Friday, April 13, 2007
Stepping It Up
Carlisle is no stranger to climate change, in that seasons have long been mercurial — snow falls in April and the odd flower sometimes blooms in a mild December. How does one recognize the difference between normal variability in the weather, and climate trends caused by greenhouse gas emission from human industrial and agricultural activities? This spring, people all over the world are talking about that question.
On Saturday, April 14, Step it Up 2007 is an opportunity for people here in Carlisle to share information about environmental issues, opinions, good food and music. This unusual, intergenerational event was organized by the recently formed group, Carlisle Climate Action (CCA), whose mission is to educate the public about the global climate crisis and to promote actions on the part of citizens and our town government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (I am a CCA member, but am not the organizer of this event.)
The Step It Up rally will be held on the Town Green and in Union Hall of the First Religious Society between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Participants include eighth graders sharing their Eco-Fair presentations, as well as speakers such as Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle, Board of Selectman Chair Doug Stevenson and State Senator Susan Fargo. Douglas Plante of the Al Gore organization will speak at 10:30 a.m. on causes and solutions for global warming.
Evidence of warming trends continues to accumulate, and recent research is described in the April 6 report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC's report summary states, "Observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases." It also states, "Adaptation will be necessary to address impacts resulting from the warming which is already unavoidable due to past emissions." The summary is available on the web at: www.ipcc.ch.
Over 2,500 expert scientific reviewers spent six years preparing this IPCC report, endorsed by officials from over 130 countries. The April 7 Boston Globe said the IPCC report included review of 75 scientific studies, "that showed significant changes in everything from ice on lakes to species' migration."
Step It Up is a project of environmental author Bill McKibben and associates who are organizing grassroots support for the goal to reduce national carbon emissions by 80% by the year 2050. According to their web site (www.stepitup2007.org) they have been the catalyst for at least 1,300 similar events to be held on April 14 around the country. In Concord, from 10 a.m. to noon, Step It Up will host a walk on Brister's Hill and a talk by Peter Frumhoff, chief scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists.
In between your weekend errands on Saturday, why not stop by Carlisle's Step It Up event? Hopefully, the weather will be warmer than last week.
© 2007 The Carlisle Mosquito