Sunrise WatertownSunrise Watertown marched on the streets of Watertown on Earth Day to bring attention to climate change. The following piece was provided by Sunrise Watertown:
Fifteen months ago, Sunrise Watertown convened with the intention of hosting a 2020 Earth Day event for the community. Little did we, or anyone, expect, our plans would come to a screaming halt at the hands of the pandemic. Nevertheless, we reworked our ideas by hosting a virtual Earth Day event; We invited community members to make signs to post pictures with, sign our petition to enact a Massachusetts Green New Deal, and watch some of the videos we had created through Zoom. Since then, we have gone on to meet with Massachusetts Senators, town councillors, and a whole host of other people willing to help us fight for a livable future.
The Town Council postponed a vote on a resolution that would declare a climate emergency, instead sending it to a pair of subcommittees to study it more closely and come back with a revised version. At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilors said that they supported taking action against climate change, but members of the Council said they did not believe enough discussion had been allowed on the resolution. Some pointed to the fact that it would change the Town’s deadline for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in Watertown from 2050 to 2035. “This is a difficult decision for me because I believe climate change represents a real and dangerous threat to life on our planet and it is an emergency we must address,” said Council Vice President Vincent Piccirilli. “However, this resolution was placed on agenda for vote with a lack of transparency, and circumventing our commitment for engagement on matters of great importance.
The Watertown Dam on the Charles River. The Charles River Watershed Association and Communities Responding to Extreme Weather will host a virtual event focused on building resilience across the Charles River Watershed. The groups included the following description:
Adapting to the impacts of climate change is a daunting task but many local cities and towns are facing this challenge head on. Having the best possible information on the impacts of climate change locally can help guide effective local investment and appropriate regulatory changes. The fifteen communities that are part of the Charles River Climate Compact (CRCC) have teamed up to develop a Charles River watershed flood model.
The following information was provided by members of the Watertown High School student group, Watertown Sunrise, which advocates to stop Climate Change. The demands were presented during a march and rally on the evening of Oct. 23, 2020. WATERTOWN SUNRISE DEMANDS
We demand that the Watertown town council declare a climate emergency. We’re also asking our town government, to help call on other town leaders and to sign onto the Green New Deal pledge to fight for our futures.
The following piece was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger, who represents Watertown, Belmont and parts of Boston:
The Senate Ways and Means Committee just released a bold, thoughtful and comprehensive package of bills designed to accelerate our move away from fossil fuels. The package is being well-received by many environmental leaders and I look forward to voting for it very soon. Back in 2008, I had a hand in passing the Global Warming Solutions Act which set the state on a course to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The present package recognizes the latest science and amends the GWSA to set a stronger long-term target – net zero emissions in 2050.
The package makes the planning process stronger by making the emission reduction targets more detailed: It requires definition of stringent short and medium term targets for each sector of the economy. It also requires more timely reporting on progress. The package mandates that the Secretary of Environmental Affairs implement “market based compliance mechanisms” to achieve emission reduction goals. “Market based compliance mechanisms” include carbon fees and cap-and-trade systems that put a price on carbon emissions. Most economists believe that this is the most effective kind of approach to transforming our economy – letting people and businesses make their own price-informed choices in the market as to how to reduce emissions.
Watertown officials will discuss how the town is preparing for hazards caused by the changing climate that could impact the town. A meeting to discuss hazards will be held on Jan. 23 at the Watertown Library. See more information in the announcement from the Town of Watertown:
Watertown is taking action to prepare for a changing climate
Extreme storm events, flooding, and other hazards are becoming the norm and climate science suggests this will continue and get worse. The Town of Watertown is taking action to be prepared for these changes and keep thecommunity safe.
Several local groups came together to host an event called “The Latest News in Climate—and How Trees Help” at the Watertown Free Public Library. The following information was provided by the event organizers:
Jennifer Shakun, an Applied Forest Scientist, and featured speaker at the well-attended “Trees for Climate Change in Watertown” symposium on March 23, brought dramatic news about climate changes in the Northeast. Local leaders, whose talks followed hers, described in-town, tree-related resources and activities available to Watertown residents. Climate Changes in the Northeast
Shakun told attendees that the Northeast has been warming faster than many parts of the world. Since 1895, the average NE temperature has climbed 2.9 degrees Fahrenheit, (1.6 degrees Celsius), which is higher than the average global rise during that time.
The following information was provided by the event organizers:
Is planting trees in city streets and backyards a good way to help manage the damaging effects of climate change? The answer is an emphatic “Yes!,” according to organizers of “Trees and Climate Change in Watertown,” a free informational program that will be held on Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.-12 noon, at the Watertown Public Library. Sponsored by the Watertown Environment and Energy Efficiency Committee and co-sponsored by Trees for Watertown and Watertown Faces Climate Change, this community event will focus on the important role trees play in keeping a city healthy, and how citizens and Watertown can work together to improve Watertown’s urban forest. Topics will include:
How trees reduce the effects of heat and severe weather and protect our health and environmentWhat trees to plant: tree species that will do best in our changing climateThe state of Watertown’s urban forest, and city plans for its growth and careAdvice on tree-planting and care, including how to get help in organizing a neighborhood tree-planting party, how to join the Citizens Pruning Corps, and how to request a new street tree to be planted by Watertown
Speakers will include:
Chris Hayward, Watertown’s Forestry Supervisor and Tree WardenJennifer Hushaw Shakun, Applied Forestry Scientist at Manomet: “Our Urban Forests in a Warming World”David Meshoulam and teen participants from Trees for Watertown’s Teens for Trees ProgramLibby Shaw, President of Trees for Watertown
There will also be information tables where community members can connect with a variety of groups working on enhancing, protecting and enjoying Watertown’s natural environment. This program will take place in the Watertown Savings Bank Room, Watertown Public Library, 123 Main St, Watertown.