Live by basic principles of ecology: recycling, partnership, flexibility, diversity, sustainability
by Bill Gilbert
Global warming/climate change will soon overshadow all other problems that now confront us. We see increasing intensity of forest fires, floods and hurricanes; unprecedented species extinction globally; a global fresh water crisis; and, desertification of the world’s topsoil that is a major threat to our species.
Global warming/climate change will not be stopped without ending the use of fossil fuels.
Here are some things you can do locally to stop the causes of global warming.
1. Hasten the ending of fossil fuels by Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU). With your friends and neighbors please contact the Gainesville City Commission to request/demand that commissioners shorten the present city’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045 (that is 23 years from now) to 2032 or 10 years from now. In Alachua County, 30% of our energy is provided by renewable energy.
Implement an effective county-wide net metering program that allows for excess energy produced by renewable energy, mostly rooftop solar, to be sold back to the power grid at the retail rate. This lowers monthly electricity bills and helps pay for rooftop panels.
2. Trees in Alachua County are being cut down at an alarming rate. Request the Gainesville City Commission and the Alachua County Board of Commissioners to implement a Tree Replenishment Program.
(a) Ensure that developers replant so many trees for every one cut down either on site or elsewhere.
(b) Inform people where they can obtain tree seedlings and where to plant them. The physical act of planting a tree would be meaningful to many people of all ages. Staff support and instructions could be provided. Specific times and locations could be printed in the Gainesville Sun. For more information on this point, contact:
Alachua County Arborist,
Lucy Holtzworth, 352-548-1266
Longleaf Pine Restoration & Management Care, Alachua Conservation Trust, 352-373-1078
Resources for Florida-Friendly Landscape Care, UF, IFAS, 352-955-2402
3. Recognize and implement what scientists call the “Global Deal for Nature.” Request that the Alachua County Board of Commissioners solve two interconnected crises:
(a) biodiversity loss
(b) climate change.
“Everywhere in open country side, in farmland, in urban megaregions, and in other cities and towns — the tasks are the same: protect what survives; repair what’s been damaged; connect places that have been severed; collaborate as never before; and make the whole effort personal by bringing the natural world back into people’s lives wherever they are” (from the book by Tony Hiss, Rescuing the Planet: Protecting Half the Land to Heal the Earth, 2021).
Support these organizations: Alachua County Forever and Alachua Conservation Trust, because they are key players in accomplishing some of these goals.
4. Purge fossil fuel companies from your investments and pension funds. Plan for that first electric car.
5. “Ecology is a way to understand life in our time,” said Rev. James Parks Morton of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.
He believed “the survival of humanity will depend on our ability to understand and live by some of the basic principles of ecology: recycling, partnership, flexibility, diversity, and, as a consequence, sustainability.” Realize logically and spiritually the interconnectivity and interdependence of all things. We are one. Then, perhaps we will have enough compassion to fully engage our knowledge and technology to live in peace with ourselves and with the Earth.
Learn more about sustainability at: