Sierra Club climate conference set for Saturday

Experts to explore local actions communities can take to combat climate change.
Apr 19, 2019
Gus Speth

Belfast — "Building Thriving Communities," a Sierra Club Maine conference, will explore local citizen action responding to Climate Change Saturday at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center.

Keynote speaker is Gus Speth, former chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality, administrator of the UN’s Development Programme, and dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the author of the 2014 memoir, "Angels by the River."

Local community activist and retired teacher Bev Roxby has been instrumental in planning the conference. According to Roxby, the conference will focus on "the positive results, especially on health and economy, that result from taking local action to tackle the damaging effects of accelerating climate changes."

Registration for the conference, which includes breakfast and lunch, is on a self-determined sliding scale, with a suggested fee of $50 per person. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets, an online ticketing service

Eleven sessions in the day-long event will feature renowned scientists, innovators, policy makers and green energy leaders, "all of whom help guide and support the growing movement of local sustainability groups," Roxby said.

"Climate action teams, often aligned with city committees, are on the ground to promote and implement projects that reduce their communities’ carbon footprints and curb the pollution that damages crops, shorelines, community structures, and the health of humans and other species," she said. "These groups will lead discussions on the ways they are doing it and how any community can do it when people come together to work toward 100-percent clean renewable energy. It takes a village to create a thriving community; that’s what this conference is about."

Keynote speaker Speth has inspired this kind of work on an international scale, according to Roxby. He will address the need for changes to our economic system to sustain people and communities impacted by climate change.

The conference lunchtime speaker is state Rep. Chloe Maxmin, D-Dist. 88 (Chelsea, Jefferson, Whitefield and part of Nobleboro). She will discuss the Green New Deal bill she is proposing.

Many area businesses, organizations and concerned citizens have been involved in planning and supporting the conference, which has also received support from the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, Maine Farmland Trust, ReVision Energy, Sundog Solar, Belfast Area Citizen’s Climate Lobby and others.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit, or call the club office at 761-5616.

For more information on the program and speakers, visit Sierra Club Maine’s website,, or call the Sierra Club office at 761-5616.


Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.