There is excitement stirring in the Athens autumn air, and it's not only about festivals, football and pumpkin spice latte. Athenians are rising up for a sustainable future of solar energy, bike paths and public transportation, creative cooperative business ventures and more.
The turnout for the “Athens Uniting for Moral Climate Mobilization” on Sept. 29 packed the large meeting room at our Athens Library with Athenians wanting to learn more about the climate crisis and how to respond. That was followed by a rally last Wednesday evening, as a large crowd gathered in front of City Hall in solidarity with more than 170 other People's Climate Movement rallies calling attention to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) talks in Paris this December—a historic meeting that will set international climate change policies for years to come.
Our Athens gathering, led not only by Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Melissa Link, but by several UGA professors (Mark Farmer, Chris Cuomo and Dan Everett) and local climate change activists, spoke not only to the unfolding environmental crisis and the growing moral imperative to respond, but to the capability Athens has for providing leadership in that response, beginning with local initiatives. It is increasingly clear that many of the changes needed for a sustainable future will begin at the community level, and none are more important than our shift to solar energy. Georgia has become one of the nation's leaders in solar energy growth, and local leaders are dedicated to putting Athens in the center of that movement.
What is needed now is an “all hands on deck” mobilization, so attend the next “Solarize A-CC” Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1065 Gaines School Road. For more information on the meeting or ways you can help, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, Gretchen Elsner at email@example.com or Ian Karra at firstname.lastname@example.org.