Author Archives: maggiemckee

All-electric buses on the horizon

2020 wasn’t all bad. After months of lobbying by QCAN and others, the MBTA announced that a few dozen climate-friendly battery electric buses will be used at a new bus depot planned for southwest Quincy.

Quincy’s current bus depot, built on Hancock Street in 1904, is too small to fit buses manufactured after 2010, making Quincy’s diesel-only buses the oldest – and the dirtiest – in the state. These buses spew out pollution that harms people’s health and greenhouse gases that heat the planet. (Transportation is in fact the biggest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US.)

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Setting a baseline for Quincy’s greenhouse gas emissions

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Harvard Extension School graduate student Vanessa Goh has done a huge service to Quincy by preparing a greenhouse gas inventory and mitigation plan as a capstone project for her Master of Liberal Arts in Sustainability. This type of report – Quincy’s first ever – helps set a baseline for all the sources of our community’s greenhouse gas emissions so that we can set future targets and create appropriate policies to meet them.

Ms. Goh will present her report to selected city officials and the public on January 9 at 6:30 pm in the lower level of Old City Hall at 1305 Hancock Street. In advance of the report’s release, QCAN asked her to fill us in on this exciting first step for Quincy.

Please tell us about your project and how you got started. Continue reading

Action alert: Bag ban needs amendment

January 1, 2020

Late last year, at a time when governments everywhere were working on solutions to the worldwide climate emergency, the Quincy City Council took a vote that will only worsen the situation.

The problem: The city’s new ban on single-use plastic bags, as currently worded, will drive consumers towards paper bags, whose manufacture results in four times as much greenhouse gas pollution as that of single-use plastic bags.

The good news: The ban doesn’t take effect until March 1, so it’s not too late for the city to revise the plastic bag ordinance. Continue reading

Video clips: Quincy candidates discuss environmental issues

On October 17, 2019, QCAN held a Candidates’ Night at United First Parish Church exploring local environmental issues. Eleven city councilor candidates participated, along with mayoral candidate Brenda Ryan and Mayor Koch’s chief of staff, Chris Walker. They discussed responding to climate science, recycling and food waste collection, net-zero building standards, electric vehicles in Quincy, climate preparedness, and leading by example. Several incumbents mentioned QCAN’s advocacy in connection with the city’s progress in addressing climate change.

View a video of the full program on QCAN’s Youtube page or click these direct links for shorter videos of: Continue reading

How will climate change affect local forests?

Update: Dr. Templer’s talk is online here.

New England is known for its forests. For the blaze of color that explodes every fall, the dazzling stillness of a newly fallen snow, the austere refuge that drew Thoreau to “live deliberately” by Walden Pond.

But what will become of these iconic landscapes in a warming world? Pamela Templer, a biology professor at Boston University, will discuss her research on the topic at a free public lecture on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, at 7 pm. The talk will be held at the Thomas Crane Library at 40 Washington Street in Quincy and is co-sponsored by the Quincy Climate Action Network, Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, and the library.

1280px-New_hampshire_colors(Image: bluepoint – Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The research has important implications for New England. “I think of our forests as natural filters,” says Templer. Trees pull pollutants out of the air, draw the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and lock it in their wood and roots, and soak up pollutants from soils, preventing them from contaminating waterways.

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