In an age of unprecedented change, with a number of crises converging; Climate Change, global economic instability, overpopulation, erosion of community, declining biodiversity, and resource wars, how are we going to maintain social stability? How are we going to protect our town and allow it to thrive?
What does crime have to do with sustainability?
Crime is a symptom of something that is not sustainable. A person who cannot find work may turn to illegal ways of earning money that erodes Ashland's public safety. However, if this person's house or apartment was winterized they could afford their lower heating bills for a lot longer. If this person had a garden plot at the Ashland Community Garden, they could grow a portion of their own food and likely get a bunch more from the caring community of gardeners who recognize their need. If we had an improved public transportation system, this person would have the option of getting rid of their car (preventing further bleeding of limited money) and take advantage of a public transportation system to get them to temporary and hopefully long-term employment. In short, ensuring public well-being is proactive and preemptive public safety.
Climate Change will not seriously impact us here in the Northeast.
We are already impacted by Climate Change. Hurricane Irene and the 2010 Nor' Easter (right before Halloween) brought a lot of damage to Ashland. Luckily, many of us quickly rebounded but as more and more of these weather events happen, it will be harder and harder to recover before the next weather event. The 2010 Nor' Easter happened only two months after Irene.
And what about water? Large portions of the country are hit hard by drought. If drought conditions persist for years in these areas, we are going to see Climate Refugees coming here where there is water and then our own supply will not be enough. Out west, people are being shot over water -it is that serious. It makes sense to make changes to our town now before it is an emergency. Being proactive is a public safety imperative.
What does habitat loss have to do with public safety?
Whether or not we realize it, our way of life is dependent on a healthy habitat. Stormwater run off -the largest source of water pollution-