NY - LTE - What Chemung County should do to help fight climate change

Heather_Stanton_Head_Shot.jpgHeather Stanton Guest columnist

 

Climate change is here.

Heavy storms and floods devastated homes and farms right here in Chemung County last summer. Summers are becoming hotter, on average, and spring arrives earlier than normal.

Our homes, our beautiful natural spaces and our farmland are in danger from increasingly severe weather events and changing climate patterns. Too much rain, droughts, species loss and unpredictable weather negatively impact agriculture, the economy and food security. If we continue to use fossil fuels at the same rate we do today, tomorrow may be more chaotic and dangerous for our kids. It’s a possibility that Mothers Out Front, a national organization of mothers, grandmothers and others more than 23,000 strong, are striving to avoid. We want all children to have a future where jobs are abundant, our country is secure, and our planet is healthy.That’s why we’re asking for something different than flowers, chocolate and brunch on Mother’s Day. This year, moms want the Chemung County Legislature to take action locally to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. To this end, we have attended and spoken at every meeting of the legislature this year. We have met individually with every member of the legislature who would meet with us.

We have collected many postcards from Chemung County residents asking for the legislature to take action. We will be presenting these to the legislature at their monthly meeting on Monday, the day after Mother’s Day.

We love our children, and want them to have safe, healthy and prosperous lives. The county can take simple steps to reduce its carbon footprint.

The first thing the county can do is to opt in to the 5-cent charge on paper bags when the state plastic bags ban takes effect. Another simple step is passing a resolution on benchmarking, basically making public the county’s energy use. Becoming a Clean Energy Community through NYSERDA or a Climate Smart Community through the Department of Environmental Conservation are further steps the county can take, and these programs come with grant money the county can spend.

Supporting these actions would be the greatest gift our county legislators could give to us this Mother’s Day.

We love our children, and want them to have safe, healthy and prosperous lives. The county can take simple steps to reduce its carbon footprint.

Heather Stanton is an Elmira resident.

 

You can read this Letter to the Editor online here: 

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