December 3, 2019 is Giving Tuesday; a day of charitable giving at the beginning of the holiday season. This year, the Ecology Action Center is seeking your help to address climate change in our community. An anonymous generous donor has offered $9,000 as a match to contributions made to the BN Clean Air Fund, the EAC’s dedicated fund for private contributions to support completion and implementation of our current collaborative work to create a community plan to reduce greenhouse gases and ozone emissions in Bloomington-Normal. Building upon our two annual inventories of local greenhouse gas emissions, we are working to complete our collaborative process for a Bloomington-Normal Community Energy Strategic Plan (BNCESP) which will establish goals for emissions reductions and develop strategies for meeting these goals.
We have set the current goal of raising a total of $18,000 for this effort. Please do your part and contribute to the BN Clean Air Fund today and automatically double your impact thanks to our anonymous match donor!
Why develop a “clean-air plan”?
- Per NASA, global concentrations of Carbon Dioxide this year reached as high as 414.7 parts per million – the highest in 650,000 years.
- According to NOAA, July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on our planet. Arctic and Antarctic sea ice melted to historic lows.
- The permafrost (definition: soil that never thaws) is melting in Greenland and their main airport must relocate as the runway is cracking due to the now unstable ground beneath it.
- Sea levels continue to rise globally due to ice melt at a rate of about 3.3 mm per year (see chart below).
- In a 2018 report, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that we have only twelve years to make unprecedented reductions in carbon emissions in order to avoid significant impacts from global climate change. While politically challenging, the IPCC report also indicates that this level of change is both feasible and affordable. Action is required at all sectors and all levels—individual efforts like driving less and carpooling or biking more, increased usage of energy-efficient appliances and lighting, all the way up to systemic changes in our energy production across the world.
- Ozone, a federally regulated air quality pollutant, is borderline in violation of federal standards in Bloomington-Normal; ozone pollution contributes to respiratory diseases such as asthma.
- Climate change is here and we are already starting to see the impacts. But it’s not too late to make a difference–and biggest potential for progress is on the local level, especially due to the rollback of existing programs and agreements by the current federal administration.
EAC climate and clean air initiatives
The Ecology Action Center, as the environmental agency for Bloomington-Normal and McLean County, has recently completed its second inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for our community. The first GHG inventory was conducted in 2014 using 2008 energy use data to create an emissions baseline. The 2015 follow-up inventory is broader in scope, also looking at other air quality emissions such as ozone, which are regulated under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and can be dangerous to public health. This time around, following the quantification of current emissions levels, the EAC has launched a collaborative strategic planning process to establish goals for emissions reductions and develop strategies for meeting these goals. This Bloomington-Normal Community Energy Strategic Plan (BNCESP) will be completed in the first half of 2020 and will provide a roadmap for our community to reduce our carbon footprint and improve air quality. Next steps include the development of a climate adaptation plan to help our community prepare for inevitable climate-related threats that are too late to prevent.
This program has limited financial support from the City of Bloomington and Town of Normal; the Ecology Action Center needs your help to make it successful. Accordingly, the EAC seeks contributions to the BN Clean Air Fund to support our efforts to improve and maintain air quality in Bloomington-Normal. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributions to the EAC are deductible to the extent allowable by law. Donate now to help fight climate change and protect air quality in our community.
Contributions may be made using the online form or by sending a check made out to the Ecology Action Center, 202 W College Ave, Normal, IL 61761. Please indicate “BN Clean Air” on the memo line of your check.
Thank you for supporting EAC efforts for a healthy local environment.