Join us, Saturday, Feb. 24th, from 9:30 am to 3 pm, as 350 Triangle hosts Climate Change Solutions for NC in Finlator Hall at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, located at 1801 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh.
Free, but donations appreciated at the door to help cover costs!!
The conference begins at 9:30 am with registration and networking. Several organizations will have tables you can visit. Speakers will begin at 10 am.
10:15 am, Bill Powers, author of NC Clean Path 2025, will join us by Skype from San Diego, joining Amanda Robertson, NC WARN volunteer
11 am, Local city and county leaders speaking on a panel about the 100% renewable energy resolutions and plans they have passed, or are working to pass.
Mike Dasher — Vice Chair, Chatham County Commission
Sig Hutchinson — Vice Chair, Wake County Commission
11:45 am, Grady McCallie, Policy Director for NC Conservation Network, update on what to expect in the upcoming NC General Assembly session.
1:15 pm, Crystal Dreisbach, Executive Director of Don’t Waste Durham, speaking on food waste and more.
Karen Bearden is an avid birder and advocate for the Earth. She stays busy with her volunteer work with 350.org as Coordinator of the 350 Triangle team. She is active with several groups, including Frack Free NC and others, working to stop the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Her passion for protecting the Earth is connected to her advocacy for birds, regenerative food, land conservation, slow money, and the biggest issue of our time, climate change.
Mike Dasher, VP Chatham County Commission. Sworn in on Dec. 5, 2016. Originally from Ohio, Mike moved to North Carolina at the age of 12. After college, he served in the AmeriCorps program with Habitat for Humanity and went on to work with several nonprofit affordable housing providers in the Triangle area.
A 12-year resident of Chatham County, Mike was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2016. Mike is a graduate of Barton College, where he earned degrees in Political Science and Finance. He owns and operates a small business developing and building residential properties. He lives in Moncure with his wife, Selbe Bartlett, and their two children, Abilene and Jude.
Commissioner Dasher currently serves as the liaison to the Transportation Advisory Committee, Triangle J Council of Governments Smart Growth Committee, Orange-Chatham Task Force, Board of Elections, and more.
Betsey Downing, PhD, has been a yoga and meditation teacher for over 40 years. She owned several yoga studios in Virginia and Florida and has taught workshops and teacher trainings across the country and internationally. Betsey was a Yoga Certification Assessor for many years and served as the Certification Committee Co-Chair for 5 years, both nationally and internationally.
In recent years she has shifted her focus to become a climate educator. Betsey was trained as a Volunteer Climate Leader in 2013 through the Climate Reality Project and has given numerous presentations on climate; she lobbied Congress with Citizens Climate Lobby for a fee on carbon; and is active with 350 Triangle. She also serves on several committees with NC Clean Path 2025. In addition, Betsey co-hosts a Climate Video & Discussion Night on Sunday evenings twice a month at Oasis Café in Carrboro.
Betsey holds a masters degree in Urban Education from Simmons College in Boston and a Ph.D. in Sport Psychology and Health Promotion from the University of Virginia.
Crystal Dreisbach is the founder and Executive Director of a local non-profit called Don’t Waste Durham. Through evidence-based policy change and community-owned solutions, Don’t Waste Durham works to reduce the amount of trash produced by our community. Crystal has a Masters in Public Health and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Gabon 2000-2002). She is also the mother of two small boys and a long-distance runner.
Thomas Fletcher is a Durham-based educational consultant, community educator, and proprietor of Education Allies (EAC). He facilitates Roots of Success, an environmental literacy and green worker readiness program designed for adults and youth who have experienced impediments to education and employment preparing them for work and career opportunities in the green economy. A former high school teacher, Thomas is a long time environmental justice activist, member of 350 Triangle, leads the Justice Ministry at Eno River UU Fellowship, and volunteers with NC WARN.
State Rep. Pricey Harrison has served 7 terms in the NC House in District 57 in Greensboro. Pricey is a retired Communications Attorney. She’s also and former volunteer environmental advocate and activist like many of us! She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Duke University and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law. Some of you have probably seen Pricey at UNC games, Moral Mondays, HKonJ marches, and standing up in the General Assembly for protecting the environment. Pricey is known as one of NC’s strongest environmental advocates.
Sig Hutchinson, has served on the Wake County Board of Commissioners since 2014 and is currently vice chair of the board. He served as vice chair in 2015 and chair in 2016.
Sig is known in Wake County for his longtime efforts to preserve open space, expand the greenway system, and make communities healthy and livable. He has successfully led six bond referendums totaling more than $300 million in Wake County and the City of Raleigh for open space preservation, parks, greenways, transportation and affordable housing.
He has held leadership roles in numerous regional and state boards and associations, including the Triangle Land Conservancy, Advocates for Health in Action and Triangle Transit. He is currently on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Upper Neuse River Basin Association.
Among his awards and recognitions, Sig has been honored as Wake County’s Volunteer of the Year, Triangle Business Journal’s Green Advocate of the Year, Raleigh News & Observer’s Tar Heel of the Week and a recipient of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce A.E. Finley Distinguished Service Award.
Sig is the president of Sig Hutchinson Communications. He has a B.A. from Texas Tech University, an M.Ed. from the University of South Carolina, and he lives on a greenway in Raleigh with his wife, Nancy. They have one son and three grandchildren.
Onté Johnson is a successful community organizer with a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Stony BrookUniversity. Over the last decade, he has worked in three State Legislatures and led many local grassroots efforts aimed at improving our communities and global environment.
Onté is currently working with the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN) as the Organizing Project Manager and a Fellow for We Own It through North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light (NCIPL) as the Electric Cooperative Outreach Director. Prior to joining the NCEJN, Onté previously worked with Plate of the Union campaign in North Carolina around food policy issues; combating food insecurities, advocating raising wages for food and farm workers, and calling on the 2016 Presidential candidates to help fix our food system. He successfully organized 6 candidate forums across the State with County Commissioners, State Senators, and State Representatives discussing issues of food access and making locally sourced produce available.
Onté has worked with utilities and stakeholders by working with the North Carolina On-Bill Finance Coalition which includes organizations like EDF, SELC, SACE, App Voices, and NC IPL to encourage rural electric utilities to apply for the energy efficiency consumer loan program. (EECLP): EECLP is a federally funded program that allows an eligible utility to borrow money at low interest Treasury rates in order to make cost- effective investments in energy efficiency upgrades to its own facilities as well as properties owned by the customers it serves.
Mark Marcoplos, Orange County Commissioner, grew up in and outside of Baltimore, MD. He came to UNC Chapel Hill in 1971 and except for a few years living in New Hampshire, has been here ever since. Beginning in the 80’s he was active in a variety of environmental issues including opposition to licensing the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant, helping to prevent a radioactive waste dump from being located in our region, and convincing CP&L to stop transporting radioactive spent fuel rods by rail to Shearon Harris.
In the early 90’s, he worked with community members across Orange County to advocate for solid waste reduction instead of the siting of a mega-landfill in a rural area of the county. In 2008 he was a leader in another successful effort to defend rural Orange communities, this time from proposed airport locations.
He has served on the boards of NCWARN (North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network) and the NC Solar Energy Association.
In the late 90’s he was appointed by the County Commissioners to serve on the Economic Development Commission. That was followed by appointment to the Orange Water and Sewer Authority Board of Directors, which included two terms as the elected Chair. Mark also served on the Orange County Planning Board and most recently, was a member of the Orange County Housing Authority.
He founded Marcoplos Construction in 1987 and was an early adopter of green building techniques. His family’s home in rural, southwestern Orange County, built in 2001, is a model eco-home which received local and national attention for its variety of solar and green building features. As a free-lance writer, Mark had some of the earliest articles on emerging green building techniques published in national home and trade publications. Additionally, he wrote a local column in the Chapel Hill Herald and then in the Chapel Hill News for over a decade. He lives with his wife, Wanda Sundermann, in their home that has been slowly vacated over the years by sons Lucas, Dakota, and Riley.
Grady McCallie started as the NC Conservation Network’s Policy Analyst in December 2000, and has served as Policy Director since 2007. Grady holds a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley (1993), and a BA in History and Economics from Yale University (1990). Before joining the NC Conservation Network, he worked for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (1994) in Annapolis and the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, D.C. (1994-2000). He has worked and written on water quality, water quantity, and growth issues, and was named 2016 Water Conservationist of the Year by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.
Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.
The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.”
A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, where he spends as much time as possible outdoors. In 2014, biologists honored him by naming a new species of woodland gnat— Megophthalmidia mckibbeni–in his honor.
Julie Moore is the Founder & CEO of Fiberactive Organics, a triple bottom line company that supplies organic cotton sewing thread to fashion and housewares manufacturers around the world. Julie is a fiber artist that creates fabric vessels as well as organic cotton shrouds and other natural burial products under the business name of Earth To Earth Burial. She serves on the Fiber Council of the Organic Trade Association and founded the Montagnard Community Garden for refugee families in Raleigh. Julie is passionate about living lightly and with purpose.
Bill Powers is a registered professional mechanical engineer in California with 35 years of experience in energy and environmental engineering. He has written numerous articles on the strategic cost and reliability advantages of local solar power over large-scale, remote, transmission-dependent renewable resources, and frequently appears as an expert witness on alternatives to conventional power generation infrastructure.
Bill is the author of the August 2017 strategic energy plan, NC Clean Path 2025, for the state of North Carolina (http://www.ncwarn.org/wp-content/uploads/NC-CLEAN-PATH-2025-FINAL-8-9-17.pdf). The plan relies on rooftop and parking lot solar power, combined with accelerated energy efficiency measures and battery storage, as the template to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power generation in North Carolina by more than 55 percent by 2025. He prepared a similar report for the San Francisco Bay area, Bay Area Smart Energy 2020, in 2012. Bill served as an expert witness in a landmark proceeding in 2009 where the California Energy Commission denied a new peaking gas turbine power plant while determining that urban solar power could potentially serve as a cost-effective alternative to the proposed gas plant.
His home in San Diego currently serves as urban off-grid test bed, including rooftop solar, battery storage, backup generation, and an electric vehicle, to demonstrate the cost effectiveness and reliability of this power delivery approach. Bill has a strong Tar Heel pedigree, having earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Duke University and an M.P.H. in environmental sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Amanda Robertson has worked in the educational design industry for more than twenty years and is founder and CEO of The Farthest Pixel. Holding a degree in Graphic Design with graduate studies in instructional media and animation, Amanda has long studied how education theories and advances in modern media and design, partnered with a global Internet, can mimic and augment the natural ways we learn.
Amanda is a climate activist. She is the founder of Going Sustainable, board member of NC Climate Solutions Coalition and Abundance Foundation, a leader and lecturer in the Climate Reality Leadership Program, and a volunteer for Citizen’s Climate Lobby, 350 Triangle, and NC WARN.
Sammy Slade, Town of Carrboro Alderman, Mayor Pro-Tem. Born in Redlands, California, was raised bi-culturally in Bogota (Colombia) and Chapel Hill. Alderman Slade has a B.S. in Psychology from UNC-CH and is a carpenter. He was elected to the Carrboro Board of Alderman in 2009 and 2013 and is the board liaison for the Transportation Advisory Board and liaison for the Carrboro Climate Change task force.
“My work is to create a space that can bring us back to reconnection with each other in the most meaningful and lasting way. In a lethal culture that is the consequence of a cosmology that is rooted in the separation of ourselves from ourselves and where democracy has been distorted by the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, I have faith in what we can make happen at the scale of a small Town that is of this earth.”
Jenn Weaver Jenn has a background in public policy research, but these days stays plenty busy with parenting her kids, teaching yoga, and fulfilling her second term on the Hillsborough Town Board of Commissioners. She is also currently serving as mayor pro tem. Jenn has a particular focus on using public policy to create more equitable communities. Hikes on Mt Occoneechee in Hillsborough save her weekly.