Activists rally to combat global climate change
GREENFIELD (August 25, 2013) — Daniel Finn, organizer for Pioneer Valley Local First, and former Congressman John Olver were among supporters of hunger striker Doug E. Wight who marched from the Greenfield Town Common to Beacon Field Sunday, hoping to increase awareness of the effects of global warming on the environment. Recorder/Trish Crapo
GREENFIELD — Concern for the global climate brought 38 people to Beacon Field on Sunday, where speakers filled a beautiful late summer afternoon with dire visions of an unnatural and inhospitable climate, and hope for change.
Global warming protesters gathered on the town common at noon, then proceeded to the park with signs and drums for speeches and solutions.
William Gran, former Greenfield Planning Director and current Greenfield Community College science instructor, outlined the climate change research of the past several decades and described a future in which Greenfield’s Main Street is 30 feet underwater.
Paraphrasing English war-time prime minister Winston Churchill, Gran said the world is entering a period of consequences, and said the U.S. has a moral and ethical duty to act, as the country is among the most responsible for the problem and the least vulnerable to its effects.
“This is now an emergency, but we are responding with business as usual,” Gran said.
Speakers advocated commitments to change, from the personal to the global level.
John Olver, former United States congressman and 10-year member of the Climate Change Caucus, said the country must stop lagging behind and setting a poor example for emerging economies through disproportionate energy consumption and instead lead the world in seeking global treaties to slow and reverse the warming trend.
At the local level, farmer Meredith Wecker of Heath advocated sustainable farming and buying local.
Wecker, co-owner and operator of Benson Place Farm, praised the local food movement as an example of a means to cut transportation and packaging waste and CSAs, or farm-shares, which she said cut food waste by allowing farmers to tailor their planting to demand.
By cutting food waste, Wecker hopes to cut farmland and return agricultural fields to forest for the CO2-converting benefits of trees.
Attendance was slim compared to organizer Douglas Wight’s predictions, and plans to brainstorm global warming solutions fell by the wayside after speeches ran long, he said.
“We would have liked a lot more people to come out but it was a great start, gave us something to build on for next year,” Wight said.
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