Crossing Party Lines to Fight Climate Change with Community

| 9/25/2017 11:21:00 PM

Tags: climate change, climate action, activism, healthy communities, livable communities, Colorado, Rhiannon Gallagher,

Foreted Hillsides Of Colorado State

I am writing to introduce the Jeffco Climate Action Team, formed in 2016. There are 100 members in this independent organization, which provides resources, insight, and ‘boots on the ground’ in the effort to make Jefferson County, Colo., more sustainable. Our group is committed to climate action regardless of our political leanings.

This cross-party coalition recently received national recognition for its work in providing guidance to municipal sustainability teams, speaking out at city council meetings, organizing new neighborhood initiatives, and participating in the legislative process at the state capitol.

Now, I have the chance to take our message of unity and resilience to the international stage: I am crowdfunding my role as part of the U.S. People’s Delegation to COP 23, the largest international climate change conference. This year the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties, or COP, will be held in Bonn, Germany, where — with your support — I will present the great ideas of Jefferson County to a worldwide audience.

Experiencing Climate Impacts in Rural Mountain Towns

Things in Colorado have changed a lot since I was a kid in the 1970s: The average temperature is one and half degrees warmer, which we’re mostly seeing in, on average, higher low temperatures on summer nights. The wildfire season is longer. Spring and autumn extend longer into winter. The storms are more intense, dropping more hail, rain, or snow in a shorter time. Heat waves are more frequent.

So, when we talk about climate, we must look back 40 years to deeper winters and cooler summer nights and also look forward 40 years from now for our children and grandchildren. It is a beautiful and complicated balancing act between past and future.

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