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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 actually reduce the total 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 currently discharge carbon into the air will not reduce the existing 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. 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 as well as the particulates and ozone.
It was said in 2017 that the Town's rate of increase of population was slighly less then 3%, and that that rate was "sustainable." The next year it was announced that the Town had experienced the lowest single-year rate of increase in over 100 years, a rate of slightly less than 2%. In 2019, the rate was back up to 2.4%.
But the exponential [I use the word in its mathematical sense] population explosion we have been undergoing for 50 years shows no sign of slowing, as is shown by this graph on the Population page. It is by no definition "sustainable." We propose several uses of developed and undeveloped land within the Town that will slow the rate of population growth.
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.