The news for the planet is not good. While world leaders continue to promise solutions at COP27, we are poised to blow past the 1.5C threshold that can keep humanity safe. A recent study says 96% of humanity has already been touched by climate change's effects. Here in the Greater Rochester/ Finger Lakes region, we see it with devastating downpours, algal blooms in our lakes, and invasive species that follow global warming northward. Beyond our relatively secure, climate safe-haven, much of the world is already feeling the impact of sea level rise and heat, especially in the global south. Climate journalist David Wallace-Wells puts the problem front and center in his most recent piece for the New York Times. Climate mitigation and adaptation will have to go hand in hand to secure a viable future for our species.
Climate change is here, it is real, humans are causing it, and humans can solve it, if we work together. That includes the cooperation of our elected officials. Most of RYCL's membership cannot vote due to our age (that's the Y - youth - in RYCL!) but we will be among those most greatly impacted as we inherit a warming world. What exactly have our elected officials done to mitigate climate change and embrace environmental sustainability? RYCL reached out to all of the state and county candidates up for election on the 2022 Monroe County ballot to find out where they stand on these issues.
As of Saturday, October 29th, here's who we have heard from:
Assemblyperson Harry Bronson
RYCL is not endorsing any candidates but we do encourage the public to make an informed decision and vote with the climate reality in mind.
We are, however, encouraging NYS voters to vote YES on Ballot Proposal 1, the Environmental Bond Issue:
A "yes" vote supports issuing $4.20 billion in general obligation bonds for projects related to the environment, natural resources, water infrastructure, and climate change mitigation.
Here are some resources to help you learn about the candidates and the incumbents' voting records.
Rochester City Newspaper, NYS Assembly races
Rochester City Newspaper, NYS Senate races
Ballotpedia (searchable Wikipedia-style site tailored to your local ballot)