Dramatic Climate Events Compel Rapid Community Action

Linda Kaidan

 

Community climate change action needed now

Recent alarming dramatic climate events alert us about the urgent need for climate change action at the community level. 18% of the Antarctic’s Larsen C Ice Shelf has separated, triggering the migration and melting of a trillion-ton iceberg the size of Delaware. More of the ice shelf will follow.  Then a few days ago, a significant part of Lakeland, Florida disappeared into a watery sinkhole as Lakeland’s lakes continue to expand. It’s time to get serious about how much time we have left to prepare for the natural and human effects of rapid climate change.

On a very basic level, in the long term we need four things to survive: air, water, food and energy. Because of Herkimer’s ideal climate change location, we have  these climate change survival resources in abundance. But now with accelerating glacial melting, faster-rising oceans and the rapid decrease in nature’s ability to cool our planet, it’s time to take action. Change is coming and it’s coming fast. We must begin now to restructure how we live, both individually and collectively if we’re to beat this storm.

We can overcome many CLIMATE CHANGE issues at the community level

Growing food near home year-round is something most of us can participate in. Hoop houses can be inexpensively constructed and extend the growing season. We have many empty buildings near Herkimer’s village center that can be used for hydroponic indoor gardening. Community garden space should be allocated to all residents who wish to participate.

CLIMATE change – Living smarter, living smaller

We can solve the dual problems of energy consumption and housing for those inevitably relocating to Central New York due to coastal flooding. Herkimer’s many large older houses can come into play as inland migration grows.  We can adapt our living needs to smaller spaces, and prepare to share our homes and the cost of operating them with others. Living smaller is a national trend and a sustainable model, as illustrated by the increasing popularity of affordable micro homes in NYC and California.

Even here, high temperatures may become an issue far sooner than expected. We should consider how we can lower temperatures by creating more shade from the sun. Hopefully in the near future we can use nano-satellites to decrease accelerating temperatures. But lower cost low tech options are available as well. We can plant more trees in open spaces and create underground areas for improved insulation from heat. An inexpensive way to do this is with shipping containers. This couple in California created a solar powered, underground shipping container home for only $30,000.  In 104 F temperatures, the indoor temperature is only 80 F with no air conditioning (24 degrees cooler!).

Everyone can make a difference

“Not much we can do about it” is defeatist. There is so much we can do about it! So – let’s get started! If you’d like to form an action committee for repurposing unused buildings for indoor gardening, planting trees, community gardening, or you have a good idea about something else please contact me at linda.ljanek@gmail.com.

I hope to hear from you!