Climate change is real, man-made, and urgent. While humanity has arguably seen enormous benefits from the Industrial Revolution, we have become increasingly aware of the costs: namely, that we are cooking the planet. The urgency comes from the fact that we have frittered away decades by denying or minimizing the problem, and we do not have much time before certain tipping points will activate feedback loops that will accelerate global warming.
In the age of Trump, cities and states must lead. Trump has said climate change is a hoax and has appointed a host of climate deniers to his cabinet. Massachusetts, and its capital city, has a tremendous opportunity to show how the nation can accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to a renewable-energy-based economy.
The City’s Imagine Boston 2030 plan falls short. While we applaud the Mayor for promulgating a long-range planning process that (somewhat) addresses climate change, we believe we can do better. The plan speaks to adaptation efforts (how to adapt to and cope with rising sea levels and major storms) but does not currently address mitigation (how to prevent further greenhouse-gas pollution). The plan also, laudably, describes the development of a major residential housing construction boom, but inexplicably does not call for state-of-the-art efficiency requirements or net-zero-carbon requirements attached to this development.
What we want. We strongly oppose any development of new fracked-gas infrastructure to power new buildings in Boston. Our aspiration is for all new construction to be carbon neutral.
How we get there. Through strong political leadership, we seek to create a process that develops sound public policy. This process must foster collaboration among Boston’s development, architectural, financial, academic, labor, environmental, and faith-based sectors.
We invite all interested parties to join us.