This year’s Moving Mountains Symposium at Mountainfilm focused on climate solutions. Over the past several months we have heard from a lot of people that it inspired them to think of ways to combat climate change in their own homes and hometowns. They are mostly small measures and mostly symbolic. But they are nonetheless significant as they represent a true grassroots movement toward change. And, however gargantuan the issue of climate change is, we are convinced that it will take popular effort, at the grassroots level, to attenuate and begin to reverse the harm done by rising emissions of harmful greenhouse gases.
Recently we learned that Measure 1A on next month’s ballot was also inspired by the Mountainfilm symposium. The measure calls for a 1% tax on residential utility usage across San Miguel County. The funds generated by the tax, estimated at some $150,000 or more in the first year, would be dedicated exclusively to county projects that measurably reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as increasing energy efficiency in homes and commercial buildings through audits and retrofits, and to renewable energy capital investments.
We aren’t proponents of ever-rising taxes. But we’re definitely not fans of ever-rising greenhouse gases, either. And a dollar or two a month (the average residence is estimated to pay between $.50 and $1.50) seems a small price to pay to try to make a difference in our hometown. Will it really make a difference? We don’t know. But we do know that doing nothing gets us nowhere. Or worse.
Vote yes on Ballot Measure 1A.
– Peter Kenworthy and David Holbrooke