The King of Prussia Mall is the largest suburban mall in the Philadelphia region with 400 stores, and a total of 31,500 people employed at the mall and nearby office parks. The mall is visited by about 68,000 people daily with 5,600 bus riders using six routes to and from the KOP area. Unfortunately, there is currently no rapid transit to get commuters and shoppers to the mall. That is why SEPTA and the King of Prussia business community are planning to extend the  Norristown High Speed Line, which skirts the edge of the KOP currently, the rest of the way to King of Prussia.  

Currently, it can take commuters from Philadelphia as much as two hours to get to work in King of Prussia on the bus, and drivers take an average of 70 minutes – both while navigating the unpredictable beast known as the Schuylkill Expressway. A light rail connection would ease the burden on our transit system and reduce traffic on the already congested expressways near the mall.According to the proposal, the new rail line would take around 40 minutes for the same trip, and offer an appealing option for people who have the choice between driving or public transit.

Clean Air Council was there to express its support for the project. Not only does the Council believe it will ease the commutes of transit riders and mall employees, this project will have a ripple effect on the region’s traffic problem. The more reliable transit lines the Delaware Valley has, the more likely commuters will choose to leave the car behind. This will ultimately reduce emissions, and let us all breathe a little easier.

The Council wrote a letter voicing its support, and sent Kamali Alloway, Sustainable Transportation and Special Events Outreach Coordinator, to read the letter aloud at the public hearing. You can read the letter here, and watch a video of Alloway reading the letter below. This project is still in the first stage, and its projected completion date is a few years away. Clean Air Council will keep you updated on developments as they occur. 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[September 26, 2017 – PHILADELPHIA, PA] Companies from across the Greater Philadelphia Area are signing up and showing their support for bicycling as part of the Love to Ride Philadelphia Challenge. This regional campaign aims to encourage bicycling, foster friendly competition, and inform future decisions around bicycle infrastructure. The Challenge is free and open to all businesses, employees and residents of Philadelphia. The Challenge, in partnership with GoPhillyGo, Indego and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, runs from October 1st through October 31st, 2017.

The Love to Ride Philadelphia Challenge is about encouraging people to hop on a bike and rediscover the joys and benefits of riding. Workplaces compete by encouraging as many employees as possible to ride their bikes and ride more miles. Competitors who log at least a 10-minute ride are eligible for a chance to win prizes, including a new bike, a three-month Indego membership, a full bike tune-up from Performance Bicycle, gift certificates to museums and local restaurants, and more!

“The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is excited to be involved with the Clean Air Council in this city-wide challenge,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The AACR is a global organization focused on every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research and cancer prevention; thus our staff is looking forward to participating in any activity that promotes health and wellness right here in our own community.”

By supporting the Love to Ride Challenge, businesses will save money, boost productivity and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Whether employees are regular cyclists or brand new ones, join the Love to Ride Philadelphia Challenge today by visiting www.lovetoride.net/philly. Registration is open, and participation is free.

Clean Air Council is a member-supported, non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting everyone’s right to breathe clean air. The Council has over 8,000 members and works in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey on public education, community advocacy, and legal oversight and enforcement of environmental laws.

You may have heard that for the month of October, we, along with GoPhillyGo, Indego, and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, will be celebrating bicycling across Philadelphia with the Love to Ride (LTR) Challenge, a fun, friendly, and free competition to get more people cycling. Increasing bicycling for daily travel is one of the primary goals of our work towards improving air quality in the region. Two of the common cited barriers to cycling include safety and riding, as in knowing where to ride or having other people to ride with. We seek to address these issues by increasing cycling infrastructure, making bicycle trip-planning easy, and advocating for safe streets for all. Read on to learn about our expansive work on bicycle infrastructure, education and advocacy.

Multi-use Trails

We are a proud member of the Circuit Coalition – a group of non-profit organizations, municipalities, and government agencies that are working together to complete the region’s goal of 750 miles of connected multi-use trails. Currently, the Circuit Trails has over 300 miles complete, with about 100 more miles in progress. We are the lead on some of those in progress miles, including the Cobbs Creek Connector Trail and the Heinz Refuge bike/pedestrian connections.

Cobbs Creek Connector Trail

The Cobbs Creek Connector Trail will help complete the Cobbs Creek Trail, a key segment of the East Coast Greenway, and will be an important link between communities to recreational areas and historic sites, like John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (JHNWR), commercial hubs and employment centers. The Connector Trail will run approximately 3 miles from Cobbs Creek Trail’s current southern terminus to the JHNWR, spanning 4 main sections. Click here to learn more about the 4 sections of the Cobbs Creek Connector Trail.

Heinz Refuge Bike/Pedestrian Connections

We are partnering with JHNWR to build 3 additional pedestrian and bicycle friendly links in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties to JHNWR and businesses in the vicinity, including Philadelphia International Airport. Click here to learn more about these 3 connections.

Bike Racks

Secure bike parking is one of the deciding factors on whether a person bikes to work or not. We recognized this several years ago, and since then have been helping businesses with the on-street bike rack  permitting and installation process.

In 2016,  we took on a new (to us) bike rack endeavor – the art rack. We were funded by the Penn Treaty Special Services District and the American Street Empowerment Zone to create and install 15 art racks as well as 10 standard inverted-U bike rack and a bike corral in the Fishtown, Kensington, and Northern Liberties neighborhoods. Art racks not only provide secure bike parking to employees and customers of businesses in these neighborhoods, but they also provide an appealing aesthetic that is as much place making as it is bike parking. These have been created by a local metal worker and have been an exciting asset to add to these neighborhoods.

As an extension of our work with bike racks, the Council was awarded an Azavea Summer of Maps fellow, who helped us analyze where bike racks already exist, how much they are being used, where illegal bike parking is happening, and ultimately design a way to predict how many bike parking spaces per employee or customer are needed in different situations.

Do you know a business that is interested in implementing secure bike parking? Have them contact Will Fraser, Sustainable Transportation Outreach Coordinator, by calling 215-567-4004 ext. 123 or emailing wfraser@cleanair.org.

GoPhillyGo

GoPhillyGo.org is the region’s multimodal trip planner that we created to help make it easier to get around the Greater Philadelphia Area without a car. The website lets users plan biking, walking, public transit directions, or any combination of those modes of travel. GoPhillyGo also gives users the option to make their bike trip flatter, faster, or safer by using the customizable options. A very exciting new addition to the website is the Indego bike share functionality. Not only can you check individual station’s dock availability, but now you can plan a trip from start to end with seamless directions of which station to walk to, how to bike to the end station,you’re your final walking leg, just like taking transit!

As part of GoPhillyGo, we organize bike rides for cyclists of all abilities to environmental centers and nature destinations. Just recently we explored the new Bartram’s Mile, a multi-use trail that goes through Bartram’s Garden, by bike. Subscribe GoPhillyGo’s eNewsletter to stay-up-to-date on our bike rides.

Vision Zero

Finally, one of the most important ways we are working in Philadelphia as an advocate for bicycling is through the Vision Zero Alliance and the city’s subcommittees for Vision Zero. Vision Zero is the approach to traffic safety, first implemented in Sweden, based on the notion that no traffic death is acceptable. Cities that adopt Vision Zero policies have the goal of reducing traffic deaths to zero, and Philadelphia recently established their policy, with a goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2030. The Council works with the City and other advocates to help this goal be met. In addition to Vision Zero’s importance for the dignity of all road users, there is a clear environmental relationship: as the most vulnerable of roadways users, people will not walk or bike for transportation if it isn’t safe.

What’s Next

Until we reach our Vision Zero goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries, there will be crashes. While many major crashes are reported to police, there are many that are not. Soon we will be debuting a a web tool for reporting minor crashes and close calls. This data can help the City identify areas where improvements for road safety are needed. Remember to always report a crash that results in an injury serious enough to involve medical attention. But, for something minor, help us keep track of when and where those events are happening – stay tuned for Close Calls Philly.

 

The Energy Co-op is honored to partner with the Clean Air Council to participate in this year’s GreenFest Philly. Both organizations have a long history of advocating for a cleaner future and the Co-op to excited to celebrate the common values that unite and grow our community. As the Clean Air Council celebrates its 50th anniversary, The Co-op is proud to be a supporter to allow the Clean Air Council to continue its mission for another 50 years.

Based in Philadelphia, The Energy Co-op is the region’s only non-profit, member-owned energy supplier. Established in 1979, The Co-op found a better way to buy energy. The Co-op offers clean electricity, green natural gas, bio heat and standard heating oil. By being a cooperative member and simply paying your energy bill, you can be sure that you are making a lasting impact. Don’t just choose your energy company; own it. You can join the Philadelphia Energy Co-op through their web site at www.theenergy.coop or by calling them at 215-413-2122.  

 

MOM’s Organic Market is the proud official sponsor of Greenfest Philly’s Kids’ Corner for the fourth year in a row. The 2017 MOM’s Organic Market Kids’ Corner features eco-friendly crafts and activities, games, and more. Budding environmentalists can climb a 25′ rock wall, learn about the environment, engage in kid-friendly onsite activism, and build make-and-take crafts! Kids’ Corner is excited to feature the following activities for 2017:

  • Stick-lets Fort Building: Stick-lets brings kids, families, and adults together through play, imagination, and problem-solving. Kids’ can build their own Stick-lets fort at Greenfest.
  • Caricature Art: Local illustrator Jay Rollins will draw a cartoon portrait of your young climate crusader! 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Clean Air Council.
  • Seed Ball Making: State Farm’s Neighborhood of Good helps turn caring into doing. Kids can learn to make seed balls to plant at home or in local gardens.
  • Story Time: Join children’s book author Alexandra Lindsay Fields as she reads the story of “Emma,” a baby calf on a wild adventure in search of fun, friendship, and, above all, freedom.

For the grownups, MOM’s Organic Market is a family owned and operated organic grocer in Bryn Mawr, Cherry Hill, and (soon!) Center City, Philadelphia. MOM’s is dedicated to supporting organics and furthering their Purpose: to protect and restore the environment.

MOM’s Organic Market walks the talk and has been 100% renewable energy powered since 2005. They have rooftop solar panels on two of their Maryland stores and have a MOM’s-designated solar farm in Kingsville, MD. Through purchasing Wind Power Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in 2016, they offset the equivalent of 1,205 vehicles being driven for one year. They also train Environmental Restoration (E.R.) captains in each location, who serve as subject matter experts in preserving, protecting, and restoring natural systems within the store. “Being an environmentally friendly company not only helps the world to be a better place, it also helps our business’ bottom line by increasing employee morale and customer loyalty,” says Scott Nash, Founder & CEO of MOM’s.

MOM’s has always been on the forefront of green initiatives. They made history in 2010 by launching Plastic Surgery – banning the sale of plastic bottled water and replacing plastic used in stores with compostable items. They’re also big supporters of electric vehicles and want you to take advantage of free EV charging stations at their stores (MOM’s employees are even eligible for a subsidy towards the purchase of an electric or hybrid vehicle). Throughout the year, you can count on MOM’s to keep you informed on varied topics like natural and organic lawn care and proper tire inflation to keep your vehicle running as efficiently as possible. You might find yourself wondering why a grocery store cares so much about their footprint – MOM’s would tell you they believe climate change and environmental degradation are the biggest challenges facing humankind today. Through education, customers, employees, and other stakeholders can get involved and ultimately have a positive impact on their communities. For more information visit momsorganicmarket.com

Check out the solar array on top of MOM’s White Marsh, MD store!

 

On August 30, 1967, the Delaware Valley Citizens’ Council for Clean Air was founded. While our name has changed to Clean Air Council and the organization has grown considerably from its humble beginnings, the Council’s mission remains steadfast: “Protecting everyone’s right to breathe clean air.” Now more-than-ever is the time to become a Council member and contribute to a lasting legacy that protects our fundamental right to clean air and a healthy environment.

Donate today in honor of our 50 years of accomplishments. 

Clean Air Council invites you to join us as we take a look back at major victories and milestones. Each week, from now until our November 9th celebration, the Council will highlight its environmental accomplishments, as well as explore the role Executive Director and Chief Counsel Joseph Minott has taken in shaping the Council over the past 35 years. Stay tuned!

 

Philadelphia’s largest environmental festival powered by solar energy to feature free bike valet, over 100 sustainable exhibitors and organic food and drink offerings

(August 23, 2017) PHILADELPHIA, PAClean Air Council announced today that the organization’s 2017 Greenfest Philly presented by Toyota Hybrids will be held on Sunday, Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For the first time ever, the event will be held at Bainbridge Green on Bainbridge Street between Third and Fifth Streets. The festival will bring together more than 100 environmentally-friendly businesses and organizations in a festive outdoor marketplace. The popular day-long event attracts more than 15,000 socially conscious and engaged consumers. Greenfest will feature live music from popular local bands, MOM’s Organic Market Kids’ Corner with eco-friendly crafts and activities, a bike valet sponsored by Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Toyota Hybrids’ ride and drive experience, organic food and drinks, a beer garden, handmade goods, and innovative green businesses and products – with the whole event being powered by solar panels presented by The Energy Co-op. A celebration of local sustainability efforts, Greenfest Philly will provide ways to take action to protect clean air, support environmental advocacy, and much more.

“As we celebrate the Clean Air Council’s 50th anniversary, Greenfest Philly remains one of our most important and exciting events, as it brings together tens of thousands of socially conscious consumers  and businesses who support the fight to protect the environment at this most critical of times,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Esq., Executive Director. “Greenfest offers a brilliant opportunity for people throughout the region to exchange sustainable products, services, recipes and tips – all while enjoying a Sunday with their families in one of downtown Philadelphia’s most beautiful green spaces.”

 

New Festival Additions for 2017

The Clean Air Council’s Greenfest Philly event will feature a number of new and exciting activities for Philadelphians of all ages, all designed to help festival goers make more environmentally conscious choices and live more sustainable lifestyles. The new additions include:

Environmental Film Festival: Attendees will be treated to a free sneak peek of films from Philadelphia’s Environmental Film festival and expert commentary from the Film Festival’s founders.

Green Facts Everywhere You Look: Guests should also keep an eye out for Clean Air Council volunteers who will be strolling around with giant thought bubbles displaying compelling environmental facts and information.

Other Greenfest festivities this year include free yoga classes, succulent arrangement classes and vegan cooking demos. What’s more, there will be dining, shopping, samples and resources from an exciting group of environmentally conscious vendors and the event’s amazing sponsors. Guests can also test drive the all-new hydrogen fuel cell powered Toyota Mirai.

“Toyota and the Tri-State Toyota Dealers are very proud to be the Presenting Sponsor a 2nd year in a row for the 12th annual Greentfest Philly.  With Toyota’s ongoing commitment to the development of vehicles that help reduce carbon emissions and as a leader in the alternative fuel segment, we are thrilled to once again support the Clean Air Council and this year’s Greenfest,” said Paul Muller, President of the Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association.   “Toyota is committed to helping play a role in delivering cleaner air and environmental sustainability to our customers.  With a portfolio of eight Toyota hybrid models plus the addition of our fuel cell vehicle the Mirai, we are the leader in alternative mobility and have a large selection of both hybrid sedans and SUV models to fit our customers’ diversified needs. The newest edition to our hybrid line-up, the Prius Prime, will be on site for event goers to check out in this year’s Toyota Hybrid display. We also plan to bring a ride-and-drive and provide the ability for event goers to take a test drive in one of our hybrid models in addition to our FCV, the 2017 Mirai. The Mirai with a range of over 300 miles per tank and emissions that consist only of water vapor, Mirai is leading the world toward a more sustainable fuel cell vehicle. ”

 

This year’s Greenfest will be a zero-waste event and will prioritize accessibility for all attendees. Philadelphia Insurance Companies will provide valet bike parking for all cyclists to make it easy for attendees to get to Greenfest sustainably. Clean Air Council is dedicated to creating an event that gives the entire city of Philadelphia the chance to celebrate healthy living, interact with some of the city’s most environmentally friendly companies and support Clean Air Council’s ongoing mission to protect everyone’s right to breathe clean air.

For more information contact the Special Events Team at 215-567-4004 or events@cleanair.org.

About Clean Air Council’s Methane Education Program

Clean Air Council uses celebrated events like the Greenfest Philly to support and increase awareness and advocacy for a broad range of environmental and public health initiatives. Recently, Clean Air Council has focused a targeted campaign of research, public education and advocacy calling for state and federal regulations to curb methane pollution. Methane leaks can exacerbate respiratory diseases (such as asthma) and lead to lung and heart disease, even cancer. Despite public support for rules limiting current and future methane leaks, there are few laws on the books putting such safeguards in place.

About Clean Air Council

Clean Air Council is a member- supported, non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting everyone’s right to breathe clean air. For more information about Clean Air Council, visit www.cleanair.org.

On June, 1st 2017, President Donald Trump announced that he was pulling the United States, the second largest greenhouse gas polluter on earth after China, out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

This move came only a year and a half after, for the first time, nearly every nation on earth came to a unanimous agreement on the reality of a changing climate. In December 2015, after weeks of intense negotiation, countries committed to help solve the problem by signing the Paris accord. All nations on this planet (except Syria because it is currently in a civil war and Nicaragua because the deal didn’t go far enough) agreed to a clear target: keep the global average temperature from rising 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, as compared to rising temperatures during the 19th century before the industrial revolution.

The agreement recognized the prevailing climate scientific consensus: that after a 2 degree Celsius rise in temperature, we risk dramatic changes in weather patterns, food and water crises and an overall more hostile worldCurrently, if fossil fuel use stays the same and we do nothing to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, we could warm the planet up to 6 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century.

Trump’s main reason for leaving the accord was because he said it was “a bad deal,” for the US. The Paris accord, however, was not “a deal” in the way Trump uses the phrase. The agreement did not mandate any nation to abide by a specific negotiated obligation. The agreement states that the 2-degree goal would be achieved by cutting emissions “as soon as possible” based on a country’s specific reduction targets. The agreement doesn’t detail exactly how countries should reach its national targets. Rather, it provides a framework for gaining momentum on greenhouse gas reduction. This means that every government involved in the Paris talks had the option of deciding how much it would reduce its own emissions, based on what it thought it could deliver. So no one actually got a bad deal, because everyone defined their own terms.

At this point, 197 countries (which equal 98.9% of global emissions) already have submitted their national climate targets, which they want to pursue to bring down their emissions. The US—a country with just over 4 percent of the world’s population, but responsible for almost a third of the excess carbon dioxide that is heating the planet—agreed to lower emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. In context, this is a fairly moderate reduction as compared to other Global North nations. The European Union pledged, as a group of 28 countries, to cut emissions by 40%. The United State’s main tools to achieve its promised reduction were Obama era climate policies such as the Clean Power Plan and stricter fuel emissions standards. These policies are not only aimed at accelerating the current pace of electricity de-carbonization (reducing the emissions of electricity generated) and implementing green energy, but also reducing health-damaging ambient particle pollution (mainly due to fuel combustion from cars and power plants) and ozone.

First of all, let’s be clear on what a withdrawal means: President Trump announced his intention to withdraw via the accord’s formal process—which cannot begin until 3 years after the Agreement entered into force: meaning November 2019. Also, the Trump administration plans to follow the accord’s formal withdrawal mechanism, a long legal process that will take at least a year to carry out. The official exit of the US from the agreement will not come until around November 2020—coincidentally coinciding with the next presidential election. It should also be noted that a future administration could always rejoin.

This doesn’t mean that the Trump administration can’t do damage in the interim. President Trump’s decision to leave the agreement is the most significant in that it’s a clear signal of the direction in which he plans to take federal environmental and energy policy. He will keep trying to dismantle climate-friendly policies, including the Clean Power Plan, which sought to curtail emissions from power plants, and various regulations on methane leaks from oil and gas operations. Whether or not he’ll be successful is still far from assured, since it will take years to carry out a process of withdrawing and revising science-based regulations. This process will also possibly be affected by a slew of legal challenges by cities, states, and environmental groups.  Nevertheless, it is likely that coal, oil, and gas will have less regulatory oversight than current levels. A recent analysis suggests that if Trump’s plans go forward, emissions will still fall between 15 to 19 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 as opposed to the 26-28 percent the U.S. aspired to in the Paris talks due to market forces.

Additionally, experts see another impact of the Trump presidency and withdrawal from the accord: his favoring of fossil fuels over green energy will likely have repercussions on US businesses. U.S. businesses may miss out on the booming clean energy marketplace worldwide that the Paris Agreement is accelerating. For example, China is already investing more than double than the US in clean energy and its carbon emissions have stayed flat or declined for the past 3 years. India and Europe, which, have a booming solar and wind industry and are on an irreversible path toward green development. These are the future world leaders in green energy, not the United States. 

For many of us, this is all understandably very distressing. But there is a reason for optimism.

As President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt bury their heads deeper and deeper into the sand, local efforts to stop climate change are intensifying. States like California and New York—whose combined economies comprise the fourth largest economy on earth—have vowed to pursue their own power plant and vehicle emission reduction programs. Even red states like Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota or Texas get it: the largest percentage of these state’s power is from wind energy. And the private sector is already shifting toward cleaner and more cost-efficient energies regardless of the federal government’s political stances. And just last month, Philadelphia among more than 250 US cities pledged to run entirely on renewable sources such as wind and solar energy by 2035.

As such, green energy employment opportunities are growing rapidly. Jobs in the green energy sector are already growing 12 times faster than the overall US economy. Here in Pennsylvania, the number of clean-energy jobs is up 15% in just two years. Now more than 66,000 workers are employed in the renewable energy sector—about twice as many PA workers in mining, oil and gas combined. Nationally, there are 1.2 million green energy jobs in states that voted for Trump already (out of 2.6 million across the US). 

However, to keep this trend up, it is important that local lawmakers keep expanding and renewing green policies. Elected officials need to hear from their constituents. Just recently, over 11,000 comments were submitted to the PA Department of Environmental Protection in support of natural gas pollution standards. Join the chorus of voices who support green energy, cleaner air, and healthier communities. Call, send a letter, or send an email to your elected official and demand action on climate change.

The United States is experiencing a period of unusually warm temperatures. The year 2017 is off to the warmest start since the beginning of weather recordings, putting this year on a path to break all previous records. Though, 2016 did that too. And so did 2015. In fact, since 2014, every year has broken the record for being the warmest since these trackings began. Global warming, according to the vast majority of climate scientists, is causing this trend. Just recently a group of climate experts from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) published a study concluding that climate change has had a substantial effect on recent extreme weather events, such as the historic flooding in Texas almost exactly a year ago.

Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus based on hard evidence that changing climate is real, some Americans still don’t believe in climate change or have serious doubts about it. A recent study by Yale University asked people across the United States about their views on global warming. The study revealed that an estimated 30% of Americans still do not believe climate change is real and about half of the adults in the US are not even alarmed or concerned about the issue. This willful blindness seems hard to understand, especially since the number climate-related disasters—from heat waves to catastrophic floods—has more than tripled since 1980 affecting people all over the country. Why is it so hard for many in the U.S. to believe that climate change is real, when so many climate experts agree that the impact is likely devastating?

 Like any big problem, humans struggle to solve, climate change has a lot to do with psychology. Anthony Leiserowitz, head of Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication, stated in a recently-released video: “I like to say that climate change is the policy problem from hell. You almost couldn’t design a worse problem as a fit with our underlying psychology, or the ways our institutions make decisions.”

What does  Leiserowitz mean?

First, climate change feels and seems very far away in the future. It doesn’t really seem to pose an immediate threat to us. Our brain is mainly responsive—and quick to boot—when faced with clearly visible and immediate threats. As former hunters and gatherers, this ability to respond to the danger we can sense is upon us is a skill we honed for hundred millions of years—and it’s what enabled our species to survive. Reacting within milliseconds to avoid a car crash or to duck when something is speeding towards us is something we are instinctively good at. But knowing how to react now to something which will happen many years from now, is fairly new to us.

Furthermore, when it comes to climate change, even the physical elements of the changes we see over time are not like those we’re used to having to react to. Our brains are incredibly sensitive to quickly alternating elements such as light, temperature or sound. Climate is often confused with the weather but they two are separate things. Weather change is when a day goes from rain to the sun within minutes or hours, or when it’s hot at one point of the day and then a few hours later, you throw on a hoody to brace against a chill. Climate change is a very slow, almost imperceptibly so. It is a moving threat that evolves over multiple decades and thus is basically invisible to our brains.

Climate change may lay in the scientific sphere, but psychology can help explain why humans have trouble grasping climate change and why we aren’t taking more concrete steps to address the problem. Unfortunately, psychology doesn’t give us a clear roadmap for how to get society as a whole to grapple with this issue, sooner rather than later. What we do know is that climate change is a problem that can no longer be left to future generations. We now know fairly accurately how to predict the timing and location of dangers before they actually happen. So we need to keep working on confronting both challenges of climate and human psychology upon us. We must keep seeking ways to motivate a critical mass of people to realize that our generation will pay for climate change sooner or later and that it is smarter to act while we still have the widest range of alternatives instead of waiting until our options become increasingly limited, while the impact grows.

This is the first in a series of blogs about climate change and how it impacts our lives. We will explore the questions and issues related to climate change that aren’t normally discussed by politicians or the scientific community. To make sure you don’t miss any posts, sign up for the Council’s newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tell us what YOU want to see at Greenfest Philly 2017! Between edible bugs, yoga, vegan cooking demos, kids’ activities, a rock wall, and more – Greenfest features a plethora of fun and sustainable activities for the entire family. However, we’re still going to add even MORE! Since you are the most important person at Greenfest, we want to know what you would like to see at the festival. Share your ideas:

Greenfest Philly 2017: New Ideas

  • So that we can follow up if we have questions about your idea(s). Thank you!

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