Remarks made at City Council Meeting on June 1, 2010
The Fort Collins Sustainability Group has been closely involved with the Climate Action Plan since its inception. That plan was approved on a 6-0 vote in December of 2008. It was supported by everyone on the current council with the exception of Councilmember Kottwitz, who was elected in the spring of 2009.
We are bringing this issue before City Council because a small group of very vocal individuals has unfortunately chosen to use this issue as a basis to push forward a recall campaign against Councilmember Lisa Poppaw.
Councilmember Poppaw’s support for the Climate Action Plan is to be commended. Additionally, we appreciate the statements the Mayor and other councilmembers have recently made in support of the Climate Action Plan.
The Climate Action Plan is something everyone on council should be proud of. It contains a number of initiatives that reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions in ways that have additional benefits, such as the opportunity for businesses and residents to lower their utility bills, improved air quality, and improved mobility. The Climate Wise program to help businesses and institutions lower energy use and costs, rebates for homeowners who wish to purchase energy efficient equipment, and support for bicycling programs are all slated for expansion under the Climate Action Plan. It serves our community well to have such a solid, comprehensive plan in place.
It’s also important to acknowledge the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The global average surface temperature has increased approximately 1.3º F over the past 100 years, and has been increasing much more rapidly over the past 50 years than over the 50 years before that. The mechanism for this warming trend has been well understood for the past century and a half or so. The consequences for human societies of continued rapid warming are dire. To suggest that concern about global warming (or more broadly, global climate change) is misplaced or some sort of United Nations plot is nothing short of absurd.
The Fort Collins Sustainability Group would like to take this opportunity to thank Councilmember Poppaw for her unwavering support of solid environmental policy. In our opinion, the effort to recall her is an abuse of the recall process. We look forward to continuing our work with both the City Council and the community to meet or exceed the goals set forth in the 2008 Climate Action Plan.