To the Editor:
Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have increasingly released carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that had been stored in the Earth’s crust for millions of years. This release upset the prior balance of the carbon cycle, resulting in larger atmospheric concentrations of these greenhouse gases than have existed since the Pliocene; approximately 3 million years ago. Higher greenhouse gas concentrations result in warmer global average temperatures, as more solar energy is trapped as heat near the Earth’s surface. Far-reaching consequences of this overall warming include sea level rise, increased frequency of droughts, severe storms, heat waves, fires and less predictable and more variable local weather patterns.
In November of 2019, the Town of Bar Harbor passed a Climate Emergency Declaration, brought to them by the Climate Emergency Action Coalition (CEAC). The declaration they passed acknowledged that climate change is a crisis that threatens our town. A few months later, in January of 2020, the town created the Climate Emergency Task Force (CETF), whose responsibilities include reducing the town’s carbon emissions. To date, the town of Bar Harbor has already initiated several projects with greenhouse gas (ghg) reduction in mind. The Climate Emergency Task Force (CETF) has been meeting since June 2020 and has initiated a greenhouse gas audit of municipal buildings and vehicles. The CETF has also proposed climate related goals for the Town Council to adopt and identified several areas in which improvements could be made to municipal buildings and infrastructure to reduce ghg emissions. The CETF is working on a Climate Action Plan and will be soliciting public input on recommendations we bring before the Town Council.
Task force meetings take place in the town office building and are open to the public. For more information, meeting times and agendas, visit the town of Bar Harbor website at www.barharbormaine.gov and search Task Force on Climate Emergency.
Climate Emergency Task Force member