Local Commission Uses Public Survey To Adapt to Climate Change

Jun 18, 2019

Credit City of Carbondale

Carbondale's Sustainability Commission is seeking public input to develop an action plan focused on adapting the city to climate change and improving its resilience to extreme weather events.

Sustainability Action Plan Subcommittee member Jane Cogie says the commission was asked by Carbondale's City Manager to create a sustainability action plan that had the input of the local community.

Cogie says this is to ensure equitable changes for local residents who will be impacted the most.

"Here in Carbondale we are aware that there are many different diverse populations which is all to the good and makes it a stronger place to my mind, but you want to have input from, ideas and conversations with people from all the sectors of the community," Cogie says. 

The Sustainability Action Plan will not solely focus on future physical environmental changes. Cogie says the action plan will take into account health and economic issues that are spurred with a changing climate and economy.

Where To Find The Survey

The Sustainability Survey is available in the June and July Carbondale Communique. It is also available on Carbondale City's website.  The survey focuses on infrastructure, water, energy and transportation, food production and consumption, waste reduction and extreme weather resilience.

Completed surveys can be dropped off at city hall or emailed to sustainability@explorecarbondale.com

The survey deadline is August 16. Cogie says a community conversation will begin in the early fall.

Finding Resilience Through Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body, predicts in a few decades the human race will be confronted with the wrath of a changing climate. But Cogie says longer flooding and heavy rain in small amounts of time is a taste of what is to come in the southern Illinois region.

She says there will be changes that Carbondale and the world cannot reverse, but the city and its residents can prepare for what is to come. 

"If we do nothing, it's going to be pretty bad," Cogie says. "We want our children to have children and enjoy the family life that those of us who are older had, and I think being motivated to do that for the generation to come is so important."