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December 05, 2016
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Our carbon problem; Local citizens work to address climate change

Jannette Barth, managing director and senior economist at the Pepacton Institute, spoke about the feasibility of converting New York State’s energy infrastructure (for electricity, transportation, heating/cooling and industry) entirely to renewable (non-carbon-based) energy—wind, hydropower and solar—by 2050 (www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/NewYorkWWSEnPolicy.pdf). Barth emphasized that as fuels, wind, water and sunlight are free.

Renewable energy, relocalization of our economy, living simpler lives by consuming less (because our current lifestyles are devouring more of the earth’s natural resources than it will be able to bear in future generations), sustainability and resilience were the watchwords of the day.

After spending a day with a group of concerned citizens and dedicated volunteers from the Upper Delaware River Valley who are already working hard to achieve a good future in the face of climate change, The River Reporter would like to salute their important efforts. Likewise, we salute the work of professional organizations such as SASD and NACL Theatre for its Weather Project; towns that have adopted the Climate Smart Communities pledge; and citizen/government collaborations, an example of which is the Bethel Green Committee. That said, many more local citizens need to get involved and join the conversation about what we will do about climate change—both averting its worst consequences and preparing for the impacts we cannot change.