Ithaca, NY: Power to the People

The climate is going haywire, and politicians are bickering over what to do about it, or whether to do anything at all. But that’s only part of the story. Around the country, communities are taking matters into their own hands, publicly pledging to shrink their carbon footprints, then setting out to make good on their promises. Leading, they hope, from below. In this hour, guest producer Jonathan Miller gives us a tour of his uber-progressive but practical-minded hometown of Ithaca, New York, where citizens and civic leaders are hustling to wean themselves from fossil fuels.

Show Credits

Reported and produced by Jonathan Miller of Homelands Productions. Edited and mastered by Taki Telonidis.


Thanks to Judy Hyman for composing and performing nearly all of the music in the program. Also thanks to Peter Bardaglio of the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, Gay Nicholson of Sustainable Tompkins, Ed Marx and Katie Borgella of the Tompkins County Planning Department, City and Town of Ithaca Sustainability Planner Nick Goldsmith, Mike Sigler of the Tompkins County Legislature, music journalist Jim Catalano, Dylan Brown (for the coal train recording), Annie and Marie Burns of The Burns Sisters, The Horse Flies, Jeff Claus, Richie Stearns, and the Cornell Glee Club.


Episode Music

Artist Track
Jeff Claus Henry in the Woods

Lyrics by Woody Guthrie, Music by Marie Burns, Performed by The Burns Sisters from “The Hills of Ithaca” (Sisters Music, 2012)

Hills of Ithaca

Archibald Croswell Weeks and Wilmot Moses Smith, sung by the Cornell Glee Club

Far Above Cayuga’s Waters

Dick Hyman and Judy Hyman, from “Late Last Summer”  (Left Ear Music, 2012)

Late Last Summer

Judy Hyman

Quebec Bill Fiddles in the Tavern

Dick Hyman and Judy Hyman, from “Late Last Summer”

Ralph’s Watch

Dick Hyman and Judy Hyman, from “Late Last Summer”


Dick Hyman and Judy Hyman, from “Late Last Summer”

Audubon’s Lucy

Dick Hyman and Judy Hyman, from “Late Last Summer”


Dick Hyman and Judy Hyman, from “Late Last Summer”

Victor and Naomi

Dick Hyman and Judy Hyman, from “Late Last Summer”

Save a Thought

Judy Hyman


Dick Hyman and Judy Hyman, from “Late Last Summer”


Dick Hyman and Judy Hyman, from “Late Last Summer”

  • Peg Unsworth

    WOW! Why don’t we show it at we show it at Longview soon?

  • Mike

    How do we download MP3s?

  • southseas

    Is there a download ( Not Apple)

  • John Neal

    I work in the energy efficiency industry and enjoyed listening to the different snapshots of what is happening around Ithaca from an energy perspective. But, the ending made me feel restless! I’d encourage Mr. Miller to work on a follow up piece potentially focusing on a community in the US or abroad that has already achieved or is well on its way to achieving a bulk of its renewable and efficiency goals – we can see the building blocks coming together for Ithaca, now show us the assembled end result from another community. Keep up the good work and love the music too.

    One criticism – while I agree that community aggregated solar is ultimately more effective, it seemed like your stated reasons to not put solar on your own roof were a little weak and were mostly used to help carry the arc of your story. I think this “out” you provided might resonate with listeners, even if you didn’t intend it to (eg: “I need a 7KW system to offset my $30/month bill”). A 4KW system should be plenty sufficient to offset most use in a home that already has such a small energy bill. Also, that chimney that is in the way? Looks like your gas furnace or water heater flue. Change this technology to a heat pump and you’ve lost your shading problem!

    • SOTRU

      Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, State of the Re:Union is on hiatus indefinitely, so this email address is currently unmonitored.

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