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Ashland Climate Challenge Kickoff Sunday at Armory

An effort to ramp up a city-wide effort to tamp down greenhouse gas emissions has its official launch Sunday. Speakers, discussions, food, information booths and, since this is Ashland, mini-plays, are all scheduled at the free event from noon until 4 p.m. at the Historic Ashland Armory at 208 Oak St.

Organized by the local organizations Rogue Climate and Geo Institute in cooperation with the city of Ashland, the effort is target at specifying and implementing "climate actions" that can be taken by government, individuals, business and nonprofit groups, according to a statement issued by organizers.

The keynote address will be given by A. Scott Denning, Ph.D., a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, who will talk about the climate change issue as "Simple, Serious and Solvable."

Attendees will also learn about their 36 chances to win prizes for their climate-friendly actions in 2016: Monthly prizes will be awarded in each of three categories, year-over-year power use reduction; for using alternative transportation four times in one month; and for sharing information with their neighbors, friends or others about steps that can combat climate change. 

Here's the Ashland Climate Challenge Kickoff agenda:

• Noon - 12:30 p.m.: Lunch provided by Mix, Pangea and other local restaurants. 

• 12:30 to 1 p.m.: Keynote address by Dr. Scott Denning.

• 1 to 1:50 p.m.: Community leaders from Ashland, Eugene and Fort Collins discuss energy and climate action steps taken and planned.

• 1:50 - 2 p.m.: Presentation on the Ashland Climate Challenge, including how to "Power Down, Green Up and Shout Out" in 2016 and win prizes for so doing.

• 2 - 2:15 p.m.: Claudia Alick of OSF gives a poetry presentation.

• 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.: Small group discussions about envisioning a clean energy community. 

• 2 - 4 p.m.: Information booths hosted by Enhabit (formerly Energy Works), the city of Ashland, Ace Hardware, solar installers, Community Emergency Response Team and electric bike and car vendors offer tips on saving energy, freebies and raffle prize opportunities.

Short plays about climate change will be presented by Oregon Shakespeare Festival actors throughout the event. For more information, go to ashlandclimatechallenge.org.