Montgomery makes history as first to join Under2 group

  • Published in Local

Montgomery County recently became the first county in the U.S. and the first jurisdiction in Maryland to join the “Under2” Coalition, an international pact of states, provinces, regions, cities and nations committed to fighting climate change, county officials said.

Members of the Subnational Global Climate Leadership, or “Under2,” Coalition are dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to keep the global average temperature from rising 2 degrees Celsius above the Earth’s pre-industrial revolution temperature.

According to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if the temperature rises more than 2 degrees, there could be dangerous consequences for the environment. Taryn Akiyama, the Under2 Coalition project coordinator, said the worldwide coalition is made up of 187 governments spanning 38 countries and six continents.

County officials determined the County should join the coalition to affirm its responsibility as a local jurisdiction to fight climate change.

“Now, more than ever, jurisdictions need to redouble their efforts to address climate change,” County Executive Ike Leggett said in a County press release. “We have many forward-thinking and concerned residents and businesses in Montgomery County who understand the urgency of this issue. We are proud to join the growing international coalition seeking to reduce the risks to the environment and the economy from climate change.”


Protesters Swarm D.C.

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Hundreds of thousands protest against Trump and for climate, jobs and justice

Peoples March 3Protesters show up in the District for the second time in as many weeks for the Climate March. PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREV

WASHINGTON – Thousands of marchers descended on the nation's capital Saturday chanting, "This is what democracy looks like" in protest of the current Trump administration's policies on the environment, economy and civil rights.

"I am here fighting for environmental justice because families and communities like mine carry the burden of climate change, yet their voices are erased from the broader fight," said Johana Vicente, 24, an organizer with the Maryland League of Conservation Voters from Silver Spring and one of the speakers at the event.

"For me it is personal. It is personal because my mom was diagnosed with asthma after a few years of being in this country," she added. "I am in this fight for because I want an environment where our communities can go outside and not worry about where they will be able to breathe or not."


Blinded Me With Science!

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Thousands take to the streets in the District to show support for scientific research

Science March 4Protesters in the District show up to show their support for scientific research.                  PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREV

WASHINGTON – Thousands took part in the March for Science in Washington, D.C. Saturday, demanding President Donald J. Trump and his administration recognize climate change and the need to fund scientific research.

“We march today to affirm to all the world that science is relevant, useful, exciting, and beautiful,” said former New Jersey Congressman and one-time Bethesda resident Rush Holt, who currently serves as the executive director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“Evidence should not be optional. Good policies start with an understanding of how things actually are,” he added, speaking to a crowd on the grounds of the Washington Monument.


The loyal opposition isn’t Anti-American

Trump face

Trump supporters like to put anti-Trumpers on the defensive by telling them how un-American it is to not want our president to succeed. The usual response is to point out that that is exactly how President Barack Obama was treated throughout his eight years in office by the far right. Remember Mitch McConnell's famous quote about his number one priority was to make President Obama a “one-term” president? Don't fall for that trap.


Council mulls real reaction to an “Existential threat” to the county

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Calling climate change an “existential threat,” a joint County committee discussed Roger Berliner’s (D-1) bill to divest County pensions from fossil fuels.

At last week’s joint Government Operation and Transportation Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee meeting, the committee discussed the merits of bill 44-16, which would divest County pensions from fossil fuel companies.

“I felt that we could both be true to our values and what many of us believe to be an existential threat to our planet and be true to our retirees,” Berliner said. “This was not an either-or situation. This was a design from day one to be able to advance both.”


The price of Global Warming and us

Everything does, indeed, have a price and climate change is no exception. The question is: Who is going to pay for it? In Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen's recently proposed bill on combating climate change, The Healthy Climate and Family Security Act of 2015, the answer is: Those who are the primary contributors to carbon emissions in our air, namely the fossil fuel industry! Based on the polluter pay principle, it will be the coal, oil and natural gas companies who will bear the cost of reducing carbon pollution and the damage it does to our environment.


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