Volunteers from Mothers Out Front Newton set up an exhibit at the Newton Free Library during the month of March as part of the climate organization’s Triage and Transition campaign.
The Triage and Transition campaign focuses primarily on repairing gas leaks and encourages switching from household gas. The exhibit, presented in the library’s front hallway, included three display cases with messages, initiatives, photos and graphics from Mothers Out Front Newton.
Ellie Goldberg, who volunteers with the Newton organization, said placing the exhibit in the library was a great way to spread the message.
“Our library is one of those community treasures where people are very open to us,” she said.
Goldberg said the campaign is working to fix the most dangerous leaks without wasting money, while also appropriating funds for the transition to electrification.
“We want to move to clean, safe renewable energy and not waste time or resources on false solutions,” Goldberg said.
The display cases described the dangers of domestic gas use under signage – “Gas: Not Safe, Not Clean, Not Green.” The centerpiece of the collection was the Newton Gas Leak Map, a visualization of all known gas leaks in Newton, as reported by gas companies – also available online for residents to research gas leaks in the city.
Goldberg said they plan to feature the gas leak map — showing more than 649 unreported leaks in Newton — on the city’s website and in Mayor Ruthanne Fuller’s weekly newsletter.
Newton’s chapter of Mothers Out Front is focused on building a sustainable future for future generations, said team coordinator Cynthia Callaway.
“Our vision is really to have a rapid, complete and just transition to a clean energy future for all,” Callaway said. “We don’t want to leave anyone behind.
Goldberg said it was important to build relationships with policy makers and community allies.
The city passed Newton’s Climate Action Plan in 2019, which has broad support from action groups and councils, and sparked discussion of many green practices. The plan envisions Newton achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Newton has an ambitious climate action plan that we are working hard to implement,” said Ann Berwick, Newton’s co-director of sustainability.
The Newton Citizens Commission on Energy, a volunteer group that has worked closely with the city’s climate plan, released a Newton Emissions Inventory in October 2021, which covers greenhouse gas emissions in Newton from 2013 to 2019 and was the first emissions survey since 2013.
The emissions inventory concludes that “continuing current trends in energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions virtually guarantees that Newton will not achieve its stated goals.”
“When the report was written, if we continue to act as we have done for the last few years, we are not going to achieve our objectives, we are not even going to come close to them,” said the Commission President. Citizens on Energy, Halina Brown. “As a result of this report, the action has actually accelerated.”
Mothers Out Front Newton is next planning an induction cooking demonstration on Sunday, April 24 to celebrate Earth Day at City Hall. Volunteer Barbara DiVitto said she would serve chocolate fondue cooked on a solar-powered battery.
Charles Moore can be contacted at [email protected].