‘Let’s get going’
To the Editor:
Last week’s Swarthmorean reported on the most recent Borough Council meeting, including the news that our Council unanimously passed a resolution called “Ready for 100.” It calls for our entire borough — municipal, institutional, business, and residential — to achieve 100% clean, renewable energy by the year 2050, with an intermediate goal of all electricity to be renewable by 2035. Transparency and equity are an integral part of it. This is in response to a nationwide Sierra Club challenge that has resulted in one fourth of all U.S. residents now living in areas where this goal has been endorsed. (To be sure, it is an ambitious goal, but one that is necessary if we are to keep within the 1.5 degree centigrade global temperature increase that the UN 2018 IPCC Report declared to be an absolutely crucial threshold.)
What will this mean for Swarthmore residents? Probably something different for each household, whether it be improving your home’s energy efficiency, exploring installing solar panels or a geothermal system, planting trees, signing up for renewable energy at www.papowerswitch.com, or changing your commuting and travel practices to use fewer fossil fuels. But as a community there is more we can do together.
In order for the Borough resolution to make a real difference, we will need to engage our neighbors at community fairs, knock on doors with flyers, talk to friends about what we’ve learned, and lobby our state and federal elected representatives, and much more. A great example of a step in the right direction is the Council’s recent decision to install a couple of EV (electric vehicle) charging stations in the Borough parking lot. Let’s get creative! Maybe have a contingent of EV’s in the Independence Day parade, or organize open houses where we can all learn about efficiency measures our neighbors have taken. We can invite speakers, learn from other communities to see what they’ve figured out, get more connected with Swarthmore College sustainability efforts, etc.
If you have ideas or would like to be involved, feel free to contact me (email@example.com), or reach out to Elizabeth Jenkins (firstname.lastname@example.org), chair of Swarthmore’s Environmental Advisory Council, which will oversee our town’s progress.
To paraphrase a quote that has been bandied about, we’re the first generation that grasps the seriousness of the climate crisis and the last generation that can actually do something about it. Let’s get going.