New York has 933 towns, 534 villages, 61 cities, and 62 counties. At current 364 of those entities have registered to become Climate Smart Communities. Of the registered, 85 have become bronze certified and 9 have attained silver certification (the highest level at current). Stated yet differently, of the various levels of local government in New York, approximately 6% have attained some level of certification in the Climate Smart Communities program.
To quote a nuclear meltdown - Not great, not terrible.
Climate Smart Communities (CSC) is a New York State program that helps local governments take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. The program itself is simple - do some things, get some points, become certified. Why would anyone bother? Long answer - alleviate cataclysmic climate change. Short answer - win some grants.
As a resident and citizen, one may wish to delve into that somewhat deeper - and perhaps make some inquiries with the local electeds - but there are certain actions libraries can take to help towns become certified. And why would we bother? Long answer - alleviate cataclysmic climate change. Short answer - win some grants. Shortest answer - make friends.
Brass tacks: the full listing of point eligible climate smart actions.
The ones perhaps most germane to libraries:
- Community Repair
- Compost Bins for Residents
- Waste Reduction Education Campaign
- Cooling Centers
- Community Campaigns
- Climate-related Public Events
- Climate Change Education & Engagement
Many libraries are already doing some of these things or variations that could be tweaked. Yet more might consider these in their long-range planning. The reasoning again can be as lofty as climate change, as pragmatic as making the town eligible for grants, or as strategic as helping the supervisor look good.
Speaking from a bit of experience, they do tend to like that.
Just a musing,
Robert Drake is the Assistant Director for Technology Operations at the Nassau Library System. It only takes joining the American Chestnut Foundation, becoming a friend of the Shawangunk Grasslands, and watching birds for like – idk, an hour? - to become a Certified Drake Fellow (bronze level). The views and positions here expressed are his alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of NLS, Robert Drake himself, or probably anyone.