We gather on the 1st Wednesday of the month to discuss local environmental issues and opportunities to have an impact. We are currently offering a climate speaker series to discuss global issues, understand potential impacts on our village, and explore strategic responses. Our guest speakers are Westchester residents with far reaching influence who can bring the discussion home.

Find Future Climate Talks on the Events Page

See photos from past talks on the Events Page as well. Find slides and resources from  past talks here.

Professor John Nolon

October 4th, 2023

Resources from the Event

Watch a 50 minute video presentation on the role of local governments in furthering Climate Resilient Development by Professor Nolon's students. 

Learn more about the Pace Land Use Center here.


Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus. Co-Counsel, Land Use Law Center, Pace University. Tarrytown resident. Supervises student research and publications regarding land use, sustainable development, climate change, housing insecurity, racial inequity, and the coronavirus pandemic. He is Co-counsel to the Law School's Land Use Law Center, which he founded in 1993. He served as Adjunct Professor of land use law and policy at the Yale School of the Environment from 2001-2016. Before he joined the law school faculty, he founded and directed the Housing Action Counsel to foster the development of affordable housing.

Topic: Climate Change and the Mysterious Power of Local Land Use Law

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces comprehensive climate reports.[1] Formed in 1988, it consists of 195 national governments and is assisted by hundreds of scientists and other experts.[2] These advisors review thousands of climate science research reports contributed by the global scientific community. The IPCC’s research and solutions at the global, national, and local levels enjoy significant respect.  If there is a single entity whose escalating warnings about the climate catastrophes ahead and formulation of solutions that can be trusted, it is the IPCC.


In February of 2022, the IPCC promulgated Climate Resilient Development (CRD) as a principal strategy for managing climate change.[3]  CRD, it states, combines adaptation and mitigation strategies to achieve sustainable development for all. A careful reading of its recent report reveals that local governments, wielding their land use regulatory authority, have been delegated a major role in managing climate change.  The IPCC identified local land use strategies as effective tools for implementing CRD.[4] The effects of climate change are intrinsically local; planning and action at the ground level are required. 


Local governments can adopt, enforce, and incentivize CRD strategies to control and shape land use through regulation, capital spending, and policy.  CRD components can be found in comprehensive land use planning. CRD is implemented by strategies that ensure low carbon building, reduce car dependency through decarbonized transportation, and foster green infrastructure and carbon sequestration. Additionally, cities provide increased job and housing availability through in-fill and adaptive reuse, taking pressure off greenfields for future development. Climate-related disasters can be anticipated and managed by hazard mitigation planning and execution. Strategies that incorporate resilient adaptation to sea level rise and inland flooding can minimize the impacts of climate hazards. To achieve sustainable development for all, local governments can incorporate equity and justice in these strategies. 

Meteorologist Warwick Norton

September 6th, 2023

Dr. Warwick Norton has been the director of meteorology and climate research to work on the Cumulus Weather and Cumulus Energy funds. Previously Norton was at the University of Reading's Department of Meteorology, a world-leading center of excellence in the atmospheric sciences, having previously conducted research at both Oxford and Cambridge universities as well as at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Dr. Warwick Norton grew up in New Zealand and currently lives in Irvington. He moved to England to do a PhD in Applied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Then for several years he did research in weather and climate at the Universities of Oxford and Reading. In 2007 he took a career change when he started working for a London hedge fund providing weather analysis for commodity trading. This was followed by working for a much larger US hedge fund. In 2015 he moved with his  family from England to Irvington. He is a keen plant grower and lover of nature. For part of this summer he could be found in the Hermits Wetland of Irvington Woods battling invasive Phragmites.

Topic: Climate Change from Global Scales to Irvington Village

Every day we see more headlines about heat waves, forest fires, and flooding. What is going on and what should we be worried about in Irvington? The fundamental physics of climate change are well understood but some of the details are not. The talk will start off discussing what is happening at the global scale, discuss some of the weather this summer, and then look at the impacts of climate change on Irvington.

The entire presentation can be found here. Highlights below:

Climate Change in New York

In 2011, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released the first comprehensive assessment of the projected effects of climate change on the state’s critical systems and natural resources over the next century.5 ClimAID: the Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in New York State was compiled by more than 50 scientists to serve as a critical tool for planners, policymakers, farmers, local governments and residents planning for New York State’s future. This document incorporates information from the latest updates of ClimAID, released in September 2014.

The report provides projections of several key climate variables in seven geographic regions of New York, assesses the projected effects of climate change in eight sectors (water resources, coastal zone, ecosystems, agriculture, energy, transportation, telecommunications and public health), and provides recommendations for adapting to the predicted changes.

Among ClimAID’s most important findings:

Observed Climate Change

• Annual average temperatures have risen about 5 °F. since 1900, with winter warming exceeding 4.4 °F.

• Sea level along New York's coastline has risen about a foot since 1900.

• Mean annual precipitation, intense precipitation and heavy downpours, and year-to-year variability have increased between 1900 and 2012.

Climate Projections

Without a dramatic decrease in the global generation of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, critical changes can be expected in New York’s climate over the next century:

• Annual average temperatures in New York State will rise by 5.3 to 10.1 °F. by the 2080s.

• Average regional precipitation will increase 4 to 15 percent by the 2080s, with most of the projected increase forecast in winter months. Larger increases are projected in the frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme precipitation events.

• Short-term droughts will become more frequent.

• The number and duration of extreme heat events will increase.

• Along the seacoast and tidal portion of the Hudson River (to the Federal Dam at Troy), sea level could rise to approximately 6 feet by 2100.

Climate Change Effects

The projected changes in climate will have effects on New Yorkers and many New York State natural and economic resources:

Natural resources (ecosystems, agriculture and water resources)

• Increased flooding affecting ecosystems, communities and infrastructure.

• Reduced summer flows and lowered groundwater leading to water-use conflicts.

• Negative effects on native coldwater fish due to increased water temperatures.

• Widespread shifts in species composition in the state’s forests and expansion of some invasive species into New York.

• Diminished recreational opportunities because of reduced snow cover and reduced water supply and quality.

• Lost agricultural and forest productivity from temperature stresses, summer drought and invasive species.

Coastal zone

• Sea level rise, leading to permanent inundation of low lying areas, increased beach erosion, reduction of coastal wetland area and species, and flood events that are more frequent and more destructive.

Infrastructure (energy, transportation, telecommunications)

• Disruption of water, transportation, communication and energy systems due to extreme weather.

Public health

• Expansion of vector-borne diseases affecting humans, livestock and wildlife.

• Heat waves leading to increased illness and deaths from heat stress.

• Increased levels of air pollution, causing asthma and other respiratory illness.

New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act 

On July 18, 2019, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) was signed into law. New York State’s Climate Act is among the most ambitious climate laws in the nation and requires New York to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and no less than 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.

• Carbon neutral economy, mandating at least an 85% reduction in emissions below 1990 levels by 2050

• Minimum of 35% of investment benefits going to Disadvantaged Communities

• 40% reduction in emissions by 2030

• 100% zero-emissions electricity by 2040

• 70% renewable electricity by 2030

• 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035

• 6,000 MW of distributed solar by 2025

• 3,000 MW of energy storage by 2030

• 185 TBtu on-site energy savings by 2025

• Commitment to a just transition

Climate Resources  and Inspiration

Credit: Hastings On Hudson website

Watch videos and learn about individual actions you can take at  The Years Project

Become a climate leader through Al Gore's Climate Reality Project or through ELLA, Environmental Leaders Learning Alliance

Explore comprehensive listings of strategies to draw down carbon through  Project Drawdown - participate in their EcoChallenge.

Try the En-Roads Climate Interactive Simulator: