By Pat Rathmann
On November 20, 2011, over 50 community members and representatives from local environmental groups met at the 1912 Center to plan future events together where we shared similar goals. These like-minded individuals discussed ways we could collaborate to insure a greener Palouse in an age of climate change. The Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition, also known as PESC, grew out of that meeting. Membership is voluntary and all who share our goals of a better world for future generations are welcome.
Our mission is to mitigate climate change and other environmental threats through education and community engagement. We carry out this mission through expert presentations, community education, public forums, documentary films and responsible action. Since that first meeting in 2011, we have held over 150 events including workshops led by scholars from both the Northwest and Canada and have hosted the local premiers of many award-winning documentaries. In 2014, we were recognized by Friends of the Clearwater as the Environmental Group of the Year and received Moscow Mayor Lambert's Green Protector certification in 2015.
To celebrate our first Earth Day, we joined with the Palouse Sierra Club to show "Carbon Nation" and the next year, we co-sponsored an Environmental Democracy Workshop with Wild Idaho Rising Tide. We showed "Fierce Green Fire" in Earth Month 2014 with ICL and the UI Environmental Law Society. The following year, we joined with the Moscow Food Co-op for their April showing of "Origins". "Building a Resilient Palouse in the Age of Climate Change" was the highlight of that Earth Month. This year, we are very excited to use our Dime in Time grant to support the UI Sustainability Center's April workshop providing students with information to enable them to "Green their Future". According to an old Greek proverb, "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." The event will be open to the community and it will provide useful information to both college and high school students, as well as folks interested in starting a second career. The proceeds will support needed supplies, awards, refreshments and transportation for presenters. We take our motto from Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."