As an old Chinese proverb says, “If we don’t change our direction, we are likely to wind up where we are headed.” The Lopez Island based Citizens Stop Climate Change is sponsoring a conference on Friday, April 25 from 4:30 to 9 p.m. at the Lopez Community Center to examine the environmental impacts, changes in sea level projections and citizen solutions for climate change.
The afternoon will begin with exhibits of alternative vehicles being used by Lopez residents including electric cars, trucks and bicycles and bio-diesel and hybrid cars. In addition, displays of solar hot water heating, solar panels for electricity, energy efficient light bulbs and composting will be featured.
A meal provided by Vortex Café will be served at 5:15 p.m. San Juan County Councilman Alan Lichter and Superintendent of Lopez Schools Bill Evans will present the details of the County and school district’s efforts to “go green” during the meal. Lichter will discuss the San Juan County Resolution for Climate Change. Evans will highlight the school district’s ongoing recycling efforts, installation of low-flow toilets, rainwater catchment retention pond for irrigation and the incorporation of environmental learning opportunities into the K-12 curriculum.
“The district is a very visible high energy user and has a big environmental impact on our community’s ecology,” says Superintendent Evans. “We need to continue to step up to the plate and be a model to our students and others for responsible environmental and ecological choices.”
Richard Gammon, PhD, of the University of Washington Department of Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences will give the keynote address at 6 p.m. Dr. Gammon’s expertise is in the biogeochemistry of trace gases and climate change. His research has been in the changes in carbon dioxide leading to global warming in the subarctic North Pacific.
A non-partisan report on political candidate positions and public policy influences will be given by Ed Dolan, PhD of Economics.
A panel discussion by Bill Watson of the San Juan Economic Development Council about green jobs of the future and alternative energy sources by Ralph Nansen of Energy from Space and John Motte of Rainshadow Solar will conclude the evening. Local citizen actions will also be profiled.
Registration is $20 for adults and $8 for youth. Tickets are available at the Lopez Community Center, Paper Scissors on the Rock, Blossoms Organic Grocery, Islehaven Books and Islandale Southender. For more information, visit www.lopezcenter.com. Childcare is available: call Rebecca Hellman at 468-3221.