Upcoming meeting: Why Springfield Needs a Climate Action Plan

North End Coalition to Hold Climate Justice/Air Pollution Community Meeting

SPRINGFIELD. A North End health-focused coalition will be holding a community meeting to discuss how to combat air pollution and climate change on Wednesday, September 17 at 6 pm at the Gerena School, Birnie Avenue , Springfield. The North End Outreach Network, New North Citizens Council, Baystate Brightwood Health Center, Livewell, Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, Arise for Social Justice and Climate Action NOW! are sponsoring an evening of education on the impact of carbon emissions that are creating global warming on the health of people in the North End.

“Why We Need a Climate Change Plan in Springfield and How to Get It” is the second of three community meetings supporting the presentation of a Climate Change Action Plan to the Springfield City Council by the city’s Green Commission, expected in October. The meeting will feature an educational video in Spanish with English subtitles on the source and impact of global warming, presentation by the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition’s Sarita Hudson on health impacts of greenhouse gases, and an invitation to the community to involve itself in creating the climate change plan by Arise’s Ernesto Cruz. Both addresses will be in English and Spanish. Those present then will bring their ideas for community programs that could decrease air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and produce a healthier community with financial and job benefits for the people of the North End. The meeting will end with a videotaping of community members explaining why they want a Springfield Climate Change Plan, as done at the Mason Square meeting in July.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlA9CQ5peBA

“The effects of global warming are here now, with the drought on the West Coast due to raise food prices, Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina sweeping away homes in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey and killing thousands in New Orleans, and a freak tornado hitting Springfield two years ago,” said Dr. Marty Nathan of Baystate Brightwood Health Center and Climate Action NOW! “Working and poor people will suffer the worst of its effects because they have little financial cushion to rely on in face of the changes that are occurring. At the same time, pollution spewed from the tailpipes of I-91 and local industries not only are creating climate chaos, they are making children and the elderly sick with asthma, emphysema, and heart disease in the North End. All efforts to stop climate change will create a healthier community. This is what we mean by Climate Justice.”

Doors will open at 5:45. Food and childcare will be available. For more information, contact Marty at martygjf@comcast.net or 413-531-9915.