The Big Green Picture: Local Strategies for a Livable World 

Actions and Resources


Federal Legislation: The Green New Deal

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Senator Ed Markey’s Green New Deal (GND) bill (House Resolution 109 and Senate Resolution 59) calls for a 10-year mobilization to address climate change in all economic sectors. The entire Brooklyn congressional delegation has endorsed the GND, except for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Max Rose. New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand supports the GND, but Brooklyn’s own Sen. Chuck Schumer has yet to endorse it.

New York City Council legislation: Plastic Pollution:

Three bills would reduce plastic pollution. Councilmembers Rafael Espinal, Barry Grodenchik, and Helen Rosenthal’s bill, Int. 0936-2018, would ban food service establishments from offering non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers. (There is a medical exemption.) Councilmember Ben Kallos has a bill that would ban the sale or distribution of single-use water bottles on city property. Another bill introduced by Espinal would ban the sale or distribution of single-use bottles for commercial purposes in city parks and beaches.

For more information and a list of organizations focusing on plastic pollution, see Lisa DiCaprio’s article, “Initiatives to Reduce Plastic Pollution,” Sierra Atlantic, Summer 2018

  • Contact your councilperson and urge her/him to support these bills. To find your councilperson, go to

Climate justice, Environmental Justice:

Climate change puts a disproportionate burden on communities of color and low-income communities globally. The reality is many of these communities know what solutions they need to effect change. What they need is the support and resources to make them a reality.

  • Learn about the environmental movement’s history, including its problematic racist roots. A good place to start: Read any of the books by Robert Bullard, considered the “father of the environmental justice movement.” Including his Race, Place, and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina: Struggles to Reclaim, Rebuild, and Revitalize New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. For specific examples of environmental racism, try physician-activist Mona Hanna-Attisha’s account of the Flint water crisis, What The Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance and Hope in an American City, or Jonathan Harr’s A Civil Action about toxic pollution.

Stopping new fossil fuel infrastructure
Although New York banned fracking in 2014, our state is allowing a huge buildup of new fossil fuel infrastructure, including fracked gas pipelines, power plants, and waste and storage for the fracking industry. There is active resistance to this buildup throughout New York State.

We already have the technology to meet these needs using renewable energy, through community solar, wind power, geothermal energy, and energy efficiency.

  • Join the fight against the Williams NESE pipeline that would carry fracked gas under our harbor from New Jersey to Rockaway. Oppose corporate utility rate hikes that would pay for more fossil fuels.
  • See the interactive MAP of fracking infrastructure in our region, and learn about communities fighting back:
  • Get involved to help keep our energy rates from rising and to push New York State agencies to implement the renewable economy we know is possible:
  • Get involved in pushing for renewable heating and cooling at

Project Drawdown
This project offers 100 solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in seven sectors: Electricity Generation, Food, Women and Girls, Buildings and Cities, Land Use, Transport, and Materials. For the Drawdown website, see:

  • Find out about Project Drawdown and help others learn about the many ways to draw down fossil fuel emissions.