Patrick Starr

Vice President, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Southeast Region

Biographical Sketch
Patrick Starr is in charge of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s southeast regional office (serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties) located in Center City Philadelphia. Major projects under Starr’s direction include Delaware Riverfront redevelopment, storm water and watershed education and policy, and smart growth and transit-oriented development education. He serves on numerous task forces and boards including the Highlands Coalition, the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance, LandVisions and the Growth Management Leadership Alliance. He served as Chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Regional Citizens Committee in 2001 and 2002. Previous to joining the Council, he was Public Affairs Director to Philadelphia Streets Commissioner Alexander (Pete) Hoskins. Prior to that he was Director of Civic Issues for the Foundation for Architecture, and free-lanced for the Philadelphia City Paper as a commentator on urban design issues. He resides in Center City Philadelphia.

Presentation Summary
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) protects and restores the natural and built environments through innovation, collaboration, education and advocacy. Founded in 1970, PEC collaborates with the private sector, government, communities and individuals to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. The organization’s initiatives include protecting water resources, promoting sustainable communities and addressing energy and climate issues.

The warming of the planet is an issue with which we all must cope. Over the last century, Pennsylvania’s average temperature has increased by one half of one degree Fahrenheit. Our annual rainfall has risen from 38 inches to 44 inches. We record more extreme heat days now than in the past and Pennsylvania’s winter snowpack is shrinking.

Pennsylvania’s carbon emissions are large and have significance from a global perspective. The biggest contributor to Pennsylvania’s emissions is electricity generation. It contributes 37 percent. Transportation is next largest, contributing 23 percent of the total. Agricultural activities contribute two percent.

The cost of not acting to minimize the effects of climate warming include higher temperatures, poor air quality and more allergens in the future, more drought and flooding due to weather extremes, less crop and livestock production and higher watering costs. Climate warming will present farmers with new opportunities, new risks and rising costs. As the climate grows warmers, crops traditionally grown in southern locations may become a possibility. On the other hand, drops will be vulnerable to increased.

In an effort to provide wide-ranging views and perspectives regarding the practice of and issues surrounding agriculture, the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture (PSPA) seeks speakers representing a variety of perspectives. The statements and opinions they present are strictly their own and do not necessarily represent the views of PSPA.