Our guest was Bruce Melton, a professional engineer, environmental researcher, filmmaker, author and CEO of the Climate Change Now Initiative in Austin, Texas. The Climate Change Now Initiative is a nonprofit outreach organization reporting the latest discoveries in climate science in plain English. Information on his book, Climate Discovery Chronicles, can be found along with more climate change writing, climate science outreach and critical environmental issue documentary films at ClimateDiscovery.org.
The City of Austin is leading the way to autonomous vehicles with strong support from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).
Shades of Green hosts were joined by Brandi Clark Burton and Jonathan Walker of Rocky Mountain Institute to discuss the exciting progress being made in Austin with testing autonomous vehicles. In addition to developing and testing the technology they are surveying drivers to capture their view on the future of human mobility. Participants in the Austin Earth Day on April 22, 2017 will be able to take a test ride an autonomous shuttle vehicle among many other impressive mobility solutions.
EarthShare of Texas is celebrating 25 years. The organization makes it easy for employers throughout the state to enable their employees to donate funds for their environmental non-profit of choice. It happens through a simple paycheck deduction. Our guests were:
Janet Maykus is the executive director of EarthShare of Texas. Janet has almost 30 years’ experience in the not for profit world where she has served as a chaplain, the director of spiritual care and bereavement for a hospice, a faculty member at a seminary, the director of church relations for Texas Christian University, and a development coordinator for the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems in Austin. She is thrilled to be in the position because she believes the protection and care of the world is now the most important call in her life. If she could be anywhere right now she’d be camping in Big Bend.
Fleetwood Jacobs is the Campaign Director for EarthShare of Texas where she has worked for the last 5 years. She manages the City of Austin Combined Charities Campaign which raised almost $500,000 for local and statewide charities last year. Previous to EarthShare of Texas she served as the Development Director for Project Transitions. She and her family love spending time in all of the Lakes, Creeks and Swimming Holes in and around the Austin area.
Austin’s more pressing environmental, social and economic issue is mobility for its citizens!
Project Connect is a plan designed to create a system of high-capacity transit options that will connect people, places and opportunities in an affordable, efficient and sustainable way. High-capacity transit travels the entire trip, or a portion of its trip, on a dedicated lane or guideway.
The goals of Project Connect are to identify and evaluate potential transit projects over the next two years. Capital Metro will work with local agencies, stakeholders and the public to identify high-capacity transit solutions that will offer options for travel into, out of and around Central Austin. Central Texas has seen many transportation studies done in recent years, by both public and private organizations. Project Connect isn’t another new beginning. We will take those ideas and — together with the people of the Austin area — decide which projects will move us all forward.
Our guests on Shades of Green are integral leaders for Project Connect:
Amy Peck – Communications Specialist with Capital Metro.
Sam Sargent – Community Involvement Coordinator with Capital Metro.
Our special Shades of Green guests are keeping their eyes on the Texas Legislature to make sure we are not sent back to the dark environmental ages (as we are seeing on the National front). Representatives from several local environmental organizations shared their legislative priorities and assessments for the 2017 Legislative Session. They also offered suggestions regarding how we all can participate and make our voices heard. Our guests were:
- Andrew Dobbs – Central Texas Program Director with Texas Campaign for the Environment
- Luke Metzger – Director at Environment Texas
- Cyrus Reed – Conservation Director at the Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club