Sep 26: Sustainability Salon on the Paris Climate Summit.

Warm enough for you?  This just in:  July 2015 (above) was  the  hottest  month  on  record.  The 44th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon & Sing will take a hard look at where we are on global climate change.  Local environmental filmmaker Mark Dixon, who represented Pittsburgh at the World Summit Climate & Territories meeting in Lyon in July and will be attending the Conference of the Parties (COP) international climate summit in Paris this December as a journalist and activist, will fill us in on the path to Paris, and his efforts to connect Pittsburgh to the process.  Mark is a familiar face from salons past when we featured his films YERT and The Power Of One Voice.  We'll also have insights from previous COP negotiations from Angela Wiley, a librarian, filmmaker, and youth delegate to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  She has worked with US, Puerto Rican, and Chinese youth at COP gatherings in South Africa, Poland, and Peru.  This year, Angela is facilitating decision making among a delegation of US youth who will attend negotiations in Paris and generate actions domestically.  
While thinking globally, we are also acting locally and regionally;  other local climate-change leaders will be here as well.  Susan Hoppe will talk about DivestPittsburgh (aimed at getting the City of Pittsburgh's investments out of fossil fuels).  Pittsburgh 350's Kate Fissell will map out the local and national plans leading up to the Paris summit as well as a broader divestment strategy (encouraging the defossilization of both finances and energy practices, for institutions and individuals), and Bob Mitchell will fill us in on Citizens Climate Lobby's work to convince legislators on both sides of the aisle to adopt a Carbon Fee & Dividend program.  (Michael Goodhart has been taken ill.)
While we're getting inspired, note that there are a great many other exciting climate events happening around Pittsburgh this fall.  Earlier this week, Mark will be giving a version of his Pittsburgh to Paris talk (if you have to come late to the salon, consider attending that and you'll be golden -- he'll be our first speaker of the afternoon.)  Right before the salon, Pittsburgh 350 will be firing folks up about Paris, a perfect prelude to our salon.  Next Tuesday the EPA will be in Pittsburgh taking public comment about controlling methane emissions from the oil & gas industry;  there will of course be a rally or two.  Coming up in October, Citizen's Climate Lobby is holding a two-day workshop to give citizens the tools to help give policymakers the political will to take action.  And there'll be more events through the fall, so keep an eye on MarensList and other sources.

The 45th Sustainability Salon will be on October 24th, and we’ll feature Solarize Allegheny and Solarize Squirrel Hill, encouraging and enabling local residents (and those not-so-local) to consider solar power, which is now quite competitive with fossil-based energy.  Check back here on MarensList for updates (as well as lots of other environmental events in and around Pittsburgh).  Please always RSVP if you might come to any of our events...  and read on for important information:  

Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We usually aim to start the program sometime around 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) 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.  

As always, 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 air quality (again), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental artenvironmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfood, and more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).

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.  

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.  

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. 

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