Join Sustainable Tucson for our next virtual monthly meeting. Connect with dedicated public servants whose work touches directly on our mission to live in harmony with our desert environment long into the future. Panelists will describe their roles, their missions, their successes, and their needs. The program will be rich with detail and ample opportunity for Q & A. Confirmed to date: Julie Robinson, manager of sustainability for Pima County. Bring your questions!
It may seem a bit premature to take a “post-pandemic look” at anything, but we can start thinking already about what we want the post-pandemic picture of our region to look like.
In the past year and a half, we’ve seen all too many businesses close, including some favorite restaurants and bars. At the same time, we’ve seen new bars and restaurants opening and new local businesses starting up. Hopeful signs indeed. But can we control what happens next? All those ups and downs impacting the local business community present the perfect opportunity to plan and shape what we want for our local economy.
Join Sustainable Tucson on Tuesday, August 10, at 6:00 pm, for our next virtual monthly meeting, “Local Jobs for Local Needs: A Post-pandemic Look at Moving to a Greener Local Economy.” We will take a look at what Tucson and the Southern Arizona region need locally for a sustainable economic future, as we (hope to) come out of the past year and a half, with Covid-driven disruptions and constraints impacting local businesses, workers, and the overall economy.
As a basis and background for looking at where we’re heading, Kevin Burke, City of Tucson Economic Initiatives Deputy Director, will give an overview of where we are now and what the impacts on business and the economy have been (and still are) from the pandemic. In other words, what’s the current “health” of our local economy? Kevin will help us understand current local business trends and the data behind those trends.
Then, Mike Peel, Local First Arizona’s Statewide Sustainability Director, will discuss how we move forward, focusing on how to take advantage of greener, more sustainable opportunities to meet economic needs, rather than simply replicating the past. He’ll look at trends in green job and economic development as seen in our local region.
Bring your questions and experiences to share, as we’ll close with plenty of time for discussion with our presenters.
Fundamental to solving the Climate Crisis is to replace the fossil-fueled equipment we use with more efficient and non-polluting electrically powered devices, powered with renewables. Robert will talk about why heat pump water and space heaters are more efficient, safer, and economical. Electric Vehicles have lower lifetime costs than fossil burners, and are more fun and reliable to drive. Solar can power your home and vehicle, resulting in low or no energy bills.
Join us for this presentation on how you can eliminate your direct fossil carbon emissions, improve the comfort and safety of your home and vehicle, and save money while doing it.
Robert Bulechek is a energy efficiency consultant specializing in upgrading existing buildings to be comfortable, affordable, healthy, and zero emissions.
A member of the Tucson Commission on Climate, Energy, and Sustainability, he leads the Electrification of Transportation Working Group. He regularly pesters the Tucson City Council, Pima County Board of Supervisors, Arizona Legislature, and Arizona Corporation Commission to improve sustainability policy.
Robert lives in a zero emissions home, drives a zero emissions car, has negative utility bills and negative carbon emissions.
With the advent of smart phones and other such devices – from bluetooth speakers to refrigerators – not to mention social media, internet browsing, video downloading, and an unending stream of apps, the demand for connectivity keeps growing. So, too, does our exposure to RF’s – radio frequencies that carry all of the messages and information that we send and seek.
Like so many things of consequence in modern society, these RF’s are invisible, have no taste or smell, nor any tangible presence that we can easily perceive. Does this mean that they have no effect on our bodies or the body of the Earth?
A major study released in 2017 by the U.S. National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health found increased incidences of brain cancer, malignant tumors of the heart, and DNA damage in laboratory animals from microwave exposure levels below FCC guidelines. Ron Melnick, PhD, the National Institutes of Health scientist who led the design of the study, cautioned: “There is an urgent need to evaluate 5G health effects now before millions are exposed.”
Yet the City of Tucson has already allowed for the installation of over 300 “small cell” wireless facilities across the city, including many in residential zones within 20 feet of bedroom windows, with permits for hundreds of more.
Join us on June 15 to hear Russell Witte, PhD, Professor of Medical Imaging, Optical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering and Neurosurgery, who will describe well-documented hazards from microwave radiation at relatively low exposures, suggesting a more cautionary approach to the rollout of 5G. He will explain why thousands of scientists around the world have signed an emergency appeal for a moratorium on the rollout of 5G technology.
Tuesday, May 11, 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Watch recording on Youtube
Many of us remember all too well the Bighorn Fire last summer: the sight of flames that kept coming ever closer, and the plumes of smoke that clouded the skies and filled our lungs. And here we are again. Last Sunday’s AZ Daily Star included the headline “Experts expect busy wildfire season again.” With the Mulberry Fire in February and the Margo Fire in early April, we are already well into this year’s fire season for Southern Arizona, making this month’s topic even more timely than expected.
Our May monthly meeting will examine “Climate, Forests, and Fire in Southern Arizona.” We’re pleased to present two local experts on these topics, University of Arizona Professors Donald Falk and Luke McGuire, who will help us understand the changing landscape we are already beginning to see in our region and the impacts — past and expected — from what seems to be an intensifying fire regime. Their work has addressed issues including forest and fire ecology, post-fire impacts on soil and flooding, risks of erosion, and possibilities for restoration.
We all play an integral role in the regional landscape, and our lives are impacted by the natural phenomena around us. Any consideration of fire in our surroundings will have implications — both risks and opportunities — for issues like where housing is developed, where transmission lines are located, and more broadly, whether there are prevention, mitigation, or adaptation measures we should be looking at and acting on.
Please join us on Tuesday, May 11, at 6:00 pm, for the virtual meeting on this important topic.
Tucson architect Bob Vint and local sustainable building advocate David Eisenberg will explore some of the local traditional designs, materials, and building systems, as well as current and future challenges and opportunities for our buildings here in the age of climate change. This will include a look at the form and performance of historic building approaches in the Southwest, problems with our existing housing stock, and some technical insights about building performance, material choices, climate impacts, and rehabilitation strategies.
Bob will draw on his extensive study of regional architecture and his work with traditional and some alternative building materials. David will weave his three decades of building experience, and his work with alternative building materials and systems, codes and standards, and building science into potential solutions to our challenges for both new and existing buildings.
Meet Our Speakers:
David Eisenberg co-founded and has led the Tucson-based nonprofit Development Center for Appropriate Technology (DCAT) since 1992. DCAT launched their program Building Sustainability into the Codes in 1995, seeking to create a sustainable context for building codes. David’s wide-ranging building experience—from troubleshooting construction of the high-tech cover of Biosphere2, to conventional concrete, steel, masonry, wood, adobe, rammed earth, and straw bale construction—has grounded DCAT’s codes and standards work in real-world building experience. He co-authored The Straw Bale House book, and has worked extensively on developing building codes for sustainable techniques and materials, including straw bale construction, cob, and tiny houses, among others. David served two terms on the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Board of Directors where he founded and chaired USGBC’s Code Committee for nine years. David now serves on the boards of Sustainable Tucson and the Tucson 2030 District.
Bob Vint is a native Arizonan, born at Ft. Huachuca. He has practiced architecture in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Massachusetts since 1986. After working with architectural firms in Boston and Tucson, Bob established his independent practice in 1993. Among his many projects are the preservation of the Mission San Xavier del Bac; design of the San Xavier Franciscan Friary and San Xavier Mission School; Linda Ronstadt’s Tucson residence; the main entrance of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Pima County; and preservation of the Bisbee Central School. In addition to running an active architectural practice, Bob is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the School of Architecture at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where since 2011 he has taught the History & Theory of Urban Design. He also holds an annual seminar on Arid Region Urbanism, with field trips to relevant sites from Native American, Spanish, and Anglo cultures, including into the neighboring state of Sonora, Mexico.
Tuesday, March 9, 6:00-8:00 pm See the meeting here.
Throughout this past year, while COVID-19 has kept us laser-focused on health — our own and that of friends, family, and everyone around us — at the same time we have seen and experienced dramatic weather extremes. Locally and around the country, we’ve had everything from devastating forest fires to snowstorms, from record-setting heat to record-setting hurricanes, drought and floods. Our local Bighorn Fire may not have been the worst, but the heavy smoke from the Bighorn was amplified by “imported” smoke coming from the fires in Southern California. Our triple-digit temperatures stretched into the fall, challenging flora and fauna alike. The consensus is that the intensity of these phenomena is heightened by climate change, with still more extremes in coming years.
So what kinds of effects can we expect to face, and how will we need to respond? Our February Monthly Meeting will explore these issues, focusing on “Climate Change Impacts on Health.”
Our two presenters are Charles Geoffrion, currently the vice president of the Pima Country Board of Health, and Karen Wilhelmsen, with Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Air Program. Charles previously served as Associate Vice President for Research and Research Integrity Officer at UArizona. He also served as a board director for Allied BioScience, Inc. and helped develop a surface coating that reduces secondary infections in hospitals and is now EPA-approved for use in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. He has lectured on climate issues and in particular the effects of global and regional warming on human and environmental health. Karen joined PDEQ in 1999 to provide environmental outreach and education. She is Community Education Manager for the department’s Clean Air Program, providing your and adult education programs on air quality, alternate modes of transportation, and related environmental topics.
Join us for a timely discussion Tuesday, February 9, from 6:00-7:30 pm, at this Zoom link.
The world has just passed the 5th anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement (and we in the US await rejoining that Agreement). Locally the City of Tucson’s Climate Emergency Declaration has provided a clear recognition of what we face and suggests many of the actions needed in response.
Join us on January 12, 6:00 pm, online, for an update on where we are in Arizona in the face of the climate crisis, and where we need to go, both in action and policy.
At this first monthly meeting of 2021, UA Professor Gregg Garfin will present an overview of the current climate picture and prospects for the future in Arizona, with particular focus on Southern Arizona. Then UA Professor and State Senator-elect Kirsten Engel will look at what’s needed in the way of policy for our region and state, and what impacts national policies can have on our region. This will include what’s likely to come up in our State Legislature and what policy directions we – as an organization and as individuals – can and should advocate for.
Join us for this important start to the Year of Change – 2021, to energize our ST community for action. Then, consider becoming an Ambassador for Sustainability and participating in the Climate Communication Workshop.
Join us for a fun-filled virtual party full of games and family-friendly performances. There is so much good work being done in our desert community. What better way to celebrate it than by showcasing our artists for sustainability?