EPA Carbon Footprint Calculator

Looking for action to take to reduce the impacts of climate change? A successful response to the climate crisis takes action at all levels.


Big action is required. We finally have news that the XL Pipeline project has been stopped after years of organizing and protest.

Local action is needed. We have some great opportunities on Cape Ann to work on Climate Change mitigation through the Green Community Taskforce, and the Cape Ann Climate Coalition.

But even if you can’t get to a pipeline to protest against, and you don’t have the extra time to work on a town or Cape Ann committee, you can still contribute with small measures around your own home.

What parts of your lifestyle are still contributing to greenhouse gasses and what can you do about it?
The EPA provides this tool to calculate your carbon footprint.

Carbon Footprint Calculator


One great feature of this tool is that it provides a means of downloading the model as a spreadsheet so that you can see both the assumptions and all of the ways that the results are calculated.

Green Community Taskforce in Rockport

At our last RDTC meeting, Tom Mikus updated us on the efforts of the Green Community Taskforce in Rockport: https://www.rockportma.gov/green

In 2020 the Rockport Taskforce received a grant that fully pays for the following projects:
– Converting to LED lighting in the schools, which we completed in December
– Updating unit ventilators in the schools, which has been delayed due to availability of materials

They also laid the groundwork to begin the following projects in 2021:

According to Rockport’s Green Community Taskforce’s about page:

‘The Green Communities Designation and Grant Program has helped 185 cities and towns earn Green Community designation. As energy leaders in Massachusetts, Green Communities are eligible for state grants. More than $65 million from those Green Community grants is already at work in 155 communities, with more than $6 million in additional grants for energy projects in the newest 30 designated communities.

In late 2015 the Board of Selectmen appointed a Green Community Task Force to pursue this designation for Rockport.’

For more information about the committee, please see their webpage and explore their links.

Transparency in the MA Legislature

At our last RDTC meeting on May 22nd, we heard from local SwingLeft activist Alix Smullin on efforts to improve transparency in the MA Legislative process. Climate related legislation in MA has the broad support of both voters and legislators, yet has difficulty getting passed into law. Alix brought to our attention a recent policy brief by the Climate and Development Lab at Brown CSSN Research Report 2021: Who’s Delaying Climate Action in Massachusetts? TwelveFindings .

1:​ Four distinct industry coalitions lobby against environmentalists
2:​ Testimony in legislative committees is nine to one in support of climate action
3:​ On lobbying, clean energy advocates are outspent more than 3.5 to 1
4:​ Renewable energy interest groups stick to narrow industrial interests
5:​ Utilities lobby against solar energy, but support large hydro & wind power
6:​ Utility companies are uniquely successful throughout the legislative process
7:​ AIM (Associated Industries of Mass.) lobbies and speaks against rapid climate action
8:​ The fossil fuel industry lobbies heavily against pipeline rules, divestment, and carbon pricing
9:​ The real estate industry resists residential energy efficiency bills
10:​ Power generators fight hydro and wind supply
11:​ Opponents no longer deny the reality of climate change, but focus on cost and reliability
12:​ Climate action is tightly controlled by State House committees and leadership’

They recommend, ‘far greater transparency on committee and floor votes, better reporting on lobbying and committee inputs, better controls on utilities, and broader engagement by renewable energy companies in climate policy.’

In other legislative districts, local committees have formed to work with their representatives. Some town committees have joined the effort as a committee.

For more information see A Campaign for Rules Reform by Act on Mass. If you have an interest in joining the local effort to improve transparency, please contact Alix.

Climate Change Summit + Lancet

Happy Earth Day!


Washington Post ‘President Biden on Thursday — Earth Day — is convening dozens of world leaders, including Pope Francis, for a two-day virtual climate summit, with the aim of putting the United States back at the forefront of the global issue after a retrenchment under President Donald Trump.’

Washington Post video of POTUS and VPOTUS opening remarks https://youtu.be/x3bJr1d6120
‘We really have no choice, if we want to get this done’
President Biden’s opening remarks are at the very beginning of the video, after Vice President Harris.

Last week, we introduced the book Drawdown, which identified the most doable solutions to Climate issues. We will return to the Drawdown project, in the future, to drill down into individual solutions, but this week we have focused more on the motivation for taking on these tasks.

We turn today to the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate
“Climate change underpins all the social and environmental determinants of health but also has positive implications. The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change is an international, multi-disciplinary research collaboration between academic institutions following on from the 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change.”
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32290-X/fulltext

The Lancet has created a youtube playlist of short, well crafted, and easily shared, messages on the connections between Climate and Health.

Here are a few examples:
The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: 2020 report



Lancet Countdown 2020: Challenges and solutions


And finally, the Lancet has recently released a Framework to Guide Planetary Health Education

‘The Planetary Health Education Framework considers five foundational domains that we believe comprise the essence of planetary health knowledge, values, and practice.’

  • ‘Fostering compassion for planet Earth through the recognition of the personal, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of the education process is the central element of the framework.’
  • ‘Second, the anthropocene and health. The anthropocene is characterized by massive disruptions in earth system processes that have resulted from the ballooning of humanity’s ecological footprint.’
  • ‘Third, systems thinking and complexity. The field of planetary health draws upon approaches to systems thinking that have long been a focus in the field of ecology and describes how various elements interact and coalesce as part of complex systems.’
  • ‘Fourth, equity and justice. Equity and justice in planetary health are founded on the rights of humans and the rights of nature, giving all human populations and ecosystems, present and future, the opportunity to attain their full vitality.’
  • ‘Fifth, movement building and systems change. Effective movement building is needed to solve the urgent planetary health crisis.’

What is ‘systems thinking”? Look forward to more about that next week.

Again….Happy Earth Day!