County tackles pollution

Rising sea levels may flood the Fairfax County and neighboring towns

Binqi Chen, Editorials Editor

A decade ago, Fairfax County promised to take initiative in reducing greenhouse gas pollution through the Cool Counties pledge. The highly publicized pledge had goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both public and private sources by 80 percent by 2050.

Ten years have passed, and while the county has made some improvements, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

Earlier this month, the county released a statement on the improvements that it has cut greenhouse emissions by ten percent per capita. In the Cool Counties pledge though, it promised for a 80 percent overall deduction.

Per capita is in regards to the pollution emitted per person, which means that the county is also accounting for the surge in population growth in the county, while not reducing the actual overall emissions.

Environmental groups such as the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) has called on the county to create an energy office, instead of just one environmental coordinator.

However, Fairfax has made major improvements and should be recognized for them. One innovation that the county has implemented in combating climate change is the use of capture landfills.

Carbon dioxide and methane gas from garbage is collected at these dump sites and then reused to produce electricity, incinerate biosolids at wastewater treatment plants and heat maintenance facilities.

The county’s parks are extraordinarily clean, utility bills have been reduced, green buildings are constructed, computers are shutting down themselves through a newly developed software and hybrid cars and charging spaces are on the rise.

Continuity and sustainability is key to long term success. Climate change is not just a myth, but something that can really affect us. Less frozen water and the increase in liquid leads to the loss of land.

As the icebergs and ice caps melt at the poles, sea-level also rise, flooding communities along the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. Floods would also be a regular occurrence all around the county.

Most Virginians agree that climate change is an issue they are concerned about. According to a poll by the National Resources Defense Council, 88 percent of Virginians support the county to raise the amount of clean and renewable energy in daily life.

Also, 95 percent of Virginians support increasing the use of energy efficient measures to meet not only the necessities of the county, but also the state’s.

In conclusion, although sufficient progress has been made, there is still lots of work to be done in targeting climate change. It will take the efforts of the entire county to create change.