It is such welcome news that the Albany City Water Department has chosen to purchase a pair of electric vehicles. As the department announced this purchase, Mr. Coffey, the water commissioner, noted that his office oversees a vital natural resource and that future sustainability is a core value.
Mr. Coffey’s wise message needs to echo far and wide. In the Capital District all municipalities should transition to electric vehicles and other sustainable practices.
Situated in the Northeast we have been spared many of the hardships that accompany a changing climate. We are experiencing heavier rainfalls and cold snaps in the winter as the jet stream destabilizes and arctic air sweeps southward. Thus far these changes have been quite manageable.
But if we consider the American West, where extreme drought and heat waves are making life challenging, and for far too many, deadly. The wildfire season could again be horrific. Across the globe many communities are suffering as the climate becomes disrupted.
One way to mitigate this dangerous crisis is for local communities to work to become a Climate Smart Community, a program coordinated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. This program sets forth a list of actions that earn points. Upon completion of several climate smart actions the community can become certified by the DEC.
In the Capital District we are fortunate to have several communities that have been certified as greener. They include Albany, Lake George, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Schenectady County and Watervliet. Kudos to these municipalities.
I would encourage all local governments to explore the Climate Smart Community program. Without robust climate action on the federal level and a climate stagnant legislative session in Albany we can accomplish serious climate mitigation on a local level.