Wednesday night provided an opportunity to share ideas, gather information and build cooperative efforts to address how Durango might cope with a warming planet.
The city held an open house at the Durango Community Recreation Center called “Advancing Toward a Resilient Durango” that examined ideas and efforts the city could use to protect six essential aspects of the community.
“We’re stimulating conversation on how we can build more resilience to cope with climate change,” said Imogen Ainsworth, sustainability coordinator for the city of Durango. “This event brings together a lot of people from nonprofits working on the issue, and it allows us to take stock of what is happening.”
Ainsworth said the city can take away ideas from the open house that will inform how it updates its Sustainability Action Plan and other priorities, such as land-use codes and transportation policy.
“We can share areas where we’re working so we don’t duplicate efforts, and we can identify areas where we can collaborate and coordinate,” she said.
Daniel Kreeger, executive director of the Association of Climate Change Officers, gave an address about the current state of climate change science and its interplay with social, political and economic issues. After his talk, participants were asked to visit six stations to offer ideas about how to build a Durango better able to cope with global warming.
Participants were asked for ideas to build resilience in six vital areas – economy, community, health and society, housing, infrastructure, and watersheds and natural resources.
Kreeger said efforts like the open house could help communities across the country move more rapidly in addressing climate change.
“We’re gaining a better understanding of the human-made effects on climate and the effects of extreme events occurring due to global warming,” he said.
But Kreeger said those worried about climate change still struggle to bring about a “paradigm change” to address the harmful effects of global warming.
“We’re not reacting quickly enough, and the projections of the effects are getting worse and worse because we’re not getting serious about it,” he said.