By Nicky Leigh

During the last couple of years, our church has installed solar panels, started insulating all the rooms, fixed the windows to reduce air flow, insulated the hot water pipes, changed the light bulbs to LED and installed motion detector switches. Some of our congregants have also installed solar panels, purchased electric vehicles (EVs), and looked at or installed heat pumps. Everything done is significant, but it won’t be enough without government action.

Maybe 2022 is the year governments will get serious. Jamie McCarthy, the City of Kalamazoo’s Development Project Coordinator, should be presenting their Sustainability Plan in February.
In this plan, they are anticipating being at net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Township of Kalamazoo’s Climate Action Committee is also working on a Plan. The preliminary plan should also be presented by February, if it wasn’t done in January (this is being written prior to the last January Board meeting). The Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition is working on a job description for the County to hire a Coordinator to get all the government entities working together (1 County, 15 Townships, 4 cities, 5 villages).

As we work toward zero carbon emissions, we have an opportunity to work on our injustices (social, racial, income, religion, etc.). Let’s not leave anyone behind.

We need everyone’s help to bring our emissions to zero. We need, as individuals, to do whatever we feel we can. We need to ask our industries and commercial enterprises to look at alternative (less invasive ways) ways to accomplish their output. We need our governments to stop subsidizing polluters and emitters and start seriously helping renewable, sustainable enterprises.

As the saying goes, think globally, act locally. If you feel you can, encourage your local governments to work in collaboration with the others to get the entire County at net zero by 2050, if not before.

At our church we have made an impressive beginning. This is an on-going ever improving endeavor. An impressive beginning is not the end, it is the first step in a long journey.

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