Do Here Now Whidbey

After watching the Al Gore film, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, a group of Whidbey Island, WA denizens decided to do something. here. now. Welcome to Do Here Now Whidbey where we will describe as we go our local response to climate change. After all, we are an island. All islands globally are threatened by the melting of the polar ice caps, raising sea levels and potentially innundating all our coastal areas where most of our citizens live.

At our first meeting August 16 we came up with the following elements of a possible plan. Each person is choosing to do – or not do – what most appeals:

1. Calculate the carbon we put in the atmosphere each year at http://climatecrisis.org/ and /orour “Carbon Footprint” at http://www.bp.com/extendedsectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9008204&contentId=7015209

2 . Wear buttons with our carbon footprint number and with the BP link or some other information. When people ask us, “What’s your number mean?” we can talk about Carbon Footprint and how to reduce it. If we are near a computer, we can help them get their footprint and give them a button right then.

3. Gather information about how individuals can reduce their Carbon Footprint. Some sites with suggestions are:

Climate Solutions: http://www.climatesolutions.org/

Climate Crisis: www.climatecrisis.net/

4. Raise money to send someone to the training to present the INCONVENIENT TRUTH slide show. https://www.theclimateproject.org/Grassroots_Training_Program.html
5. Write a letter to the editor to the local paper asking citizens to respond. And here’s the text!

To the editor:
Is it warm out here or is it just me? As evidence of global warming mounts up it’s becoming impossible to deny that it’s happening and that you and I are playing a significant role. After having spent plenty of time fretting on our own, a number of us have started talking together about what we can do as individuals, and as a community, to reduce the rising levels of carbon emissions. One thing we recognize is that the time for talking has ended. We need to start putting our thoughts and ideas into action. Sweden has declared that by 2020 they will be getting 100% of their energy from renewable sources. What kind of challenge do we want to set for ourselves? What kind of role model can Whidbey become? If you want to join us come to a meeting Wednesday, August 23rd, 7pm at 2883 Grimm Road, in Bayview. If you have questions please call 321-5133. And remember – Do Here Now to Be Here Now. 

6. Write a weekly column for the local paper with helpful suggestions for reducing our carbon footprint. Perhaps with an action per week and some way to talley what people do in the paper or on a website. A carbon challenge.

7.  From Puget Power get an energy snapshot of overall usage in the South Whidbey zip codes.  Once we have that baseline, publish monthy/quarterly/annual numbers to see if our energy usage is going down. Set a target and challenge everyone – citizens, businesses, government – to participate.  Link to Action of the Week.

Additional ideas:

1. Our electric meters are apparently read electronically from a tower up Al Anderson Road. Could we have a constant read out of collective energy usage of Langley.

2. And could that read out be displayed downtown – or on a Langley website?  For example, could we have a meter installed on the old rusty scale on first outside of Virginia’s?

3. Since our meters can be read electronically, is there a way to inexpensively install a digital read out in every kitchen?

4. Linda Irvine, chair of the energy committee, is a wealth of information about which actions an individual takes could make how much of a difference. Sherry Mays may invite Linda and other experts to host a panel and conversation for the Front Room Exchange.

5. Mariah says there is a locally produced climate change slide show that could be shown around South Whidbey

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