Supervisor's Column

Town Board Urges Action on Climate Change

Week of June 11, 2018

 Seeley Headshot
David A. Seeley
 Town of Irondequoit
 1280 Titus Avenue
 Rochester, New York 14617
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Since becoming Supervisor, I have often been reluctant to advance items for Town Board consideration that relate to issues whose fate will ultimately be decided beyond Irondequoit’s borders.

Often, local governments are asked to provide proclamations or memorializing resolutions to advocate for a position on an important State or Federal issue. While I feel it is important for elected officials at all levels of government to have opinions on issues of all magnitude - just as all citizens do – I feel that Town Board agendas should generally concern Town issues.

However, my colleagues on the Town Board and I recently diverted from this policy, and passed a resolution encouraging Congressional action on the important issue of Global Climate Change. It was a matter that all five of us felt very strongly about, and given recent steps backward taken in our nation’s Capital on this issue, we felt it necessary to lend our voice in support of bipartisan action.

According to NASA, while Earth has always experienced sustained periods of warming and cooling, the current period of warming is most alarming because it is extremely likely (over 95 percent certain) to be the result of human activity that began in the mid-20th century, and is escalating at an unprecedented rate. Last year’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement seemed to neglect this.

The proclamation referenced the many policy proposals that exist to reduce carbon emissions, ranging from further incentivizing the use of clean energy to certain programs that place a premium on the burning of fossil fuels. We feel the Town of Irondequoit has set a fine example at the local level in utilizing and promoting renewable energy, and are proud to have been one of the first towns in the region to be designated as a Clean Energy Community by New York State.

I would like to thank the members of the Citizens Climate Lobby for advocating for this grassroots appeal to our Federal lawmakers. We look forward to continuing working with Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and whomever succeeds our beloved departed Congresswoman Louise Slaughter in representing the 25th District. Ultimately, I hope that statements like this throughout America drive bipartisan action and help secure a more sustainable future for our children, grandchildren and those who will live on this earth well after we are gone.

On a different note, this past week I had the pleasure of hosting our annual visit from the second-grade classes at Ivan Green Primary School. As someone who wrote his college thesis on the importance of civic education, I always embrace the opportunity to help introduce the fundamental principles of government, democracy and community to these young minds.

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