Imagine being paid to save our forests
According to the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), the evidence for climate change is overwhelming: global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreat, sea level rise, declining arctic sea ice, extreme events (record high temperatures for example) and ocean acidification (https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/). Whether you are a personal believer in this evidence or not, our state government clearly is. In response to this perceived global threat, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has established the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. Our next-door neighbor, Concord, has already taken advantage of this program—wouldn’t it be wise for us to think about applying for a grant for next year? There is also money available to complete the draft of a local hazard mitigation plan (HMP) for submission to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
According to the July 15, 2019 issue of the Concord Journal, Concord first became an MVP-designated community after using a $33,000 MVP Planning Grant to fund a community resilience-building workshop and do community outreach and education. Having submitted evidence of the successful completion of that program, Concord then applied for and received $100,095 to develop a Climate Action and Resilience Plan, and an additional $150,000 for a Reforestation and Tree Resilience project. The town expects to plant 100 trees and do a feasibility study about a tree nursery at its Wastewater Treatment Plant.
A recent study published by the Australian National Centre for Climate Restoration calmly posits climate change scenarios that would be devastating by the year 2050, including more than three weeks of lethal heat annually, the collapse of entire ecosystems and more than one billion people displaced by these events. It would be prudent for Carlisle to plan for the worst-case scenario and work to help mitigate some of the causes, perhaps slowing or even halting this predicted calamity. The Select Board could appoint a working committee to look into the MVP program, contact Concord’s Sustainability Director to find out how she led Concord’s effort, and begin the submission process. Only 35 communities have participated thus far, meaning Carlisle could be at the forefront in this effort.