February 11, 2020
Five of QCAN’s Ward 5 residents met with City Councilor Chuck Phelan during his office hours on February 5th to discuss local issues related to climate change. We encouraged Councilor Phelan to vote for an amendment to the single-use plastic bag ban that would incorporate a modest surcharge for single-use paper bags, which contribute several times more climate-warming gases than single-use plastic bags. We hope that such an amendment can be proposed and approved before the plastic bag ban takes effect on March 1st. Continue reading
January 10, 2020
The office of Quincy Energy Manager Shelly Dein hosted a presentation last night by Harvard Extension School graduate student Vanessa Goh of her inventory of current greenhouse gas emissions generated within city limits – along with a proposed mitigation plan. This type of report helps set a baseline for all the sources of our community’s emissions so that we can set – and hopefully meet – future targets. Continue reading
Dear Governor Baker:
I urge you on behalf of the Quincy Climate Action Network to convert the MBTA buses that operate in and around our city to battery electric buses. As climate activists QCAN members are working first of all to reduce the greenhouse gas pollution that threatens the property and lives of Quincy residents, and converting the fleet to electric buses is a critical part of achieving that goal. Electric buses have one quarter the carbon footprint of diesel hybrid buses, a footprint that will grow increasingly small and eventually disappear altogether as the electricity supply comes more and more from renewable sources. Today one Quincy bus route alone, the 215, daily emits 2,000 pounds of CO2 equivalent. Continue reading
In his shameless attack on a group of concerned Quincy citizens (letters, January 23), Councilor Brian Palmucci accuses Quincy Climate Action Network of making up facts in our push to amend the city’s plastic bag ban, though he conveniently neglects to identify any made-up facts we have disseminated.
We suggest that the councilor check his own facts. For example, in his letter, at the city council meeting where the ban was passed, and in emails between the councilor and QCAN members, he has repeatedly asserted that QCAN members want an outright “ban” on paper shopping bags. In fact, we are calling for a modest charge on paper bags, of a kind that’s been enacted in Boston, Cambridge, and several whole states, including California, Oregon, Vermont, and Maine, as a way to encourage the adoption of reusable shopping bags. Continue reading
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
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
The year 2019 has seen massive floods and wildfires in the US and around the globe. Glaciers and the polar ice caps continue to recede, raising sea levels ever higher. A summer heat wave in Europe caused killed thousands of people. Crops died in the fields from lack of rain or too much of it, and from increasingly unpredictable weather patterns. Plant and animal species went extinct, with the World Wildlife Fund estimating up to 100,000 extinctions per year in recent years–between 1,000 and 10,000 times the natural extinction rate. Continue reading