Jul 31 & Aug 1: EPA hearing on climate pollution

The EPA is taking public comment on its proposed rules to control carbon pollution from power plants in order to mitigate climate change.  They will accept written comments and oral comment at four locations (Atlanta, Denver, Washington, and Pittsburgh) -- but all the speaking slots have been filled, despite expanding each hearing to two days.  If you're not already registered to speak, you can still attend as long as space permits, and you can also submit written comments online or by mail.

Jul 31: Peoples Rally for Climate Action

You are invited to join hundreds of citizens from around the tri-state area at a rally and march outside the public hearing on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to reduce climate change emissions.  We need to send a strong message to the EPA and Big Coal that there is overwhelming public support for national climate action.
11:00 am to Noon at the August Wilson Center (980 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh 15222)
Big Coal and their climate-denying allies are already trying to weaken the EPA’s historic climate protection efforts. 
We need a massive turnout for this rally to demonstrate tremendous public support for EPA’s historic effort to reduce our nation's greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. 

For more information contact Rachel Martin at rachel.martin@sierraclub.org.

Jul 26: Green Infrastructure Tour

Green Infrastructure Tour Series with Clean Rivers Campaign and Venture Outdoors
Come check out green infrastructure in East Liberty and Larimer! Both neighborhoods are investing in green solutions to help mitigate flooding, deal with vacant lots, beautify the community and address issues of water quality.  We are pleased to partner with Venture Outdoors for an easy and fun walking tour of some great installations including rain gardens, permeable pavement, community gardens and more!  You'll also learn about plans for future green development in these neighborhoods and along our walking route.  

This is the fourth in a series of walking tours that will show what green solutions are doing for different communities throughout the Pittsburgh region. Each tour will happen on the last Saturday of the month throughout the summer. 

9:00-11:30am, Meet outside the Environment and Energy Community Outreach (EECO) Center - 200 Larimer Avenue, 15206 - Street Parking Available.  For questions or to register for this tour or the series, email Sarah by clicking here!

Jul 26: Fossil-free Energy Fair

The theme of the fair is “Energizing for a Sustainable Future,” and it will feature an exclusive video address by Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, a website dedicated to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The keynote speaker is Robert Hinds, professor emeritus from SRU.  He will talk about the move to renewable energy and its importance.

John Golden from the SEA will speak on the economic benefits of sustainable energy enterprises.

Music with T. Mitchell Bell and Sam Gianetti

Children's activities will be provided by the Jennings Environmental Education Center

Entertainment will include films, live music and a clown

Free hot dogs, cooked with solar generated power, will be featured

Exhibitors, such as solar installers, energy choice suppliers, electric cars and others will be on hand to talk about and display their products and services

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Slippery Rock University's Advanced Technology & Science Hall (ATS).  Free and open to the public.  You can RSVP on the Facebook event page.

Jul 24: Green Drinks on Solar Roadways

This month's Green Drinks will feature YERT (Your Environmental Road Trip) filmmaker Mark Dixon joining us to talk about his new feature length documentary project about SOLAR ROADWAYS.  Check out their website (http://www.solarroadwaysfilm.com/)  for more details and a preview of the topic.
5:30-8 at the Blue Line Grille (1014 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219).  Complimentary appetizers and drink specials provided by Blue Line Grill (voted Best New Bar in 2014 by Pittsburgh Magazine).   Thanks to BLUE LINE GRILL and UPTOWN, the new Green Drinks hosts! 

Jul 23: Talk on climate model predictions

The Science & Engineering Ambassadors Program presents

          Climate Warming Hiatus?  
A Discussion About What the Climate Models Tell Us

Recent news articles have reported on a "warming hiatus," claiming that there has been little or no warming of the planet for the past 15 years, contradicting predictions of the climate models. Researcher Neil Donahue examines the details of climate models, how they construct predictions about global warming, and whether the warming hiatus is real or imagined. The link between climate and our energy choices becomes clear as each piece of the climate model is examined for its effects on global temperature trends. 
This event's featured speaker is Science & Engineering Ambassador Neil Donahue from the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Engineering & Public Policy, and Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. Neil is also the director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research. 

This is the first in a three-part series called “Climate Change Here and Now.”  Upcoming events will feature Daniel Tkacik and Ellis Robinson, both of whom worked in Neil's lab. They will share their research findings on the drivers of global climate change. 

6 p.m. at Bar Marco's Union Hall (2216 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222).  Complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be provided.  The event is free, but you need to RSVP here.  For more information, contact program director Sam Taylor

The Science & Engineering Ambassadors program—an activity of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). They connect opinion leaders and the public with local experts, building relationships at the community level on the topic of energy.

The NAS and NAE are private, non-profit societies of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the public good.

Jul 19: Sustainability Salon & Sing

The 30th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon & Sing will take place on Saturday, July 19th.  Rather than our usual series of talks and discussion on a particular topic (you can find links to past events and speakers below), this time we'll let the conversation roll on its own, enjoying time together inside and out during this beautiful season!  As long as it's not pouring rain, we'll fire up a grill (or two, to separate vegan options) for the potluck, as well as the usual anything-goes (more on that below).  A couple of topics that will probably come up for discussion are the upcoming EPA hearings on proposed regulations for carbon emissions from power plants, and the Marcellus methane compressor station slated to go in next door to our region's largest CSA farm. Don Kretschman (who has spoken at more than one Food salon over the last few years) won't be able to be here, but I'd guess that quite a few of his members will.  Others can learn more on Don & Becky's blog, and advocate as well!

Please mark your calendar for the 31st Sustainability Salon on August 16th, when we'll hear from several environmental artists who are making a difference, and September 14th, when we'll host a house concert with the amazing Sparky & Rhonda Rucker.  The 32nd salon (finally we'll be rid of the date/number ambiguity) will very likely be on September 6th; check back on MarensList to confirm as it gets closer.  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come to any of these...  and read on for important information:   And mark your calendar:  the 31st Sustainability Salon will be on August 16th.  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come to either...  and read on for important information:  

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other interesting things around our place.  That'll mainly be happening between 2 & 4 p.m. (and perhaps after the talks, since evenings brighten as we move toward the summer solstice).  Plant sales are still going on, but I probably won't be set up for them during the salon proper -- too much going on.  But we can get together at other times... 

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3pm.  Please email me with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your EventBrite invitation (if you're not already on my list, please email me to be added!).  Please RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and these events have been so successful that we need to begin limiting attendance.  So RSVP early if you can, to ensure your participation!  The free virtual "tickets" on Eventbrite may run out (you don't need to print any tickets, by the way, just be on the list).  Also, weather and such can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change -- and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em on Friday or Saturday.  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!

Bring food and/or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events) for updates.  And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.  

Note once again that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before.  So if you don't have it yet, please be patient! One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  (All the extraneous requests for the address don't help;  I have lots of other stuff I send out with it, but don't like to let them go unanswered so it adds hours to my prep time.  If you RSVP properly (see above), you should get the info by the morning of the salon!)
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included environmental education (Part I and Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Living DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfood, and more food.

Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages of any kind:  wine, beer, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever (I've got the kombucha covered, though it's always fun to compare).  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening, as well. 

Jul 15: Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction

Passenger PIgeonTo mark the 100th anniversary as a teachable moment, the story of the Passenger Pigeon will be retold to the public. Joel Greenburg, author of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction will discuss the causes of the birds extinction, and what lessons can be learn from their passing.

7 p.m. at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, 614 Dorseyville Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15238 (in Fox Chapel).  Free and open to the public.  More information here.

Jul 3: Green (Bike) Lane Project -- Peduto press conference

Mayor Peduto's Protected Bike Lanes Announcement
Over the past decade Pittsburgh's bike infrastructure has greatly improved -- with miles of bike lanes and shared lane markings across the city. Now, after having been accepted into the prestigious Green Lane Project 2.0 program, Pittsburgh will get its first protected bike lanes, physically separated from cars.
Mayor Peduto will hold a press conference to release the details of the city's plan for the new protected bike lanes. Let's show the mayor that Pittsburgh supports his work to bring new ways of improving rider safety to our our streets. Join Bike Pittsburgh at the mayor's press conference to celebrate this historic development.
Come and help make sure that Mayor Peduto knows that you support his efforts to make Pittsburgh's streets safe for all road users.
11a.m. - 12p.m. at the Schenley Park Visitor's Center (101 Panther Hollow Rd, 15213)