In a recent letter to the editor, County Council member Philip Dacey wrote that he considers the recently passed Livable Frederick master plan (LF) a “comprehensive plan on steroids.”
Livable Frederick was never intended to be only a land-use and zoning plan. In fact, LF does include several separate, but associated land-use plans. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the decision to develop a more comprehensive or overarching master plan, considering a diverse range of factors that affect and shape our community and its future.
Livable Frederick is not a brief document, and for those who are interested, the county has provided a shorter synopsis online at https://www.livablefrederick.org/master-plan.
Mr. Dacey seems to be particularly concerned about topics such as promoting new construction materials, construction of greener homes and public buildings, environmental review of county purchases, protecting wildlife, and the environmental impact of routing and construction of roads. He asserts that all these goals would require increased taxes and fees for Frederick County residents, without ever considering the possibility that many will reduce costs.
Generally, it also seems that Mr. Dacey thinks policies that protect or improve the environment will automatically add to the cost of county government, or infringe on property rights, or take funding from other important concerns, such as affordable housing and economic development. The experiences of many other local governments that have adopted environmentally friendly policies demonstrate that is an incorrect assumption, and even that such measures can significantly reduce costs.
Finally, we get to the nub of Mr. Dacey’s objections to LF, namely the inclusion of the words “climate crisis” (his quotation marks) in the document. Mr. Dacey, of course, was one of the council members who voted against including these words in the plan. I’ll remind Mr. Dacey and anyone else who feels that our climate crisis is some kind of liberal/progressive hoax that the evidence of man-made global warming has reached a “gold standard” level of certainty, and it would be environmentally and economically irresponsible to ignore the science.
The scientific debate is settled, and the threat is real, despite the political debate that continues.
I would like to hear Mr. Dacey and others answer a very simple question: Are you really willing to risk the future of your children and grandchildren on a vanishingly small chance that the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists are wrong? You might not be here when the worst of the crisis hits, but your grandchildren and your children likely will be. I don’t know about you, but that would break my heart.