Letter to the Editor
It’s time to act on climate change
By Tom Lucy
In Jan. 2022, the Saint Paul City Council declared that we are in the midst of a climate emergency. Within this declaration, the city points out how we are already feeling the effects of our delayed and timid response to climate change.
The declaration notes that we have seen signs across the world, for some time, that a changing climate is dangerous for all. We also now see the impacts of climate change impacting us close to home. We have and will continue to see more extreme weather such as drought conditions, heat waves, flooding and more violent storms. If this wasn’t bad enough, we also see that as the temperature increases the other problems we face are only exacerbated (poverty, public health, violence in the community, disruptions to student learning).
As we face a situation which is worsening daily, it is obvious that now is the time to act. Action, in this situation, means we must reduce our carbon emissions quickly and dramatically. So where do we start? The good news is that starting with any source of emissions is good. But if we look at what sources of emissions are growing and which will be the hardest to reduce we don’t have to look far to see the transportation sector. Some sources of emissions, locally and nationwide, have started to decrease but transportation has stubbornly been increasing. As the transportation sector is an area which touches us all, we all will need to be part of the solution in making that sector cleaner. We will all need to examine how transportation impacts our lives, how the daily choices we make impact the planet and how we can make change.
On April 13, the Saint Paul Federation of Educators will be hosting a virtual town hall focused on climate, transportation and SPPS. All are welcome to attend this event to hear more about how we can make our community and our school district a leader in creating a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system for future generations. If interested in hearing more about this event you can register to attend at https://forms.gle/fXweqWL4UwK488UC9 or contact SPFE Climate Action Team member, Tom Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A St. Paul resident, Tom Lucy is a member of the Saint Paul Federation of Educators. Within that group, he is working with colleagues to address action on climate change within SPPS.