Letter to the editor: Help guide the city’s work to address climate change during March 25 workshop

Dear Editor:

Edmonds residents will have a chance this month to help guide the city in its planning to react to global climate change. In a workshop on March 25, and an accompanying survey, citizens can help guide the changes needed for us to live with observed changes in the climate, and to help minimize their impacts.

The city will be holding a workshop, via Zoom, from 6 to 8 p.m. March 25:

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85657197159?pwd=d3piTjBJNHZpd3ZNcDNSalQzTldmQT09

Zoom Meeting ID: 856 5719 7159

Call-in Number: 253-215-8782

Passcode: 100007

Your feedback is vital if we are to successfully come together as a community to meet our goals for reducing heat trapping gasses, also called greenhouse gases (GHGs).

The role that human activities play in the observable changes of the global climate is becoming increasingly unequivocal as advances in climate science are realized. How much and how fast climate changes occur in the future depends on both the amount of GHG emissions and how the climate changes in response to those emissions. (UW Climate Impacts Group).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body that regularly convenes climate scientists, has identified human activity as the primary cause of the climate change that has occurred over the past few decades which is accelerating in recent years. Consensus statements from the IPCC suggest that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) must be reduced significantly – perhaps more than 50% globally, and by 90% in wealthier nations that are the largest emitters – by mid-century in order to avoid the worst potential climate impacts on human economies and societies.  (City of Edmonds CY 2017 Greenhouse Gas Inventory, page 8)

Without aggressive effort to reduce GHGs, we can expect a wide range of impacts for our community and the regional economy, and natural systems.

  • We know that our temperatures will get steadily hotter.
  • Water resources will be affected by projected declines in snowpack, increasing stream temperatures, decreasing summer flows.
  • Summers are projected to be drier with as much as a – 30% decrease in summer precipitation.
  • Precipitation will occur more frequently as intense heavy rainfall events, increasing the risk of flooding.
  • Sea level rise, rising coastal ocean temperatures, and ocean acidification will also affect the geographical range, abundance, and diversity of Pacific Coast marine species.
  • Both the physical and mental health of Washington’s residents will be affected by altering the frequency, duration, or intensity of climate-related hazards to which individuals and communities are exposed.
  • Globally, the population would be exposed to severe heat at least every 5 years; 388 million people, perhaps more would be exposed to water scarcity; plants, animals and insects would lose their range; some would not survive as a species.

If you agree with us that these changes are unacceptable for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and people around the world, please consider attending the upcoming workshop and/or participate in the survey.

We need to generate workable policies and actions to halt these dismaying changes. Working together as a community, we believe that Edmonds can make a significant contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Sincerely,

T.C. Richmond
on behalf of the Mayor’s Climate Protection Committee, City of Edmonds

  1. We need to de-carbonize our homes, businesses , schools, industries, and government buildings. That means shutting off the natural gas. No new construction of any kind should have gas hookups. Then we need to retrofit all homes and buildings with 100 % electricity for heating/cooling, hot water heating and stove appliances.
    We need to switch all our transportation means from gasoline/diesel to electric powered vehicles. This includes cars, trucks, busses, trains, freighters, school busses, post office vehicles, delivery trucks…everything.
    This is what we must face head on. This is what must happen. There is no way around it.
    And it needs to happen now. Right now.
    This will be a huge undertaking. We must start the process. We already know what we need to do.
    The time for action is now. We’ve already wasted too much time . We have gone directly from denial of the problem to being overwhelmed by the problem…a state of paralysis…a lot of talk and fretting and worrying. Enough of that. Let’s grt to work .
    It’s time to act. For our planet, and our future generations.
    We can do this
    We have no choice.
    Thank you.

  2. Bill Phipps Are you for real? What Edmonds does will not change the world as long the whole world is not doing their part and if the sea is rising as some people claim downtown Edmonds will be under water soon and I will have waterfront property.

    1. Your response, then is to do nothing?

      Even the longest journey begins with a few small steps. And sometimes it is good to do something because it is the right thing to do.

      One is either part of the problem, or part – even a small part – of the solution.

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