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Getting Congress to Step it Up

BOLTON LANDING So whats up with the weather, anyway? Answer: Its global warming, and at over 1,400 places across the country, people got together to send a message to Congress to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. In Bolton Landing, Kelly Baker, a Federal Express pilot, organized a grass roots event to take part in the event. This is a national effort that were a part of, Baker said. We have to change the mindset in Washington. The oil executives in power have little regard for global warming, but are concerned with business. Noni Eldridge traveled to the event from the North Country School in Lake Placid, a school founded by her grandparents in 1938 on the premise of education toward sustainability. Were a non-profit boarding school for fourth through ninth graders, she said. We have an organic farm, we raise much of our meat, we compost our food scraps, some for our pigs, and some for fertilizer, she said. Author and Middlebury College Professor Bill McKibben was the driving force behind the Step it Up effort that organized the April 14 event, and Eldridge said McKibben is an alumni of the North Country School. She spoke of the schools efforts to become even more sustainable. We just converted some of our buildings to biodiesel fuel and were hoping to get 100 percent of them there soon, she said. Bolton resident Ron Conover said he attended after getting a call from Baker about the event. I think everyone can influence positive change on our environment whether its preserving open spaces or cleaning up brownfields, he said. A lot has been done, but a lot more can be done. Recently, the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to take a fresh look at regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. These gases are air pollutants believed by scientists to be flowing into the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate leading to warming of the earth. Baker brought attention to recent weather that we have experienced even here. Remember the storm that washed out our roads and even the Northway? she said. They always say that was the storm of the century, until the next one comes along. We have to change our practices and engage our brains to solve the problem of carbon emissions. She said that polluting countries like China and Russia need to get on board as well, but those countries are reluctant to accept the concept of global warming since they are some of the biggest polluters. China is building new coal burning plants every day, Baker said. When Singapore is 12 feet underwater theyll pay attention, an audience member responded. As with all the events across the country, those who attended the Bolton Step It Up event sent a photo to Congress as their support of cutting carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

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