MONMOUTH — The Monmouth City Council will have a future work session about adopting a climate crisis resolution.
Stephen Howard, on behalf of the Climate Crisis Taskforce, asked the council to consider a resolution at their Oct. 20 meeting.
“The Community Climate Taskforce is a group of residents of Monmouth and Independence who have organized over our shared concerns about climate change,” Howard said. “We found each other, after listening for years as research has provided data on how our civilization’s emissions of greenhouse gasses are affecting the future stability of our planet. And we have watched for years as our country has done next to nothing to address this crisis.”
He said climate change won’t wait for national leaders to find consensus on solutions.
“The purveyors of misinformation and doubt have delayed action to the point that purely market-based solutions will not be enough to avoid dangerous levels of warming,” Howard said. “It is the responsibility of every city to find climate solutions that will both minimize their community’s greenhouse gas emissions and make them resilient to the effects of global warming we have already failed to prevent.”
Howard said no other level of government has such a direct impact on how its residents live.
Mayor Cec Koontz said she would like to have a work session where councilors could talk through some of what Howard was presenting.
Councilor Roxanne Beltz agreed and said Howard’s request seemed broad.
The two-page resolution included in the council packet was provided as an example and was “adapted from a resolution that has been adopted by hundreds of cities worldwide, including here in Oregon,” Howard said in a memo to council.
He said cities should consider climate change in all of their decision making.
“The thing I’ve talked about when I was at the open houses for the new city hall is making sure you get the building envelope right so you’re not spending a lot of energy powering the building,” Howard said.
He knows from his time on the planning commission, that there are decisions that affect people’s energy use as well as the type of energy they use.
Councilor Jon Carey, and other councilors, thanked Howard for his work on the issue and starting the conversation.
“From my perspective, before we can get too far and too serious into this, I’d like to see a little more citation on some of the data that you quote,” Carey said.
Carey said he wanted to make sure the information is science-based, not political-based.
“I’ve come to the understanding after studying this for about 20 years, that when people are really enthusiastic about tackling this, they tend to shoot for stars and lots of cultural shifts and things that might be good for very many reasons,” Howard said. “But it turns out that a lot of the work that needs doing isn’t that novel. It doesn’t require a lot of habit change entirely. And it doesn’t require new technology. It also doesn’t require turning back the clock somehow. So, I’ve been excited about some of the new information that’s been coming out about just how middle of the road solving climate change can be.”