Political, Environmental, Business leaders will urge action on Climate Change at Grandin Village event
What: Climate Action Rally in the Roanoke Valley
When: Wednesday, August 28, noon
Where: Amphitheater at Virginia Heights Baptist Church (next to Roanoke Natural Foods Coop at Grandin & Memorial, Roanoke)
Who: This event is sponsored by Environment Virginia, with additional sponsorship by Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition and Organizing for Action. See flyer below for confirmed speakers as of this date
Why: We need action now on climate change, both to reduce carbon pollution that is causing the earth’s temperature to rise and to mitigate the effects of climate change that we are already experiencing
Click the link below to access a flyer that can be printed or distributed by email
Pictured (L to R): Mark McClain, Dan Crawford, Sen. John Edwards, Diana Christopulos
Rupert Cutler, Freeda Cathcart
Cool Cities president Diana Christopulos and director Mark McClain were on hand when local Sierra Club Chair Dan Crawford presented the award (made from recycled glass). They were also joined by legendary environmental advocate and former Roanoke City Councilman Rupert Cutler, and political and environmental activist Freeda Cathcart, a Sierra Club-endorsed candidate for Virginia’s House of Delegates. Meeting with Sen. Edwards in his Roanoke office, the group enjoyed a genial visit with this veteran legislator, who has been a steadfast supporter of good environmental policy. The Sierra Club distributed the following announcement to media statewide:
July 3, 2013 (Richmond, VA):
Richmond, VA — For the first time, the Virginia Chapter Sierra Club voted to recognize members of the General Assembly with awards lauding their work in the Legislature. The Chapter’s Legislative Committee voted unanimously to honor Senator John Edwards with the Legislator of the Year Award to recognize his outstanding public service.
On receiving his award on July 3, Senator Edwards offered the following quote, “I am honored to receive this award from the Sierra Club, an organization I admire. Like the Sierra Club, I am interested in developing clean energy, improving the environment, protecting our outdoors and preserving our natural heritage.”
The Senator from Roanoke is receiving the Legislator of the Year Award in recognition of his outstanding record of public service and commitment to his constituents and welfare of our Commonwealth. In addition to the leadership he has provided over the years on the Commerce and Labor Committee, in 2013 Senator Edwards patroned a bill that allows customers of Dominion Virginia Power to install solar projects as large as 1 megawatt using a power purchase agreement (PPA) financed by private companies. The law’s significance cannot be understated, as the PPA model has been the driver for most solar projects around the country in recent years, making solar energy available with low risk and minimal upfront cost.
“Senator John Edwards has been an unfailing friend to the environment and to the citizens of Southwest Virginia. His intelligence, combined with curiosity and courage, make him a real champion for the entire state,” said Dr. Diana Christopulos, a dedicated Sierra Club member.
Hampton Roads, already judged to be the second most at-risk area in the US for rising seas, now faces some of the first consequences: dramatically increased insurance costs for homeowners, if they can get insurance.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science recently published a study about the effects of recurrent flooding from sea level rise. Commissioned by the General Assembly, the study confirmed that Virginia’s coastal communities should plan for water levels to increase by at least a foot and a half in our lifetime.
Hampton Roads localities are scrambling to address the issue, which currently leaves local governments on the hook for flooding of coastal sprawl development.
A New York Times report in late 2012 showed that inaction on climate change would produce permanent flooding in 39% of Newport News, 99% of Virginia Beach, and 100% of Norfolk.
A bus has been chartered to transport local residents to the February 17 Climate Rally (details in previous post, below). Cost for the round trip is only $37.92. CLICK HERE to be transported to the signup page for bus reservations.
If you have been thinking about going to the Climate Rally (Feb. 17, Washington DC) but reluctant to drive up there on your own, you’re in luck! The Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club has two buses going from Charlottesville, which will save you half the driving and nearly all the aggravation, The first bus is already filled, but there are seats available on bus #2. Cost is only $26 for adults, $10 for students. For all the details, review the fact sheet:
Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition is a supporting partner of what we expect will be the biggest rally in history for action on climate change. We hope that many of our affiliate members will plan to be there. Here are details:
WHAT – Supporters for action on climate change will gather in our nations capital. There will be a rally with high profile speakers and entertainment, followed by a march to the White House and returning to the National Mall for more entertainment and camaraderie.
WHERE – The rally will be staged near the Washington Monument at Constitution Ave. & 15 St.
WHEN – Sunday, February 17 (Presidents Day week end) – rally starts at 12:00 noon – plan to be there by 11:30 or earlier to get a good spot.
WHO – Dozens of organizations are partners in this event. For a list of all of them, see
forwardonclimate.org (click the PARTNERS menu item)
RSVP - Visit the rally web site forwardonclimate.org and fill out a brief form to register. Volunteers are needed, and you can indicate that from the same page. Look for other details and news on the Cool Cities Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/47868112541/
Driving - It is STRONGLY recommended that you park your car in one of the outlying Metro stations (Vienna is right on I-66). Take the metro to Metro Center station and walk a few blocks to the rally.
Public Transportation - Amtrak (from Lynchburg), Megabus (from Christiansburg), Greyhound (from Roanoke) and United Airlines have direct service to Washington. Unless you fly, you should plan to come up the day before. The Rally web site forwardonclimate.org has information on finding lodging in Washington.
Charter Bus – at this time, there are no plans for a charter bus from this area, but the event web site will post any that emerge.
Lea Lupkin, who served on the original Cool Cities board when she was a student at Roanoke College, has taken yet another exciting job in the world of sustainability. She is now Sustainability Coordinator at Greener U, a unique energy and sustainability services company dedicated to helping colleges and universities reduce energy costs while lowering carbon emissions and becoming climate leaders. Through innovative and large-scale energy efficiency, renewable energy, cogeneration, behavior change and climate projects, the company brings a highly tailored approach to the higher education community. Lea reports that she work on “the development and implementation of Sustainability Services at this growing company which works with higher education institutions to reduce their carbon footprint and create good environmental stewards. My duties include:
- Conduct research on best practices in campus sustainability, write reports or present findings, and manage internal content management system. Integrate findings into our portfolio of service offerings. As the types and amount of content handled grows, drive improvements to tools and processes.
- Develop, customize and edit sustainability and energy efficiency programs for schools.
- Track and analyze key performance metrics.
- Prepare polished client-facing deliverables.
- Ensure published information is correct, communicated effectively, and targeted appropriately.
- Support the CEO and business development team as needed for marketing, hiring, communication, programming, and more.
- Collaborate with technical and non-technical team members to develop and test innovation ideas.
- Ensure the company is acting on its values, making decisions internally that minimize environmental impact, and optimizing the office space for employee productivity and enjoyment.