It happened again today. I was reading a column in the Boston Globe expressing astonishment that so many people voted for Donald Trump, despite his many presidential transgressions. To my astonishment, however, the list of transgressions did not include withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord or being a climate change denier. Ah, yes — climate change. I guess she forgot to mention that.
My new mantra is: turn concern about climate change into a priority. I don’t mean that we should ignore other issues, but I do mean that climate change needs to climb up the ladder of priorities and stay near the top. Scientists tell us that, in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, bold action is needed and it is needed soon. Cities and towns can make climate action plans and set out roadmaps for meeting goals. State legislation can promote energy efficiency, require that new buildings be zero net energy, and create green jobs by increasing renewable energy. And of course federal legislation is key.
The driving force is pressure and support from constituents, whether it’s calling a legislator, emailing the Select Board, or talking to a town meeting member. These are small but significant acts. Numbers are important (especially to get beyond the “usual suspects” that legislators hear from all the time).
What can individuals do? A good start is to get informed about what’s going on in Metrowest. Get on the Green Needham email list to receive blog posts keeping you up-to-date about local environmental initiatives. Green Newton and Sustainable Wellesley also have informative newsletters. (Sign up for free on their home pages.)
Westwood has a town committee, the Westwood Environmental Action Committee (WEAC), that has a Facebook page with important information about local events.
For state-level issues, you can sign up for Mass Audubon e-newsletter or Mass Sierra Club monthly email about Massachusetts news, events, and actions.
And don’t forget our own Green Congregation Committee! Contact me, Eleanor Rosellini at email@example.com, to get on our email list and keep up-to-date about church-related and community activities.