On Thursday, Feb. 19, I attended a meeting for the town of Cortlandt’s Global Warming Citizen’s Advisory Committee, of which I am a member. (Attendance was limited by the snowy weather; I found it so ironic that a global warming function was hindered by a winter storm. Is it wrong to ask for a heat wave to help the cause?)
The town has recently adopted an aggressive goal of reducing municipal energy use by 25% over the next three years – more fondly known as the 25 by 12 Campaign. We’re considering the various options for achieving this goal, including hiring an Energy Performance Contractor; however, Mother Nature can still rest easy. Until a decision is made, the town is starting with the “low-hanging fruit”, if you will, of energy efficiency: taking the very basic, simple and effective actions.
The highlight of the meeting came with the wonderful graphs produced by leader Jeff Tacks delineating the municipal’s annual consumption of gas, electricity and heating oil. (And my parents think our bill is high!) The superb thing is that we have clear, baseline numbers on which to measure the effectiveness of our actions, the key to a truly successful campaign.
Besides 25 by 12, we’re also developing three new public service announcements on new hummer rebates – no, just kidding! We’re really writing PSAs on environmental conservations, of course, to star local elementary school students. Because if Al Gore can’t get us to fight global warming, then I’ll bet the cute kid down the street can. Also look forward to a new website for the Committee’s efforts, developed by yours truly, to be launched soon. I’m hoping to achieve as fantastic a site as Bedford
has. The lucky thing is that, as a teenager, I know a thing or two about the Internet (shocker, right?) and have already designed a website for my school’s Environmental Awareness Club
. If I do say so myself, I think we’re a pretty cool club – with matching tie dye T-shirts (what’s an environmental club without a little throwback to the classic tree huggers?) I’ll go more into our actions soon, but I just want to touch upon the president’s address tonight.
Alright, finally we're getting somewhere! I loved his overall message of uplifting the economy and the nation, and the green economy as central to this plan was subtly suggested on numerous occasions. Rightfully, energy constituted one third of his budget: a double in production of renewable energy over the next 4 years, $15 billion dollars allotted annually towards research and development of sustainable technologies, installation of new smart power grids, a mass retrofitting campaign and a call for a carbon cap bill from Congress. Props, Mr. Obama — you certainly covered all the essentials!
Now not to sound like a Debbie Downer but I was slightly disappointed by his first call to only double renewable energy over the next 4 years. Definitely a step in the right direction, but not enough to solve climate change. For that, we need to answer Mr. Gore’s call for 100 percent renewable energy in 10 years.