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Opinion: Take into account the environment when planning projects
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Opinion: Take into account the environment when planning projects

The climate crisis is being slowed by pledges from cities, countries, and states around the globe. If the global society fails to reduce heat-trapping gases (mainly from burning oil, coal, and methane), the Earth will continue to warm. This is the consensus warning from all credible climate scientists.

Although the situation is dire, solutions must be implemented quickly. There is no silver bullet. We must all do our best to address this emergency. It affects everyone of us, but it is especially the ones who are least responsible. All of us have to do our part.

Massachusetts has committed itself to becoming a net zero state by 2050. This means that Massachusetts’ emissions from industry, power plants and transportation must be balanced with carbon-absorbing forests, the wetlands and other technological solutions. This is no easy feat. Marion has many opportunities for development today that could help the state, and all of us, reach this goal.

New municipal buildings are being planned: Plans are underway for a new Harbormasters’ office and Department of Public Works facility. Marion residents should insist on these buildings being built to as close as possible to net zero energy standards. It may cost more initially, but the long-term savings for taxpayers far outweigh the initial higher price. Think solar panels on rooftops, heat-pumps to heat and cool, efficient insulation, and smart temperature control. Massachusetts grants municipalities grants for energy-saving measures.

New housing developments: At the moment, at least four major housing developments are being planned. All of these new developments could and should meet net-zero energy requirements. Green Communities Program membership already requires compliance with the stretch building code. Residents could encourage solar panels on every roof, heat pumps for heating or cooling, high-quality insulation and underground utilities to reduce power cuts.

The climate crisis is a problem that affects all of us. It is up to each of us to solve it. Let us use these opportunities to show Marion that we are leaders and not laggers. We will be grateful to our children and their children.

Jennifer Francis, PhD

Marion Energy Management Committee

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