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 ( — 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.

(19) comments


One thing that can be done is to prevent developers from stripping the topsoil and building on the subsoil. The homeowner then plants grass and fertilizes as there are no nutrients left in the yard. Any rainwater heads off rapidly to the nearest storm management pond where all the silt and lawn products wind up instead of remaining and soaking into the topsoil. At some point, that pond flows into a stream.

What if the topsoil was left and the grass left alone to grow without all that fuss?


Not only is it an environmental issue, but it is a form of stealing, especially if not revealed at time of sale.


One of the best things individuals can do is reduce their own carbon footprint before creating more humans.

The cheapest thing governments can do is to end tax (and other) policies that promote population growth. The best thing governments can do is to provide a deterrent for having more than X number of children (X to be set based on desired goals).

As long as growth continues, all new construction should be required to include solar and geothermal to reduce fossil fuel energy needs.


MD1756, in nature the new replaces the old not the other way around. Just think, if lucky, you’ll have a younger person helping you with your disposable diaper. Right? Helping the environment.


I don't know why people are so concerned about me that they think they need to have children to take care of me in me old age. Or maybe they just can't think of anything intelligent to say? Population growth is unsustainable and is basically a Ponzi scheme. In nature, yeast produce enough alcohol to poison their own environment. With our large brains we apparently are not much more intelligent than yeast. Personally I resent the inequity of having to pay more taxes when I have no children and therefore, ceteris paribus, place a lower demand for government services. Why is it none of you that comment on my comments have come you with a reasoned response?


You may not desire or care for family in your declining years, but I’m willing to bet, the far majority of people across the world would love to be surrounded by caring offsprings and the affection of people who care and knew them - regardless natural or adopted relationships. The who idea of human life and survival is based around having families, caring and reproducing. That’s what we do!

No. Population growth isn’t the issue. If we’re not going to replace ourselves, why would anyone be concerned in cleaning up the environment? That makes no sense. Other animal species need to look out for themselves and chickens and cows will have a field day not to mention big game hunters.

Actually the world’s population growth is in decline and has been sense the peak of the baby boomers.

Not a fan of dropping off seniors to 7/24 daycares for their ultimate demise. That’s sad 😢.


Actually you can develop while reducing emissions.

From 2010 to 2012, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the US declined by 6 percent (from 5.58 to 5.23 billion metric tons), while GDP grew by 4 percent (from $14.8 to $15.4 trillion). Going forward generating cleaner electricity systems based on non fossil fuels sources would bring about a sustained period of decoupling growth from carbon emissions. Not completely removing excess CO-2 emissions but greatly reduce emissions. Also there’s technology that can extract released CO-2 emissions from the environment. Carbon Capture Utilization (CCU) - the process of capturing carbon dioxide out of the air to be recycled for further usage.


While that is true, you can only get so far with that approach when individuals are not doing much to reduce their own emissions at the same time they produce children which increase their emissions. Are you against any requirements that individuals reduce their own adverse climate change and other adverse environmental impacts before they help expand the human population?

BTW, I don't think current carbon capture technologies for power plants is they way to go. There’s little market for most captured CO2, power plants would likely pump most of it back into the ground, or sequester it. What will happen with the CO2 pumped into the ground? Any of it that hits any groundwater could then make the groundwater acidic. Don't forget that carbon capture of CO2 after combustion is just part of the problem. Another big part of the problem is preventing methane releases from the wells to its end use.


It would be foolish not to plan for future weather conditions due to climate change.


People like this lady live in a world of make believe. Tell your story to Natelli and those wanting to build more in Urbana and elsewhere throughout the county. Whatever measure we do to counter climate change will be overturned by continued development.




Possibly because the cuts contemplated may not offset the increase in emissions due to population growth unless individuals are required to control their own emissions. Just look at all the minivans, SUVs and pickup trucks on the road with poor fuel mileage for example.


Yep, fossil fuel burning cars just won’t go away overnight but they will become less popular and go away, becoming harder and harder to fine. Actually, they’ll won’t be massed manufactured in 20 years giving way to electrical vehicles.


And how many people will keep their gas powered vehicles after that, given the initial costs of the electric vehicles (unless subsidies are continued for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles)? Home energy use is another large chunk of energy use. How many homes, apartment complexes, condos, etc. will switch from fossil fuels to using geothermal for their heating/cooling? Geothermal is currently the most efficient way to heat/cool a building. The initial costs are higher but the operational costs should be lower and the equipment should last longer.


Yep, Iceland is already going down that path in using geothermal for carbon removal that creates a circular production system, producing industrial energy while helping the environment.


Aweteam, if you're talking industrial geothermal for energy production, that type of geothermal is good too, but I was referring to geothermal for heating and cooling homes and other buildings. for example see: Obviously the system can be better and cheaper when put in during construction of the building. i have a standing column system which uses my drinking water well to heat and cool the house. It works well and I don't need emergency backup heat even down to zero degrees.


Developers who wish to build in the fastest growing, largest land mass county in the state, must pick up partial infrastructure costs for water & sewer, storm water management, bridges, roads, and schools.


Hey now! That money is already spent on bribing local politicians. There's nothing left for that silly stuff.


All this coming growth will more than cancel emission reduction efforts.

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