Fighting climate change starts locally and can have local benefits

Cheverly, in Prince George's County, provides a model for many: The attention paid to mitigating climate change at the local level, we recognize, can jump-start some stagnant parts of our local, state and national economy.

 Progressive Cheverly, a Progressive Maryland ally organization in Prince George’s County, has worked to bring progressive change to its comfortable but diverse suburb since 2004. Recently it congratulated its own Town Council for making a significant move to enable and ease local action on climate change. As is becoming clear, it is local governments (in the absence of a coherent national policy since the 2016 election) that will have to take the lead on this crucial effort. As the town council’s resolution declares, “The Town of Cheverly specifically commits to continuing to prioritize strategic policies and programs that promote the long-term goal of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, while maximizing economic and social co-benefits of such action.” The attention paid to mitigating climate change at the local level, many recognize, can jump-start some stagnant parts of our local, state and national economy.

The opportunity for other Maryland towns, cities and counties, as well, to turn this crisis to a positive future is clear.


 

/By Norman Oslik/ Progressive Cheverly commends the Cheverly Town Council for enacting  R-8-17 Green Climate Resolution on October 9th, making the commitment to actively do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as expeditiously as feasible. In the spirit of the resolution, which encourages collaboration between the Town and community organizations, members of Progressive Cheverly have begun discussing ideas that we may bring forward for consideration by the Town and by the residents of Cheverly.

The sheer number of ways that we collectively and individually promote the generation of greenhouse gasses is dizzying. But some areas of impact are much bigger than others while some improvements are easier to implement. We'll be looking at both tracks. Some of these ideas may require budget action by the Town Council while others may involve educational efforts to encourage changes in behavior by individual residents.

At this point we are mainly researching ideas, learning the status quo, and considering approaches.  Initial areas people are looking at involve a mix of institutional and personal actions:

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Plant-based diets.
Energy-efficient street lighting.
Home energy efficiency.
Green public buildings

Many other topics have been discussed as possible areas for action, including wind power, greener trucks, food waste composting, forest restoration, and electric vehicles/charging station(s). We've also discussed trying to calculate baseline measures of current greenhouse gas emissions, holding information forums, promoting staff education, and providing lists of actions that individuals can take, including potential financial resources.

We welcome anyone who would like to join us. There is much information available for local jurisdictions who want to take action. If you are interested contact me at norman.oslik@gmail.com.


Norman Oslik, a longtime member of Progressive Cheverly, is also active in Progressive Maryland.