Let's talk about the beloved Climate Action Plan, where everyone from artists, foragers, to bus drivers are climate action experts. At the intersection of immense natural disasters and a lack of systematic preparedness, Climate Action Plans (CAPs) provide a necessary opportunity for neighbors to create the solutions to a crisis they all face.
Every year, the climate crisis clarifies two things: we are collectively unprepared, and our definition of suffering is expanding. We know the thousands of dollars of damage to our homes and cars from the snow and ice. Neighbors are traumatized from the fire evacuations; their empty suitcases are still by the door. Some of us can still hear the rumble of a mudslide burying a part of town. Others are now buying inhalers because the smoke was that bad.
Preparing for a crisis is hard when you're currently in multiple. However, in these moments, the people suffering have the solutions to the crises. CAPs remind us that we need not know all the answers. Together, we are the solution.
Since the early 2000s, tribal governments and cities across the state came together to create their own Climate Action Plans: Pedro Bay, Homer, Sitka, Anchorage, and Juneau. Fairbanks is next on the roster as their Borough is currently soliciting feedback to draft their Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Fairbanks Borough residents are encouraged - now needed to join the CAAP Public Summit Event Saturday, August 13, from 10 am - 3 pm at the Borough Chambers. This summit is an opportunity to share the solutions residents need the Borough to implement.
Our leaders need to hear the breadth of the issues residents face. They need to see the wealth of ingenuity our communities have to offer. Without it, the CAAP will fall short.
For Alaskans outside of Fairbanks, you can support this momentum by ensuring we elect climate action champions in the Special, General, Midterm, and local Municipal elections. A CAP's success relies heavily on climate action-oriented community and government leaders. On August 16, voters can ensure those leaders can help bring climate action to fruition. From voting to testimony, CAPs will require many forms of engagement to be successful. When we do this work together, the future looks bright. These are our communities and these should be our Climate Action Plans. Nothing for us without us.
The Alaska Center
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