Climate Check: Stories and Solutions
Climate Check is a part of 350Brooklyn, a grassroots, community organization of ordinary people who come together to fight the fossil fuel industry, promote sustainable energy and green jobs, and work for climate justice. Join host Eva Dean, a Brooklyn-based choreographer, climate activist, and member of 350Brooklyn as she leads discussions that span the climate change spectrum.
Climate Check: Stories and SolutionsMay 16, 2023
May 2023: People vs Fossil Fuels
Eva is joined by Molly Morabito of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity. Molly discusses the demands by People vs Fossil Fuels for the Biden Administration to address the climate emergency. With a UN summit on Climate Change taking place in NYC in September, hear what actions you can take further PvFF’s agenda.
Links:People vs Fossil Fuels - https://peoplevsfossilfuels.org/ 350Brooklyn's PvFF Workgroup - https://350brooklyn.org/workgroups/pvff/ June Week of Action (June 8-11) - Interest form: https://tinyurl.com/interestformEndtheEra; Action Map: https://tinyurl.com/actionmap-EndtheEra https://bidensclimatepowers.org/ - learn more about Biden's executive powers to stop fossil fuels and declare a climate emergency https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/climate_law_institute/index.html - more about the Climate Law Institute
From Gas to Green: the NY HEAT Act
Most New Yorkers don’t know that they’re footing the bill for expanding the dirty gas infrastructure that runs all across our state. The NY HEAT (the New York Home Energy and Affordable Transition) Act would end this practice along with several others that are allowing New York's utility companies to stay out of step with our climate goals.
Through legislation like NY HEAT, Meagan Burton, Senior Attorney at Earthjustice, crafts and defends legislation that provides an equitable offramp from gas and paves the way for clean, affordable heating for all.
Meagan Blog: https://earthjustice.org/experts/meagan-burton/the-gas-industry-is-raising-your-rates-to-expand-their-polluting-system-the-ny-heat-act-will-end-that
BK Reader Article: https://www.bkreader.com/policy-government/national-grids-plan-to-use-public-money-for-fracking-operation-in-greenpoint-denied-6715906
Legislation Lightning Round: Dirty Water, E-bikes, and How Bills Get Passed
Today's episode contains more of the conversation between Eva and NYS Assembly Member Emily Gallagher, representative of Greenpoint and parts of Williamsburg. They discuss the Newtown Creek Superfund site, the Water Bill Fairness Act, and the Clean Rebate Program for electric bikes and scooters. Emily also gives us a quick civics 101 on how bills get passed in Albany.
Greener, Cleaner Construction: The All-Electric Building Act
NYS Assembly Member Emily Gallagher is the sponsor of the All-Electric Building Act, legislation that would require all new buildings to forego fossil fuel heating and cooking systems in favor of electric. NYC passed similar legislation in 2021, but this bill would apply to the entire state. Eva and Emily discuss how this can become reality, and why it's a safer, greener, and less expensive way to build.
AM Gallagher’s Assembly page
The All-Electric Buildings Act
The Build Public Renewables Act
Syracuse.com On Heat Pumps Paying for Themselves in New Construction Within Six Months
Carbon Switches Heat Pump Savings Calculator
Empowering our Power: Navigating Solar Energy in NYC
Solar One is leading the charge when it comes to proving equitable, affordable, renewable energy to all. In this month’s episode, Angelica Ramdhari, Director of Resilient Solar at Solar One, guides us through the state of play of Solar in New York City: from the contentious nature of greening brownstones, to the ABCD(BG-DR)s of resilient battery funding, to the basic of putting solar on our roofs and the grid.
In addition to outlining the many incentives and benefits of solar adoption, Angelica touches on the barriers and realities of workforce training, community solar, and the existing solar programs across the state. Listen to hear more about the importance of large-scale action, like transforming our city’s gas-guzzling peaker plants into energy storage facilities, and learn the most empowering step individual renters can have for their power.
Energy Efficient Buildings: How Local Law 97 Can Change NYC Forever
Pete Sikora knows that climate justice and housing justice are two sides of the same coin. That's why he sees Local Law 97 as a unique opportunity to cut the largest source emissions in New York State, while creating fair-wage jobs, and holding real estate owners accountable for their buildings' pollution. On this month's episode, Pete and Eva dive into the nitty-gritty of the world's most important city-level climate and jobs law - Local Law 97. They discuss the intriguing details of the law's passage and enforcement while recognizing that the type of momentum we need to draw for effective climate action requires movement building and people power. Listen to Climate Check's 14th episode, Energy Efficient Buildings: How Local Law 97 Can Change NYC Forever, with Pete Sikora, Climate & Inequality Campaigns Director at New York Communities for Change.
Climate, Jobs, and Justice
For our December episode, Xaver Kandler, Campaigns Coordinator for NY Renews, walks us through the Climate, Jobs, and Justice Package — a series of proposed bills for 2023 that builds on New York State's historic Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
These bills were developed by New York Renews, a broad coalition of hundreds of community groups and activists working with environmental and legal experts. The package would fund and implement the CLCPA, mitigate emissions, create thousands of permanent Green Energy jobs, and ensure justice to communities most hurt by our environmental degradation.
Learn about the Climate, Jobs, and Justice Legislative Package
Renewable Rikers and the Quest for Justice
In February of 2021, the NYC City Council passed laws that will reshape Rikers, the island off the coast of Queens that is a penal colony built on landfill. These bills are part of a campaign called Renewable Rikers, and was years in the making by a coalition that crossed interests and focus areas.
In this episode, Eva talks with Darren Mack, a co-founder of Freedom Agenda and a survivor of Rikers. They discuss the historic Renewable Rikers bills, Mack's foray in activism, and how environmentalism and decarceration are intertwined.
Find out more about Renewable Rikers and Freedom Agenda.
Additional resources:"A look inside the NYC Correction Budget"
The Inflation Reduction Act: “It Really is Historic”
In this episode, Eva talks with Liz Moran about the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and its many environmental and climate provisions. Liz is the Policy Advocate for New York at Earth Justice, the public interest environmental law firm. She gives us a broad picture of the law, walking us through much of the good the law will do in electrification, solar energy, fair-wage jobs. While the IRA is a huge win for the planet, we also hear what's lacking, like training for those green-collar jobs, and what's outright bad, provisions that will prolong the use of fossil fuels.
Find out more about Earth Justice at earthjustice.org and see their page on the IRA.
Additional resources: SUNY Ulster's Green Careers program; NYSERDA's list of Green Energy Hubs in New York State.
Work to Be Done, Joy to Be Made
This week get to know our host Eva Dean, interviewed by our Comms & Marketing Specialist Brynn Fuller-Becker.
Eva is a Brooklyn dance maker who specializes in site-specific and neo-contemporary work. In this episode, Dean talks about how 350 Brooklyn gave her a community to join forces with to change policy on a state and local level to counter climate change. Find out more at evadeandance.org
The Second Best Time to Plant a Tree
For this episode we bring in Rev. Ana Levy Lyons, a senior minister of First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn. She was first mentioned in our episode with Jan Thompson when she talked about the “Diorama of Extinct Homosapiens.” We get to talk about that exhibit, the sermon that inspired it, and when the best time to plant a tree is.
Sustainable Farming and Soil Health: Trust Your Mouth
On this episode of Climate Check, we get to chat with Chris Nickell, a community organizer and a member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s (NOFA) Soil Subcommittee. We learn about soil health, farming practices, and the cultural and societal impact of food in today's ecosystem. Take a listen to learn why you should trust your mouth!
Calming New York Harbor: Billion Oyster Project
"We don't think of the environment in NYC as being this natural wonder", states Pete Malinowski, the Executive Director of the Billion Oyster Project. In this episode we hear about the ways in which the city contains that wonder, and how Billion Oyster Project helps sustain that vision of a healthy, biodiverse New York Harbor with the power of education. Also in this episode: Pete shares his climate story, we chat about the role of education and equity in conservation, and learn just how oysters can help us with climate change.
Learn more about our guest and the organizations mentioned below:Billion Oyster Project NY Harbor School History of the Clean Water Act History of NY Harbor Take a look at what NYC could have looked like in 1609, courtesy of the Welikia Project
Towards a Plastic Free Future: Language, Legislation, and Lifestyle
For this episode, we're joined by Jan Thompson, one of 350Brooklyn's very own. Jan is a lead of 350Brooklyn’s Plastic Free team, a working group within the organization dedicated to changing our future to one without plastics. As she explains in this episode, her family's experience with cancer and refineries have combined with her dedication to the interconnection of all beings to create the advocate she is today. She also fills us in on alternative ways to take action, such as the exhibit she co-created titled the “Diorama of Extinct Homosapiens.” Take a listen to hear how language and legislation, and our local actions and lifestyle, can influence our ability to become plastic free.
Explore more from the episode belowLearn more about the legislation mentioned in this episode here. Read the sermon Jan mentions here. Join the 350BK power hour! Check out Beyond Plastics
Eco Art: Plastics in Motion
For our 5th episode, we talk with Lynn Neuman, the Artistic Director of Artichoke Dance, a member of 350 Brooklyn's Steering Committee, and a lead within the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice. Her choreography and educational work address environmental justice art-based collaborations and integrative community programs. Lynn is a national leading eco-artist and the first choreographer to receive a Marion International Fellowship for the Visual and Performing Arts. Listen in as Lynn and our host, Eva Dean, discuss the power of art to engage and work with communities towards Climate Justice.
Find out more:
Artichoke Dance: https://www.artichokedance.org/
Watch a performance here: https://www.artichokedance.org/liberatetheearth
Winter Warmer: A fireside chat with the creators of Climate Check
We're back from a winter break, and gearing up to bring you new episodes! In the meantime, here's a quick intro to the team and some insights from our work so far to hold you over until our next drop.
Featured in this episode:
"I won't wait for the apocalypse to bring you clementines" by Julie Rochlin. Originally published in Chautauqua, Issue 13.
Meet our team!
Michael Dondero, Editor
Brynn Fuller Becker, Communications & Marketing
Barbara Schroeder, Communications & Marketing
Alyssa Kropp, Producer
Learn more at www.climatecheck.fm
The Power of a Just Transportation System
In episode 4 of Climate Check, host Eva Dean chats with Vanessa Barrios about what it will take to make transportation carbon neutral. She emphasizes the need to vote and hold our representatives accountable to make subway and public transportation systems safe, affordable, and reliable as well as to pass congestion pricing.
Barrios, an urban planner with the Regional Planning Association, talks about car culture, the role of racism in transportation, and the impact of local climate policies on people who migrated to New York out of necessity. She speaks eloquently about the need for systemic change to achieve climate justice.
What is the Media Missing?
In episode 3 of Climate Check, host Eva Dean chats with Dr. Genevieve Gunther, founder and director of End Climate Silence, a volunteer organization dedicated to help the media cover the climate crisis with the urgency it deserves. Dr. Gunther is a literary and Shakespeare scholar who deep dives into language used in the media about the climate crisis. She also discusses how reading poetry can be useful in making connections between abstract ideas into concrete manifestations that is useful for the kind of systems thinking that is needed to counter the climate crisis. Spoiler alert, this episode ends with a poem by Andrew Marvell recited by Dr. Gunther.
Community, Compost, and Climate
In episode 2 of Climate Check, host Eva Dean chats with Ceci Pineda on how we can work with nature to combat climate change. Ceci Pineda is the Executive Director of BK ROT, an organization that offers a youth and bike powered food waste collection and composting service. In this episode you will hear how composting helps counter increased storm surges, carbon dioxide, as well as cooling our streets by nourishing plants and trees. Ceci shares how working with the land connects us with deep ancestral wisdom that nourishes social resilience and cohesion while facing the Climate Crisis.
Learn more about the resources mentioned in our episode:BK ROT 350brooklyn.org
About our guest: Ceci Pineda (they/them) finds hope in community practices that further land regeneration and that reciprocally heal our communities. Ceci is the executive director of BK ROT, which offers a youth-and-bike-powered food waste collection and composting service. Ceci has pursued community driven agroecology and land regeneration work in Puerto Rico and Mexico and co-facilitated a Climate Resilient Farming workshop at Soul Fire Farm in upstate New York. Through apprenticing at SoulFire Farm and volunteering at Hattie Carthan Herban Farm in Bedford-Stuyvesant and home-growing, they deepened their relationships with plant friends. Ceci is a co-coordinator of Interlocking Roots, a network of (QT*BIPOC) farmers and land workers. They have also worked with leaders of these organizations on initiatives to make them more inclusive of queer and trans* folks.
“Patience, Perseverance, & People, that’s what you need”
In our premiere episode of Climate Check, we chat with Sara Gronim, an early member of 350 Brooklyn and pivotal organizer of the Williams Pipeline battle. Eva and Sara discuss the growing movement against creating non-renewable energy infrastructure in New York City, the success of a community-based organizing effort assembled to resist this infrastructure, and how one panel discussion led to years of crafting for a viable future for all Brooklynites.
Learn more about the resources mentioned in our episode:350brooklyn.org Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) Climate and Community Investment Act Climate Wednesdays
Welcome to Climate Check: Stories and Solutions!
Welcome to Climate Check: Stories and Solutions!
Climate Check is a podcast from 350Brooklyn, a grassroots, community organization of ordinary people who come together to fight the fossil fuel industry, promote sustainable energy and green jobs, and work for climate justice. Join host, Eva Dean, a Brooklyn-based choreographer and climate activist, as she has conversations with activists and experts to break down the climate crisis and explore local strategies and solutions.
We hope the stories you hear will inspire you, wherever you live, to take action in your community.