April 25, 2019
Melville House and the NYPL kick off the Climate Change Reading Group!
by Simon Reichley
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard about the Melville House Climate Project. But, in case you’re new around here, let’s recap!
In November 2018, the Trump administration quietly released the USGCRP Fourth Climate Assessment, hoping its dire warnings would go unnoticed as the collection of idiot ghouls running the country continued to crank the thermostat. Melville House, hoping to rescue the report from obscurity, sprung to action, rushing out a full-color paperback edition which would be available in libraries, bookstores, and classrooms around the country. That book, which we call The Climate Report, quickly became the foundation of a larger effort to connect readers, booksellers, and librarians, with experts in climate science, public policy, and grassroots organizing: The Melville House Climate Project.
Yesterday, we reached a major milestone in the Project, launching an ongoing partnership with the New York Public Library. The Climate Change Reading Group, which will be held once a month at the Stephen A. Schwartzman Building, met to discuss environmental activism in New York City, and the importance of educating ourselves and our communities on the threats of climate change and the opportunities we have to begin the necessary transition away from a fossil fuel economy.
We were joined by ten curious citizens, and our featured guest, Todd “Tif” Fernandez of 350NYC, who spoke to the group about his work on a People’s Green New Deal, the Off Fossil Fuels Act, and his history as an activist and legislative campaigner. Archivist and librarian Meredith Mann of the NYPL was also there, guiding discussion and sharing a wealth of archival materials documenting the history of environmental activism in New York City, including the first Earth Day, celebrated in 1970.
It was a great way to kick off our partnership with the NYPL. Our topic next month will be Transportation, Infrastructure and the Environment, and we’ll be discussing chapters 10 and 11 of the Climate Report. If you’re interested in adding your voice to the conversation, write to us at [email protected] or join the Climate Project at climatereport.org. Hope to see you there!
Simon Reichley is the Director of Operations and Rights Manager at Melville House.