to the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative

309 North Aurora Street | Ithaca, NY 14850 | info@tccpi.org

Building Resilient Communities in a Chaotic World

Heat waves, natural disasters, rising sea levels. We know that climate change is affecting us physically, but did you know it is also hurting our mental and emotional health? Whether you’ve experienced a climate-related disaster first-hand or been overwhelmed by frightening stories in the news, you might have felt “eco-anxiety” before. Dr. Kathryn Caldwell, an Ithaca College psychology professor and EcoVillage resident, has advice for weathering the storm of climate change.

We already know that we need to reduce global carbon emissions to mitigate our impact on the planet. But climate change is already here, and we also need to prepare for the inevitable reality of life in our warmer world. Climate resilience is our ability to respond constructively to climate change both individually and as a society. Climate-resilient communities can adapt by adopting sustainable lifestyles which help us transition to a low-carbon future while at the same time increasing our capacity to withstand climate change.

To Dr. Caldwell, building climate resilience requires a holistic approach. Building a sustainable food and energy system is important, but so is strengthening community connections, promoting the arts, and striving for social and economic justice. Healthy, close-knit communities can better cope with stress and support each other through crises. Focusing on solutions and promoting positive imagery, especially in the news, can help bolster our sense of self-efficacy - that is, our belief in our ability to make a difference. Furthermore, practicing mindfulness and self-care is essential to avoiding burnout.

Today, we find ourselves facing a unique challenge: a global climate crisis coupled with an equally global pandemic. Many have observed the similarities between climate change and the COVID-19 crises. Both require a commitment to make lifestyle changes for the common good, for example. Dr. Caldwell hopes that the pandemic will teach us a few lessons about how to respond to the climate crisis. After all, the pandemic has already forced us to simplify our lives and reconsider what we really need. Faced with national shortages, some people have rediscovered a connection to the environment around them, even growing their own food. This uncertain time could be offering us an opportunity to reimagine a more sustainable future.

Confronted by the vast problem of climate change, we might become paralyzed by fear. Dr. Caldwell believes the secret to overcoming hopelessness is to take action in our communities: coming together to work towards a common goal gives us meaning and a sense of purpose.

- Isabella Eclipse, Thrive@EVI Blog


Be sure to visit the website for TCCPI's latest project, the Ithaca 2030 District, an interdisciplinary public-private collaboration working to create a groundbreaking high-performance building district in Downtown Ithaca.

News and Events

Ithaca 2039 District Quarterly Meeting on Dec. 16th

The Ithaca 2030 District will be holding its next quarterly meeting on Wednesday, December 16 from 4:30 to 6 pm. Our featured speaker will be John Ciovacco, the president of Aztech Geothermal, LLC. John will discuss geothermal district systems, one of the newest trends in the electrification of commercial building.

In this program we'll discuss how geothermal systems can support large-scale building electrification. We'll highlight the opportunities for adopting this clean energy technology solution as well as the barriers. Join in the very active dialogue across a wide range of stakeholders on the viability and future of district geothermal systems!

John chairs the educational sessions at NY-GEO's annual heat pump conference, which is widely regarded as the largest and most comprehensive in the nation. He has been a registered party to seven public utility rate cases representing NY-GEO as a board member. Recently he was appointed to the NYS Department of Public Service's Strategic Advisory Group for Building Electrification to help guide policy and regulations needed to meet energy and climate goals for the state.

An IGSHPA Accredited Geothermal Installer, John is also a Building Performance Institute (BPI) Certified Contractor, and a Certified Green Professional with the NAHB. He received is B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Union College.

When: Wednesday, December 16, 4:30 to 6 pm

Where: Zoom Webinar - contact Peter Bardaglio, executive director of the Ithaca 2030 District, at pbardaglio@gmail.com for registration details.

Next TCCPI Meeting

Friday, January 29, 2021
9:00 - 11:00 am
Due to the current pandemic, the monthly TCCPI meetings have moved online. Contact Peter Bardaglio, the TCCPI coordinator, for further details at pbardaglio@gmail.com.

If you have any issues you would like to bring to the TCCPI monthly meetings, please e-mail us at info@tccpi.org. General meetings are on the last Friday of every month, except for November and December. Because of the holidays, the November-December meeting is held on the second Friday of December.