After years of Greensboro City Council public forums being dominated by the same small group of people saying the same things, finally there is a new topic for public discussion.
At the Greensboro City Council town hall meeting held Monday, Nov. 4 at the Marylene Griffin Recreation Center, the need to take drastic action immediately to confront climate change was the dominate topic.
Nine speakers spoke about climate change. The question is, will they be back in December or will the meeting once again be dominated by people speaking about the homeless issues and perceived police misconduct that have been the main themes for the past couple of years.
Numerous speakers, many who said their were members of Greensboro Solar Power Now Coalition, told the City Council that it needed to take immediate action and requested that the Greensboro City Council pass a resolution that the city will become 100 percent reliant on renewable energy by 2040.
Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said, “We are very committed to this.” She said that she was working with others on the resolution and that she planned to have it on the agenda for the first meeting in December.
Not a single speaker offered a recommendation on how the city should fund this immensely expensive endeavor.
In other business, Wayne Abraham gave a report on Participatory Budgeting and noted that allowing people to vote online had increased the number of people voting by over 300 percent. He said the winning projects would be announced next month.
There were also resolutions declaring November “No Straw November,” and “International Men’s Month.” As well as resolutions recognizing “The National Caucus and Center on Black Aging,” declaring Saturday, Nov. 20 as “Small Business Saturday,” and Friday, Nov. 19 as “International Men’s Day.”
As an environmental scientist, I certainly understand the public’s concern about climate change. I am also a fiscal conservative. When special interest groups come forth and demand actions such as converting to 100 percent renewable energy by a specific date, they need to do the homework on what this entails, the costs and also who is going to foot the bill. One interesting point that is completely out of the City’s responsibility is Duke Energy. How is the City going to demand energy resources only from renewable sources from a company that is privately held and makes their own decisions? It would be nearly impossible and cost billions for Duke to convert all its energy sources to renewables by 2040. Furthermore, if they did not comply, the City has no other power provider. People, before you make such demands, how about seeking professionals in the field before you make such demands.
AB Nelson, you make too much sense for anyone to pay any attention to what you have to say. Thank you for saying it so I didn’t have to.