Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Think Globally, Act Locally – Support Article 11 at Westborough Town Meeting on October 21st.

I subscribe to several scientific magazines and journals such as the Journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Scientific American, Science News and to daily research summaries including Science Daily. I also read the science and climate sections of major newspapers such as the NY Times and Washington Post.

These information sources are among those I use to stay informed and to provide factual support for the columns I write. Over the last decade, these sources have had almost nothing positive to say about pollution, habitat loss, extinction, and especially our changing climate. It makes finding anything about which to write that is not doom and gloom a very difficult exercise.

Even worse, our current Federal Government has all but abandoned and indeed is attempting to reverse policies designed to address all these issues even when industries say they don’t want regulations rolled back. “Make America Polluted Again” is the apparent motto.

 It makes one feel helpless because these problems are so overwhelming. The United States is the only industrialized country where human-caused climate change is subject to debate and indeed, outright dismissal at the highest levels of government.

One bright spot is the growing adoption of clean or “green” energy as well as the rapidly declining costs and increasing efficiency of photovoltaic solar panels, wind turbines and battery storage.

The second bright spot is how state and local governments, businesses and individuals have taken up the banner of leadership that the current federal administration so heedlessly gave up.

Massachusetts has had the Global Warming Solutions Act on the books since 2008, which sets greenhouse gas reduction goals: 10 to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050. It provides pecific actions that have to be accomplished.

Boston has set a goal of being carbon emission neutral by 2050. The city has laid out a strategy to get there as well.

Smaller municipalities, such as Lexington, MA, have created their own Climate Action Plans.

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem” goes the old saying.

A growing number of Westborough residents have decided that it is time Westborough became part of the solution as well, to also take up the banner, and do its part to address climate change.

The Westborough Green Technology Advisory Committee started this work several years ago.

The committee’s new name is Sustainable Westborough. It is chartered by the Board of Selectmen. A main goal of this committee is to move Westborough towards 100% sustainable energy.

It is sponsoring the Climate Change Action Resolution Warrant Article 11 at the upcoming Fall Special Town Meeting. The resolution commits the Town to creating its own Climate Action Plan whose goals will be:

  • Moving municipal operations to 100% Renewable Energy no later than 2035; 
  • Considering climate change in all appropriate decisions and planning processes; 
  • Preparing for the impacts of climate change, that is, adapting and becoming resilient in the face of a changing world; and 
  • Doing our part to meeting the requirements of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act. 
The resolution is just the beginning. It means WE recognize this huge problem and that WE, as a community, need to do our part to address it.

Westborough can no longer ignore the threat of climate change and the damage being done to our planet.

If you have felt helpless in the face of the threats posed by a rapidly warming world, here is your chance to start making a difference.

Think Globally, act locally – Support Article 11 at Town Meeting on October 21st.