Senior citizens struggle to stay cool in their homes during the summer, doctors see more cases of tick and mosquito-borne illness like West Nile Virus or Lyme disease, areas that haven’t flooded in recent memory experience costly flood damage – these and many other experiences of Easton residents are connected to climate change, and are expected to worsen in the coming decades.
A climate action plan (CAP) is a collective game plan for city government, community organizations, schools, individuals, and local businesses to respond to the ways climate change affects our residents and to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere.
The plan lays out strategies that can improve air quality in the Lehigh Valley, make Easton residents’ homes more comfortable in both winter and summer, ensure future development reflects residents’ vision for their city, create new economic opportunities, enhance natural spaces where people can go to relieve stress and have fun, and more. This plan belongs to and affects all of us – so make your voice heard and let us know what is important! A draft version of the plan is available here.
Please sign up for an account on ISeeChange and help us document heat impacts in the City. Information on this project is here. The Nurture Nature Center is asking community members to collect and report observations related to heat. How is heat impacting you? How does heat vary around the City – are certain areas hotter than others? Where is shade needed? This information will inform climate action strategies and adaptation measures in Easton’s Climate Action Plan – efforts can target those areas needing heat relief.
Here are some examples of actions the plan might recommend:
Looking for more ideas?
- See what Bethlehem included in their recently completed CAP
- Check out our CREATE Resilience Tour highlighting existing projects that make communities more resilient to climate-related hazards
- Keep an eye on the news – how could the CAP improve outcomes of stories about extreme weather, public health, land use and development, environmental conservation, or other relevant local issues?
Learn about climate science and predicted climate impacts locally and globally
• NASA, Climate Change: How Do We Know? – With engaging visuals and easy to understand language, NASA summarizes evidence, causes, and effects of climate change.
• Fourth National Climate Assessment – While this entire report, which is prepared by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) for Congress and the President every 4 years, is very long, the website lists all chapters so you can select what you are interested in learning more about – from the climate science to projections for various climate impacts to potential responses.
• The FAQ page for the assessment answers many common questions about climate change.
• Climate Explorer – This tool includes maps and charts that depict impacts of climate change at the city and county level. We can see that Easton can expect to experience warmer average temperatures, more days above 90°F, and potentially more extreme precipitation.
Addressing your individual footprint
• Reduce Your Carbon Footprint at Work, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions – Suggestions for energy efficiency and reducing waste specific to the workplace.
• Teaching Climate: Human Responses to Climate Change – A wide variety of educational resources focused on how individuals, communities, businesses, and governments can respond to climate change.