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Climate Team Powers up for Nature Day

Published on 6/18/2022
On Saturday, everyone reading this column is invited to our Carnegie Musueum in  downtown Crawfordsville from 1-4 p.m. to celebrate nothing less than the natural world. To top it off, visitors will be treated to one of the great products and delights of our natural world — ice cream! This event is part of a summer-long museum program tied to the Indiana Humanities One State/One Story program. If you have the chance, read the beautiful little book World of Wonders (which is available at our Crawfordsville Public Library) that serves as the centering One Story for Indiana this summer.

Too often the glittering and seductive things we humans build obscures from our eyes the sheer fact that everything we can possibly build originates from the earth. In a fun series of activities on Nature Day, kids and grownups alike will turn earth-centric and learn how our food grows and what makes soil healthy: you’ll have a chance to make a soil pizza and a bookmark from wild flower seeds, for instance.

The LWVMC Climate Team will be on site with a big, model school bus. They want visitors to think about how Indiana’s energy usage can be reduced and be made more earth-friendly. According to the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment of 2019, we have a ways to go. Just a few years ago, Indiana was the 9th most energy-intensive state per capita in the country. At that time nearly ¾ of Indiana’s electricity came from coal and just 5% was generated by renewable resources. That balance has been shifting rapidly ever since. Studies by Purdue, IU, and Ball State on various aspects of our state’s energy use strongly suggest that renewable energy sources — wind, solar and biomass among them — will benefit Indiana’s economy and Hoosiers for decades to come.

According to Michael Hicks, author of the BSU study, “The shift to renewable energy will reduce average and incremental costs of power subsequent to the initial investments … Renewable energy growth will make Indiana more attractive to firms and households who favor lower prices and fewer emissions. It will lead to less environmental restrictions on firm location and it will generate employment growth above what we can experience with continued reliance on fossil fuels.”

Crawfordsville and Montgomery County are taking note of this, taking part in this, and taking the lead. Do you know that we are one of the most solarized cities in the state? Do you know that our Youth Service Bureau has recently installed solar panels on its roof? Do you know that some North Montgomery schools have installed solar panels?

Come to Nature Day to learn and see how electric cars, electric police car fleets, and electric school buses work and how they are at work in Indiana. You can also learn about a program that some of our local churches are signing up for in order to save energy via the Energy Stewards program of Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light. This non-profit will also advise congregations of any faith about solarizing their buildings as well.

Are you or friends or family customers of CEL&P (Crawfordsville Electric Power & Light)? If so, you can join CEL&P’s Green Power Program on Nature Day. The Green Power Program enables CEL&P customers to support the use of renewable energy resources in the production of electricity (at a very minor cost — $.003 more per kilowatt-hour). Both CEL&P and IMPA (Indiana Municipal Power Agency) note that “providing renewable energy resources such as sun, wind, water, and more are valuable sources of energy being harnessed around the globe to produce electricity in an environmentally friendly manner.”

“Clean fuel, clean air, clean cities” is the motto of Drive Clean Indiana whose work will also be featured at the LWVMC Nature Day table. One of their programs — Drive Clean Rural USA — has as its mission bringing together rural government leaders, farmers, business owners, fleet managers, and industry experts to accelerate access to clean fuel transportation solutions.

So come and pretend-ride an electric school bus, explore library resources about alternative energy, and hop aboard the Green Energy bandwagon. The LWVMC supports reducing the carbon intensity of our community’s energy and transportation infrastructure in as many ways as possible.