Post Card to Paris Climate Summit

Postcards to Paris-190.600
Icehouse Eiffel Tour, November 29, 2015. © Bob Adamek

Thanks to the Postcard to Paris organizers and everyone who came out for a meaningful and inspiring evening, Sunday, November 29. Re-energizing our world will take everyone!


Find Christopher Clymer Kurtz’s coverage of the Postcard to Paris event for WMRA here. Photo above is of Earl Martin signing the Post Card. Photo credit: WMRA.

Event photos by photographer Bob Adamek are here.


On Friday, November 13, Paris was rocked by multiple devastating terrorist attacks involving many dozens of deaths and injuries. The organizers of this Post Card to Paris event send our heartfelt concern and grief over these tragic events. We are hopeful the UN Conference of Parties 21, scheduled in Paris from November 30 – December 11, will prevail in hopes of a more just and livable planet.


Come one and all! Add your voice to the global plea sending an urgent message to the pivotal United Nations Conference on Climate Change convening in Paris. Help create a new coalition of faith groups, student and environmental groups, business and government, to build positive changes in the Valley. Join us in lighting up Harrisonburg’s own Eiffel Tower as a sign of our commitment to the future.

Our first action is a gathering at Harrisonburg’s Icehouse Eiffel Tower on Sunday, November 29 at 4:30 PM to:

1. Send a message to negotiators in Paris demanding a just and swift transition to 100% renewable energy.
2. Call for action in the Valley to increase energy efficiency and move to renewable energy sources for a sustainable and resilient place to live now and in the future.
3. Pass the torch to our young people as they light up our own Eiffel Tower as a beacon of hope for the future and signal of support for global consensus in Paris.

2015 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history, and this December 195 world governments will meet in Paris to try to strike a global agreement. It will be the biggest gathering of its kind since 2009, and it’s a big deal for our planet.

So far, however, commitments from world governments just aren’t adding up. We are out of time and we can’t afford another failure at a moment when renewable energy is becoming a revolutionary economic force that could power a just transition away from fossil fuels.  The solutions are obvious: pull out all the stops to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy everywhere we can, and make sure communities on the front lines of climate change have the resources they need to respond to the crisis.

This could be a turning point – if we push for it. Join us on November 29 for serious conversation, music, fun and food – and join the movement to re-energize Harrisonburg and the Valley for a livable planet and a viable future.


fb.75       Facebook event page here.


What to expect at the Postcard to Paris gathering, an inaugural event for a new coalition, on Sunday, November 29 at 4:30PM:   There will be short speeches explaining the action, the “solar torch of renewable energy” will be passed from old to young, a photo will be taken of everyone gathered around the tower and a giant Post Card to Paris, and there will be music, snacks, and conversation (indoors where it will be warm!) And most critically, there will be an opportunity for outreach to the world and local government through signing the Post Card to Paris and a petition to City Council.


InPlaceThe Harrisonburg Eiffel Tower sculpture was constructed on the Icehouse patio on Saturday, November 21 under the watchful eye of local structural engineer Johann Zimmerman of JZ Engineering. Area student groups joined the project site that afternoon to paint the Tower. The Icehouse Eiffel Tower, Harrisonburg’s newest downtown attraction, is scheduled to stay up through the end of the year.

On Monday, November 23 starting around noon, the Tower was raised, anchored in place with sandbags and strung with solar powered LED lights. Come to the Icehouse to check it out then be sure to return for the call-to-action, galvanizing, community gathering around the Icehouse Tower on Sunday, November 29 at 4:30PM.

whsv.PP.300Ryan Cornell wrote about the tower and project for the Daily News-Record as published on 11/24/15: A Towering Task: Eiffel Tower Sculpture Sends Climate Message.

Janson Silvers reported on this effort for WHSV-TV on 11/24/15: Postcards to Paris Working to Change the World.


ON.OFF.action.300If you’re part of an organization, share this invitation and bring your group’s banner to hang with those of our sponsors and (current) coalition members:

New Community Project/Vine and Fig, Shalom Mennonite Church, Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, JMU GIVE Volunteers, Voluntary Gas Tax, Community Mennonite Church, Young Activists of Harrisonburg High School, EMU Earthkeepers, EMU Sustainable Food Initiative, JZ Engineering, Solarize Harrisonburg, Shenandoah Group of the Sierra Club, Harrisonburg Rockingham Green Network, Divest JMU, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, JMU EARTH Club, Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, EMU Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, and the Shenandoah Valley for Bernie 2016 group.

Thanks to local business supporters: Pale Fire Brewing Co., Strites Donuts, Dunkin’ Donuts, and the Friendly City Food Co-op! Thanks to JMU’s Food for Thought for their contributions to our event food table!






Click on the images above for a fuller view of the posters. The one on the left is about the Eiffel Tower itself and an artist’s statement from Johann Zimmerman. The poster on the right describes the Postcard to Paris Project.


This event is the official public launch of a long term campaign to move Harrisonburg toward 100% renewable energy.

It is the product of a (yet unnamed) newly formed coalition of local student, faith, and other social and environmental groups committed to a more globally engaged and sustainable Harrisonburg. The group emerged from‘s worldwide, grassroots campaign to turn on renewable energy and turn off fossil fuels. The local campaign has four goals:

• To be a local movement within a larger global movement
• To send a unified message to Paris for the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit, urging our world leaders for a swift and just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy
• To highlight the renewable infrastructure that is already present in our neighborhoods
• To create positive change in our city by creating pathways for more renewable energy

Collaboration and input about how this can be a movement for positive social and ecological change in our city is welcome; shaping and realizing this vision for a re-energized Harrisonburg will take everyone.

For more information or to get involved, please contact Tom Benevento at New Community Project/Vine and Fig at 540-432-3696,, or CAAV representatives at


Eiffel Tower sculpture being assembled and painted on November 21, 2015, on the rooftop beside Pale Fire Brewing Co.:

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