Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) (1)

(1st in a series about the Climate Action Plan)

Powered by City Councilman Reynolds, Bethlehem has a Climate Action Plan. CM Reynolds hosted a committee meeting on this plan December 4.

Gadfly has no firm, professional grip on the science or the societal or even the political ramifications of climate change, global warming, greenhouses gases, and the like. As his revered Daddy used to say, “all I know is what I read in the funny papers.”

Probably like most, but, thankfully, not all our followers, Gadfly knows only surface stuff. Tenuously grasped. Soundbite stuff.

But Gadfly knows enough surface stuff to be worried, very worried — worried about what’s happening to Mother Earth and worried about what is and what is not being done politically.

We all know our government “news-dumped” a shocking blockbuster major climate report on the day after Thanksgiving, a day designed to minimize its impact.

We all know that President Trump is a denier.

Not good.

Needless to say, Gadfly is pleased and proud that we have a plan, that someone has foresight, that we are taking action to encourage positive practices that – not to put too fine a point on it – might help save the planet.

The opposite of NIMBY is RIMBY – “Right in my backyard.”

The idea is to do what we can here, do what we can control, and thereby contribute to the whole. (Given yesterday’s thoughtful events, I’m thinking of Prez H.W. Bush’s “Thousand points of light.”)

Gadfly loves the idea and is opening a thread here to follow and share with you the City’s progress (and the City seems to be well onboard – CM Reynolds tipped his hat a couple times to active City engagement).

But before plunging right in to CM Reynolds’ plan, Gadfly feels the need to stop just a moment to establish the framework, the context in which this plan sits.

The prof in him will never die. He always feels like he should create a syllabus! Please forbear. He never promised you a rose garden.

And thus he has compiled a bit of a reading list (what blogger does this kind of thing? Ever the scholar – sigh) that he is going to spend an hour or two going through related to the publication of that aforesaid government report on November 23.

You may want to follow him. To get some facts, feelings, future projections.

1) Gadfly was looking for a brief primer of terms – some basics. This might work.
“What is climate change?” BBC

2) Then some basic news stories covering the release of the report. Sample one or two of these. They’re basically the same. Gadfly couldn’t find a short Fox piece.
CBS (5 mins.)
ABC (5 mins.)
CBS (3 mins.)
CNN (2:45 mins.)

USA Today

3) Gadfly was looking for more depth on the political context of the report, what the administration thinks about it, why it was released on a dead day, and so forth. This looks good.
The Atlantic

Trump (45 secs.)

4) A next level would be a bit more depth on the report from believers – from the co-authors of the report or specialists in the field.
NBC (5 mins.)
CBS (5 mins.)
CBS (10 mins.)

5) And for sure an in-depth report from a denier of climate change. What do their voices sound like? On what are they basing their rejection or qualification of this type government report. Gadfly says, always look at both (all) sides.
Mark Levin Show (15 mins.)

6) Lastly, the reports themselves. Now Gadfly is usually scared away from the technical reports. You too? And we usually depend on some intermediary for information. But, Gadfly says, always best to go to the primary source yourself. And, frankly, there are links on the top pages of these two reports to very, very, very easily digestible information. So don’t be timid here.

Gadfly bows to and invites knowledgeable suggestions of other resources to help us wrap some meaning and significance around CM Reynolds’ efforts to establish a CAP here.

As well as your own personal or professional views on climate change.

Gadfly needs a bit better handle on why we’re doing what we’re doing. Why it’s urgent.

So let’s spend some time here before moving into the guts of the local plan.

Y’ with me?

2 thoughts on “Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) (1)

  1. Gadfly, I was completely underwhelmed by the so-called ‘CAP Update’. While it took the better part of an hour, all they really had to say was that UGI had provided data & PPL did so only after months of procrastinating.

    If you’d like a quick intro to climate, carbon cycle, & global warming, you might try a glance at the teachers guide at Let’s Talk About Climate! []. It’s for teachers at all grade levels, and a lot of it was written by students.

    I love the comments by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old from Sweden, at COP-24 in Katowice, Poland. Here are some excerpts:

    “Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago.”

    “We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.”

    “So we have not come here to beg the world leaders to care for our future. They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again. We have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not. The people will rise to the challenge.”

  2. One thing the CAP should have included is an indication on what they have been doing & discussing since the last report. For example, one thing they have to determine to fit into the Global Covenant of Mayors program is decide how to account for fuel combustion in the city — a Scope 1 emission.

    That means they need data from every heating fuel dealer & propane dealer who sells fuel into Bethlehem.

    Equally important, they need to account for vehicle fuel burned in the city. These require considerable discussion, as the easiest way (fuel sold in the city) is also the least meaningful and least useful to inform efforts to reduce GHG.

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