Members of the Grand Island Riverside-Salem congregation joined 30 environmental activists at the Buffalo waterfront on April 16. The church was one of the sponsors of the Sierra Club's "Turn, Not Burn" campaign press conference. The campaign is promoting clean renewable energy - wind, solar and geothermal - as an alternative to coal and natural gas.
The congregation considers saving the Creation from the devastating consequences of climate change as one of the key moral issues of our time.
Members of the congregation, the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter supporters and partners are calling on Gov. Cuomo to make New York a clean energy leader. The launch was marked by local events, a petition delivery to Cuomo planned for Wednesday and a new ad campaign featuring billboards, online ads and print ads in Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn and Albany.
The ads urge the governor to take administrative action to meet and extend the state's renewable energy goals and develop new renewable energy sources like wind and solar instead of more dirty fuels.
The new campaign calls for job-creating renewable energy in areas that could benefit from the transition away from fossil fuels.
Participants applauded the governor's pledge to invest $1.5 billion over 10 years in solar energy through the NY-Sun Initiative, but pointed out that much more is needed to keep pace with states like Iowa and South Dakota, which are already getting 20 percent of their electricity from wind power. That compares to about 2 percent of New York's power from wind and solar.
"Niagara Falls was in the forefront of renewable energy a century ago with the creative development of hydroelectricity. It's time we reclaim that advantage and aggressively push for clean, renewable energy here in New York," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster at the event in Buffalo.
As part of its April "Peace on Earth Month" activities, the Grand Island Riverside-Salem congregation is co-sponsoring the premiere showing of "A Fierce Green Fire," a history of the environmental movement, at the Burchfield-Penny Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, from 7 to 9 p.m., and the Sierra Club's "Renewable Energy Fair" at Singer Farm Naturals, 6730 Lake Road in Appleton, on Sunday, April 28, from 1 to 5 p.m. Members of the congregation also will be "wood-chipping" the nature path at the Environmental Chapel at 3449 West River Road on Sunday, April 28, beginning at 1 p.m. For further information on any of these events, call 716-773-1426.