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On September 10, 2018 United Nations Secretary-General Antònio Guterres sounded the alarm on the defining issue of our time, the direct existential threat of climate change. He warned that we [humanity] have only a short time to act decisively [two years] before the crisis becomes a runaway – with disastrous consequences [financial, civil, and social] – and about which we can do nothing.
There is disagreement over the causes of climate change. But there is no disagreement among reasonable and rational people that climate change is in fact occuring. Likewise, there is no disagreement among reasonable and rational people that the federal government is doing little or nothing about it.
The great state of North Carolina has belatedly taken up the fight. See Governor Cooper's Executive Order No. 80, dated October 29, 2018. — We rejoice!
The Town of Cary has many and varied programs designed to reduce the amount of pollution we discharge into our land, air, and water. These programs, extremely well organized and run, are effective, and the results they have shown so far are measurably high. The Town's leadership and staff have stated and demonstrated the commitment to reduce pollution, and also to reduce the deleterious effects that flooding causes to certain areas of the Town.
I stand for election to Council with the intention of ramping up these admirable aspirations of sustainability, by one small yet critically important notch.
My goal is to transform the aspirational culture of the Town from its current intention to slow the rate of future pollution to the intention to reduce the amount of existing pollution. My further hope, small but flickering brightly, is that our Town's example will be an inspiration to other jurisdictions to follow it.
There is now a concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere that humanity has never breathed before. It is over 410 parts/million, and climbing. Simply reducing the rate at which we discharge carbon into the air will not reduce the concentration below 410 ppm – it only postpones the days until we reach 411, 412, 413, and higher. In short, it kicks the can down the road, and leaves a worse problem for our children and grandchildren to address.
— Note: On May 13, 2019 a new CO2 record was set: 415.50 ppm. The record lasted two days. On May 15, the level of carbon dioxide in the air reached 415.70 ppm. —
Carbon neutrality is a worthy milestone in our quest for sustainability, but it is ruinous to look to it as the goal. I propose concrete and achievable solutions in these pages that will do our Town's part to reduce the existing carbon in our air.
The major goals of my campaign are listed on this page.
I ran for Town Council in 2017, and in doing so raised some of these issues I raise again this year. Probably because of my political naïveté, the environmental issues did not receive full, fair, and open debate. My intention is to change that this year. Thank you for your consideration! Election Day is October 8th.
These highly accomplished women and men have kindly volunteered to share expertise gained through education, training, and experience in varied scientific fields critically important to this campaign. Each will be available to answer questions I will have as a candidate and potential council member and will explain complicated environmental and human-health issues to me. In addition, members will bring information that they deem important to my attention.
** In addition to her vast scientific knowledge, Dr. McDowell is also well versed on other subjects, and generously shares advice on domestically important topics such as taking out the trash, doing the dishes, and cutting the lawn.
— If you have specialized scientific training or expertise in the environmental issues that threaten us squarely in 2019 and which will determine our health [and our children's and grandchildren's health], our and their quality of life, and our and their financial well-being in the immediate future, please join the Science Advisory Panel [or, if you don't want to join but want to have an extended discussion], please call me any time [919-376-7822]. I'm very easy to talk to and profoundly interested in translating your profesional and personal expertise into legislative action. —