Climate change is again the theme of Mountainfilm as it was in 2009. In the spring of 2009, most local governments in San Miguel County passed a resolution pledging to develop a climate change plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
There was also a press conference held in conjunction with Mountainfilm featuring Bill McKibben, perhaps the world’s best known climate change activist, where Telluride and Mountain Village mayors issued a statement pledging “We will start by creating a plan that is measurable and actionable." That was the right idea four years ago. And yet we still don’t have those actionable community-wide plans for renewable energy and climate change – something which thousands of communities around the world have already done.
San Miguel County is now roughly where Aspen/Pitkin County was about eight years ago: it has taken some useful steps with government-controlled facilities, but is long overdue to develop effective new community-wide efforts. There are plenty of Colorado examples for policies and programs which could be copied locally: Boulder passed a carbon tax to fund its energy retrofit efforts, Aspen tracks results of its community-wide climate efforts, etc.
This weekend at Mountainfilm, if you see any of our local elected officials, please suggest to them that we are long overdue for a community-wide climate change plan.
– Kurt Johnson, Ophir