Commentary

Information That Fosters Action

The first steps to taking action in 2024

Allies and Partners
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Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of educational columns about fostering environmentalstewardship and leadership coordinated by ACES — The Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards

ACES and our Allies are always looking for ways to inform ourselves and the broader community about climate and environmental issues. How exactly to do that is an ongoing effort. First, collectively, we all have an interest in specific topics in such a wide ecosystem of issues. And we individually and as groups follow those interests and try to communicate key take aways.
 
For instance C10, our regional nuclear power watch dog, pays careful attention to evolving governmental regulations, utility filings, and maybe most importantly radiation levels in our ‘evacuation zone’ as neighbors of Seabrook Nuclear plant. Meanwhile ACES’ Ally, the Merrimack River Watershed Council follows sewer overflow reports and participates in regional planning and advocacy effort.
 
As individuals in the community at large, you can help learn about and focus on specific areas that most interest you. You can start by reading our local and national newspapers and magazines, books and blogs about the environment. You can listen to podcast and follow ones you find helpful.
 
If you live out of the area or travel frequently but want to stay locally connected to climate issues, you can subscribe online to follow our columns in the Newburyport Daily News and other environmental news, sign up for our newsletters like ACES and Bill Sargent’s excellent daily news and noteworthy environmental items in his Substack publication “Notes From and Environmentalist” at williamsargent.substack.com “He's always informative and interesting as the following  excerpt displays:
 
“Let me be perfectly clear. I think removing the Ipswich dam will be a good; good for the river, good for alewives and good for the millions of fresh water fish and invertebrates that perish every day when they plunge over the dam into salt water. But the recent floods have shown us that removing the dam is not risk free. Just as the proponents of removing the dam can’t prove that it won’t damage the Choate Bridge, opponents can’t prove that it will. This is simply one of the limitations of science, that you can’t prove a negative. “
 
Nationally and internationally you might want to check out Yale Climate Connections a valuable online source with context and commentary https://yaleclimateconnections.org/ . And if you if you are desiring a more comprehensive list, here are 54 of the best sources from George Washington University https://onlinepublichealth.gwu.edu/resources/sources-for- climate-news/
 

Meanwhile you can take action in simple ways such as this tip from IFAW an international animal preservation non-profit.
 
“What you can do about eliminating plastic for our lives: 
 
1.Choose a day to track all of the disposable plastic that you use from morning to night.

2.After you’ve written a list, research and choose sustainable alternatives made out of material like wood, glass, or natural fibers. 

3.Replacement items could include reusable produce bags for bulk shopping, travel utensils to keep in your car, or reusable snack baggies - the list is endless. 

4.For times when you do purchase plastic, always recycle and do it correctly. Make sure you wash containers before throwing them in the bin and familiarize yourself with local recycling protocols.
 
Respecting that “Every Day is Earth Day”, reflective thought followed by action is truly needed as inaction leads to nothing improving. These issues are too important to ignore. Inform yourself and act in your own way and in your own families to help the Earth. You can also stay informed via ACES' months newsletter at https://www.aces-alliance.org/ Please consider joining our community of environmentally minded neighbors and let us know your thoughts on your ideas to help make this a reality at acesnewburyport@gmail.com

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