Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Needed: Rochester, NY climate action plan site


If you search awhile you can find the City of Rochester’s Climate Action Plan buried on this page: City of Rochester | City Adopts “Green” Resolution. But it’s not the full-fledged web site devoted exclusively to our city’s plan for adapting to Climate Change like they have for Chicago:

City of Chicago Climate Action “From the start, the charge and scope of the Chicago Climate Task Force was broad and ambitious. Dozens of experts and a nationally recognized research advisor committee took part in discussions. Leading scientists were consulted to describe various scenarios for Chicago’s climate future and how these would impact life in the city.”

Each community in the US and around the world is going to have to produce a Climate Action Plan because Climate Change is coming and each community is going to be affected. Despite the budgetary problems facing all our cities, no time should be lost in producing a full assessment of the particular issues that each community is going to face because of Climate Change and recommendations for their residents and businesses from each city on how to adapt.

It’s not something that can be pushed off to the future of better economic times might occur. Climate Change is going to affect transportation, public health, energy, and a whole lot more. Citizens are going to need advice from sources that they trust on how to prepare for the changes and how they can mitigate (or stop) their community from further contributions to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

There is no shortage of Climate Change information for our region. What needs to be done is to develop a site that brings together the latest scientific and governmental information as soon as possible. The city needs to come up with highly visible recommendations and plans for our region to address Climate Change that will give Rochesterians a sense that we are serious about this threat (check the “Likely Changes” coming to our area) and we are prepared.

Of course Rochester’s Climate Action Plan should be tailored to our region, as we have many specific issues that the confluence of our waterways, our transportation, and other factors that make us unique. But we should also have a resource, a web site that has made it easy to coordinate our efforts with other communities addressing similar problems. Something as large and looming as Climate Change needs solutions that are in concert, not in conflict, with each other so as to make the quick and massive changes needed.

It would be smart to get those plans complete and posted to the Internet as soon as possible for the public to view. Grant writers would have a resource for securing environmental grants for our area. Residents would gain information on how best to heat their homes and find programs to help them. There is no end of the advantage of getting out ahead of this massive problem, instead of waiting until Climate Change has us continually playing catch-up and maybe not even being able to catch up with it.

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