In this unprecedented time of uncertainty and enormous concern, it is both affirming and empowering to take a stand for the future. As the current virus demands greater isolation, social distancing, and many serious disruptions to life and its normal demands, it comes also with opportunities.
I’ve heard unexpectedly from old friends, taken extra pleasure in the solace that my garden provides, and experienced a clarity about what is actually of importance. The more challenging this gets, the more important it is to appreciate loved ones and the tremendous beauty of our Earth and to take a stand for life, for a better future.
There is currently an opportunity for you to take such a stand, to plant your seeds for a better world. Most agree that greenhouse gases are warming our planet more rapidly than previously thought and with increasingly grave consequences. In 2008, Massachusetts enacted the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), which mandated an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This year, Governor Baker suggested that the target needs to be increased to a 100 percent reduction by 2050, a reduction to Net Zero.
The GWSA also mandates that every 10 years an emissions reduction goal must be set for the next decade, helping us move step by important step toward the end goal of 2050.
We are currently waiting for the report that reflects how we did in meeting the legally binding 2010-20 goal of a 25 percent reduction. The projections are that this may have been successfully accomplished, as in 2017 we had already reduced emission by 22.4 percent below the 1990 baseline.
Now it is time for the Commonwealth to set the goal for the next 10 years, the 2030 goal, as well as relooking at the 2050 goal and legally mandating the goal Governor Baker recommended of Net Zero by 2050.
The public is included in this process. You can find out answers to your questions, a slideshow about the details of this process, what the state is already doing to plan for emissions reduction, explanations of the laws that inform this process, and a form that allows you to make your own comment, by the April 10th deadline. This can all be found at: www.mass.gov/2050Roadmap.
I have a tradition every fall of planting at least a few spring bulbs. It serves as my personal declaration that in the face of the coming cold and storms, spring will in fact return. I think to myself, as I plant, that even if I should not be here to enjoy the next spring, I have left a sign, a commitment to the hope, that our beautiful planet will flourish. For my grandchildren. For all the children. For you.
Please consider taking a stand on this very important issue. Take a stand for life, for a better future.
Marcia F Hart RN
Member of the Cape Ann Climate Coalition