Middletown Common Council To Consider Declaration of Climate Emergency

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As you may have noticed, our national government has utterly failed to provide leadership in the face of the global climate crisis. Once we get through the Covid-19 pandemic — another area of failed leadership — we will still face this even more threatening, though slower moving, crisis. Regardless of what you hear on the evening news lately, climate change has not been put on pause. What are concerned, climate-conscious citizens to do? In addition to reducing our own carbon footprint, we need to take action at the local level.

Middletown’s Sustainability Team and Clean Energy Task Force are proposing a resolution to Mayor Florsheim and to the Common Council, declaring a climate emergency and resolving to take local action to reduce carbon emissions and to pressure state and federal leaders to face this crisis. A copy of the draft resolution will be posted here once it is released and appears on a City agenda.

To illustrate the magnitude of the climate crisis, consider this. For the past 800,000 years, the concentration of atmospheric CO2 varied between 180 and 280 parts per million (ppm) as the earth’s climate fluctuated between ice ages and warm spells. In the last 170 years, since 1850, when the industrial revolution accelerated the burning of fossil fuels, atmospheric CO2 has increased from 280 to over 410 ppm. Is that serious? The last time the earth’s atmosphere had 410 ppm was in the Pliocene era, approximately 4 million years ago. In the Pliocene, sea level varied 10-25 meters higher than at present, and the coastline of Virginia was 90 miles inland from its present location. (See photo.) If we stay at 410 ppm, eventually the delayed warming will catch up to the CO2 level and the eastern seaboard of the United States will be completely underwater.

Green dots show location of shoreline in Pliocene era.

To avoid the worst climate catastrophe, we need to look beyond the pandemic and the November elections that are consuming the public’s attention. Since state and federal governments have proved themselves incapable of an adequate response, action needs to come from the grassroots and local governments. Email Mayor Ben Florsheim  Mayor@MiddletownCT.gov and the Common Council  Council@MiddletownCT.gov  to express your support for the Resolution Declaring A Climate Emergency. We expect that it will be on the Agenda of the Common Council for Tuesday, September 8.

Sign The Petition

Support Climate Action

In light of our national government's failure to address climate change adequately, I support the City of Middletown's Declaration of a Climate Emergency, directing our city government--both elected leaders and municipal departments--to lead our community in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to advocate for urgent climate action at the state, federal, and international levels.

**your signature**

66 signatures

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Is your garden producing more than you can use?

It is that time in the season when you may have more cucumbers and zucchini then you can eat or put up.  If you find yourself in this situation, consider donating your excess produce to our local food pantries and put it to good use.  Details for Middletown and Portland are below:

Middletown

Amazing Grace Food Pantry, 16 Stack Street, Middletown, CT

Drop off on Wednesdays and Fridays 9 am – 5 pm

Bring produce around back

Questions? Call Kathleen Kelly at 860-347-3222

Portland

Portland Food Bank, Waverly Center – 7 Waverly Avenue, Portland, CT

Drop off on Mondays 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Bring produce to Food Bank, door at the bottom of ramp. Please wear a mask.

Questions? Call Ruth Maio at 860 342-0527

Water Chestnut Control Efforts

For the past 4 years, the Jonah Center has organized work parties of 20-30 paddlers each to remove invasive water chestnut (trapa natans) from the Floating Meadows, the 1000 acre freshwater tidal marshland formed by the Mattabesset and  Coginchaug Rivers.

The map above indicates the primary location of plants in the previous few years. This year, plants are visible upstream from this area, where the “Mattabesset River” label is seen, and still father upstream from there, where the river turns sharply to the right at the top of the map. These are the areas of primary focus.

Due to the pandemic, the Jonah Center has not organized large work parties. We have encouraged  paddlers to go out solo or in small family groups.  Bring a large plastic bag, gently pull up plants by the roots, place them in the bag, and deposit the plants near the informational kiosk in the boat launch parking area.

If you are able to pull more plants than you can carry, please place them on one of the floating drying rafts anchored in the area. The plants will drain, dry out in the sun, lose most of their weight and volume, and become easier for others to bring back to the launch site by motor boat.  We will ask the Public Works Department to dispose of them when plants have accumulated.  Please contact us if you have gone out to remove plants and let us know what you have found in terms of location and number of plants.  We will all do the best that we can.

This plant drying raft was designed and constructed by Jonah volunteer Mike Thomas.