Haber: Turning climate despair into climate action | VailDaily.com

Haber: Turning climate despair into climate action

Kat Haber
Valley Voices

Thank you to Walking Mountains Science Center, the Eagle County Commissioners, the Climate Action Collaborative and the 400 local leaders who attended the “Getting to Zero: From Radical to Rational” presentation last month by climatologist Dr. Robert Davies. You likely agree that it was sobering.  (If you missed it, please view it free here)

The information about the severity of our climate crisis is very difficult to take in. Many people may have left the presentation feeling a little hopeless, wondering, “What difference can I make?” People often feel sadness, despair, or anger once fully aware of the daunting challenges humanity faces. Yet, take heart, there is hope through action.

We invite you to shift your anger to passion, your grief to love, your despair to action. Together we can make a difference, and quite honestly, we have to. Our valley is a remarkable community and we have a robust plan through the Climate Action Collaborative to make our home sustainable by reducing carbon emissions by 25% by 2025, and 80% by 2050. There are many partners dedicated to this goal — businesses, elected officials, nonprofit organizations and private individuals.

We hope you are one of them. We are. We are the Eagle chapter of Climate Reality, part of a global community of millions who’ve come together to solve the climate crisis by working locally. Our perspective is game on, not game over.

Our chapter formed in the fall because so many concerned citizens want to create specific solutions that are accessible, real and productive. Using the CAC’s Climate Action Plan as a guide, our mission is to solve the climate crisis right here in Eagle County. We work with all sectors of our community to educate, prioritize, and mobilize support for specific actions.

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Did you know that the greatest carbon impact in our valley comes from transportation emissions? Did you also know that inhaling fumes for one minute from idling cars is as harmful as smoking three packs of cigarettes? Please consider that next time you sit outside a school with your engine running with exhaust dusting every child who charges out the door at the end of the day.

Notice how often you see cars running at gas stations, grocery stores, and in driveways. That’s why we are rolling out our first educational campaign to shift an all-too-common and unhealthy practice of idling our vehicles. Pledges are a signal to ourselves to change an attitude or behavior. You can make your No Idling Pledge here.

Aside from stopping idling, you may want to lower your carbon footprint in other ways. Make a donation to a local environmental advocacy group, like the Eagle Valley Land Trust or Eagle River Watershed Council, to offset your air travel. Rideshare. Arrange a free Home Energy Audit, or sign up for 100% Renewable Energy electricity from Holy Cross Electric.

Here’s a list of the top 35 things you can do in your daily life to reduce carbon. And please, take the Climate Action Pledge today as you learn about Eagle County’s plan to shrink our community’s footprint.

If you are passionate about solutions and action, we invite you to join Climate Reality. Each of us has resources and connections, expertise, and personal talents to offer. All are needed right now. 

Climate Reality meets the first Tuesday of every month. Join us to put your passion for sustainable life on Earth into action, beginning right here at home.

Kat Haber has been an Eagle County resident for more than 30 years.

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