League of Women Voters Mason County
Climate Change Committee - Mission Statement
The LWVMC Climate Change Committee’s mission is to increase awareness of climate change and its projected impacts on our local economy, environment, and quality of life; to evaluate local, state, and national energy/climate change initiatives and legislation; and to coordinate with other organizations advocating for policies to lessen and forestall climate change impacts. Working as a non-partisan group, the committee will share scientific, objective information from up-to-date and reliable sources with local and state businesses, governmental leaders, and our community.
To carry out this mission, the LWVMC Climate Change Committee will:
- Create and foster an open and ongoing exchange with legislators, regulators, local government entities, tribal leadership and affected business and community interests.
- Solicit and share scientific research from academia, input from private developers and business experts.
- Organize focus groups to provide regulators and policy makers with ideas, experiences and opinions on draft policies or regulations.
- Educate members on economically-viable options to reduce and/or adapt to the impacts of climate change.
- Organize special climate change forums to promote reciprocal information exchange.
- Organize seminars, workshops or conferences on major topics of interest to LWVMC members.
- Hold networking events for LWVMC members to meet key stakeholders and interact with other LWVMC members.
- Collaborate with local media to disseminate factual, scientific information regarding climate change.
Letter to the Editor: Shelton Mason County Journal May 2020
There are two global emergencies going on right now. The novel coronavirus pandemic has turned our lives upside down. The second global emergency is a more ‘subtle’ public health threat: Earth’s Changing Climate. A subject of debate for years, compelling and alarming physical evidence is building. This emergency is rarely front-page news. But, downplaying the magnitude of Earth’s Changing Climate imperils all of humanity – including our children and grandchildren - and the natural systems upon which we depend.
The members of the League of Women Voters Mason County Climate Change Committee Study Group are investigating how the reality of climate change affects and will affect local businesses, government and the livelihoods and health of citizens. The study group will use its knowledge to advocate for effective public policies.
Local businesses within the shellfish, fisheries and timber industries are well aware of the impacts of climate change, and already manage their businesses to mitigate these effects. Maintaining and sustaining these industries is tied to the health of our environment as well as that of our local economy.
We’re all familiar with the Shelton-Mason County Journal’s excellent coverage of flooding events in our county and of the significant impacts to those living near the Skokomish River… but have your read the May 2019 update of the Mason County Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Analysis report lately? Quoting from the “Drought” section:
“With anticipated increase in temperatures as a result of climate change, drought situations will only intensify. With Mason County’s dependence on aquaculture and agriculture, there is a significant potential for economic loss in the region.”
Public health rankings include physical factors like air and water quality. Our group also reviewed the comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment, adopted by Mason General Hospital Board of Commissioners last December. As citizens of Mason County we would be wise to learn the details of this assessment and understand the plans, policies and regulations that ensure a healthy environment.
It would be a public service of the highest order for The Shelton-Mason County Journal to report regularly on environmental news. The robust participation in our LWVMC study group shows there is deep interest in this subject matter by a plurality of local citizens. All of us feel privileged to call Mason County home. Our interconnectivity has become very obvious as we see the global effects of an invisible virus! We encourage everyone to learn from the current pandemic and become informed, engaged stewards of our planet.
Finally, we highly recommend an excellent and comprehensive book: The End of Ice, by Dahr Jamail, award winning correspondent, a Washington resident. The author gives eye-witness accounts of scientists who study ongoing climate-change imperiled ecosystems. This book comes close to ‘required reading’ on the subject of Earth’s Changing Climate. If you are inclined to respond to this letter in future editions of The Journal, I would ask that you to read this book beforehand.
Sherri Dysart: League of Women Voters Mason County. Climate Change Committee