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Climate Change, Local Impacts and Actions the Topic of Skaneateles Public Meeting

Harmful algal blooms have been seen in Skaneateles and other finger lakes. Panel discussion Wednesday night examines link to climate change, as well as other local impacts. CREDIT DEC

Community groups in Skaneateles want to expand the discussion around climate change and the impacts it’s having on Central New York. Academic experts and local officials will look at things such as local algae blooms, which experts never thought could happen, and ways to reduce fossil fuel use on Wednesday night. The session is being put on by the Saint James Church Master Class, Skaneateles Lake Association, and Sustainable Skaneateles.

Chris Carrick is Energy Program Manager for the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, and will be on the panel. He started local solar power and geo-thermal heat programs.

“We know that a handful of people, or thousands of people, switching to geo-thermal heart pumps or solar power is not going to get us where we need to be. But when folks do that, it sends a message to their neighbors, to their co-workers, to their friends and more importantly to policy makers that people are willing to embrace this technology.”

He says increased heat waves and strong storms are taxing public infrastructure. More than personal choices, Carrick believes government needs to play a role.

“The whole idea that we as individual consumers, force the change we want to see is part of the problem. We need collective action, bold public policy and frankly we need investment in the systems that make these choices more affordable and easier to do.”

The state has recently passed climate change and green energy goals. He adds localities can also adopt the “Climate Smart Communities Pledge.”

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