The Climate Change Summit is holding events at the Landmark and beyond

Meiling Laurence, Staff Writer

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, mobilizing community members around common causes was a simpler task.  People gathered together at in-person events to lobby in support of issues they cared about, partook in discussions with like-minded individuals, educated one another on pertinent subjects, and bonded with other members of the community. It has become harder to host such events due to limitations placed on in-person interactions, causing many to look for new ways to hold such events. 

Luckily, there are still ways for Port Washington residents to partake in such events through the virtual climate change awareness events publicized on the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce’s Community Events page. 

The Port Washington Chamber of Commerce is an association of businesses, industries, organizations, and professionals whose aim is to support local businesses and enhance the Port Washington community at large. They have a page on their website called “Community Events,” which contains a list of upcoming events for interested residents to sign up.  Local event organizers are also able to submit their events for publication on the Community Events page.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these events take place either outdoors or virtually via Zoom. 

During March and April, events about climate change and the environment were numerous on the Community Events calendar.  The events are a part of a five-part event, Conversations from Main Street Climate Action Series, whose goal is “introducing community-centered climate solutions while also promoting individual action,” according to an event registration portal. 

“These conversations are critical for our town and communities in general, as the changing climate is a threatening issue.  In order for people to make educated decisions on their actions regarding the environment, it is important to consult experts, which these events have given them the opportunity to do,” said junior Kiera Darnell. 

The series has included a diverse array of climate-related events.  On March 4, Karenna Gore – former Vice President Al Gore’s daughter and founder/director of the Center for Earth Ethics – spoke with Dr. Hildur Palsdottir, a local climate activist and co-founder of ReWild Long Island in an event called “Reframing the Climate Crisis Conversation.”

“This event was a fantastic opportunity for Port Washington residents to get involved in the issue of climate change.  I am glad that the topic is receiving recognition from both national and local personalities, and I hope talks such as this one help our community take action and help the environment,” said junior Hannah Brooks. 

Dr. Palsdottir was also a part of other events in the series. On March 18, she moderated an event called “Regeneration Revolution,” which included a conversation about how composting can trap carbon emissions and revitalize the soil. On April 1, she moderated the event, “Break Free From Plastics,” about the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, a federal bill that aims to reduce plastic pollution by holding plastic producers accountable.  Though the event has passed, the event organizers shared a link to watch The Story of Plastic —a movie about the global plastic pollution crisis— on the event registration portal. To watch the movie for free, go to https://www.storyofplastic.org/watch/fc4814xnjfl3 and use the password “SOP_April_519785507272.” The link is valid until the end of April. 

There are still several upcoming virtual climate events for Port Washington residents to stay tuned for, including an event scheduled for Thursday, April 15 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. called “Green Legislation.”  The event will involve a conversation with Geovaira Hernandez and Ryan Madden (Coalition Organizers for NY Renews) led by moderator Melanie D’Arrigo (a community activist and former congressional candidate). The speakers will discuss in detail the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which was recently passed in New York and the Thrive Agenda that has been proposed in Congress.  To register for the event, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrduyrrj8oH9AFgWk4MWxjgl6s7IJHrfwQ.

  “This event could be a great way to educate people about the steps different governments are taking to address climate change.  I personally want to know more about climate change legislation since it’s such an important issue, so it’s an interesting event,” said junior Natalie Parker.

Also, later this month is a virtual event on Thursday, April  29 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. called “Envisioning 2030: Decarbonizing Our Community for a Sustainable Future,” which will contain a discussion between Midge Lorio (the Executive Director of Bedford2020) and Walter Meyer (an urban designer and climate activist) on how communities can move toward achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. To register for the event, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcqfuioqD8vGdzqWh2Ab0pLp2VxYk9iry7r.

“I think that it’s really great that such qualified people are giving their time to speak to our community about helping the environment and reducing greenhouse gas production because that is definitely very important. Especially now in a time when global warming is an increasingly prevalent and demanding issue, and I am glad our town is putting in effort to be a part of the conversation,” said junior Jacqueline Atchley about the event.

In addition to these virtual climate events, the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce’s events calendar presents a handful of outdoor in-person events, such as an Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony on Friday, Apr. 30 and a Growing Love Community Garden Spring Event on Sunday, May 2, as well as several non environment-related events. To learn more about these events, visit the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce’s Community Events page at https://www.pwcoc.org/events/calendarcatgid/Community-Events-3?m=2021-05-01.