Climate Change and the Sugarloaf Plan

Comments to the County Council by Kerrie Kyde, Myersville

I’d like to suggest that the Council step back and take a wider, longer view on this Plan means, way beyond the term of this Council, or the next one, or even the next one.

 

A little over a month ago, in late July, we passed the two-year anniversary of the adoption by this Council of a Climate Emergency Resolution, in which the Council committed to “implementing policy and legislative actions through the lens of climate change.”  Are you committed to viewing decisions on this Plan through that lens?

 

It is irrefutable that climate change is having a devastating, and hugely expensive, impact on communities across the planet. Wildfires around the globe, droughts, the drought we’re dealing with here, torrential rains and flooding, Kentucky and Mississippi, Pakistan – losing thousands of people, extreme heat, increasing exposure to global pathogens, which we’re still dealing with. And all these incidents have a huge toll in species death and illness, human and other.

 

The most important factor preventing us thus far from mounting a unified, sensible, forward-thinking effort to stop or reverse the climate crisis, globally, has been the obfuscating and obstructionist voices of business and finance, in particular the fossil fuel industry. But really, it’s been anyone who sees change as a threat to their profit and their business as usual.

 

But business as usual – relatively unchecked growth, growing the tax base, bigger, better, more, growing us out of whatever economic problems we’re having – is an outdated and flawed paradigm, and completely incompatible with a stable, equitable, biodiverse, ecologically functioning planet.  

 

Every decision we make here matters. Frederick County is one tile in a global mosaic of governmental entities making decisions about land use. One piece, and our policies on a local level affect not only Frederick County residents but our neighboring counties, the states surrounding Maryland, and they ultimately have a global impact.

 

So in a real way, I-270 is your climatic line in the sand. Please do not let the money, power, influence and oh, by the way, potential profits of a small group of business and financial interests cloud your judgment. Do not let business as usual sway you from making decisions for the greater, global, public good, and with the climate crisis fully in mind.