This week's meeting featured former Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum.  Mr. Buxbaum spoke about his recent trip to Paris to attend the Global Climate Change Conference.
To see a musical slideshow of this meeting, click HERE.
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Date: Monday, March 28, 2016
Meeting Called to order: 12:21pm by President Belmont
Invocation by: Whitney Holm
Pledge of Allegiance led by: Joe Scuderi
Song: Allen Miller – America The Beautiful
Four Way Test led by: Gina Carlson
Visiting Rotarians: None
Guests of Rotarians:
Allen Miller had 3 guests from Kato, Japan – Olympia’s Sister City
Tom McLane – NR Smith
Tom Lally
David Young – Ben Bridge of Downtown Seattle
Kelly Cooper – WA Department of Health
Olympia City Councilmember Jeannine Roe
Marta Helpenstell – Freelance Graphic Designer/Daughter of Mayor Cheryl Selby
Lea Dornfeld – WWU Student
Happy BucksRobert Coit
Larry Poplack – Birthday bucks – lots of “excitement” on most recent trip to Hawaii.
Kelli Hegsted – announced the YWCA’s “Spring into Action Showcase” on 4/28 – all are invited (see Kelli for more information).
Matt Treich – sad to announce he is leaving our club to take a job with his current employer, Ben Bridge, in Texas.
Leslie Johnson – proud to announce she has lost 30 pounds and will soon be a grandma.
Sean Padget – after lots of college visits, his daughter decided to enroll at WSU.
Warren Carlson – loves living in Olympia because of the local arts/entertainment offerings.
Allen Miller – Kato Sister City delegation visit has been great!
Corrina Phillips – passed her Series 9/10 (securities/branch manager) exam.
Sarah Clinton – The YMCA State Mock Trial competition was a huge success, thanks to so many Rotarians who volunteered. A special thanks goes to Gerry Alexander and Carol Brown for their dedication throughout the weekend.
Dennis Adams – introduced his daughter, Tammy Adams. She graduated from Central Washington University, is an excellent snowboarder and came to work for the family firm after her own business and real estate career. She is now one of the few third-generation Rotarians from our club.
Steve Bean – the eggs (from Joe Scuderi) were successfully auctioned to a pair of politicos – Olympia City Councilmember Jeannine Roe and Olympia City Councilmember and candidate for Thurston County Commissioner Jim Cooper for $75.
President Jack Belmont – recognized the following Rotarians for their work recruiting new members: Jewel Goddard, Geoff Crooks, Joe Scuderi and Oscar Soule. President Belmont also recognized Allen Miller for attaining his first Fred Balz Fellow award.
Caroline Manger – shared a funny political story.
Program: UN Climate Change Conference – Paris 2015
Current Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby introduced Former Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum. He was elected to the Olympia City Council in 2009 and was elected Mayor in 2011 for a four-year term. Currently he is an independent consultant and faculty member at The Evergreen State College. Former Mayor Buxbaum’s comments focused on the work leading up to, and during the historic UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015.
The reason he became involved in the planning towards the conference is because he believes that climate change is an issue for Olympia. However, Former Mayor Buxbaum admitted that the topic and scope of impact is very difficult to grasp since the scope is so large. To reinforce this point he showed a picture of Shanghai in 1990 and 2013. As well he showed pictures of the peninsula in downtown Olympia at 60-year intervals beginning in 1890. By looking back at history, it is sometimes easier to see the prolonged effects of growth.
Regarding the issue of carbon emissions – this will likely pose a problem for the rest of the world because developing countries continue to produce the same levels of carbon as developed nations.
The UN Conference is rooted in the work of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. Olympia was a founding member and still belongs to this group. As Mayor, he worked with the group to identify potential solutions to the issue of increasing greenhouse gas levels.
The Compact of Mayors (a global group of city leaders committed to addressing rising greenhouse gas levels) outlined a four-step process to be completed over the next three years:
  1. Commitment
  2. Innovation
  3. Plan
  4. Implement/sustain
Currently, Olympia is in the first year/phase of the Compact. Cities play a crucial role in climate change – they are the government closest to the people.
Even after the Terrorist attacks in Paris in early November, then Mayor Buxbaum decided to attend the meeting. He felt it was too important. He was rewarded with a safe trip and a front row seat at the conference. He represented the US along with 20 other mayors. There were over 300 mayors from around the globe at the conference.
Understanding that people have trouble imagining the impact of change in the future, completing the work started by the Compact of Mayors is one way to move the globe further towards a sustainable future. By working together with the local resources and jurisdictions to find creative solutions it might be possible for the globe to reduce greenhouse gases.
Former Mayor Buxbaum spent time taking questions from the audience after his presentation.
Mr. Snappy – Colleen Gillespie won 2-dozen frozen blintzes
Meeting adjourned: 1:30pm by President Belmont