In this week's Newsletter: The midterms' effect on climate policy, permaculture in the big city, S1's Here Comes Solar program in the news and much more!
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How the Midterm Results Will Affect Environmental Policy


Tuesday wasn't a slam dunk for environmental policy- the carbon tax was defeated in Washington State, for example- but overall, the future looks quite a bit brighter. The Democratic House, which will include the first Native American Congresswoman, will be able to provide a lot more oversight in cases like the dismantling of environmental protections under the Clean Air and Water Acts, and illegal subsidies to the coal and oil industries from the Department of Energy. Policies that are being sneaked in under the radar will be subject to more scrutiny, which will hopefully lead to a more robust public debate about how best to protect our planet.

New committee chairmanships will also highlight anti-environmental policies making their way through Congress, and while sweeping environmental legislation is unlikely to become law, the voices of members who believe in climate action will be louder and more effective than they have been in years.

You can read more about this on the Earthjustice website here.

Permaculture: Merging Sustainable Production with Sustainable Consumption

"Permaculture" is what Lewis Carroll called a portmanteau, a word that's made up of two words smooshed together. In this case, the words are "permanent" and "agriculture", and what it describes is a way of farming that harnesses natural processes and symbiotic relationships in nature to achieve agricultural aims like weed and plant control, watering and soil conditioning.

The word was coined 40 years ago by two environmentalists who questioned the efficacy and long term survival of the commercial monoculture farming system we've been relying on since the early 1970s. Because they are by definition small-scale and local, permaculture systems put limits on consumption as well as production, making out of season fruits and single crop farming unprofitable and counterproductive.

And while most people think of permaculture as something that's suitable for rural communities and farms, there's plenty of permaculture happening right here in the Five Boroughs- including Stuyvesant Cove Park. Park Manager Emily Curtis-Murphy has a background in organic and permaculture farming, so please check this space in the spring for some new permaculture and foraging opportunities in the Park!

You can read more about permaculture on the NYLCV website here.
 

S1 in the News: Solar Power and Social Justice at the Brooklyn Army Terminal

It should come as no surprise that, when it comes to energy, not all communities are created equal. Low income families, particularly those who are trying to survive on less than $32,000 per year, not only face extra environmental burdens from traffic and power plant exhaust, they have also been largely excluded from the kinds of cooperatively owned utilities that are common in rural communities.

But now, on the roof of the Brooklyn Army Terminal–a decommissioned army building now owned and being redeveloped by the NYC Economic Development Corporation as a local business hub–a partnership among NYCEDC, the nonprofit Solar One, the cooperative financing agency Co-op Power, and the local environmental advocacy group UPROSE is creating an 80,000-square-foot solar garden. The project is being installed by local solar installation company 770 Electric Corp with support from development partner Resonant Energy. Once completed, it will be one of the first examples of a cooperatively owned urban power supply, and potentially a model for other city coalitions to follow when looking for mutually beneficial ways to re-purpose public rooftops as communal solar energy sources.

“We’re living in a time when we have to make nontraditional partnerships and doing really big things, because climate change and environmental concerns are a huge issue and they’re demanding that we step up,” says Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE and co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance. “For a long time in the climate justice movement, we’ve been talking about what community-owned energy looks like, and how we engage government agencies and other partners in operationalizing something like this.”

Solar One would like to acknowledge its supporters who are helping to advance solar in underserved communities in NYC: The JPB Foundation, the 11th Hour Project of the Schmidt Family Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Scherman Foundation Rosin Fund, Trinity Church and NYSERDA.

We are so proud to be part of this important environmental justice project, and so grateful to Fast Company for writing about it. You can read the article in its entirety here. And if you still haven't had enough news about Solar One's community solar doings? Here's an article from Next City about solar development on another kind of affordable housing- HDFC co-ops, featuring Here Comes Solar's Anika Wistar-Jones! 

Interested in solar for your community or building? Visit our community solar team at Here Comes Solar, and find out whether your building might be a good fit for solar power!

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Upcoming Events at Solar One

There are currently no events scheduled at Solar 1. Please check back soon!

Upcoming Events

11/10
Gowanus Canal Shoreline Art Walk
Smith & 9th Street Subway Entrance, Brooklyn, 11am-1pm, $25 to participate
Tour will be canceled if raining at 9am.

East Village Street Tree Care & Bulb Planting
Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish, 602 East Ninth Street bet Aves B & C, Manhattan, 12-3pm, free

Downtown Art Flea Market
Downtown Art, 70 East Fourth Street bet 2nd Ave & Bowery, Manhattan, 12-5pm, free

11/11
Pumpkin Smash 2018
Corlears Hook Park, 397 FDR Drive bet Jackson & Grand Sts, Manhattan, 10am-1pm, free

11/12-16
Certified PH Designer & Consultant Training
Building Energy Exchange, 31 Chambers Street, Suite 609, bet Elk & Centre Sts, Manhattan, 9am-5pm, $1,750+

11/13
Conquering the Energy Code for Architects & Engineers: Residential
The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGUardia Place bet Bleecker & W. 3rd Sts, Manhattan, 9am-5pm, $75 general admission

11/14
Environmental Workshops
Leo Engineering Building, Fischback Room, 4th Fl, Manhattan College, 3825 Corlear Avenue at 238th St, Bronx, 6-8pm, free

An Ecological History of Bushwick Inlet: A Talk With Eric Sanderson
A/D/O, 25 Norman Avenue bet Banker St & Clifford Pl, Brooklyn, 7-9pm, free
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