeting: Preparedness for a World of Change

 

Sustainable Tucson’s March Meeting:
Preparedness for a World of Change

Monday, March 10, 2014,    5:30 – 8:00 pm

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,
101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

Join the Sustainable Tucson community and extended network to hear Nicole Foss, world-renown lecturer and co-creator of TheAutomaticEarth.Com speak from their DVD on Preparedness. Time will be taken to discuss this important subject which all of us are interested in.

Topics include Navigating an Epic Predicament, Psychology of Contraction, De-Globalization, Community and Society, Energy and Resources, Goods and Services, Nutrition and Health, Entertainment and Education, Be Prepared with Hard Goods, To Rent or Own, Community Building, Depression-proof Employment, and Building Robust Systems.

This General Meeting should begin the conversation of what we actually should start doing and acting on.

We hope to see you all there.

Doors open at 5:30. Program begins at 6:00 until 8;00pm

In addition to the General Meeting on Monday, March 10th, there will be an online Whole Earth Summit March 11 -13th, featuring 42 global sustainability leaders including Tucson’s own Brad Lancaster. To see the schedule of speakers and get more info on how you can connect, go to:

    www.WholeEarthSummit.org

This should be an unforgettable convergence of like hearts and minds considering: What’s your vision for a resilient world? How are you creating it now? Food + water + community + regenerative design + social transformation!

February General Mtg: IS YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD READY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?

Sustainable Tucson’s February Meeting:
IS YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD READY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?

Monday, February 10, 2014,    5:30 – 8:00 pm

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,
101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

Last November 14th, the State of Arizona ran a simulation of an emergency event that included a 72-hour power outage – the kind of event climate change may visit upon the Tucson region.

Within the first hour of this mock climate emergency county officials realized hospitals would be overwhelmed by those seeking shelter from the 110+ degree heat. With no power for air conditioners or water delivery, and with severely curtailed communications capacity, hospitals became the first option for the most vulnerable seeking safety and shelter.

In the meantime, local emergency response teams with generators powered limited operations but (as in most emergencies) the general public is left to their own resources to manage until outside help arrives. For most, the physical setting of home is where they will wait out the event.
This mock exercise was an eye-opening experience for those who participated – driving home the fact that healthy connections between neighbors will be essential to best outcomes during such an event.

But are Neighborhoods able to respond in such circumstances? Do residents feel part of a community and trust they can turn to their neighbors for assistance?  Who makes sure the most vulnerable are taken care of? Is there a method for neighborhood communication when commercial communications go down? What supplies should be stored and available?

Come to Sustainable Tucson’s February 10th meeting to find out.

Speakers will include:

Louis Valenzuela:  Pima County Health Department

Donna Branch-Gilby:  Climate Smart: Ready or Hot? Building Resilient Neighborhoods working group, and

Donald Ijams:  Neighborhood Support Network

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Local Food? How are we going to pay for that?!

Special location

Sea of Glass Performing Arts Hall                                            330 East 7th St

For its January General Meeting, Sustainable Tucson is joining with the Kellogg Program for Sustainable Food Systems at the UA and numerous other organizations* from around the state.  This special program will present nationally-known speakers who will discuss how to finance a vibrant (and delicious) local food economy for Arizona.

The Monday event will start at 4:00, with a film screening of Jesus Garcia’s “A Taste of History”.  After a reception with light snacks, at 6:30, Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona and Gary Nabhan of the Kellogg program will introduce two nationally known speakers – Woody Tasch, founder of Slow Money, and Michael Dimock of Roots of Change Foundation.  Both will describe innovative approaches to creating local food systems.  You can also pick up your free copy of the latest edible Baja Arizona.

If you believe that Tucson needs to grow and eat a lot more healthy, nutritious, and fresh local food, this is a program that you won’t want to miss.  There is a $5 charge to cover the munchies, but it is well worth your time.

The Monday event is the opening reception of a two-day conference at Biosphere 2 –  the “Food & Farm Finance Forum”.  This conference, which is co-sponsored by  Sustainable Tucson and a number of other groups, will focus on financing local food in Arizona.  There is a full complement of speakers and interactive workshops.  And the conference will connect local entrepreneurs with food-related business plans and venture capital investors who want to fund them.

This could be a real turning point for the local food movement, because the lack of money to start up new businesses is one of the key barriers to producing as much local food as our renewable resources allow.  If you want to find out more, check out the conference information.

* Local First Arizona, Good Food Finder, Slow Money Arizona, Edible Baja Arizona magazine, Edible Phoenix Magazine, Sustainable Tucson, Avalon gardens , Slow food Tucson, Slow Food Phoenix, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Pima County Foood Systems Alliance and Native Seeds/SEARCH

ST Dec. Mtg: The Economic Imperative of Energy Efficiency: Leading Tucson to More Jobs and a Robust Economy While Mitigating Climate Change

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At Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,

101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

 

Sustainable Tucson December Meeting: The Economic Imperative of Energy Efficiency: Leading Tucson to More Jobs and a Robust Economy While Mitigating Climate Change

This month, Sustainable Tucson brings international expertise and vision to our community to understand how our region can move to a much more energy-efficient economy while enabling a 100% renewable-energy-powered, and a more vibrant economy.

A recently leaked portion of the upcoming (March 2014) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report endorses a CEILING ON GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS. A September 28, 2013 New York Times article describes the Panel’s endorsement:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/28/science/global-climate-change-report.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Tucson’s regional power system and economy can be planned to produce a vibrant economy AND mitigate the worst effects of climate change. In fact the components that can make this happen work in concert.
Sustainable Tucson is proud to present two speakers with backgrounds and experience in transitioning from a carbon-intensive economy to one anchored by energy efficiency and powered by renewable energy.

John A. “Skip” Laitner is a resource economist who leads a team of consultants with his own group, Economic and Human Dimensions Research Associates based in Tucson, Arizona. He served nearly 10 years as a senior economist for technology policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He won EPA’s Gold Medal award for his contributions to economic impact assessments evaluating climate change policies. More recently, he led the Economic and Social Analysis Program for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a well-known think tank based in Washington, D.C. He has just returned from France where he works as the senior economist for a regional initiative that proposes to reduce energy requirements by half with renewable energy technologies powering all remaining energy needs.
Matthew T. McDonnell, J.D. is a regulatory and policy analyst with Economic and Human Dimensions Research Associates. He has previous experience in the renewable energy finance industry and the utility regulatory process. He has worked with former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Paul Newman, providing policy analysis; and he has given testimony before the ACC. As a consultant, Mr. McDonnell has advised clients on a variety of energy projects including independent review of generation options analysis, prospects for municipalization, as well as, regulatory issues involved with the transmission and sale of electricity–in both FERC and ACC jurisdictions. Mr. McDonnell’s clients have ranged from municipalities and energy firms, to public utilities and stakeholder groups.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Green Redevelopment & the Rise of 2030 Districts

at Tucson Association of Realtors conference room,  2445 N. Tucson Blvd   (one block north of Grant Rd)

 

But, could something like a 2030 District in Tucson help align many efforts to support economic re-generation in our community?    Come join us on:

Monday. November 11, 5:30 – 8:30 pm 

PLEASE NOTE: SPECIAL MEETING LOCATION

Tucson Association of Realtors

2445 N. Tucson Blvd   (one block north of Grant Rd)

Come hear our speakers, and bring your questions and opinions for an active conversation – where we go from here.

Peter Dobrovolny, architect, planner and City of Seattle liaison to the Seattle 2030 District

Robert Bulechek, Tucson building science and energy-efficiency expert

Peter will show how across the United States, 2030 Districts are being formed to meet the energy, water and vehicle emissions targets called for by Architecture 2030 in the 2030 Challenge for Planning. In response to climate change, resource depletion, and financial challenges, communities everywhere are raising the bar on these criteria as well.

Through unique public/private partnerships, property owners and managers are coming together with local governments, businesses and community stakeholders to provide a model for urban sustainability through collaboration, leveraged financing, and shared resources.  Together they are developing and implementing creative strategies, best practices, and verification methods for measuring progress towards a common goal.

Green redevelopment is increasingly being viewed as a first tier strategy for community economic development, generating significant reductions in operating costs and climate-altering emissions and creating long-term sustainable jobs. Green redevelopment also benefits from new investment mechanisms that could provide the financial push toward developing a larger-scale redevelopment industry. With very few good alternatives facing us, green redevelopment could be the next big thing in Greater Tucson.

Robert will show how green redevelopment, at the scale of one building at a time, can practically reduce household resource consumption significantly. He will present how everyone can significantly reduce waste in electricity, natural gas, water, and gasoline consumption and do so by saving money every step of the way. His strategies are cash flow positive at every level of efficiency-mitigation down to zero consumption. At the same time, they also produce other positive benefits including improved comfort and significant reduction in climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Using the Minnesota Power Pyramid of Conservation and the HERS home energy modeling system, Robert will demonstrate that resource efficiency is the first step toward financial improvement which does not require government subsidies to advance the general welfare.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

ST Oct Mtg: Investing in Local Solar Energy Solutions

Sustainable Tucson October Meeting: Investing in Local Solar Energy Solutions

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,

101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Investing in Local Solar Energy Solutions

As Tucson begins planning to reduce its greenhouse gases 80% by 2050, the largest emissions sector (59%) arises from the generation and consumption of electricity, currently 84% coal-fired. What clean energy solutions are available to connect consumers to investments in clean solar energy, ready-made for Tucson Electric Power’s utility grid? Community-owned solar is a new, innovative, customer-focused renewable energy model that is being adopted by large and small utilities across the country.

Clean Energy Collective is a new idea in power generation that is building, operating and maintaining community-based clean energy facilities. Headquartered in Colorado, CEC is pioneering the model of delivering clean power-generation through locally centralized, medium-scale facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers. To date, CEC has partnered with 10 utilities across the US to deliver and manage 25 community-owned solar projects to respective utility customers. The company’s mission aims to: 1) Accelerate the adoption of long-term clean energy solutions; 2) provide utilities with lower risk, well located and more beneficial clean energy generation; and 3) create a manageable and mutually beneficial production partnership between utilities and consumers.

Come learn about how you can receive maximum benefits from collective investment in localized solar power for yourself and your community, how the CEC model can promote local jobs and the local economy. Join us for this very informative meeting and support renewable energy action in your community.

Meeting speakers will include:

Genevieve Liang, Clean Energy Collective’s VP of Business Development for the Western U.S.

Bruce Plenk, lately of the City of Tucson Energy Office, and Solar Coordinator for the City of Tucson

Kevin Koch, Technicians for Sustainability, local solar installer

Elizabeth Smith, StelcorEnergy, solar energy consultant

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

3rd Annual Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival – Oct 20

Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival

Celebrate Tucson’s unique position of leadership in sustainability!

The third annual Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival will be on Sunday, October 20, 10 am-4 pm, in Reid Park at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center (the Bandshell), off Country Club near 22nd Street.  Admission and parking are free.

At this family-friendly event, you’ll meet community organizations and companies that are creating a sustainable future in our desert Southwest. Enjoy exhibits that highlight their work and get involved through hands-on activities. Speakers will share earth-friendly messages, and local music groups will entertain throughout the day.

Festival Highlights

Festival food will feature a special GMO-free area. You’ll be able to get seeds for your home garden and take home pumpkins and fall produce. Check out the electric vehicle display, and pick up tips for cooking with the sun. Local aquaponics experts will show you how fish can help vegetables flourish in the desert. And you’ll meet the next generation of sustainability leaders, as kids demonstrate how they integrate raising food with their classroom learning.

Find out more at Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival’s website www.tucsonsustainable.org.

Exhibitor/Vendor Space Still Available

Non-profit organizations, government agencies, educational programs, community groups, businesses, and others with a strong earth-friendly message or sustainability issue to present are all encouraged to take part in this event. Information and registration forms for sponsors and for exhibitors, vendors, or food vendors are available on the Festival website www.tucsonsustainable.org.  As a project of NEST, Inc., the Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival is a non-profit organization, so fees or donations are tax-deductible.

For more information, contact Paula Schlusberg at  (520) 615-8218 or paulasch(at)mindspring.com.

 

 

ST September Mtg: Working Together Toward a Sustainable Community Part IV – Sept 9th

Monday, September 9, 2013

5:30 pm to 8:00 pm

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

ST September Meeting
Working Together Toward a Sustainable Community
Part IV

Sustainable Tucson’s “Conversations with our Public Officials” series provides Tucson community members the opportunity to meet with local public officials to discuss a wide range of sustainability issues. The venue offers a unique opportunity to converse with our public officials in a supportive atmosphere designed to build understanding and establish relationships.

Join Sustainable Tucson for our fourth Conversation with our Public Officials.

Jessie Baxter, Outreach Coordinator for Congressman Raul Grijalva, Ray Carroll, Pima County District 4 Supervisor, and Claire Zucker, Director, Sustainable Environment Program, Pima Association of Governments, will share their vision of a more sustainable Tucson. A networking session will precede the meeting from 5:30 to 6:00.

We believe that building a sustainable future will take the cooperation and partnering of residents, government, institutions and organizations. It is in this spirit that we are reaching out to our public officials by bringing them together with Sustainable Tucson and the wider public in this discussion process. Our ultimate intent for these popular “fishbowl discussions” is to build partnerships and work together toward our common goals.

We invite you to join us on September 9 for this exciting conversation with our local public officials.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

 

Sustainable Tucson July Film Night!

Monday, July 8th, 5:30 – 8:00, Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Sustainable Tucson will show a variety of films at our July general meeting. Included among the short and medium length topics are greening the desert, climate change in the arctic, how the people of Cuba adapted to the loss of oil and fertilizer after the Soviet Union collapsed, a Tucson documentary of a community strawbale homebuilding project, and the multifold challenges of sustainability.

Doors will open at 5:30 and films will start showing immediately. Regular monthly announcements will take place at 6:00 during a brief intermission.

Come enjoy film viewing with us at the cool Downtown Main Library lower meeting room

ST June Meeting – Working Together Toward a Sustainable Community – Part III – June 10

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Working Together Toward a Sustainable Community
Part III

Last spring Sustainable Tucson hosted two “Conversations with our Public Officials.” Tucson community members had the opportunity to meet with City public officials to discuss a wide range of sustainability issues. The venue offered a unique opportunity to converse with our public officials in a supportive atmosphere designed to build understanding and establish relationships.

On June 10, from 6 – 8pm, community members will once again have the opportunity to converse with our public officials. This year we are inviting County and City officials to sit together to share their vision of a more sustainable Tucson. City of Tucson Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham, Pima County District 5 Supervisor Richard Elias and Pima County Sustainability Coordinator Alex Odin will join us for our third “Conversations with our Public Officials.” A networking session will precede the meeting from 5:30 to 6:00.

We believe that building a sustainable future will take the cooperation and partnering of residents, government, institutions and organizations. It is in this spirit that we are reaching out to our public officials by bringing them together with Sustainable Tucson and the wider public in this discussion process. This is the third of our popular “fishbowl discussions.” Our ultimate intent is to build partnerships and work together toward our common goals.

We invite you to join us June 10 in this exciting conversation with our local public officials.

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Also see last year’s Sustainable Tucson meetings – 2012 March Conversation with our Elected Officials – 2012 June Working Together Toward a Sustainable Community Part II

Sustainable Tucson Community Fundraising Appeal

Sustainable Tucson needs your support to continue to present timely, interesting and informative monthly programs. With minimal financial support from the larger community we have provided continuous monthly programs for nearly seven years, drawing particularly on local talent and sustainability leaders. As we increasingly bring in cutting-edge speakers from other cities and regions, Sustainable Tucson faces greater costs and increased organizational needs.

A brief review of previous programs archived on our website shows the breadth and depth of subject matter we have produced for the emerging sustainability community free of charge. More than 2,000 people have directly benefited from our educational, networking, and advocacy opportunities. Efforts to provide media coverage of our events will reach many thousands more.

There are two ways you can help us further our mission to foster greater understanding  and collaborative activities ensuring resilience and a sustainable future.  One way is to use your credit card and go to our online donation webpage: (http://www.sustainabletucson.org/contactcontribute/donate). The other is simply to write a check to “NEST Inc — Sustainable Tucson”  and mail it to P.O. Box 41144, Tucson, AZ 85717

Thank you for your support and remember that every dollar donated to Sustainable Tucson goes a long way to help all of us find our way to more sustainable lives and a more sustainable community.

ST May Meeting – Food Resilience in the Time of Global Climate Change – May 13

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N Stone, Downtown Tucson (in the large lower-level meeting room, free lower-level parking off Alameda St)

Food Resilience in the Time of Global Climate Change

Almost all the food we eat in Tucson is not grown here. It isn’t even grown in Arizona.

Please join us for the May Sustainable Tucson meeting, and discuss with a panel of local food experts what Tucson can do to become more food resilient, and connect with local food organizations and vendors. Find out what you can do here in Tucson at the Resource and Networking session.

Nobody knows for sure how much of Tucson’s food is grown in Arizona, but the best informed guesses are that it is only a small percentage (perhaps as little as 2%-3%). The rest comes from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Are we food secure? Can we be? Should we even try? Can we become more food resilient? Tucson can grow a lot more of our food locally than we do today, and do it sustainably and healthily. Is that important? What will it take? What are our options?

Our panel of speakers will be

Bill McDorman, Native Seeds/SEARCH
Elizabeth Mikesell, Pima County Food Alliance
Stéphane Herbert-Fort, Local Roots Aquaponics
Rafael de Grenade, Desert Oasis Initiative
Adam Valdivia, Sleeping Frog Farms
Dan Dorsey, Sonoran Permaculture Guild

And take the opportunity to meet with these organizations that are making Tucson more food resilient,

Community Gardens of Tucsonwww.communitygardensoftucson.org
Local Roots Aquaponicswww.localrootsaquaponics.com
Tucson Aquaponics Projectwww.tucsonap.org
Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculturewww.bajaza.org
Native Seeds/SEARCHwww.nativeseeds.org
Flor de Mayo Artswww.flordemayoarts.com
Iskashitaa Refugee Networkwww.iskashitaa.org
Tucson Organic Gardenerswww.tucsonorganicgardeners.org
Walking J Farmwww.walkingjfarm.com
Pima County Public Library Seed Library – www.library.pima.gov/seed-library

Explore with us what Tucson could become: 
“Resilient Tucson 2020 – Visions of a local, healthy, sustainable food supply for Tucson”. Find out what’s happening now, what’s possible, and what you can do.

We meet at the Joel Valdez downtown library, lower level meeting room (free parking under the Library, enter from Alameda Street).

Doors open at 5:30 pm
The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm
Free and open to the public

Also see Local Food Summit May 14 at U of A with Gary Nabhan & Jeff Silvertooth

ST April Meeting – Power to the People: Should TEP be municipalized? – April 8

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown Tucson (in the large lower-level meeting room, free lower-level parking off Alameda St)

Power to the People:
Should TEP be municipalized?

with guest speaker Leslie Glustrom, Research Director for Clean Energy Action, Boulder Colorado

also speaking – Dan Millis (Sierra Club)

The science is clear. We need to slow the rate of atmospheric carbon emissions to avoid the worst effects of run-away climate change. A “Manhattan Project”-scale effort is needed to de-carbonize our culture if present and future generations are to have a chance to adapt. There is plenty we can do as individuals to tackle the problem: modify our lifestyle; reduce our energy and material consumption, the carbon footprint of our travel, diet, and so forth. But there are aspects of our energy consumption where we seem to have little or no choice – like the carbon-intensive electricity supplied by our local utility, Tucson Electric Power (TEP).

Or is there a choice?

Initiatives have begun to spring up around the country to municipalize privately owned utilities, like TEP, that are resisting the transition to clean energy sources. In 2011, voters in Boulder, Colorado approved two ballot measures to allow the city to create a municipal utility placing it among the nations’ first communities in decades to do so.

The city’s most recent analysis found that Boulder could get 54% of its energy from renewable resources and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% at a lower cost than the current provider, Xcel Energy.

On Monday, April 8th, Sustainable Tucson is bringing Leslie Glustrom, Research Director for Clean Energy Action, to town to share the lessons learned from Boulder’s campaign to reclaim its energy future. We hope you’ll come and join the conversation about whether or not Tucson might pursue a similar path.

We meet at the Joel Valdez downtown library, lower level meeting room.

Doors open at 5:30 pm
The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm
Free and open to the public

Followup – For a download of Leslie’s informative powerpoint, an audio recording of this important presentation, and further info & notes, please see (and contribute to) the comments on this post, below…

ST March Meeting – Climate Change Activism – March 11

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown Tucson (in the large lower-level meeting room, free lower-level parking off Alameda St)

Climate Change Activism – Messaging and Solutions

with guest speaker Julie Robinson, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University

In our future there will be no more important issue to the health of humans and continuance of civil society than that of Climate Change and its disruptive effects.

Projections of increasing heat in our region (now 6-10 degrees F by the turn of the century), increasing severity of drought and wildfire, decreasing water supply, distant crop failures and super storms lay before us a challenge to which we either respond or succumb. Detrimental environmental, health and economic effects all stem from a historic reliance on fuels producing carbon dioxide, and exacerbated by a region planning for an ever increasing population.

The timeframe for effective action to mitigate the worst outcomes continues to shrink, and we find ourselves at our own localized ground zero. It is this paradigm that motivates a growing number of concerned citizens to put aside other life tasks to concentrate more of their time on tackling the climate change challenge.

The goal of this Sustainable Tucson meeting is to increase participation in effective climate change activism in Tucson.

Please join us this month and learn about climate change messaging from our guest speaker Julie Robinson, a recent post-doc with the Center for Climate Change Communication (George Mason University). She will present an overview of relevant work in this field including the latest research conducted by her colleagues at Mason and Yale on Global Warming’s Six Americas.

And please acquaint yourselves with the work being done locally and globally by Tucson Climate Action Network (TUCAN), the local activist community… and hopefully lend your support for TUCAN’s mission and these initiatives, presented by some of our local activists,

350.org – Patsy Stewart
Sierra Club – Dan Millis
Interfaith Power and Light – Lisa McDaniels-Hutchings
Tucson Bus Riders Union – Susan Willis
Physicians for Social Responsibility – Dr. Barbara Warren
National Institute for Peer Support – Bridget Stoll
Citizen’s Climate Lobby for national Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation – Ron Proctor

If there was ever a time to support a climate action solution, the time is now. Come find out about solutions to this most-challenging dilemma, and join a growing community of activist-friends in the process.

See you there,
Ron Proctor
Coordinator, Sustainable Tucson

Monday, March 11th, 2013 at the Joel Valdez Library
in the large lower-level meeting room.

Doors open at 5:30 pm
The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm
Free and open to the public

p.s. Here are Julie Robinson’s powerpoint slides for this presentation, other notes and audio recordings will be available here soon…

Also see: Tucson Climate Action Network meetings and monthly conference call with the Citizens Climate Lobby. View this recent interview with Anthony Leiserowitz, Yale climate change communication expert, by journalist Bill Moyers.

ST February Meeting – Tucson’s Economy – Feb 11

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown Tucson (in the large lower-level meeting room, free lower-level parking off Alameda St)

Local Economy • Financial and Monetary Innovation

Please join us for Sustainable Tucson‘s February Meeting where we’ll hear leaders and experts from Tucson and Phoenix, and engage everyone in discussion on the subject of sustainable local economy.

Our speakers will sketch the current economic condition of Tucson and the state of Arizona – prospects, challenges, and possible futures, and describe innovative approaches to exchange and finance that are emerging and could have a significant impact over the near term. We will look at the possibilities of public banking and alternative local currencies and exchange systems including community time banking, as well as innovative approaches to economic development for enterprises contributing to community resilience and sustainability – mutual credit clearing, micro-lending, and crowd-funding.

Tom GrecoBeyond Money – Tom, moderator of this evening’s program, is Tucson’s own world-renowned expert on innovative economic systems supporting community resilience and local economic independence.

Michael GuymonTucson Regional Economic Opportunities – Michael will speak on the state of Tucson’s economy. He is responsible for planning, developing and implementing the business development strategies of TREO to attract, retain and expand jobs and capital investment for the region.

Jim HannleyProgressive Democrats of America – Jim will describe ongoing efforts to institute Public Banking in Arizona. Also see the Public Banking Institute website.

C J CornellPropel Arizona – C J Cornell is Professor of Digital Media & Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, and founder of Propel Arizona, a new platform for internet crowd-funding for local projects in Arizona.

Winona Smith & Chris VansproutsTucson Time Traders – Winona and Chris are coordinators for Tucson’s local timebank, and will talk about how community timebanking can be significant in the healing and prevention of economic troubles. Participating in Tucson Time Traders is something everyone can do right now to strengthen local community and economy!

There will also be a tour and demonstration of Tucson Time Traders‘ website on the big screen from 5:30 to 6:00 pm before the main meeting starts. Come early, and/or join us online at timetraders.metasofa.org

Join us Monday, February 11th, 2013 at the Joel Valdez Library
in the large lower-level meeting room.

Doors open at 5:30 pm
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm
Free and open to the public

Also see Public Banking InstituteCenter for Advancement of Steady-State EconomySlow Money investing in local food • SeedSpotGangplanka message to President Obama from Edgar CahnST joins Timebank and past ST articles on Economy and Relocalization

Also see the comments on this article for audio recordings and followup notes & links…

ST January 2013 Meeting – Jan 14

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Sustainable Tucson 2013
How We Can Take Action in the New Year

Lots of powerful efforts are happening in Tucson and around the world to make a more sustainable and secure future. Join Sustainable Tucson on Monday, January 14 as we begin a new year and decide on the main focuses of Sustainable Tucson in 2013.

This year, Sustainable Tucson will continue our efforts to help you find ways you can take action to make your own life, Tucson, and the whole world more and more sustainable.

At the January meeting, we will join our passions and find the areas that we really want to act on. Our goal is to find those things that not only excite you, but excite a lot of people. That way, it isn’t each of us acting alone. It is many people acting together.

What’s your passion – Having healthy, local food to eat? Tackling our share of global climate change? Developing a sustainable local economy that serves Tucson? – Come to this month’s Sustainable Tucson General Meeting and find others who share your passions. It is time to act… together.

Please join us Monday, January 14th, 2013 at the Joel Valdez Library, lower level meeting room.

Doors open at 5:30 pm
The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm
Free and open to the public

Also see Sustainability Actions Everyone Can Do and personally What You Can Do – Top 10, sketches for community-wide Sustainability Plans in the menu above, and articles & resources in the Topics in Focus menu and Archive Categories below.

Collaborative Redesign of the Sonoran Desert Foodshed – Localizing Our Food Supply – Gary Nabhan and Michael Brownlee – December 10

Free and open to the public at Pima Community College downtown, Amethyst Room, 1255 N Stone Ave, Tucson AZ (also see campus map for lots of free parking)

Collaborative Redesign of
the Sonoran Desert Foodshed
and Localizing Our Food Supply

with Gary Nabhan and Michael Brownlee

Please note special time and location
for this month’s Sustainable Tucson meeting,

Monday, December 10, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Amethyst Room, Downtown Pima College Campus

(near the Bookstore in the Student Union, 1255 N Stone Ave)
Doors open at 6:00 pm, meeting starts at 6:15 pm

Tucson currently imports about 98% of our food from outside the region. Tucson also wastes about 40,000 acre-feet per year of runoff from our streets and rights-of-way. And Tucsonan families spend nearly $2 billion per year on food, almost all of it from thousands of miles away and producing huge amounts of greenhouse gases in transport.

What can we do to insure Tucson has a food supply that is secure, nutritious, tasty, and local?   A lot!   Find out from two leading experts in local food and local economy,

  Gary NabhanCollaborative Redesign of the Sonoran Desert Foodshed: Imagining Next Steps for Tucson

  Michael BrownleeThinking Like a Foodshed: Localizing Our Food Supply

This presentation is co-sponsored by Pima County Food Alliance, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Community Gardens of Tucson, UA Southwest Center, Iskashitaa Refugee Network, Local First AZ, Sabores Sin Fronteras Foodways Alliance, ReZoNation Farm, Plant Based Nation, Local Roots Aquaponics, Local Food Concepts, and Abundant Communities Trust.

Gary Paul Nabhan is the Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona, and co-editor of State of the Southwest Foodsheds and Hungry for Change: Borderlands Food and Water in the Balance (both available on line).  An orchardkeeper of 70 varieties of heritage fruit and nut varieties in Patagonia, Nabhan was a co-founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH, Renewing America’s Food Traditions, and the Sabores Sin Fronteras Foodways Alliance.

A catalyst for relocalization, Michael Brownlee is co-founder of Transition Colorado, the first officially-recognized Transition Initiative in North America, working towards community resilience and self-reliance. Michael is the architect behind the Local Food Shift campaign to localize food and farming systems. He also co-founded Localization Partners LLC, a Slow Money affiliate, which is now investing in local food and farming enterprises as well as offering tools and processes for catalyzing food localization as economic development in communities across North America.

Climate Change and Energy Decline: Building resilient communities in the SW United States – Guy McPherson – November 5

at Pima Community College downtown, Amethyst Room, 1255 N Stone Ave

 

Climate Change and Energy Decline:
Building resilient communities
in the southwestern United States

with Guy McPherson

Co-sponsored by Tucson Audubon Society
and Sustainable Tucson

Please note special time and location for this month’s Sustainable Tucson meeting,

When:  Monday, November 5, 2012, 7:00 pm
Where:  Pima Community College’s downtown campus, Amethyst Room on 1255 N. Stone Ave. Easy parking! Central location! See map

Consider how many of the things that you do in your life have been made simpler by the use of cheap fossil fuels and how our planet has changed as a result. How will increasingly scarce and expensive fossil fuels affect how you live your life? Guy McPherson changed his life completely when he considered this question, reducing his use of non-renewable resources and living a more sustainable existence. He has now moved on to considering the social and economic effects of our changing climate. Guy will sign copies of his memoir, Walking Away from Empire, after his talk.

Guy was one of the “local voices” in 2006 and 2007 during the time when  a diverse group of community activists formed Sustainable Tucson. His 2006 article, “Rising gas prices, sporadic shortages are signs of the impending Tucson apocalypse” in the Tucson Weekly and his 2007 article, “Peak oil scenario paints frightening future for all”  published by the Arizona Daily Star helped educate Tucsonans to begin to respond to the emerging sustainability crisis.

To understand the latest climate change scenarios, read this recent interview with Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director of the UK Tyndall Centre, a major global climate science research center, click here.

Forum for Candidates for AZ Corporation Commission – League of Women Voters – Oct 4

at Temple Emanu-El, 225 N Country Club Road, Tucson AZ

Sustainable Tucson October Meeting

Please note special time and location for this month’s
Sustainable Tucson meeting,

Temple Emanu-El, 225 N Country Club Road, Tucson AZ
Thursday, October 4, 2012, 6:30 PM

Doors open at 6:15 pm

Forum for Candidates
for AZ Corporation Commission

All Candidates Have Been Invited

Utility Regulation • Power Lines
Business Regulation • Investment Fraud
Railway Safety • Energy Generation

Your questions for the candidates may also be submitted online here!
Please comment on this post before October 4.

Sponsored by
the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson,
AAUW (American Association of University Women),
Temple Emanu-El, and Sustainable Tucson

About the Arizona Corporation Commission and its roles and responsibilities

The Arizona Corporation Commission is a key independent arm of state government presided over by five elected commissioners. Only 7 states have constitutionally formed Commissions. Arizona is one of only 13 states with elected Commissioners. In the 37 other states, Commissioners are appointed by either the governor or the legislature.

In most states, the Commission is known as the Public Service Commission or the Public Utility Commission. The Arizona Commission, however, has responsibilities that go beyond traditional public utilities regulation. These additional roles include facilitating the incorporation of businesses and organizations, securities regulation and railroad/pipeline safety.

Regulation of public service utilities including electricity, gas, sewer, water, and telephone remains the most important role, especially in the case of electricity and Arizona’s efforts to transition away from fossil-fuel burning power plants to clean, renewable energy sources. Republicans are attempting to reverse course on these efforts while Democrats are in favor of expanding the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard which applies to regulated power companies.

ST September Meeting – Sept 10 – Sustainability of Urban Mobility and Urban Form continued – Broadway Boulevard Project

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Broadway Boulevard Project:
Sustainable Urban Mobility and Form?

As a follow up to Sustainable Tucson’s July meeting, The Sustainability of Urban Mobility and Urban Form, the September 10th meeting will be convening a public conversation furthering the discussion, using the Broadway Boulevard Project as a focus.

Presenters will include
Jen Burdick – Broadway Corridor project manager for the TDOT
Colby Henley – Citizen’s Task Force and local Neighborhood Association member
Tres English – Sustainable Tucson
• and others to be announced

Efforts to incorporate local Neighborhood goals with those of the transportation planning agencies are moving forward through the efforts of the Broadway Citizen’s Task Force (CTF). By the time Sustainable Tucson convenes its meeting on September 10th, the CTF will have conducted 2 public meetings. The findings of the 1st meeting are posted online at http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/broadway

Neighborhood and City goals should be updated and integrated given the interrelated issues of mobility and urban form. In this age of fiscal and environmental constraints, we have the opportunity (and calling) to redirect limited funds to support live-ability and vibrancy at the neighborhood level while implementing a transportation system that unites and serves the larger city. Additionally, now is the time to address larger embedded issues such as the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI) and Climate Change.

A recent Arizona State University study by leading author, Matei Georgescu (http://geoplan.asu.edu/georgescu-megapolitan) notes that urban development could by itself, increase average June-August temperatures by as much as 7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050. Add in another 5 degrees due to the effects of greenhouse gas emissions over the same period (United States Global Change Research Project), and it becomes apparent “business as usual” will significantly affect the health, live-ability, and pocketbooks of Tucsonans.

To mitigate temperatures neither current nor future inhabitants of Tucson want to endure and to ensure live-able and vibrant communities we must seek alternatives to current built-environment and mobility practices that solve rather than add to an unsustainable city. The Broadway Boulevard Project discussion is a great place to start.

Join us in conversation September 10th at the Joel Valdez Library, lower level meeting room.

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Sustainable Tucson August Film Festival – August 12th and 13th

at Joel D. Valdez Main Downtown Library, Large Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

 

Sunday, August 12th 1:00 to 5:00pm, Sustainable Tucson will show three top-rated sustainability films covering critical sustainability topics:

• The U.S. financial crisis erupted in 2008 and still looms on the horizon.

• Resource depletion including non-renewable fossil fuels and clean water threatens further economic growth.

• Global warming and climate change threaten most life-forms including people and future food.

• Social disruption following economic dislocation and government contraction can threaten our capacity to solve-problems and build a more sustainable culture.

• Many solutions are being identified but most require abandoning “business as usual.”

The first film will be shown from 1:00 to 2:30pm and includes a comprehensive presentation of the sustainability crisis and a path way out of our predicament. Many sustainability leaders are interviewed including  Wes Jackson, Paul Hawken, David Suzuki, Kenny Ausubel, David Orr, Janine Benyus,, Stuart Pimm, Richard Heinberg, Paolo Soleri, Thom Hartmann, Lester Brown, James Hillman, Joseph Tainter, James Woolsey, Stephen Schneider, Stephen Hawking, Sandra Postel,  Bill McKibbon, James Hansen, Dr. Andy Weil, Ray Anderson, Andy Lipkis, Tom Linzey, Herman Daly, Peter Warshall, Jerry Mander, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bruce Mau, William McDonough, John Todd, and Gloria Flora among others.

The second film is an award-winning documentary describing the financial crisis which erupted in 2008 and continues to play out today as the global economy is beginning to contract. Financial experts help tell the story of how the largest financial bubble in history grew and finally burst. These include Simon Johnson, George Soros, Satyajit Das, Paul Volker, Nouriel Roubini, U. S. Rep. Barney Frank, Eliot Spitzer, Kenneth Rogoff, Raghuram Rajan, Martin Wolf, Christine Lagarde, and Martin Feldstein among others. This film will be shown from 2:30 to 4:15.

The final film to be shown from 4:15 to 5:00 is a special film which describes how the island nation of Cuba became more self- sufficient and resilient after the food and energy subsidies ended from the Soviet Union which collapsed in 1991.

 

Monday, August 13th, 5:00 to 8:00 pm, Sustainable Tucson will present two excellent films.

The first is a documentary about how the many electric street car systems in U.S towns and cities were intentionally scrapped by a group of automobile-related corporations. The result is that the U.S. is the only industrial country in the world without electric rail systems within and between most cities.  This film will be shown from 5:00 to 6:00pm.

The second film will be shown from 6:15 to 7:45pm and includes a comprehensive presentation of the sustainability crisis and the need to find a path way out of our predicament. Many sustainability leaders are interviewed including Richard Heinberg, Lester Brown, U. S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Albert Bartlett, Joseph Tainter, David Pimental, Terry Taminen, Bill McKibben, James Hansen, David Korten, Derrick Jensen, and William R. Catton, Jr. among others.

Due to unanswered questions about public licensing, the titles of the films were omitted in this public announcement. The Pima-Tucson Library System does have a general license for showings of films free to the public for educational purposes. This license is granted by a film company consortium but we don’t know for sure about each film. ST falls back on its “fair use” rights under copyright laws to show the films for educational purposes.

We believe that building a sustainable future will take the cooperation and partnering of residents, businesses, government, institutions and organizations. It is in this spirit that we are reaching out to our members, interested people, and community leaders, bringing them together to focus the wider public on these critical sustainability discussions. Our ultimate intent is to build partnerships and work together toward our common goals.

Join us for viewing five great sustainability films in August!

PLEASE NOTE:

Doors open at 1:00 pm on Sunday, August 12th.
Doors open at 4:45 pm on Monday, August 13th

Sustainable Tucson July Meeting – Urban Mobility and Urban Form – July 9

at Joel D. Valdez Main Downtown Library, 101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

The Sustainability of
Urban Mobility and Urban Form

The July ST General Meeting will feature panel presentations and conversation by special Tucson speakers who are addressing in their work “Sustainable mobility and urban form.” This is a very timely topic on many fronts now:

  City of Tucson’s current ten-year update of the General Plan.

  Anticipation of Tucson’s modern streetcar line.

  Tucson’s love affair with walking, jogging, biking, hiking and using transit.

  Community visioning and planning related to the Imagine Greater Tucson Project.

  The emergence of “urban villages” as places where we could live.

  City of Tucson’s current climate change mitigation and adaptation planning.

  Local adaptation to the global credit and energy contraction now taking place.

Gene Caywood, local transportation planner and leading light for Old Pueblo Trolley presents Tucson mobility: past, present, and future.

Ian Johnson, co-leader of the Living Streets Alliance discusses ways we can all help to create, maintain, and enjoy the culture of “living streets” combining sidewalks, bike paths, and transit where people meet and move.

Steve Farley, Arizona State legislator and public artist talks about the benefits of sustainable transportation and advocacy.

Ann Chaneka,  Pima Association of Governments bicycle planner and recently returning from the international Velo conference in Vancouver presents sustainable urban transportation and bicycle planning.

Tres English, ST Core Team member, talks about “21st Century Tucson – a Network of Urban Villages – More convenient, More accessible, More affordable – NOT More mobile.”

We believe that building a sustainable future will take the cooperation and partnering of residents, businesses, government, institutions and organizations. It is in this spirit that we are reaching out to our members, interested people, and community leaders, bringing them together to focus the wider public on these critical sustainability discussions. Our ultimate intent is to build partnerships and work together toward our common goals.

Join us for another lively Sustainable Tucson General meeting!

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Also read James Howard Kunstler’s Making Other Arrangements

ST June Meeting – Working Together Toward a Sustainable Community – Part II – June 11

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Working Together Toward a Sustainable Community
Part II

In March Sustainable Tucson hosted our first “Conversation with our Elected Officials.” One hundred Tucson community members met with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Council Member Regina Romero, and Council Member Steve Kozachik to discuss a wide range of sustainability issues such as water policy, urban form, food security and transportation.

On Monday, June 11, from 6 to 8 pm, Council Member Karin Uhlich, and Leslie Ethan, Director of the City of Tucson Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development, will join us for our second Conversation. A networking session will precede the meeting from 5:30 to 6:00.

We believe that building a sustainable future will take the cooperation and partnering of residents, government, institutions and organizations. It is in this spirit that we are reaching out to our public officials and bringing them together with Sustainable Tucson and the wider public in this discussion and process. Our ultimate intent is to build partnerships and work together toward our common goals.

We invite you to join us in our second conversation with local public officials.

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Sustainable Tucson May Meeting – Prosperity Without Growth – May 14

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda Street)

Prosperity Without Growth – What does it look like?

Please join us at Sustainable Tucson’s May meeting to hear local experts talk about Sustainable Economics, and share your thoughts about what this looks like and what it entails. Help us engage the planners with solutions appropriate to our time.

Planning efforts in Tucson (including Imagine Greater Tucson) assume growth to be inevitable and good.

Until recently, there was no reason to question that belief. With a seemingly endless supply of resources and space to dump waste products, there was no feedback raising our awareness, nor reason to ask questions.

Now, however, the pinch has begun. The high carbon energy fuels upon which we have built our modern civilization are not only becoming more problematic to supply, but the effects of their combustion are destabilizing the climate, decimating biodiversity, disrupting food security and beginning to affect social cohesion. The problem is the result of the collective impact of our human species. Our numbers have increased to the point where our resource consumption and related waste is beyond the planetary ecosystem’s ability to continue to supply and absorb them.

If the planet were our house, the debt we have accumulated is coming due, foreclosure is on the horizon, and we may soon lose our home.

Ecological economist Herman Daly notes that growth can become “uneconomic” when the “bads” accumulate faster than the “goods”, the “illth” faster than the wealth (see video, link below).

What are the alternatives to Growth?
What positive vision can lead us away from the “inevitable”?

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Also see these videos,

Herman DalyUneconomic Growth
Charles EisensteinSacred Economics
Tim JacksonProsperity without Growth
Rushey Green Time Bank

ST April Meeting – Can Tucson Feed Itself?

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Can Tucson Feed Itself ?

The short answer is no.
The longer answer will surprise and excite you.
The real answer is – its time to start.

At this Sustainable Tucson meeting, find out:

How food actually gets to your table (Dude – Who brought my lunch?)
How many different Tucson groups are now providing us with fresh, nutritious food
What Tucson would be like if we commit to having a reliable and healthy food supply

Find ways to act for yourself, your family, and Tucson.
Come to the Sustainable Tucson meeting this Monday.

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Prepare for this important topic by viewing videos and seeing reports on the impacts of climate change on global food security at this website.

Sustainable Tucson March Meeting – Working Together Toward a Sustainable Community

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

Working Together Toward a Sustainable Community

In Conversation with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild,
Council Member Regina Romero, and
Council Member Steve Kozachik

We believe that building a sustainable future will take the cooperation and partnering of residents, government, institutions and organizations. It is in this spirit that we are reaching out to the City of Tucson Mayor and Council, and bringing together the City of Tucson, Sustainable Tucson, and the wider public in this discussion and process…

In recent meetings we’ve identified the following broad categories for projects and action steps that will assist our community to move toward a sustainable future: Water, Energy, Waste, Land Use, Climate Change, Food, Economy, Social Justice, and Democracy…

This month’s Sustainable Tucson General Meeting will be an opportunity for the Mayor and Council Members to showcase those areas of interest that we share, and talk about their projects – either in progress or in the planning/visioning stage – which fall under the sustainability banner, and with the intent to build partnerships and work together toward our common goals.

For this meeting, we’ll be using a “Fishbowl” process designed to initiate respectful and informative community dialogues. Too often our public processes end up getting stuck in the win/lose format of debates. The goal of the Fishbowl process is to move beyond rhetoric and get to substance. Instead of winning an argument, issues and evidence are clarified to help everyone gain a deeper understanding.

New perspectives and options that may not have occurred previously can develop, and strident positions tend to soften or break down. Fishbowl dialogs are a wonderful alternative to typical panel presentations that are followed by limited Q&A sessions.

The general outline for the process is to have one more chair than the number of presenters, in a semi-circle at the front of the room, or a circle in the middle of the room with audience members in concentric rings surrounding the Fishbowl. The panelists begin the process by presenting information to the audience – in this case the topic is sustainability.

Following this, members of the audience will be given the opportunity to join in the discussion by sitting in the empty chair. Each “guest” from the audience can take 5 minutes before vacating the chair to allow for another individual to participate.

We invite you to join us in our first Fishbowl conversation with local elected officials.

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

What Are We Planning For? – A New Advocacy Initiative

A Sustainable Tucson Issues Paper
March 2012

Since Imagine Greater Tucson’s initiating phase began more than three years ago, Sustainable Tucson has been engaged with Imagine Greater Tucson at many levels, participating in the steering, community values, outreach, and technical committees. Imagine Greater Tucson has consistently requested input and Sustainable Tucson has tried to contribute ideas in order to make IGT a more relevant and successful visioning process for the Tucson region. The following text summarizes seven key issues which Sustainable Tucson has previously presented and which the IGT process has yet to address. This document concludes with four specific requests to modify the Imagine Greater Tucson Project…

Go here to read and comment on “What Are We Planning For?

Also see Reconsider RTA Broadway Project – Public press conference – April 30

and the Sustainable Tucson general meeting, ST May Meeting – Prosperity Without Growth – May 14

ST February Meeting – Climate Change in Tucson and the Southwest – Dr Jonathan Overpeck

at DuVal Auditorium, University Medical Center, 1501 N Campbell Avenue

Sustainable Tucson’s February Meeting will be a special public lecture event in collaboration with the Tucson Audubon Society and the Community Water Coalition.

University of Arizona climate scientist Dr. Jonathan Overpeck will speak on Climate Change: What does it mean for Tucson and the Southwest?

drought mapLast year’s increase in carbon emissions to our atmosphere, an estimated extra half-billion tons, was almost certainly the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution, and the largest percentage increase since 2003.

This trend of ever-rising emissions will make climate change an increasing challenge in coming decades. What are the particular possible outcomes for Tucson and the southwest? Water supply, food security, fire risk, habitability for people and wildlife will all be affected.

Dr. Overpeck is a founding co-director of the Institute of the Environment, as well as a Professor of Geosciences and a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona, and an author of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment.

Monday, February 13, 7:00pm
Free and open to the public

DuVal Auditorium
University Medical Center
1501 N Campbell Avenue
(NE section of the main University Medical Center building)

Directions: Go in the main entrance of the Medical Center building, which faces east toward Campbell Avenue. Immediately turn right down the hall where you will find the doors to the DuVal Auditorium on your left.

Parking Note: There is parking in the multi-tiered Patient/Visitor parking garage closest to the auditorium; however, a fee is charged. Free parking is available south of Mabel Street, across from the College of Nursing.

See map at http://www.azumc.com/body.cfm?id=13

[The audio recording of this lecture is now available here online – go to the first comment below…]

ST January Meeting – Topics and Working Groups for 2012

at Joel D. Valdez Main Library
101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

ST December 2011 Meeting

How do we “green” our homes and neighborhoods?
How do we work together and contribute to each other?
How do we prepare for climate change?

Join us on January 9th to learn of some exciting efforts now underway in your home town to prepare for the challenges ahead.  A half-dozen of the most innovative and effective people in Tucson will distill their ideas for a sustainable Tucson into concise presentations to ignite your own ideas and enthusiasm…

» Karin Uhlich (Tucson City Council) – Re-establishing PRO Neighborhoods
» Bob Cook (NEST, Inc) – Green re-development initiative
» Dan Dorsey (Pima Community College) – Co-op Permaculture projects program
» Winona Smith (Tucson Time Traders) – Time Banking and local communities
» Tres English (Empowering Local Communities) – Secure food supply
» Ron Proctor (Sustainable Tucson) – Mobilizing for climate change

… and we’ll have a review of working group topics and project ideas from discussion tables in the ST December meeting, including

Recycling / Waste management
Composting toilets
Water use
Water harvesting
Solar Hot Water / Energy / Gas
Paradigm change
Land use planning (density, etc.)
Climate Change – Reducing greenhouse gases
Defining sustainability & adopting it legally
Food security

(This is not a complete list and can be added to… please use the comment form for this page!)

Sustainable Tucson is committed to engaging our audience in a participatory process. Following the presentations, we will ask everyone to engage in table discussions focusing on what actions we can take to make Tucson a more vibrant and sustainable community. Actions might be in the form of policy development, support of on-going projects, or the initiation of new projects.

The ideas generated will be used to develop topics and working groups for future Sustainable Tucson meetings, where in-depth presentations and audience discussions will continue. The goal is to create projects and initiatives that we believe will build our resilience as a Desert People.

also see recent 2011 Sustainable Tucson meetings,

ST December Meeting – The Politics of Sustainability
ST November Meeting – Food Security
ST October Meeting – Water Priorities
ST September Meeting – Non-GMO Food
ST August Meeting – Natural Building in the Desert
and an index of past ST Monthly / General Meetings

Doors open at 5:30 pm.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Dreaming New Mexico – Peter Warshall – TEDxABQ video

Dreaming New Mexico has built a map of pragmatic and visionary solutions to create a more localized and green economy with greater local self-reliance and enhanced prosperity.

Peter Warshall is Co-Director of the Bioneers’ Dreaming New Mexico Project, and a world-renowned water steward, biodiversity and wildlife specialist, research scientist, conservationist, and environmental activist.

from 2011 September TEDx in Albuquerque New Mexico, posted to YouTube Nov 22 by TEDx
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbyIlbt5_3g

2012 Green Retrofit Economic Stimulus Proposal for Tucson

2012 Green Retrofit Economic Stimulus Proposal for Tucson

With half of all mortgaged homes “underwater” and owing more than their market value, housing prices continue to decline even after four years of collapsing prices. The ongoing global credit and debt crisis combined with declining house prices spell disaster for the home-building industry for at least the next decade. The escalating climate crisis also requires that the built-environment be transformed to reduce its current and future impacts on rising climate-changing emissions. Politically, the most urgent issue on Americans’ minds is the growing employment crisis.

Is there a way forward that addresses all these challenges? And specifically, can we in Tucson address these issues and create a way to re-employ construction trades and train people for green retrofitting our existing homes, businesses, and apartments?  Read more…

 

The Dark Side of the ‘Green’ City

The Dark Side of the ‘Green’ City
By Andrew Ross

PHOENIX

The struggle to slow global warming will be won or lost in cities, which emit 80 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. So “greening” the city is all the rage now. But if policy makers end up focusing only on those who can afford the low-carbon technologies associated with the new environmental conscientiousness, the movement for sustainability may end up exacerbating climate change rather than ameliorating it.

While cities like Portland, Seattle and San Francisco are lauded for sustainability, the challenges faced by Phoenix, a poster child of Sunbelt sprawl, are more typical and more revealing. In 2009, Mayor Phil Gordon announced plans to make Phoenix the “greenest city” in the United States. Eyebrows were raised, and rightly so. According to the state’s leading climatologist, central Arizona is in the “bull’s eye” of climate change, warming up and drying out faster than any other region in the Northern Hemisphere. The Southwest has been on a drought watch 12 years and counting, despite outsized runoff last winter to the upper Colorado River, a major water supply for the subdivisions of the Valley of the Sun.

Across that valley lies 1,000 square miles of low-density tract housing, where few signs of greening are evident. That’s no surprise, given the economic free fall of a region that had been wholly dependent on the homebuilding industry. Property values in parts of metro Phoenix have dropped by 80 percent, and some neighborhoods are close to being declared “beyond recovery.”

In the Arizona Legislature, talk of global warming is verboten and Republican lawmakers can be heard arguing for the positive qualities of greenhouse gases. Most politicians are still praying for another housing boom on the urban fringe; they have no Plan B, least of all a low-carbon one. Mr. Gordon, a Democrat who took office in 2004, has risen to the challenge. But the vast inequalities of the metro area could blunt the impact of his sustainability plans.

Those looking for ecotopia can find pockets of it in the prosperous upland enclaves of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and North Phoenix. Hybrid vehicles, LEED-certified custom homes with solar roofs and xeriscaped yards, which do not require irrigation, are popular here, and voter support for the preservation of open space runs high. By contrast, South Phoenix is home to 40 percent of the city’s hazardous industrial emissions and America’s dirtiest ZIP code, while the inner-ring Phoenix suburbs, as a legacy of cold-war era industries, suffer from some of the worst groundwater contamination in the nation.

Whereas uptown populations are increasingly sequestered in green showpiece zones, residents in low-lying areas who cannot afford the low-carbon lifestyle are struggling to breathe fresh air or are even trapped in cancer clusters. You can find this pattern in many American cities. The problem is that the carbon savings to be gotten out of this upscale demographic — which represents one in five American adults and is known as Lohas, an acronym for “lifestyles of health and sustainability” — can’t outweigh the commercial neglect of the other 80 percent. If we are to moderate climate change, the green wave has to lift all vessels.

Solar chargers and energy-efficient appliances are fine, but unless technological fixes take into account the needs of low-income residents, they will end up as lifestyle add-ons for the affluent. Phoenix’s fledgling light-rail system should be expanded to serve more diverse neighborhoods, and green jobs should be created in the central city, not the sprawling suburbs. Arizona has some of the best solar exposure in the world, but it allows monopolistic utilities to impose a regressive surcharge on all customers to subsidize roof-panel installation by the well-heeled ones. Instead of green modifications to master-planned communities at the urban fringe, there should be concerted “infill” investment in central city areas now dotted with vacant lots.

In a desert metropolis, the choice between hoarding and sharing has consequences for all residents. Their predecessors — the Hohokam people, irrigation farmers who subsisted for over a thousand years around a vast canal network in the Phoenix Basin — faced a similar test, and ultimately failed. The remnants of Hohokam canals and pit houses are a potent reminder of ecological collapse; no other American city sits atop such an eloquent allegory.

Published 11-6-2011, The New York Times

Andrew Ross is a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University and author of Bird on Fire: Lessons From the World’s Least Sustainable City.