2013 Conference on the Environment

A Bi-National Sustainability Summit / Buffalo, NY / Oct. 3 – 5, 2013

I covered this conference as part of the project I am working on to document the impacts of the International Peace Bridge that connects Ontario, Canada to Buffalo, NY’s West Side.  Here are a few photos, and a cartoon, of the the Peace Bridge section of the conference.  Following these images are two photos of Gord Downie, lead singer from The Tragically Hip.  Downie opened the conference with music and words on the environment.  Two photos of the exhibition area follow Downie.

the photo

Peter Rizzo started the presentation on “The Peace Bridge & Air Quality in Buffalo’s West Side: Finding Common Ground.”  Rizzo was the Conference Coordinator and is a Senior Urban Planner with the Federal Government.

The slide reads, “Long-term exposure to diesel exhaust particles poses the highest cancer risk of any toxic air contaminant…” -California Environmental Protection Agency.”

2*cartoons DSCN1998

No explanation needed

The panel

The panel for “The Peace Bridge & Air Quality in Buffalo’s West Side: Finding Common Ground.”

Left to right: Kathy Mecca, President, Niagara Gateway Columbus Park Association (Buffalo, NY), Ron Rienas (center), Peace Bridge General Manager (Fort Erie, Ontario), and Rizzo.

Child suffering from asthma

Child suffering from asthma in Buffalo’s West Side

This slide was presented by Kathy Mecca from the Niagara Gateway Columbus Park Association.

Living in the Shadow

Living in the Shadow of the Bridge (2011) (a portion of this video was shown during the presentation).
Filmmaker: Mark Barner
Organization: The Niagara Gateway Columbus Park Association/Buffalo West Side Environmental Defense Fund

Gord Downie, from The Tragically Hip

Gord Downie, lead singer for The Tragically Hip

Downie opened the conference with a benefit for the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.  Downie, who claims he is not an environmentalist, but a ‘free-market capitalist’ actually had some of the most cutting edge comments that I heard at the conference. Ironically that in itself is tragically hip.  Downie slammed waste disposal in the Great Lakes, fracking, the Tar Sands, and sang a song about disappearing American Eels. Yes, he does care about eels.

Downies's performance was a benefit for

Downie’s performance was a benefit for Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper

One of Downie’s other main complaints was nuclear power plants. “A five year old from Mars will tell you it’s not a good idea to put a nuke plant by our drinking water.”

In the exhibiton center

In the exhibition center

There were many exhibits.

Some people were serious and others...

Some ‘green’ business people were serious about their merchandise and some bystanders drank beer

For more information on some of my current work – The Healthy Communities Concerned Photography Program: The Peace Bridge Project