Climate Change is a threat to life as we know it and one of the most important challenges humankind faces in this century. Climate change is a threat to our homes, our food and water supplies, and our health. Our ability to adapt, mitigate and reduce carbon emissions here and now directly affects the continued habitability of our world for future generations.
Yes, we all need to push our national governments and industries to enact policies and practices that fight global warming and climate change. Global warming has caused serious changes to the planet, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, deforestation, disappearance of species and more. But, we need to act locally too. As individuals, we can slow down global warming by implementing small, sustainable actions within our own communities. These can include the installation and cultivation of green roofs and walls in urban areas to boost air quality, eating for climate-stability by choosing more meat free meals and buying local produce when possible, and greening your commute by utilizing public transit and riding bikes for short trips around town.
We also must urge our local governments to make climate action a priority. According to UNDP estimates, more than 70% of climate change reduction measures and up to 90% of climate change adaptation measures are undertaken by local governments. One of the measures our local communities and governments can take is to limit the use of fossil fuels such as oil, carbon and natural gas and replacing them with renewable and cleaner sources of energy. Orange Environment has been working with local governments, on the behalf of local communities for years to do just that.
OE has been active in fighting green-house gas emissions, first against the Calpine plant a few years ago and currently against the CPV Plant in Wawayanda. And OE has begun to study the proposed retooling of the Danskammer plant in Newburgh to see if the new plans meet environmental best practices. These fights are so important because not only will these plants have a detrimental effect on our already polluted air in this region, but their fossil fuel use and emissions will contribute to the warming of our planet.
To further the fight against climate change, OE’s President Emeritus, a Climate Reality leader, has conducted community outreach and education on the climate change crisis issue as well. OE has held public events on the subject, such as the “Understanding and Meeting the Challenge of the Climate Crisis” conference in November 2019. They also held a webinar with Harriet Shugarman, one of the top Climate Reality Leaders and founder of a website called Climate Mama, about her book “How to Talk to your Children about Climate Change” in October 2020.