Report From the First Annual Regional UCC Green Conference in CT
By RM Allen, author of New Hampshire Goddess Chronicles
(as printed in the Exeter TOWER Newsletter, June 2011)
Alex Simpson & I attended the first annual UCC green conference last month. At the kick off of the event, the UCC Conference minister from Massachusetts, a Prius driving man, advised the clergy in attendance: “ If you are not touching upon Climate Change and Transition in every third sermon now, you will be dealing with a lot of hopelessness and despair ten years from now.” Hmm, what is this all about?
The keynote speaker was climate change specialist Bill McKibbon, a man who has written climate books for decades, like Deep Economy and Eaarth. You may know of his global website www.350.org. Our first annual Locavore church supper was inspired by, and held on, Bill’s first 350 day!
Bill’s message, in an nutshell, is this. The globe is now warmed by 1 degree, and ramping up. This measly 1’ is causing the ice caps to melt. This is causing sea level rise. In addition, there is an over-saturation of carbon in the air, such that has not been since man has walked the Earth. This saturation causes the air to retain moisture. This moist air causes violent storms, floods, droughts, etc. Since this 1’, we can no longer count on a benign climate, thus we can now expect more sudden interruptions in services like power, transportation, food, and more. Combine this with Peak Oil (decreasing supply/increasing demand), and we are on the path to trouble. So, it behooves us try to move towards using localized goods and services -this will keep you resilient.
My first workshop was given by a senior scientist from Woods Hole Research Center. He spoke on climate concerns specific to New England. He states that since 1970 we have experienced a 1.5 degree increase, and that winters have been warming faster than summers. He is concerned that we may lose the maple sugar industry, and he also predicts greater frequency of excessive rainfall and flooding, as well as sea level rise and coastal erosion. Actually, his Power Point showed a graph of the new New England, shifted south by 100 miles. That puts our current climate more like that of Cape Cod!
What to do? Where is the good news in all of this? Alex and I (and the majority of attendees) went to the afternoon’s double session “Transition Towns”. TransitionNetwork.org aims to create stronger, healthier, and happier communities. Transition strives to move communities from oil dependency to local resilience. What does local resilience look like?
The closest officially designated community is Newburyport, MA. They are working to grow their own food, make (and conserve) their own energy, make public transportation more viable, support local businesses, encourage green businesses, and impose sustainable business practices. In short, residents are trying to gain a competitive advantage through Transition, and in the (grassroots) process, they are creating one happy and healthy town!
Hello sister goddeses! If you enjoyed this blog please sign up for my monthly (small & simple) Green Goddess Orgasmagical eNewsletter by sending me a note to say hi firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks! ~RM Allen, author (www.nhgoddess.com)