Dear Editor: For Earth Day 2015, the United Nations Association of Whittier (UNA) together with its sister organization the Whittier Area Environmental Coalition (WAEC) are putting on an interactive event called “Decarbonizing Whittier” which will take place on Saturday, April 25, 2 – 5 p.m. at the First Friends Church in Whittier.
There will be live music performed by the Vicissitunes, a talented musical group, refreshments and guest speakers, including Jonathan Parfray, Executive Director of Climate Resolve, Cinzia Fissore of the Energy Coalition and others.
There will be breakout discussion groups covering the following five topics: Mobilizing political support for reducing carbon consumption; sustainable lifestyles, energy use in buildings, energy in transportation and land use. There is a requested donation of $10. All are welcome.
John Beynon, president of UNA and WAEC, said that WAEC has been emphasizing climate change, and that he hopes that a lot of people will come to hear about what people as individuals can do about it.
Many people say ‘Oh, well, the issue is too big and there is nothing I can do,’” said Beynon. He said that is not true, and there is a lot we can do such as “conserving water and conserving energy.”
Anita Rivero of Downey said that the participation in this event will allow people to learn about the environment and to assess what each of us are doing in order to preserve the planet Earth.
Sheila Hartfield, a member of WAEC, said that we are making progress in preserving the Earth but there is more that needs to be done.
“We are trying to make this place a sustainable community. We need to be more conscious of what we do with our energy, transportation, and how we are living our lives so we can sustain this planet a little longer,” Hartfield added.
Holly Overin, a musician who will be performing at the event, said, “The presentation of the Earth Day event on April 25, is to connect people to the environment, and to this wonderful world we are living in.” She said that after the speeches, those attending the event will break into groups to consolidate their motivation for doing something for this Earth.
Jim Mills, another member WAEC, said that the event slated for April 25 has been held for about four years. He said that this event allows people to compare notes about what is being done in areas such as solar power and energy saving devices. In addition “people learn about what kind of water use is needed to help the environment,” said Mills.
We hear a lot lately about sustainability with regard to protecting the environment. But what is sustainability? What does it mean?
Here is one definition found by Mrs. Rivero, that will be heard in the event to be held on April 25 in Whittier:
“Sustainability could be defined as an ability or capacity of something to be maintained or to sustain itself,” she said.
“It is about taking what we need to live now, without jeopardizing the potential for people in the future to meet their needs.”
She went on to say that if an activity is said to be sustainable, it should be able to continue forever. Living sustainably is about living within the means of our natural systems (environment) and ensuring that our lifestyle doesn’t harm other people.
Mrs. Rivero said that increasingly our lifestyle is placing more and more pressure on natural systems.
She said that among activities that are unsustainable include extinction of species of animals or plants caused by activities of humans. Each day about 19 more of the earth’s species disappear forever. It is estimated that within 30 years, 25% of the species on earth will be extinct.
Mrs. Rivero emphasizes that the kind of life we are living now is not sustainable for our survival.
Scientists continue to investigate how human interactions with natural systems can be improved and sustained.
Published: April 23, 2015 - Volume 14 - Issue 02