Frederick County recently endured a serious flooding event, which left roads closed and residents in need of water rescue. Even as we surveyed the damage, we could cheer. Past land-use decisions and infrastructure projects helped to prevent the flooding from being much worse.
That is what strategic planning can and should do.
Climate change will affect us in myriad ways. How can we plan for and address all the different threats brought on by rising temperatures, devastating storms, frequent drought, and plummeting biodiversity? Bold, creative and pragmatic thinking is needed. Thanks to the hard work of many of our fellow citizens we have a blueprint to jumpstart a new phase of strategic planning.
After a year of hard work, the Climate Emergency Mobilization Workgroup has published its report (mobilizefrederick.org) — a wide-ranging and thorough look at the many areas where we can take action now.
The report underscores the urgency of the situation. Many of the recommendations, if implemented, will shrink our carbon footprint, reducing the level of risk that we will face over time. The recommendations build resilience into our systems to mitigate the worst effects of disruptive weather, just as our flood plains and bridges did in many areas earlier this month.
There is much in the report to alarm us, but there is good news too. New technologies, new behaviors, and new “green” jobs are emerging. By adopting an all-of-government and all-of-Frederick-County approach, we can come out safer, stronger, and more resilient than before.
Frederick’s government, businesses, farmers, developers, civic groups, churches, and individuals all have a role to play. By acting locally and urgently to save our own community, we can affect change here as well as across the state and nation.
The Multi-faith Alliance of Climate Stewards urges the residents of Frederick County, Frederick city, and our elected officials to embrace the CEMWG report as a call to action. Even if we disagree over details, let this report inspire us to act with the urgency that climate change requires. We have a moral duty to face the climate crisis challenge. Our children and grandchildren are depending on it.