It’s exciting to see that Buncombe County is in the middle of developing its strategic plan. Their website homepage highlights the process and current public participation opportunities. Commissioners have identified the following focus areas: environmental stewardship, educated and capable community, vibrant economy and resident well-being. There’s obviously a lot of room to fit in many different goals within these parameters, and it will be interesting to see the results.
For me, a significant issue is climate, and I believe we need to be very proactive because the issue is so massive and far-reaching. We can probably agree that local county goals may help us to become more resilient, but real change in the way we live and work needs to happen on a national and global scale.
Fortunately, there appears to be a growing realization that a massive, war-like mobilization effort is needed to combat the climate crisis. And although the county’s strategic plan may not be the answer, there is a current opportunity at the door. House Bill 763, also called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, is a bipartisan, revenue-neutral bill that is gaining momentum in the U.S. Congress. In a nutshell, the bill would tax carbon and give the revenue back to the public in a monthly check. It turns out that about 60% of check recipients would get more money back than they would lose from the increased costs of good/services.
We need to begin reducing our emissions and to do so very fast. The emergency bells should be ringing every day. We can and should be involved in shaping the county strategic priorities toward a better future, but let’s not forget the bigger picture: Everyone depends upon a planet that supports life.
You can join the groundswell of support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Visit the Citizens Climate Lobby (www.citizensclimatelobby.org) today!
— Vaidila Satvika