Truckee Climate Action Network plans its first event | SierraSun.com

Truckee Climate Action Network plans its first event

Christine Stanley
Sierra Sun

It might be cold in Tahoe this week, but the rest of the planet seems to be warming up. It’s for just that reason that a new organization has taken root in Truckee.

The Truckee Climate Action Network (TCAN), established by former mayor Beth Ingalls, is a green-eyed grassroots effort focused on making a positive local impact on global climate change through education, legislation, conservation and communication.

“As my (Town) Council term was ending, this issue was at the forefront of my mind because of the general plan. And then the whole coal debate came up and there was this combination of people and energy.”

Ingalls described the events leading up to the Network’s creation ” Town planning, influential blockbuster movies, new environmental legislation, and shopping for local power contracts ” as the “perfect storm.”

Now with more than 20 members, TCAN is eyeballing possible partnerships with the Town of Truckee, the Truckee Donner Public Utility District and the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, according to TCAN member Lauren O’Brien.

“We are in our infancy, of course, but communications is our forte,” said O’Brien, who also works for Streamline Consulting Group. “We have the right people and energy to impact awareness.”

The group’s web site, Truckeecan.com, is up, and members have defined a mission statement, formed action committees, and will be involved in several upcoming events.

In partnership with the Truckee Climate Action Network, an event called Step It Up 2007 will be held in April in conjunction with the National Day of Climate Action.

On April 14, more than 750 local rallies will take place nationwide urging Congress to “step it up” and cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. In Truckee, the rally will take place at the bridge on Old Highway 40.

“It’s the biggest rally for climate change to ever have occurred,” said local organizer Carolyn Hamilton. “Every [group] is doing it in their own way; some people are SCUBA diving, some people are going to the Capitol steps, and others, like us, are meeting at an iconic place.”

Once gathered, group photographs will be taken at each rally across the country and will be linked together electronically to show the event’s scope.

Step it Up is the brain child of author and journalist Bill McKibben, former New Yorker staff writer and the author of “The End of Nature,” the first book for a general audience about global warming.-

As a sub-event of Step it Up 2007, interested locals can participate in “Climb It for Climate,” a rock climbing event at Grouse Slabs meant to raise climate change awareness among outdoor enthusiasts.

TCAN will also promote and participate in the annual Tahoe Truckee Earth Day event in late April, which will be held again this year at the Village at Squaw Valley.

The group also plans to have a presence at the Second Annual Youth Service Symposium, a local school event sponsored by the Tahoe Truckee Regional Education Coalition and Sierra Watershed Education Partners, in May.