Step It Up Rally

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Williamstown - A rally for action on climate change will be held on Sat., April 14 from noon to 2 p.m., on the front steps of First Congregational Church in Williamstown. This event is part of a Step It Up national day of action, organized by climate change scholar and activist Bill McKibben. Local events will be held in iconic places such as levees in New Orleans, melting glaciers on Mt. Rainier, underwater on Key West's endangered coral reefs, and in town on the steps of a New England church. Over 1,100 events like these will send the message “Step it up Congress, cut carbon 80% by 2050". At least six of these events are scheduled to be held in Berkshire County. According to event orgainizers, climate change is a moral issue as the world is faced with human-initiated changes that will harm millions, especially the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. Rev. Carrie Bail, Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser, and Chaplain Rick Spalding will speak during the Williamstown event. Additional speakers include state Sen. Ben Downing D-Pittsfield, Jiminy Peak CEO Brian Fairbank, town Selectwoman Jane Allen, Mount Greylock Regional High School senior Rachel Payne, Tufts University Professor Bill Moomaw, and Chuck MacNeil from the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority. The church façade will be used to host a graph illustration of the dramatic spike in carbon emissions in the last hundred years— with the final point extending 60 feet to the church’s steeple. The event will feature music by student performers from Williams College and Mount Greylock Regional High School, and opportunities for people to take action to reduce climate change. Actions include the purchase of compact fluorescent light bulbs, signing up for green energy, an opportunity to pledge to reduce carbon emissions, and signing up to participate with climate change study groups sponsored by the Northwest Earth Institute. The meetings will begin during the final week of this month and will cover a four-week span. The Water Street Books retail store will host a book table to sell books about climate change and other relevent topics. Food will be sold by a Spring Street business, Ephorium. People are encouraged to bike, carpool, or take the bus to the event. The BRTA has agreed to provide round-trip free bus service will be available from North Adams to and from the rally. You may contact First Congregational Church in North Adams at 663-9940 to arrange for passes for yourself or your organization. Rally parking will be permitted at the lower Stetson lot at Williams College or at the Williamstown Elementary School lot. Those who park in those locations are encouraged to walk the remaining distnce to the rally. In case of rain, the event will take place inside the church.
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Williamstown's Net Zero Effort to Be Subject of Panel Discussion

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Select Board took a pause Monday from talking about local crises to discuss a global crisis.
 
Included on the warrant for June's annual meeting is a resolution calling on the town to commit to pursuing a net zero greenhouse gas emissions goal.
 
Members of the town's Carbon Dioxide Lowering (COOL) Committee, which drafted the resolution, first presented the idea to the board last month. On Monday, the Select Board discussed the proposal during a review of the warrant's first draft. And next week, the whole town is invited to a virtual panel discussion on the initiative with state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield.
 
"This basically says that Williamstown should pursue a net zero goal consistent with the limits established by the commonwealth," Town Manager Jason Hoch advised the board. "The intent here is to actually do the local plan rather than having something foisted on us by the state.
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