After several months of preparation, two Frederick County Council members are close to completing a proposed resolution declaring a “climate emergency.”

Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater (D) and Councilman Kai Hagen (D) have jointly worked on a draft of that resolution, which attempts to “establish an ad hoc Climate Emergency Mobilization Workgroup,” among other initiatives.

That group would consist of interested members of the local scientific and environmental community, along with county officials. It would meet for a year before making recommendations to council members.

Hagen said he didn’t want to predict what members might make up that work group, but added that it’s worthwhile for it to review climate issues before making recommendations to the County Council.

He added that he and Fitzwater have been working on the proposal since the fall, and thanked her for setting up initial meetings with stakeholders on the issue.

“You don’t want to grab a boilerplate one off the internet. You want to talk to people and work [out] the language, and make it something that works with the values of Frederick County,” Hagen said in response to why the resolution has taken months to draft.

Fitzwater said the resolution is a “natural next step” to language written in the environmental section of Livable Frederick, the county’s master planning document, last September.

It’s not the end of the discussion, but it’s a good start, Fitzwater added.

“Basically, [it’s] just recognizing that the county has a role to play in combating climate change and making sure we have some action steps to bring forward,” she said.

“We aren’t climate scientists, we’re part-time citizen legislators, but we as a county need to make sure we’re making decisions through the lens of climate change, and that’s what I’m hoping to do,” Fitzwater added.

One of the specific objectives in the current draft is county officials will try to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050, and employ all efforts to safely draw down carbon from the atmosphere.”

Hagen said those numbers align with targets many climate scientists set not only locally, but on a global scale. Completing tasks related to those numbers — such as forest conservation and expansion, energy use reduction and more electric vehicle use — would be good county practice, even if climate change weren’t a pressing issue, he added.

Fitzwater and Hagen both said they plan to introduce the resolution in February, and plan to hold at least one public hearing.

County Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer (D) declined to comment on the proposal, saying she would like to see the final language first.

Council Vice President Michael Blue (R) said he liked the work group aspect of the resolution, but was waiting to hear more details about the resolution from Hagen and Fitzwater.

“I don’t object to it, [but] I don’t support it yet just because I have yet to see even the draft,” Blue said Monday afternoon. “[But] I’m not opposed to the beginning stages of long-term planning.”

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(103) comments

BTrader72

I'm very pleased to see this resolution introduced. It establishes targets for responsible decision-making and sets an expectation that future decisions by the Council will consider the impact on the climate crisis. This resolution will spur citizen engagement, education and action. Well done!!

matts853

Indeed! Let’s hope it passes!

Pwsccg

Highly commendable! The draft bill acknowledges the climate emergency and defines actions necessary for the county to reduce its emissions. Thanks in advance for submitting and passing this legislation. Believe even those who question climate change can agree clean air and reduced energy cost from renewable power sources are good for all.

ebr1024

Folks interested in learning more about Climate Change, how we know it's happening, why we know it's us, some of the current uncertainties behind it (as opposed to those things we know with a high degree of certainty, which most climate change deniers propose as uncertainties), check out Dr. Michael Mann's MOOC - https://www.edx.org/course/climate-change-the-science-and-global-impact

girlpolitic

Thanks for the link. Interesting and useful.

girlpolitic

I must confess a ban on "intentional balloon release" does not stir any emotions for me. Everyone better get use to the idiocy of politics especially on the state level. In a November 2019 article in Maryland Matters I found the following quotes; "Letting a balloon float away in Maryland would draw in a fine of $250, under a bill sponsored by Sen. Clarence K. Lam (Howard/Baltimore). Three senators are co-sponsoring the bill, including Sen. Mary Beth Carozza (R-Lower Shore), Sen. Ronald Young (D-Frederick) and Sen. Stephen Hershey Jr. (R-Upper Shore), Lam said."

What upsets me is when our Maryland Legislators endorsed the current Gerrymander MD-08. One of whom is the current Rep of MD-08. The same person who thinks he knows better than the founder's and proposed the adopted Maryland legislation to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact which eliminates the electoral college. Congressman Raskin is a decent person and votes his conscious but I certain hope he will lobby his former Maryland elected colleagues to do the right thing and begin now to form an independent commission to straighten out this hideous gerrymandering after the census is completed. Even better Congressman Raskin would will you introduce federal legislation to prohibit gerrymandering? Maryland elected officials are you listening? Otherwise you may cause a SEVERE ACT OF DISOBEDIENCE (a massive balloon release) at State Circle. Then you will be responsible for harming the environment and extinguishing all life on planet Earth. Balloons are serious business!

PS - The circus in Annapolis starts tomorrow. God Help Us!

hayduke2

The National Popular Vote is a good idea. I disagree that the EC, as it currently operates, is beneficial to the country as a whole.

girlpolitic

Admittedly, I too held the same view previously, even now I am not totally opposed it. Absolutely the US Constitution is not perfect and over the years needed some tweaking i.e. addition of the 13th, 14th, 15th & 19th amendments to name a few. What I do oppose was for Maryland elected officials to make the decision on their own about National Popular Vote. It should have been a ballot question placed before the voters, similar to how amendments must be ratified by the states. I certainly am not a constitutional scholar by any means and I would never think that I am wiser than the framers as did the members of the Maryland General Assembly in 2007 and 2011. That is why the National Popular Vote Compact should have been put before Marylander's to decide. That is why I oppose how it was entered into. Similarly, congressional redistricting should have been voted on by ballot question. We as citizens should select our representatives not the representatives get to select their voters. Our Maryland elected officials thought they were smarter than the folks they represent. When you live in a district which is mathematically stacked so that many of your views are dismissed without any consideration, it is not a good feeling. I suspect it is the same feeling you assign to the electoral college. I suspect we have a lot in common. I sincerely hope the future holds that this political partisanship will fade into history and candid discussions and civility returns.

jsklinelga

girlpublic

Great comment.

hayduke2

Thank you for the response- I would like to see the EC revisited. My feeling is if one candidate receives 49% of the popular vote in a state, they should receive 49% of the electors. As it currently stands, it is a winner take all which does not fairly represent those that actually voted.

Comment deleted.
matts853

Sorry you’re all alone in your time of need, Kelly.

Business Owner

Start with the recycling program.

Russian

Climate Change isn’t our problem it’s our grandchildren and great grandchildren’s problem sorta like the new Republicans spending addiction we won’t have to deal with it so why pretend we are concerned with it?

HappySeller2014

Wrong. It is our problem. We just need to be smart about it, strategically, politically and curatively.

Outlawing rogue balloons not the answer. Worrying about the greatest mobilization since WW II is just fearmongering.

Refocus, my friends on the Frederick county council!

Business Owner

Agreed.

StrengthofLiberty

(BALTIMORE, MD-December 20, 2019) – The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) is expressing disappointment with a decision yesterday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that the PSC expects will slow Maryland’s efforts to enact its ambitious clean energy goals. Jason M. Stanek, Chairman of the Maryland PSC issued the following statement:

“We are deeply concerned that FERC’s decision to expand PJM’s Minimum Offer Price Rule to include new renewable resources, and others, will undermine Maryland’s aggressive clean energy goals in the years to come. Like Maryland, an increasing number of states are prioritizing long-term policies and actions to address climate change and improve the health and welfare of their citizens. Fundamentally, we believe states have a right to determine their own resource mix, a right clearly recognized under the Federal Power Act. FERC’s decision targets, and effectively nullifies, that prerogative and only confirms our misgivings regarding the future of PJM's capacity market. Maryland is committed to a clean and renewable energy future, and we are considering legal options to protect the public interest of Marylanders.”

PJM’s Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) sets a default floor price for energy generation to clear the capacity resource market in PJM, the regional grid operator whose footprint includes 13 states, including Maryland and the District of Columbia. The capacity market includes generators who commit to provide energy three years ahead to ensure an adequate supply of electricity for the regional grid. The FERC decision could not only be detrimental to new renewable energy resources, such as Maryland’s offshore wind projects, but could also stifle innovation of new energy conservation and efficiency products, by effectively pricing them out of the market and making them prohibitively expensive to ratepayers.

- Now add to that the Department of Labor showing their data proof that the fifth most dangerous job in the USA is ... waste management.

- The money for the highway expansion - sorry - transporation, and the funding of the future of schools - sorry - education, as found in the Kirwan Commission report - well, pretty much usurp the climate emergency decrees, measures, and accountability enforcement budgets. Roads. Schools. or - Transporation. Education - trump everything else it appears. How about this in the tone of one Mel's characters: Which issues do you want up on a cross, and which ones do you want doing the hammering.

ebr1024

This whole FERC decision has pissed me off too.

matts853

I’m learning a lot here. Thanks for the info. So am I to assume that Trump has co-opted FERC just like he’s done with EPA and lord knows what else that’s supposed to protect the environment?

hayduke2

Looks like the lobbyist have gotten their way

mr_twist27

Apparently none of the county council member have any real work to do for the county. More wasted time spent on useless proposals and ordinances.

matts853

You tell ‘em!

hayduke2

twist - Sure, because climate change will not have any impact on farming, resources, energy and other areas that will have consequences for life as we know it.

HappySeller2014

And balloons will, so we need a new law?

hayduke2

No, but a law like this will increase awareness of the issue and provide education. You seem to be fixated on this - move on....

phydeaux994

You’ve spent more time commenting on the balloon law than the CC spent adopting it.

HappySeller2014

Duke, everyone is aware of the issues. What is not understood is that mass balloon releases originating in Frederick county have as much impact on the environment as yours and my combined fart volume depletes the ozone layer. But we now have a balloon law at the expense of other valuable county legislation - and cops have to respond to any 911 calls for.

mr_twist27

Duke, Frederick County's impact on climate change is probably less significant than a grain of sand in the ocean. If you want to address climate change it needs to be at the global level and go after countries like China and India. Local government needs to spend it's time and resources on things that they can control and can actually impact its residents.

HappySeller2014

Exactly.

hayduke2

I prefer to think according to this quote - "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." I believe local actions will spur national actions so that problems can be solved globally. The old environmental phrase " Think Globally, Act Locally" has value. Sorry you can't see that.

– Margaret Mead

Obadiah Plainsmen

As Council member Blue stated, how can you object something when you haven't even see it( final draft). Although I would like to see more effort on making homelessness an emergency, the poor an emergency and schools an emergency, all of these "emergencies" are null and void if we don't have a planet to live on. So, if the voters have put climate change as their number 1 emergency, then so be it.

HappySeller2014

Waste can be smelled out long before it reaches my desk in my professional capacity.

If I took time to look at everything that came to my desk in my professional career I would be fired. I would get little done. I often have the foresight to know something should be canned well before it comes to me for decisionmaking. It is simply me being smart Obadiah.

Obadiah Plainsmen

What does "being smart" have anything to do with decision making in the political arena? Now these two politicians do have the foresight in believing that Frederick County can be 100% "greenhouse gas" free by 2050. Can it be accomplished? and what is the cost? Furthermore one cannot compare work ethics in a private/ professional career against being a career politician. Politicians work for the multitude of people that voted and put them in office. So, when blaming the politician doesn't get results, turn your anger and frustration towards the people who voted for them, because when it come down to the basics it's the people that bear the blame.

HappySeller2014

You hit my biggest concern with all of this Obadiah. I voted for these knuckleheads. I am mad at myself. In my opinion they ARE NOT working for me. They are playing Don Quixote chasing dead balloon carcass concerns.

I have some serious decisions to make the next time I step into a polling booth.

I need these folks I voted for to legislate for activities that will help me! And my friends and family members and acquaintenances here in Frederick County.

If Hagerstown has a Valentine's Day balloon release this year and 1,000 dead balloon carcasses litter our county on February 14th, how is the recently released balloon legislation by our county council gonna help us?

Obadiah Plainsmen

Do your friends, family members and acquaintances in Frederick County share the same concerns as you? If so encourage them to get out and vote next time. And if that doesn't work the national trend is to resist. Beware if you decide to take the resist route, be prepared for the fight of your life. But its is well worth the fight.

HappySeller2014

They do Obadiah. And we all vote. And, I do not try to resist stupidity. It is omnipresent. Rather, I just resign myself that it flares up in county politics from time to time, like hemhroids, and try to turn it to my advatage.

I have some slingshots in my garage. You interested in buying? You could massacre all the innocent balloons with biodegradable M&Ms before they drift up into the atmosphere from an illegal mass release, cross our county line, and get ingested by sea turtles. I make money, you save wildlife, and we all win.

hayduke2

Or not gathering all the information necessary to make an infomed decision.

HappySeller2014

I could use your exact same argument with military funding. There are military hawks out among us that argue without pouring billions and billions of $s into our national defense, we will have no country to live in. And, all of this funding at the expense of sorely needed domestic funding needs.

I disagree with this argument. And I disagree Obadiah with your argument as well.

matts853

This battle of wits you guys are having is fascinating.

HappySeller2014

:)

KMRD1

First of all you have to get the city of Fredneck involved. They are part of then problem. Plus these same council members do not want to allow solar panel farms to be built. Along with Ballongate, this council is as funny as Blaine Kirby and Billy. Thank goodness I moved.

matts853

Yes, thank you!

hayduke2

Hope your move was a pleasant one.

jsklinelga

I am sure these folks feel warm and fuzzy, hip and intellectually progressive but ..... Study groups and platitudes? What is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Frederick County? How about the major contributing factor to warming? it does not take a climate scientist to know the temperature in Frederick City is warmer than the outskirts or that I270 in the mornings and evenings is the leading single contributor to emissions in the county. Why are these folks not demanding that I-270 not be expanded instead of these feel good talk sessions that take no courage. Or a climate change development moratorium? I believe they mean well but I also understand why people, rightfully, view them with skepticism..

Unless the research has changed commercial properties are the largest, and by far, the most inefficient electricity hogs. This is already widely known. No study group is needed. These folks have the capacity to pass laws to actually impact this.situation. But make no mistake that would take political courage. Instead their warm and fuzzy talk group seems to be a much "safer space"

matts853

You are just so full of negativity and distrust, JSK. You don’t think all the things you mentioned will be considered in this process. More electric vehicles and charging stations in the county will also find their way into 270 and reduce the concentrated emissions along the cooridor. This is a giant leap toward the progress you profess to want to take, and all you do is taunt and hate. Grow up.

jsklinelga

matt

You hardly deserve a reply. You are the one that seems to taunt and hate. I suspect you use 270, and live in a dense development. Electric vehicles? Really.

How about less travel, less asphalt, less density. Things I mentioned have been considered, and reconsidered and reconsidered. That is my point. Thank goodness we have people like Donald Trump. Men of action not endless talk.

matts853

Too funny JSK. I’m sure the county council is considering, and reconsidering, and wait for it...considering all of your generalized ideas right now as I waste my time replying to you. Doubtful you’ve ever spoken with any of them in person, or the CE, or ever gone to a council hearing and spoken. I’ve been consistently doing those things since 2013 on all types of issues and in fact, the ones you’ve mentioned. And they listen to me because they respect my opinion because I bring facts and common sense to the table, not heated rhetoric. So you’re right, action speaks louder than words and words is all you have my friend. I’m done.

HappySeller2014

Matts, are you gonna stand outside the next county council session you plan to attend, holding three dozen balloons and handing them out one by one? Balloon legislating is all the rave and you need to jump on the bandwagon. Latex, not mylar.

Did you comment and advise the city on their weathevane bird logo out of Jacksonville? I am curious.

jsklinelga

Matt

The smartest thing you have said was generalized ideas. It sums up this conversation nicely.

hayduke2

jsk - Thank DJT [lol][lol][lol]

jsklinelga

matt

While electric cars don't emit exhaust fumes, they do use batteries which can emit toxic fumes. Most electricity used to power electric vehicles is generated from non-renewable energy sources, which can have a negative impact on both our health and the environment.Apr 13, 2018

ebr1024

Never heard of the batteries emitting toxic fumes. As for the electricity, you are right it is largely (2/3rds-ish) fossil fuels, but as it turns out the total amount of energy required is lower than required by comparable gasoline-powered vehicles to the effect that emissions are ~1/2 those per-mile as gasoline-powered vehicles.

What you are doing here, is giving gasoline (& diesel) more credit than it deserves.

matts853

Man, I thought all this time that electric cars ran on magic. Silly me....

Most research I’ve done generally shows that electric vehicles have less wheel to wheel emissions than ICE vehicles. But, it varies greatly depending upon the local power supply used to charge the vehicle. I don’t know offhand how much of my own electricity comes from renewable energy, but some does. But I think it’s fair to say that Maryland will be adding more of that to the grid in the near future and the County as well since that’s partly what lthis resolution will attempt to accomplish. So I think it’s fair to say that in the long term, electric vehicles will benefit the environment more than ICE cars, and besides that’s where the trend is going. And I think you can set up a dedicated solar powered charger for a car so you’re not tapping into the grid.

I currently drive a 20 mpg hog. But I’m aiming to get either the Ford Mach E or the RAV 4 Prime when they hit showrooms this year.

ebr1024

@matts853 Check electricitymap.org - For the most part PJM is a large grid, everyone backs up each other, but there are probably localized distribution issues that change the "effective" mix in any particular locale. However for a gross view of the emissions and fuel sources, electricitymap.org's PJM information is informative enough.

HappySeller2014

Matts, if this is a "giant leap" for you, I would love to see what really gets you excited.

matts853

NASCAR

HappySeller2014

:)

KellyAlzan

Charging stations? What powers these charging stations?

ebr1024

Per electricitymap.org, in PJM, on average, a mix of 35-40% natural gas, ~25% coal, ~33% nuclear and a pittance of renewable energy, netting ~370-400g of CO2 per kwh. With my Ford Focus Electric this yields ~114g CO2 per mile of driving distance, equivalent to a gasoline car getting 79mpg.

Henry_Avery

You seem to have it all figured out, jsklinelga. Do you plan to offer your consultant services to the Council?

awteam2000

Some feel we should be dormant, not proactive in understanding how changes in climate like hotter summers, longer precipitation cycles, more severe storms, seasonal changes, construction can affect our local community and what we can do locally to offset the therefore risks.

Many probably don’t remember the great flood of 1976 that devastated downtown Frederick causing 25 million dollars in damages in 1976 dollars and many families being displaced. The result led to the Carroll Creek project, only after the fact.

Now, with all the development around the county - developments, growing city, and county as a whole, makes us more vulnerable to climate catastrophes than then, potentially causing greater economic losses and putting more residents at risk. Can you remember the run off, flooding this past summer?

The Boy Scout’s motto is “be prepared”. That’s a good idea.

HappySeller2014

Awteam2000, remember the major Frederick floods of 1889 and 1933? The Jug bridge does. 1976 was almost a half century ago. Floods do happen every once in a while.

sofanna

I remember the devastating flooding of Frederick in 1976. It was because of a hurricane.

However, the Fredericktowne Mall had been built on Frederick's flood plain around 1972. Since then, well you see there's hardly an inch of the flood plain not covered by buildings and/or homes. Frederick County really needs to have a moratorium on development and building. I've been saying this for years. Our Water Treatment Plants need serious attention being updated or new ones built to handle all the developing being done on the East side of Frederick. Frederick County as a whole has GREATER needs then balloon legislation and wasting time on similar legislation. I have lived in Frederick my entire life. When developers are allowed to build without contributing to infrastructure and ignore legal boundaries of how close homes can be built and nothing is done. The Citizens of Frederick County end up paying for all the greed and rose colored glass decisions and mistakes.

Comment deleted.
phydeaux994

You thought that the “English Only” ordinance was better than a “balloon” law and a “Climate Change” Resolution. Oh yeah, you thought that a 24 hour, 13 pump Truck Stop in Walkersville was a good idea too. Although I did see a Truck in there the other day.

Comment deleted.
HappySeller2014

I miss common sense and simple, smart political strategizing. This is ridiculous. We vote these folks into office, and for a while now they have been developing legislation regarding balloons and a climate catastrophe so big we have not seen a need for local mobilization so large since WW II?

Meanwhile local kids go hungry, construction projects way behind, trucks still getting stuck under bridges, no metal detectors (or even brick walls separting classrooms) in some schools, multiple portable mobile units outside many schools, recycling program in the red, little league baseball fields endangered and the county composting program shut down.

What planet am I living on??? This is better than the Three Stooges back in the day!

HappySeller2014

You got to be kidding me. First nonporous bags (balloons). Now this?

When I voted a few years ago, I voted for folks I assumed could make a difference in people's lives in this locale. So, in a small way I own this circus, these clowns, and these monkeys.

But what a mistake. Us Democrats are digging ourselves a HUGE hole.

KellyAlzan

Matthew isn’t going to like your posts!

awteam2000

Darth Vader,

A proposal for a volunteer task group consisting of interested members of the local scientific and environmental community, along with county officials to review climate energy issues and make recommendations to the County Council. With a focus on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and explore efforts to safely draw down carbon from the atmosphere has your panties in a bunch? Don’t both parties breath air? Or is that an exclusively democrat issue?

HappySeller2014

We need a resolution? Voted on by the county council, to do this? What are the county employees already involved in environmental issues doing? Do we not have folks working at the county level in parks and recreation, agriculture, solid waste/trash, recycling and other environmentally impacted disciplines and activities?

But, we now spending time on a resolution, public input, etc...

Again, folks defending this seem to have no concept of cost/benefit analysis, opportunity costs, and tradeoffs with other necessary legislative activities when one second or more is spent on this balloon and climate crisis legislating activity. How many miles do folks have to walk to pick up a dead balloon carcass before they wake up and realize they should be putting their time and effort into other more beneficial locally-impacting needs?

Henry_Avery

The gov't needs to get involved because people are too damned lazy to do the right thing. Just look at the comments about the recent article on recycling; so many people complaining about not knowing how or what to recycle. ALL THAT INFO IS AVAILABLE THROUGH AN APP ON YOUR PHONE, EVEN WITH GAMES AND GRAPHICS!! These same dolts will spend hours on Facebook reading banal crap, but won't bother to lift a finger to find out how easy it is to do the right thing for the environment.

matts853

Right you are Kelly.

Happy, and I wish you’d be a little some times. You are just wrong. We are routinely seeing local precipitation events of 2-3 inches or more. Remember the 2 floods in the last 4 years that nearly swept away Ellicott City? The Monocacy has experienced major flooding in 2018 and 2019. People were stranded on car roof tops on canal road last spring. The Fredrick City WWTP overflows a few times a year becoase it can’t handle the large rain events and it was just upgraded to the tume of $50m. We know you just hate what Kai and others are doing, but really, at least get your facts straight.

HappySeller2014

Matts, weather patterns do not stay tame. There are peaks and valleys in weather events. Trying to base your position on weather events around here the past few years is absolutely ludicrous. You crack me up. And, weather over time reverts to the mean.

I wonder if folks like you came out of the woodwork when massive droughts turned much of the midwest into a dustbowl about a century ago.

I do not hate why Kai is doing. It is admirable. But his execution is simply dumb and a terrible look politically.

matts853

Happy, I’m fully aware that a specific weather event on any given day, like a really hot day or a large rain event, is not an indication of climate change. And You’re right, it’s the patterns that matter, and those patterns in our part of the world are trending hotter and with much stronger and frequent storms. I was responding to your comment where you basically mused that, ‘hey there was a big storm in 1976, stuff happens now and then.’ Wrong, they’re happening much more frequently now, as I pointed out. So, in fact, you’re the one that is totally ignoring recent trends by only going back in time to 1976. Your lack of self awareness is comical. I’m done.

ebr1024

For the dust bowl comment, I'm particular to the explanation in "dirt: The erosion of civilizations" that our agricultural land use/cultivation practices are a primary contributing factor to those. But those same practices also make our climate change mitigation options worse, so one could say that improving the practices that caused the Dust Bowl are also important for mitigating climate change-related stresses and causes.

ma23464

The WWTP overflows because the cities poorly maintained infrastructure allows rain water to enter the sewer system. That’s what needs to be fixed.

matts853

Sure. And they can’t handle the rain because it’s raiming a LOT more!

HappySeller2014

No Matts. It is because the natural drainage remedies, such as trees, aireable land, dirt, grasses and pastures are being paved over by asaphalt. With much less natural drainage going on, water now congregates and flows down concrete culverts and paths not properly engineered to handle the flow and volume.

Carefully considered legislation, other than balloon legislation, could remedy this.

Nothing to do with more rain. You crack me up!

HappySeller2014

Matts, less than two decades ago I was under water usage restrictions at my Frederick townhouse due to a massive drought hitting the area. Watertables low. No watering outside.

Now, 20 years later you bring up local flooding to justify climate change? Average the two rainfall amounts during these periods and I bet you revert right back to the mean.

I love it when strange events bring folks out of the woodwork. Such short memories. And through all of the flooding, I did not see nary one dead balloon carcass floating by, ever!

matts853

Happy, you’re actually close to convincing yourself that climate change is the result of human activity and it’s bad..bad.

Stay with me...you’re 100% right about the absence of green infrastructure excerbating floods. You’ve yet to tell me something I don’t know and that I haven’t been actually working with the council and numerous citizen groups over last few years to address. In pre-colonial times, this county and nearly all of the eastern seaboard was an immense, contiguous hardwood forest that stretched from southern Canada to Northern Florida. And while this statistic may sound outlandish, it’s true: 99.9% of that ecosystem has been disturbed by humans. There’s only a few patches of old growth forest remaining, one of which happens to be in PG County of all places - Belt Woods NEA. As you’ve stated correctly, much of that disturbance gave way to infrastructure, homes and buildings, stadiums, the entire artificial world we’ve created. Much of it also became our open ag lands. This is why we have climate change. It took a massive amount of energy from fossil fuel burning to clear the natural landscape, build the artificial landscape, and power the artificial landscape (basically our entire economy). This has happened across the globe. So it’s no wonder that climate change is now ravaging the planet. The equation is so simple: black (oil and coal) - green (nature) = red (climate change).

HappySeller2014

I agree with much of what you discussed Matts. Your post makes sense. The concerns you raised are serious.

So why is valuable legislative effort being spent on banning nonpourous bag (balloon) releases by our county council?

If valuable legislative time and effort at the local county council level was spent on many of the issues you raised, the council would earn my respect. You should legislate on outcomes you can control, are enforcable, and promote the most common good.

But right now we are stuck with balloon legislation being developed and passed into law, and attempting to pass resolutions to develop study groups?

KellyAlzan

Matt, I know more about storm water than you realize. Storm water is a major aspect of my profession.

Floods like ellicott city (which me and my child happened to be there as it happened) happened from poor engineering. I could write a volume about such floods. It’s my career.

matts853

And the torrential rains didn’t impact the flooding? I thought rain caused flooding, not infrastructure. Come on Kelly, be serious, local flash rain events of 3+ inches are trending up, so don’t pretend this isn’t happening. The south is now seeing 20+ inch events. The infrastructure can’t compete with this much rain, but’s in not it’s fault. People are suffering, Kelly (and others here) so maybe, just maybe you’d like to sober up your comments a little and join reality. And if people aren’t drowning on the east coast or in Venice or Sri Lanka, they’re burning in other places like California and Australia, because climate change excarbates the natural weather patterns in specific areas. Some may say, well that’s only just recently and yes, these events are spiking rapidly. Why, because anyone with just an inclining of climate change common knowledge knows that scientists are saying this is happening much faster than they thought. That’s right, they were too conservative in their predictions. The willful ignorance to the big picture here is pathetic. If people like you want to banter about with non-sequiters and political folly, and somehow pretend you’re “clued in” or that somehow NASA and NOAA are wrong and this isn’t happening, be my guest. Wallow in your ignorance instead of trying to solve problems. Your kids and grandkids will suffer just as much as mine if we don’t fix this.

Peace

HappySeller2014

Matts, Kelly is spot on. There are places all over the world where it rains daily. They do not have flooding issues, as the build smartly.

Back in 2011 we had snowmagedden. In the early 2000s we had drought around here. Last year it rained quite a bit, but I love mowing my beautiful green lawn all summer and fall. Most of the time my yard looks like dead hay around mid-July. Weather is finicky in the mid-Atlantic.

Bad fires crop up through Australia every decade or so. Australia is mostly desert, except for the coasts.

You blaming massive climate change on events around here over the past few years is like me thinking the Baltimore Orioles are heading to oblivion. But as late as 2015, the Orioles were in the ACLS!

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phydeaux994

It’s the increasing number of times we get storms producing the volume of rain to cause the floods, two one hundred year storms in three years for example. There have been record breaking floods and fires and other extreme weather around the Country and the World in the last decade that are not being caused by poor engineering.

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matts853

Increased precipitation resulting from excessive oceanic evaporation caused by rapid warming of the oceans as a result of global industrial scale burning of fossil fuels in conjunction with destruction of carbon sink ecosystems over the last 2 centuries is what’s the causing the floods. It’s science. Not the pipes. And we can’t build big enough pipes to solve the problem. Got it, Don?

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ebr1024

Both are right. Poor planning & drainage in Ellicott City are clearly a big cause of the EC floods. But Climate Change made the stressors worse. It boggles many people because folks love to think in dichotomies, that there is "one true cause", but Climate Change is the forcing stressor that makes all questionable tradeoffs and possibly poor decisions to get caught with their pants down much quicker than if it wasn't a factor.

A resolution acknowledging the role of Climate Change should have the effect of making public planners and engineers more cautious towards the unknown unknowns that may wreck their projects in the near future, thus making everyone a bit more conservative about decisions.

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matts853

Happy said: “You blaming massive climate change on events around here over the past few years is like me thinking the Baltimore Orioles are heading to oblivion. But as late as 2015, the Orioles were in the ACLS!”

Clever....but not really. It’s more like your thinking that floods are strictly an infrastructure issue and not climate change related, is like a bartender pouring a quart of beer into a pint glass, and then blaming the glass for the resulting spill.

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