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Add your voice to Visions of 2050

How are the things we do today building toward a sustainable community and region in 2050?

How will we get from here to there?  What can we do today to move us in that direction?  

Those are the questions that we will be considering at Creating Greenfield’s Future: Visions of 2050 on April 6 at the Greenfield Community College Dining Commons from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Seems like a tall order, doesn’t it? 2050 is still 37 years away. In 1976, I did not know that we would have the Internet, be dealing with climate change and be concerned about the lack of energy resources.

Don’t we have enough to deal with now? Why should we bother speculating about the problems of the future?

We know that discussing the future encourages us to think about what we want, value and need to move forward. We also know that when we don’t think about our future, we often have a mess to clean up.

To give us some grounding, Greening Greenfield has asked four leaders in the fields of food security and agriculture (Abrah Dresdale), buildings and energy (Ben Weil), schools and education (Joshua Hornick), and health services (Donna Stern) to give us their ideas about what the world will be like in 2050. Will they be right? Perhaps. Will they give us a lot to think about? Absolutely.

There are some things that will require our response and over which we have no control — natural disasters, for instance. But there are other parts of our future that we can control.

How important will renewable energy be in 2050, both to meet our needs and protect our environment? How will we evaluate each new opportunity to change the energy profile of our community and region? What information do we need to make the best choices for our community?

Will our survival be dependent on locally produced food? What should we do to ensure that it will be available in 37 years?

Should our schools be preparing our children for a future that might be hotter, drier, possibly more isolated? Or is it more likely that they should be readied for a more technical and connected world? How do we educate them to be adaptable to whatever comes their way?

And then there is the never-ending health care debate. For the last few years, we have been engaged in a long-term argument about health insurance, but we have not been talking very much about what that insurance pays for. What do we expect from our health professionals and our hospitals? What do we expect of ourselves when we consider our health?

Creating Greenfield’s Future: Visions of 2050 is the beginning of what we expect will be a conversation that will last these next 37 years and beyond. Join the discussion and add your own dreams and ideas for the future of Greenfield and Franklin County.

For more information on Creating Greenfield’s Future: Visions of 2050 or to register, go to www.greeninggreenfield.org or call 413-773-0228.

Susan Worgaftik is a member of Greening Greenfield.

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