Greenfest recap and next steps

Last Saturday, the weekly Starland Farmers Market became the local epicenter of the effort to address climate change. For people (like me) who were not able to attend Greenfest on Oct. 13, event organizer Ryan Patterson, reported there were, “four terrific speakers at the event, all of whom called on Rep. (John) Barrow to stop global warming.” According to Patterson, a speech by a Savannah clergyman was particularly powerful.

“The Rev. Billy Hester of Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church was a highlight, as he gave a very stirring speech outlining our moral obligation to stop global warming and prayed for the congressman to make the right decision,” he said. According to Patterson, it was clear that Hester’s words resonated with his audience. “A pivotal moment was just after Rev. Hester spoke and I looked across the crowd and realized that hundreds of people were at the event, all there to make a statement that Rep. Barrow needs to stop global warming and that Savannah needs to be a greener city,” he said.

Patterson described Barrow as being “in a unique position to vote the right way on global warming legislation because he sits on the House Energy and Commerce committee. Barrow has been voting against clean energy and energy efficiency legislation, and has failed to back any strong fuel efficiency standard.”

An Oct. 13 story in the Savannah Morning News estimated to crowd at 500, but both Patterson and Savannah Morning News columnist Bill Dawers said the number was much higher, in the neighborhood of 1,000. Patterson, who works for Green Peace’s Project Hot Seat, said additional events and opportunities for civic involvement are in the works.

“Greenpeace will host another event on Nov. 3 in conjunction with Step It Up and also on Dec. 8,” he said. “In addition, groups who are interested in guidance for going green, or business recycling services, can contact Green Lifespace by accessing,” he said. “Of course, Savannahians can take advantage of local farmers every Saturday at the Starland Farmers’ Market.”

For those interested in updates on the group’s activities, Patterson suggested visiting the Project Hot Seat Web site.

“There are many ways to get involved with Project Hot Seat, Greenpeace’s campaign to stop global warming. The best thing to do is check out our website, where you can take action to stop global warming and sign-up for email updates about upcoming events,” Patterson said.

The Rev. Billy Hester speaks at Greenfest, Oct. 13. Photo courtesy of Ryan Patterson.

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About John Bennett

Transportation, land use, local farming and green building are all potential topics for Sustainable Savannah. The goal is to aggregate content about local events and projects, so there will be a central place to review everything that’s happening. The site is aimed at encouraging collaboration and information sharing between groups and individuals currently engaged in sustainability efforts. The site can also provide a snapshot of Savannah for green-minded people who are considering visiting or moving to the area.

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