Summers are growing hotter, spring is coming sooner, winters are becoming warmer, and life as we know it in New England will be significantly altered by the impacts of rising global temperatures. These findings and others are based on a new report, Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast by independent experts in collaboration with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The report concludes that the way we manage emissions today will dramatically affect changes in the Northeast climate and quality of life. “Whether or not we see the light,” states the report, “Massachusetts and other states will surely feel the heat.”
Quick to recognize the need to get such compelling information out to the public, the Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition (GWAC) will offer a special presentation by UCS president Kevin Knobloch on Sunday October 29 at 7:30 in Cary Memorial Hall. Knobloch will highlight the serious risks facing the region, including increased agricultural impacts, serious public health challenges, and a series of economic upheavals.
“The very notion of the Northeast as we know it is at stake,” said Dr. Cameron Wake, research Associate Professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Climate Change Research Center and co-lead of the report. “The near-term emissions choices we make in the Northeast and throughout the world will help determine the climate and quality of life our children and grandchildren experience.”
In his upcoming presentation, Knobloch will discuss and answer questions on the full range of impacts covered in the two-year study. He will also cover the good news. The study concludes that the Northeast is in a unique position to capture the economic and technological opportunities associated with addressing climate change.
“Lowering emissions provides a tremendous opportunity for the Northeast,” said Dr. Peter Frumhoff, Director of the Global Environment Program at UCS and chair of the study team. “We can use our intellectual capital to lead the world in innovative technologies and practices that we will all need to leave a healthy climate for future generations.”
The report provides detailed projections of New England’s climate impacts under two different scenarios—one with higher and one with lower greenhouse gas emissions than the present day. These projections show that climate change already underway will continue to accelerate in any event. But the two pathways lead to radically different futures.
The higher emissions pathway will make the typical summer in upstate New York feel like the present-day summer in South Carolina, while summers in New Hampshire could feel like those of North Carolina. Unbearably hot sticky days all summer and the loss of the New England’s legendary fall with its brilliant color and flowing maple syrup are just a few of the striking climate impacts the next generation can expect to endure if we stay on the present fossil-fuel consumptive course.
Fortunately, the report concludes that there if prudent, emission-reducing measures are taken on a nation-wide basis in the short term, the lower emissions pathway is still in sight.
Knobloch’s presentation is being co-sponsored with Sustainable Belmont. The talk is free and open to the public. Knobloch brings 27 years of experience in legislative policy, media, and advocacy to his job as the leader of UCS, an appointment he received in 2003. He is knowledgeable about a wide range of environmental issues, including natural resource and clean energy economics, renewable energy, and corporate responsibility. He also spent six years on Capital Hill as the legislative director for then-Senator Timothy Wirth.
Brought to you by the Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition. Contact us at www.lexgwac.org. The next presentation in our film series is “Kilowatt Ours” – a plan for shifting America’s energy paradigm towards conservation and renewable power. October 24, 7PM, at the large meeting room at Cary Library.