Nov 262015

For Immediate Release: November 25, 2015

Contact: Sandra Steingraber 607.351.0719



We Are Seneca Lake to Host Rally and Climate March in Watkins Glen as Part of Worldwide Mobilization on the Eve of Paris Climate Summit

Finger Lakes March for Climate Justice will spotlight renewable energy initiatives and call for a halt to fossil fuel build-out in the Finger Lakes; marchers will wear orange as symbol of emergency and safety

Watkins Glen, NY – Hosted by the grassroots group We Are Seneca Lake, the Finger Lakes March for Climate Justice will bring the global call for an end to fossil fuel investments and a rapid deployment of renewable energy to the streets of Watkins Glen this Sunday afternoon. One of more than 2,000 marches taking place in 150 countries as delegates gather in Paris for the World Climate Summit, the march begins with a rally at the Seneca Lake marina and then winds through downtown Watkins Glen to the foot of the Watkins Glen State Park gorge and back.

Martha Robertson, 64, Tompkins County Legislator since 2002, former kindergarten teacher and small business owner in Dryden said, “With our national politics hijacked by huge corporate interests, mega-donor money, and Fox News, local elected officials and political leaders can and must lead the way on climate change. We saw that succeed in the fracking fight, with the communities of Dryden and Middlefield making history and making law. Never doubt that your local vote makes a difference.”

Joe Sliker, 34, president and C.E.O. of Renovus Solar in Tompkins County, said, “Solar power has the potential to provide tens of thousands of times more energy than humanity could ever consume, while providing good paying jobs and dramatic economic benefits to upstate New York. We have reached an historic tipping point, and the time is now to come together with the shared purpose to revolutionize our power infrastructure, put good people to work, and permanently address the imminent threats climate change brings to our lives.”

Sandra Steingraber, 56, biologist and co-founder of We Are Seneca Lake, said, “From Seneca Lake to Lake Como, the people of the world—in 150 nations across all continents–are marching today to amplify the message that science shows—that 80 percent of all remaining fossil fuels must be left unburned in the ground in order that our children have a liveable future.  Here on the the banks of Seneca Lake, the site of so much contention over New York’s energy future, we declare our faith in wind, water, and sun. We turn our backs on coal, oil, and gas. From this moment on, we are looking up, not down, for energy.”
What: Finger Lakes march and rally for climate action with signs, banners, speakers, and music

When: 1 pm, Sunday, November 29
Who: Families, renewable energy advocates, opponents of fracking infrastructure projects throughout the Finger Lakes.  Speakers Sandra Steingraber and Robert Howarth will be heading to the Paris Climate Summit soon after the march.
Confirmed speakers:

  • Cornell University climate scientist Robert W. Howarth, Ph.D.
  • Tompkins County legislator Martha Robertson
  • Renovus Solar C.E.O. Joe Sliker
  • solar energy expert Suzanne Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards in Yates County
  • We Are Seneca Lake co-founder and biologist, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D.

Where: Watkins Glen Marina on North Decatur Street, Watkins Glen, NY 14891. (Follow Decatur St. north to to its end, cross the railroad tracks and drive into the parking lot at the foot of Seneca Lake.)
Why: Seneca Lake is targeted by Houston-based Crestwood Midstream to serve as an LPG and gas storage hub for the Northeast, a plan opposed by 31 Finger Lakes muncipalities and more than 300 local business and that is the subject of persistent civil disobedience protest. In the past year, 400 arrests have taken place at Crestwood’s gates. LPG-filled railcars will travel a railway that traverses Watkins Glen State Park, passing within 60 feet of campsites and over the heads of hikers in the gorge via a 1937 rail trestle. The struggle for the energy future of Seneca Lake was the subject of a recent New Yorker video report and New York Times profile.
Globally, 2015 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history. The Finger Lakes March for Climate Justice amplifies and exemplifies the worldwide surge in climate action and is part of a day of marches, concerts, rallies and workshops spanning all continents. In Paris, where the government has prohibited the climate march from taking place due to security concerns in light of recent attacks in the city, people will join hands to form a human chain.
Visual interest: Marchers will wear blaze orange to symbolize the emergency of the climate crisis and as a direct response to an intimidating Facebook comment. (Background here.)

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 Posted by at 2:12 am