People's Climate March Delhi
Cycle of Change
DELHI - In an effort to slow down the impacts of accelerated climate change due to human activity, five area women, Janet Tweed, Kathy Mario, Lisa Robinson, Bonnie Seegmiller and Irene Berkowitz, combined their efforts to facilitate a rally to show support for the National People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., on April 29 at Courthouse Square in Delhi.
Nearly 300 people were in attendance at the rally, according to organizers, at which many spoke about individual steps that could be taken to help thwart the cyclical event once known as global warming, now re-dubbed climate change.
Others used the event as a platform to call out the Trump administration for interfering with federally funded agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), tasked with ensuring that people are protected from risks to their health and environment and that federal laws that protect human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively, among other things.
Event attendee Chris Karmosky of Treadwell, a climatologist who teaches meteorology at SUNY Oneonta, said the climate is changing and though many in his profession believe that humans are to blame for accelerated climate change, the general population does not believe that is the case.
Karmosky carried a sign at the rally that said “Climate is changing WEATHER you believe it or not,” in support of his belief.
Climate patterns are cyclical and climate change is a natural phenomenon that occurs on time scales of tens or hundreds of thousands of years. However, Karmosky said, the type of climate change that has been witnessed over the past 150 years is unprecedented in the fossil, sediment and tree ring record that we have for climate change. “We’ve never seen this much change so quickly,” he said.
Organizers said that nearly 300 people attended the climate change rally in Delhi on April 29. Lillian Browne/The Reporter
Those changes have corresponded to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the likes of which have not been seen in several million years, he said.
There are ways in which people can help slow down the amount of fossil fuel emissions which contribute to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, he said. Moving toward the use of alternative power such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power, and moving away from the use of coal, would help to slow the amount of “greenhouse gases” being created and released into the environment.
Karmosky attended the event, he said, to show support for climate science and action on climate change.
One of the event’s organizers, Bonnie Seegmiller of Downsville, said the rally was needed to raise awareness about climate change. The issue is particularly heightened in rural areas such as Delaware County where agricultural is heavily relied upon. “If the animals don’t survive, people don’t survive,” she said.
She would like people to think twice before they do something that may prove harmful to the environment, like driving a short distance for convenience, rather than walking. People can individually make a difference where climate change is concerned in small, meaningful ways, such as not leaving the water running while brushing their teeth, she said. If everyone undertakes small conservation practices, collectively it can make a difference and will help the sustainability of the planet, she said.
Another organizer, Kathy Mario, asks that everyone make a “pledge to the planet” to do something positive for the environment. Mario said that she is concerned about the dismantling of the EPA and the protections that the agency affords to the environment. “Mainly I am concerned about the generations who follow us that are left with fewer species due to our mismanagement of our planet,” she said. “We have to help each other to find the will to change the way we live.”
Small ways to help the planet, organizers said, are things like carpooling, planting vegetable gardens, recycling, not using plastic grocery bags and consuming less.
Michael Tweed, one of the event’s featured speakers, is an architect and assistant professor at SUNY Delhi who spoke about things people could do in building projects to reduce greenhouse gases. One of those things is to heavily insulate a structure, he said. Another is to look at ways to efficiently fuel a building - electric being one of those ways, he said.
Organizers say the event was held, in part, to speak up against legislation that puts the environment in danger.
Last week, much of the information about climate change was removed from the EPA’s website.