Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Resolution of the Board of Trustees Of the Village of Cooperstown Regarding Climate Change March 3, 2015 Whereas an overwhelming majority of credentialed scientists, in the United States and abroad, support the findings that climate change is happening and that human activities are a key contributor to it; Whereas the U. S. National Academy of Sciences and the U. K. Royal Society have stated, “It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, accompanied by sea-level rise, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and other climate-related changes; Whereas the 2014 National Climate Assessment, reviewed extensively by the National Academy of Sciences and a Federal Advisory Committee, states that in the Northeast “Heat waves, coastal flooding, and river flooding will pose a growing challenge to the region’s environmental, social, and economic systems… [which] will increase the vulnerability of the region’s residents, especially its most disadvantaged populations; Whereas the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review of the U.S. Department of Defense states that the effects of climate change are “threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence; Whereas the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change has reported “Impacts from recent climate-related extremes, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones, and wildfires, reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability … and “All aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change, including food access, utilization, and price stability; Whereas New York State “Executive Order No. 24 set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York State by 80 percent below the levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050; Whereas the Union of Concerned Scientists has called “for government and corporate decision makers to reduce the threat of global warming by: • Expanding the use of renewable energy and transforming our energy system to one that is cleaner and less dependent on coal and other fossil fuels. • Increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and supporting other solutions that reduce U. S. oil use. • Placing limits on the amount of carbon that polluters are allowed to emit. • Building a clean energy economy by investing in efficient energy technologies, industries, and approaches; Whereas if left unaddressed, the consequences of climate change will adversely impact all Americans, hitting the most vulnerable populations--children, the elderly, the sick and the poor—hardest, and saddling future generations with the costly burden of a damaged planet; and Whereas most faith traditions recognize a moral obligation to care for the most vulnerable peoples and to be responsible stewards of the Earth; Whereas global warming and resultant climate instability are broadly considered issues requiring correct and sustained actions by nations, states, and communities; Whereas local, state and federal governments are incurring increasing costs to repair damage from severe climatic events, and these costs are only expected to increase and will ultimately be borne by taxpayers; Whereas addressing climate change through increased energy efficiency measures and increased development of renewable energy sources could provide benefits in terms of employment and sustainable economic activity; Whereas the Village of Cooperstown and its surrounding region have experienced multiple 100 and 500 year storms in the past 10 years; Whereas the Village of Cooperstown and the surrounding area rely largely on tourism, agriculture and health care to support a sustainable environment and economy which would be negatively affected to an increasing degree by unmitigated climate change, but could benefit from positive actions to address climate change; now therefore be it Resolved, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Cooperstown: 1) urges the County of Otsego, the State of New York, and the Congress and President of the United States of America to take prompt and effective measures to rapidly address climate change by promoting and encouraging a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and their associated infrastructure, improvement in the efficiency of energy systems, and the development and installation of renewable energy systems; and 2) stands ready to work with any level of government to achieve these goals, that will in the process create safe, sustainable jobs and provide real, clean energy solutions for generations to come.