Bulletin News

‘A Solar Home Companion’ Coming Feb. 28


An environmental-themed extravaganza featuring Emmy-winning “Gaslands” filmmaker Josh Fox and 2014 New York gubernatorial primary candidate Zephyr Teachout will be offered on Saturday, Feb. 28, at SUNY Cortland.

Josh Fox
Josh Fox

The “Solutions Grassroots Tour: A Solar Home Companion will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Corey Union Function Room. In addition to Fox and Teachout, the on-of-a-kind interactive music, theater and video event will feature the acclaimed voice and cello duo Bethany and Rufus, advice from renewable energy consultant Tim Woodcock and clips from Josh Fox’s latest unreleased feature film.

Presented by the Cortland Coalition for Renewable Energy (CoRE), the event is free and open to the public.

The tour was conceived and directed by the Oscar-nominated Fox, best known as the writer/director of “Gaslands” and “Gaslands Part II.” The “Solutions Grassroots Tour” combines classic storytelling and music with “roll-up-your sleeves” organizing to look at the impacts of fossil fuel development and provide a vision for developing renewable energy.

Lightly parodying “A Prairie Home Companion,” Garrison Keillor’s popular, old-fashioned, largely tongue-in-cheek variety show on National Public Radio, the program entertains while informing the audience about how to go renewable and organize for a sustainable future.

 “A Solar Home Companion” also will screen clips from Fox’s new film on climate change. In it, Fox travels to the Amazon, Africa, Iceland and the American West to witness climate change first-hand and share stories about the communities on the front lines of the climate crisis.

“I attended the premier presentation of the tour last summer and look forward to attending the Cortland event,” said Stan Scobie, a member of Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County (GDACC), a senior fellow with PSE Healthy Energy, and co-author of Examining the Feasibility of Converting New York State’s All-purpose Energy Infrastructure to one Using Wind, Water and Sunlight.

“We need more programs like this to raise awareness about climate change and how individuals and communities can address this crisis,” Scobie said.

Filmmaker Fox is Internationally recognized as a spokesperson and leader on the issue of hydraulic fracturing and other extreme forms of energy development. His films won an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary and five Emmy nominations. The movies, which were widely distributed through HBO, also received the Sundance Special Jury Prize for documentary and two Environmental Media Association awards.

 Fox has appeared on “The Daily Show,” “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “The Keith Olbermann Show,” “PBS Now,” CNN and “Democracy Now.” He has frequented MSNBC and the Chris Hayes shows, “The Ed Show” and “Morning Joe.”

Fox is also founder and producing artistic director of the International WOW Company, which helps serve as the foundation for the live show.

Teachout is an associate professor of law at Fordham University. She ran in the Democratic primary election in 2014 against incumbent Andrew Cuomo and comedian Randy Credico, and surprised experts and pollsters by capturing more than 34 percent of the vote with an especially strong showing in upstate New York.

Zephyr Teachout
Zephyr Teachout

The event is sponsored by the Cortland Coalition for Renewable Energy (CoRE), which includes Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County (GDACC), the SUNY Cortland Office of Sustainability, Sustainable Cortland, Cortland New York Public Interest Research Group, the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies Environmental Justice Committee, SUNY Cortland Green Reps, the SUNY Cortland Environmental Club and the Cortland County Environmental Advisory Board.

For more information, contact Sheila Cohen, SUNY Cortland associate professor of literacy emerita, at 607-756-8191 or 585-245-4890.