PARSIPPANY — Like for many of you, at 2:34 a.m. on August 20 my phone sounded jolting me out of sleep with an emergency alert tornado warning. Do I really need to go into my basement? Then it sounded again.
In the basement my family watched a local station as the anchor discussed the record heat and wildfires out west, the tropical storm moving up the east coast, fatal flash flooding in the Midwest, and the spotted lanternfly in NJ. If it wasn’t so serious it would seem like a bad dream. Sadly, young people see these events increasing and intensifying in their lifetimes, not in some distant future.
That tropical storm made it up to us as yet another extreme event. And every year, successively, for the last 20 have been the warmest on record. Climate crises affect health, economy, quality of life, food, and water security.
A couple of weeks ago the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released an alarming scientific report showing that the impacts of climate change are getting worse — and happening faster than previously thought.
We’re seeing raging wildfires, massive floods, extreme heat, tropical cyclones, and killer storms, all supercharged by climate change. Leaders around the world must take swift, decisive action to combat the climate crisis.
Some big takeaways from the report are:
- The changes to our planet are accelerating, unprecedented and irreversible
- Human impacts to the climate system are the main drivers of change
- Every increment of warming matters, driving potentially catastrophic events
We know what we need to do and we must act now!
Many local mayors have been advocating and initiating changes to help educate, increase awareness and invest in sustainable initiatives. Working with the Parsippany Green Team the township of Parsippany is actively seeking to cut our carbon emissions. Last February, Mayor Soriano pledged to attain Sustainable Gold in Energy through Sustainable Jersey. This is important because his action offers resources, networking, and education to Parsippany to initiate and succeed in accomplishing this courageous goal. Sustainable objectives benefit the residents and businesses of the Town and also indirectly ensure a more sustainable environment all at no cost to the taxpayers. With efforts like this locally, statewide and now, nationally, there is hope for making impacts on the climate crisis.
Real change, every action no matter how small, is always a grassroots effort and comes from citizens. As co-leader of the Parsippany Green Team, I encourage anyone who wants to feel empowered to join us, participate and learn about how together we can make a difference. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-leader Parsippany Green Team