Climate change and New England
Upon thinking of New England in October, what comes to mind? Warm apple cider, pumpkins sitting on front porches, crisp leaves, blue skies with a chill, plaid everywhere!
Not to mention lots of homework, turning your heater on for the first time, which may or may not work, and of course fall break. Clearly Maine is the place to be during this time of year.
But what happens when global climate change strips New England of its fall character?
Changing temperatures and precipitation patterns are two ways climate change could affect New England's bright foliage by dulling our famous autumn colors. Warmer temperatures resulting in shorter winters and drought increases may also devastate our delicious maple syrup harvests that account for 75 percent of the country's maple syrup productions. Climate change, caused by increases in greenhouse gas emissions, is truly a serious problem that threatens New England's identity and character, not to mention it s ecosystems. But who will take the lead in mitigating the effects of climate change and preserving what's at stake in New England?
This past August, the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers signed a breakthrough agreement and reinforced their commitment that reduces our region's greenhouse gas emissions. They passed the "Resolution 27-7 Concerning Climate Change" that builds from the original Climate Change Action Plan they first adopted in August 2001.
This unique resolution includes measures to increase energy efficiency, increase the use of renewable energy, and decrease the impact of transportation. Specific initiatives call for leadership from the college and university sectors and encourage energy efficient vehicle use in both state and regional fleets. In other words, the comprehensive plan would summon the New England region to commit to goals that would reduce our greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2010, targets developed in the Kyoto Protocol, the international global warming treaty.
This November, we need strong leadership from the Northeast to mobilize the region towards real emissions reductions and set viable goals for other regions to follow. So before you go to the polls, ask your gubernatorial candidates what they will do if elected
to minimize our greenhouse gases and fight climate change?
How will they achieve the goals developed in the Regional Climate Change
Action Plan and make sure global warming is a priority on our state house
On November 5, Election Day, you will have the chance to elect your new Governor who will have the opportunity to take the leadership role in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and curbing the effects of climate change in New England.
EnviroCitizen, a national non-profit dedicated to building the political power of young voters, is helping to turn students out to the polls on Election Day in order to let politicians know climate change is an issue about which we care.
For more information, please visit http://www.envirocitizen.org where you can send a postcard to the gubernatorial candidates and urge them to implement the Regional Climate Change Action Plan.