Encore March 2020

Page 16


Heating Up

Local efforts to combat climate change are gaining momentum STORY BY DONNA MCCLURKAN PHOTOS BY SARAH HILL


s climate change and the effects of extreme weather are accelerating around the world, so too is the local response to what the United Nations has declared “the defining issue of our time.” The Kalamazoo Public Library has chosen to address climate change — and personal and collective change — through its Reading Together 2020 book selection of We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast, by Jonathon Safran Foer. And over the past few months local leaders from Kalamazoo County, Kalamazoo Township and the city of Kalamazoo took critical first steps by formally declaring the crisis a “climate emergency.” While the term “climate emergency” may seem dramatic, Denise Keele says the emphasis is appropriate. 16 | ENCORE MARCH 2020