ACT Locally, or SINK Globally: Clark to host climate conference

A gathering at Clark University on October 24 Recognizes the Key Role of Central Massachusetts in Addressing Climate Change

The Massachusetts Climate Action Network, along with the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise and the George Perkins Marsh Institute of Clark University, announce that the Ninth Annual Climate Action Conference will be held at Clark from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Sunday, Oct. 24, in Tilton Hall, Higgins University Center, 950 Main St..

* Click here to register for the conference. *

The MCAN conference is widely respected for both quality content and inspiration. The conference, which attracts 300 people or more each year, is being held for the first time in Worcester, in part to recognize progress being made throughout Central Massachusetts on climate change issues related to local action, sustainable design, policy, and business. The City of Worcester was recently honored by being named one of Massachusetts’ 35 “Green Communities,” recognizing the city’s progress on energy efficiency and renewable power.

Holding this event in the center of Massachusetts reinforces that climate change is not a Boston problem, not a Berkshires problem, not a coastal problem and not a city problem, but a crisis that must be addressed across the Commonwealth, as well as across the country and the world, organizers say.

The conference’s theme—ACT Locally, or SINK Globally—reflects a focus on making progress in Massachusetts to combat climate change, both in terms of actual greenhouse gas reductions, and as a way for ordinary citizens to lead where political leaders have failed thus far.

The conference will feature a variety of panels and workshops including: Understanding Green Communities Program, Local Carbon Reduction Strategies, Funding for Grassroots Groups, Effective Home Audits, Reaching Intergenerational Audiences, New Home Heating Options, Creating and Maintaining Local Food Sources, Green Jobs, Transportation Strategies for non-urban Towns, The Carbon Impact of Trash, and Climate Policy. 

This year’s conference speakers include Adi Nochur, a leading climate activist from Massachusetts who works in Washington, D.C., with the group 1Sky, as well as Halina Brown, a Clark University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy who has studied sustainable consumption in a consumer society. Professor Brown will speak about ways and means to transition to a more sustainable society. 

Jennie C. Stephens, assistant professor of Environmental Science and Policy at Clark's Department of International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE) will lead a workshop titled "Universities as change agents"  that addressed questions such as:  What is the role of the university in society's response to climate change?  How can universities partner with the local community to help create change? In what ways can universities be effective models for sustainability? 

Four students from Stephens' class "The Sustainable University" worked during the semester to help with the MCAN organization and outreach of this conference --  a required and integral part of the team project component of the course, which integrates experiential learning and community engaged action.  The students are: Eliza Lawrence; Tung Huynh; Melissa Skubel; and Dania Idriss. 

The conference will feature a silent auction and raffle. In addition to climate activists and New England residents concerned about climate change, the conference welcomes students, faculty, and staff of area universities, local officials, and business leaders.  The student rate is $20, MCAN member rate is $50, and non-member rate is $60. Donations to the auction are encouraged.

The Massachusetts Climate Action Network, MCAN, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which supports the work of local climate activists across Massachusetts.  There are over 40 local MCAN chapters working in 80 communities throughout Massachusetts doing activities to cut carbon and create a more sustainable lifestyle to address the threat of climate change.

Links for More Information:

Mass Climate Action Network

Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise

 George Perkins Marsh Institute

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