Celebrate Earth Day online April 16-26 | TheFencePost.com
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Celebrate Earth Day online April 16-26

Amy Hadachek
for The Fence Post

Watch ‘EF20’ online at http://climategkc.org/EF20/ or EF20.climategkc.org.

To register for webinars:

Look at the agenda: http://climategkc.org/EF20/

Click on the event title (webinar) you want to attend

scroll down to a large green box (on right) and click on “Register here”

A link will be sent to your email with a separate invitation to each webinar.

Click on as many events as you like.

Understanding the often delicate concepts of how greenhouse gas emissions affect global warming, climate change and sustainable fashions will be just a few of the many topics discussed when a free 10-day global online festival called EF20 will be held from April 16-26 commemorating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Originally planned as the second annual outdoor Earth Day festival in Kansas City, Mo., wrapping around Earth Day on April 22 but now necessitated by COVID-19, the 10-day event has quickly morphed into an online festival. Interestingly, now that it’s available to the world, it has turned into a positive development.

“If anything, it’s actually expanded our program, we’ve had so many people contact us, and now instead of someone driving across town to get to mid-town with just space for 200, now, for anyone in the world, it’s removed our seat limitations, and now people don’t have to drive and it’s open up to the world for anyone with internet access,” said Bob Grove, president of the Climate Council of Greater Kansas City, which organized the event. The Climate Council, a nonprofit, was established in 2018 to provide a bi-state umbrella for regional climate actions in Kansas and Missouri.

The 10-day online festival kicks off April 16 and features a webinar by the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, a group of faith leaders addressing how their faith’s perspective responds to climate change.

“The goal is to educate, partner and advocate for solutions that reverse global warming, and a core component of this mission is to organize this free annual climate festival around Earth Day.”

Topics run the gamut for this online festival, including personal coping practices to assist people with climate issues that are said to be equally helpful coping with this COVID-19 pandemic. Area mayors will discuss climate topics in a forum.

Then for Earth Day on April 22 the signature event Fight for Our Future webinar will offer differing opinions about the elimination of fossil fuels and whether to eliminate them or use other methods of reducing the effect on climate. Another webinar by an organic recycling organization will discuss The Alchemy of Compost. Another presentation includes a free tree for participants as part of helping Build a Home Forest. There are also topics on sustainable food, mobility, fashion, and a Kansas City pastor will share information about how chanting relieves stress.

All are interactive online events.

“So, all the participants have the ability to pose questions to the speakers, and the speakers can answer live and some events have a team of people who can answer questions,” Grove said. The presentations will be about 30 minutes, folloowed by a 10 minute question and answer sessionsion.

Grove said speakers may also propose ideas that can be acted on immediately.

“For instance, the Build A Home Forest workshop will not only demonstrate how starting a home forest can sequester carbon and help reverse global warming, but participants in this workshop can have free trees delivered safely to their doorstep so they can immediately start their home forest,” he said.

Tree deliveries will be made within a 25 mile radius or can be mailed anywhere. A third option for 4 to 6 foot trees it to pick them up, while practicing social distancing.

Regarding composting and recycling, a webinar speaker will explain how composting at home can impact climate change.

“Composting your kitchen or yard waste keeps that material out of a municipal waste stream that produces methane,” said Hilary Noonan, who will host a session during the EF20 event. “Using the compost in your yard helps to encourage soil microbes that help cycle carbon out of the air and into the soil. In other words, your soil sequesters CO2.”

This year’s festival is particularly significant as 2020 is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, Grove said. “The goal is to educate, partner and advocate for solutions that reverse global warming, and a core component of this mission is to organize this free annual climate festival around Earth Day,” Grove said. “What I’ll try to do, is explain that greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming that lead to climate change. Climate change leads to huge weather events like hurricanes, droughts and fires, and ultimately it’s about stopping adding greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, and also remove existing greenhouse gases. Until we stop producing these gases, we can’t reverse global warming,” said Grove.

Grove said that the climate issues explored by many EF20 online speakers provide “solid fact-based climate education.” All of my data comes from the government and the EPA.gov website, a lot from NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) and I continue looking for fact-based studies.”

“The ultimate goal is to find what we agree on, and what we can do to reverse global warming. We don’t care how we got here, it’s what can we all agree on,” Grove said.

The final EF20 online event is the Climate Change Party.

“There’s always a party after festivals and other major productions. Staff, cast, crew and friends coming together to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments,” said Grove. “Since this is an online event, we’ve decided to invite everyone.” ❖

—Hadachek is a freelance writer who lives on a farm with her husband in north central Kansas and is also a meteorologist and storm chaser. She can be reached at rotatingstorm2004@yahoo.com.


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