Commentary

Climate Action Project's work progressing

These issues impact all members of our community from the cost of waste disposal, flooding of coastal areas, and the cost and quality of the energy we use in our homes and businesses. These issues and the educational, business and governmental responses are the focus of the Green Expo on April 11 from 4-8 p.m. at Nock Middle School. We hope you will all attend.

Photo by Lucie Hošová on Unsplash

Daily News Editor's note: This is one in a continuing series of guest opinions about fostering environmental stewardship. The series is coordinated by ACES, the Alliance of Climate & Environmental Stewards.

The Climate Action Project (CAP) was formed in 2013 at the request of the First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist (FRS) board to guide the congregation in its deliberations regarding the divestment of its portfolio from fossil fuel energy companies, a proposal that the congregation voted to support.

Following these investigations and recommendations, CAP members turned their attention to climate change initiatives. Our work is a subpart to the FRS mission “… to be a welcoming and inclusive community that encourages spiritual growth as we strive for truth and meaning and serve the social and spiritual needs of our larger community.”

CAP’s goal is community and government action to slow climate change. The FRS Climate Action Project plans to:

  • Think globally, work locally, act personally;
  • Raise awareness within FRS and the local community on the urgent need for climate action by organizing a series of events, discussions and communications on key climate change topics;
  • Increase the reach and effectiveness of our small group by attracting more FRS members and friends to join with us in this cause, and by collaborating with other like-minded local organizations and agencies of government;
  • Publicize concrete actions by which concerned citizens can combat climate change in their personal lives, through government channels, and/or by participating with advocacy groups.

Projects organized by CAP include conducting a church building energy audit, working alongside other community groups to bring speakers and movies to our area, and working with our youth group to coordinate Climate Cafés.

A recent project featured a potluck supper with Amber Hewitt of the National Wildlife Federation regarding off-shore wind power development. Current projects include a proposed environmental policy statement for our church, a Climate Café with the FRS youth group on March 24, supporting work on the Greater Newburyport Green Expo on April 11 at the Nock Middle School, and an Earth Day service on April 28.

CAP follows and discusses current events, including state and federal legislative initiatives that will impact climate change. One state bill will put a cost on carbon emissions broadly (the Benson Bill from the last session H.1726), and then the 12 State Transportation Initiative (https://www.transportationandclimate.org/content/about-us).

Several members attended and reported on the recent meeting in Newburyport that discussed the Merrimack River combined sewage overflow (CSO) issues that have been caused by increased rainfall amounts in the storms during the last half of 2018 and have resulted in untreated sewage flowing in the river.

The CAP group supports the City of Newburyport’s initiatives to address the issues of waste, resiliency and energy in our community. The community has gathered at various times to discuss these issues and embody them in our Green Community certification and 2017 master plan.

These issues impact all members of our community from the cost of waste disposal, flooding of coastal areas, and the cost and quality of the energy we use in our homes and businesses. These issues and the educational, business and governmental responses are the focus of the Green Expo on April 11 from 4-8 p.m. at Nock Middle School. We hope you will all attend.

Lastly, as we consider the impacts of pollution, we are reminded that we live in a connected community of individuals and families seeking jobs, housing, good education and quality of life. Given the enormity of the climate crisis and the consequences for our children and grandchildren and for threatened communities around the world, there remains a need for spiritual and moral guidance.

This was driven home by a recent TEDx talk by a 15-year-old Swedish student activist, Greta Thunberg, who lost all hope in the midst of the news of climate change and the limited actions taking place in the world.

It is a stark reminder of our need to discuss these issues with our children, and maintain their hope and belief in a positive future. It is a very powerful presentation from an active teen’s perspective.

Bill Clary is a member at FRS and the chair of the Climate Action Project, which welcomes all individuals from the community to participate: https://www.frsuu.org/category/climate-action/.

...
Related Posts
Participating Allies
about the author
Bill Clary

Bill is a member at FRS and the chair of the Climate Action Project and President/Chief Executive Officer of PHYCO2 LLC.

Related Initiatives