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The big issues: Northeast Ohio's sustainability challenges for 2016 and beyond

David Beach  |  01/27/16 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Transform

If we want to improve our personal and environmental health in 2016 – and make Northeast Ohio a more sustainable place – it’s important to focus on the big, systemic issues that hold our region back. Here are GCBL’s nominations for these key challenges. Let’s all make a New Year’s resolution to address them.

Solar on every roof<br />The transition to clean energy is inevitable. We need to move faster in Ohio. (Photo of solar installation in Cleveland Heights courtesy of AAT Solar)Taking care of existing assets<br />There have been many good recommendations for promoting more sustainable patterns of development in Northeast Ohio, such as the recent scenario-based planning work of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium. Less cars, more fun<br />It's time to plan and build a multi-modal transportation system that works for all and creates great places.  From fields to lake<br />To protect Lake Erie, we will need a more sustainable agricultural system, not just greater investments in urban sewer infrastructure.

The eco-bucket list: 10 ecological experiences everyone should have in Northeast Ohio

David Beach  |  08/10/15 @ 1:00pm

Want to become more aware of your surroundings and more connected to nature in Northeast Ohio? Want to develop a deeper appreciation for the amazing diversity of life all around you? Then attempt these 10 items on my eco-bucket list. It might make you a better person!

Solar orientation<br />Get oriented where you live by watching the sun. See the geology<br />Euclid Creek cutting through layers of bedrock. Experience the natural communities<br />One of the natural communities of the region is a cool, hemlock and beech forest, seen here in Holden Arboretum. Identify some plants<br />It's important to really look at the structure of plants in order to know them. Go birding<br />World-class spring birding on the boardwalk at Magee Marsh. Sample a stream<br />Stream sampling on a field trip led by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.Swim in Lake Erie<br />The beach at Mentor Headlands State Park.Visit an organic farm<br />Digging potatoes on a farm in the Cuyahoga Valley. Tour a wastewater treatment plant<br />The Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant along the Cleveland lakefront.Ride the Towpath Trail<br />The Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the path through the diverse landscapes of Northeast Ohio.
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The rational business decision to destabilize the Earth's climate

David Beach  |  04/24/15 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Clean energy, Climate

If we are to have any hope of stabilizing the Earth’s climate so our children will have a tolerable future, most fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground unburned. Fossil fuel companies, however, have other plans.

Stranded assets?<br />What will happen if most of the oil, gas, and coal has to remain in the ground? (Photo from 350.org)

Sandra Steingraber's call to de-normalize fossil fuels

David Beach  |  04/22/15 @ 5:00pm  |  Posted in Clean energy, Climate

After helping to win a ban on fracking for natural gas in New York state, activist and writer Sandra Steingraber wants to “de-normalize” our dependence on fossil fuels

Fracking drill site in Carroll County, Ohio<br />What is normal in Ohio has been banned in New York.

Geographies of belief: Mapping what Ohioans say about global warming

David Beach  |  04/08/15 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Clean energy, Climate

Most Ohioans believe that global warming is happening, and they support programs to develop renewable energy sources and regulate carbon emissions. But they are less sure that global warming is caused by human activities or that it’s something to worry about in the near future.

Climate of opinion in Ohio counties<br />Screenshot of the interactive Yale Climate Opinion Map (environment.yale.edu/poe/v2014/), showing a range of opinions on global warming in Ohio counties.

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