We’re Back ... And with a Hurricane-Force Agenda

While the Global Warming Action Committee’s (GWAC’s) column series in the Lexington Minuteman took a summer hiatus, GWAC did not. On the strength of the momentum gained from our first year of activity, not to mention the release this summer of Al Gore’s compelling film An Inconvenient Truth,” we are wending forward with plans to help bring our community firmly into the realm of personal responsibility and action. Last year, GWAC made impressive strides in its overall effort to understand the science behind global warming, explore the solutions and economic benefits involved in countering this threat, inform and educate our community, and initiate local actions to engage our fellow citizens and our community. Our successful lecture and film series, the “Earth Day Every Day” fair, and our participation in the Patriots Day Parade are the most visible aspects of this effort. But being aware of the global warming threat is only a first step.

The climate-change debate has been effectively and overwhelmingly put to rest. It is now essential that we stand up and do something about it. As one of our members said, “We want our children to grow up knowing that the community that raised them fought for their future and the health of their planet.” That is why this year, the members of our community will be asked to meet the “Lexington Challenge,” and 500 of our high school children will help lead the way.

The “Lexington Challenge” will affirm Lexington’s role as a leadership community in addressing the reality of human-induced climate change. It will challenge our citizens to measure their own household greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) footprint and take steps to reduce this footprint. It is designed to provide individuals living in Lexington with the tools and resources to take personal actions in response to this challenge and to join together in working with our local, state, and national elected representatives to implement sustained, meaningful measures to solve this problem.

We are also developing a Powerpoint presentation that members of GWAC will take on the road to citizens and business associations, church events, and schools to explain what global warming means to our New England environment, what we can do about it, and particularly how we can all become part of the “Lexington Challenge.” More on the “Lexington Challenge” in the coming weeks.

September 24: Hurricanes and Global Warming

This year’s speaker series is off to a whirlwind start; beginning on Sunday, Sept 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Cary Memorial Hall, Lexington resident Kerry Emanuel, one of the world's leading authorities on hurricanes, and author of the new book Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, will give a talk on “Hurricanes and Global Warming.” Kerry Emanuel has been chosen as one of TIME magazine's 100 People Who Shape Our World—“100 men and women whose power, talent, or moral example is transforming our world.”

Kerry Emanuel is Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has been on the faculty since 1981. He authored an often-cited study that appeared in Nature on the link between human-induced global warming and increasing hurricane strength. His research interests focus on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and two books. His new book will for available for sale and signing at the lecture.

Stay Tuned and Get on Board

The next speaker in our lecture series will be Kevin Knobloch, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), who will speak at Cary Hall on Sunday, October 29, at 7:30 p.m. about the UCS report on Global Warming and its Effects on New England. Our film series begins on September 26 at the Cary Library with the film Too Hot Not To Handle. Visit us at out table at the Lexington Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m. to learn more about what we are up to and how you can get involved. We are also selling string bags with the goal of weaning people from greenhouse gas-producing, petroleum by-product and tree using, and wildlife-destructive plastic bags and paper bags. Look for our columns in the Lexington Minuteman to stay on top of global warming issues and ways people can make a difference. Finally, be sure to visit our website at www.lexgwac.org.

Brought to you by Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition. Contact us at www.lexgwac.org