Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Riverfront Earth Day - Hartford

Driving on the one lane pedestrian walkway on the Founder's Bridge

Last Sunday, under bright sunshine and chilly skies, I manned my Earth Day booth on Mortensen Riverfront Plaza in Hartford.  I was glad I wore fleece pants and brought some revision work because I got there several hours early and cooled down from sitting still .  Since this was the first year of this event, there wasn't a huge crowd, maybe one to two hundred.  Aside from a couple of speeches, a band played the entire time.  The wind was stronger than I anticipated and even though I planned for it, I didn't expect it to gust quite so much.  I used a 10 pound weight to hold down the easel, but the wind knocked it over a couple of times.  I ended up tying it to a tree.
Climate science exhibit

I really enjoyed talking to the crowd about climate science.  People of all ages listened and participated.   Daniel Esty, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, stopped by and asked a few questions.  "What's this booth about?"  "Why are you here?"  I told him I didn't think the general public had a good understanding of this science.  He agreed and thanked me for coming.  I'm sure he thanked all the participants. 

From front to back:  a solar oven, the Sierra Club booth and the Science Center 

The best thing about the day was that I really felt that everyone that I spoke with got the message when they left.  They did the activity, then I explained some things, then I brought out the carbon dioxide chart and showed the adults.  Some of their faces cringed when I said, "this is where we are now."  In general, the crowd was environmentally conscious and educated.  I spoke with an  English professor, a history professor and a scientist who had done research in a remote location.  His work was quite interesting.

Protestors arrived
I am still pondering how to reach the segment of the population that doesn't attend events like this.  Those are the people that need to be informed.  

 I found this article about the protest and noticed in the second photo my climate display appears to be right on top of Commissioner Esty's head.  I am conveniently hiding behind that "Hey Esty" sign.  Such a shame really.:)

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