Binghamton 2 Degrees

What will Binghamton look like under two degrees of warming and what can we do now to prepare? 

Climate change will alter all aspects of our lives in profound ways. Binghamton 2 Degrees is a proposed campus-wide initiative to engage everyone in Binghamton University and the larger community on the central motivating question of: What will it mean to live in Binghamton under two degrees of warming and what can we do now to prepare? 

Binghamton 2 Degrees prompts questions that can be addressed by disciplines across the University: 

  • Floods. Binghamton is prone to floods. Will they become worse? How much worse? How frequently will they occur? What can we do to mitigate or prepare for them?
  • Refugees. Large coastal population centers are close to Binghamton. Will we have refugees from the coast? How many? Where would they go? What would they do?
  • Art. How can we use art to envision what it will be like to live in Binghamton under two degrees of warming? Can we use that to prepare our hearts?
  • Energy. Can we create localized electrical grids that are more resilient to a variable environment, especially weather? Can we create sustainable local energy production and storage?
  • Education. How would the University teach under two degrees of warming? How will what and how we teach change?
  • Ecology. How will plant and animal life in Binghamton and the surrounding areas change?
  • Food. How will we grow food sustainably under two degrees of warming to keep ourselves fed?
  • Disease. Will new epidemics be more likely? Will they be more severe? How can we prepare against them locally?
  • Economy. How will we keep accounts and trade? What new jobs will we need to have filled? Who will fill them and how?
  • Transportation. How will we navigate from place to place? Will mass transit change? Will transportation needs change? Will electric vehicles become the norm? If so, when?
  • Housing. How will we adapt housing to a warmer world?
  • Management. How will organizations adapt to the new technology of climate change and climate change itself? How will risk mitigation change (e.g., insurance, financial derivatives, contract provisions)?
  • Information. Can we develop/grow our own localized news and information systems including radio, television and internet? 

Binghamton 2 Degrees can take a number of actions, centered around an idea of action research. We as a community will participate in this joint scientific venture into a new world that could look radically different from our current one. We will figure out how to navigate it together, using our best minds, our best voices, our best hands. We will document what we learn and teach it to others. 

Binghamton 2 Degrees: Live at Confluence Park

A community arts and music festival about climate change & you

Learn more about Binghamton 2 Degrees

An Earth Month panel discussion, titled "Binghamton 2 Degrees: Envisioning Binghamton under two degrees of warming. Floods, Refugees and Art"  included Maxim Pensky on genocide and mass atrocity prevention, Peter Kneupfer on flooding, Hiroki Sayama on complex systems, Barry Brenton on civic engagement and Leslie Heywood on art and narrative. 

Here are some actions: 

  • Localized resilient and sustainable energy production. Design, build.
  • Localized resilient and sustainable food production. Design, build.
  • Productions of art. Helping us develop and tell the stories of this grand transition.
  • Conferences. Papers. Journals and special issues. Books.
  • Authentic research experiences for students.
  • Model and document the “2 Degrees” initiative for our peer institutions and communities to emulate.
  • All-campus events to practice the experience of two degrees of warming. “Two degrees warmer in summer, two degrees cooler in winter.” Or “Under two degrees of warming, experts tell us that foods X, Y, and Z will not be available. For one week, we will be eating like it was two degrees warmer.”
  • Mutual Aid. How can we reliably take care of each other?

Binghamton 2 Degrees could involve partnerships with institutions within and outside of Binghamton University, such as the Sustainable Communities TAE.

One early push of Binghamton 2 Degrees will be a series of events during the 2023-2024 academic year. Long term, it will involve building social and physical structures and activities that will help us in this transition to a warmer, more unstable climate.