Climate Change Initiative of Howard County

We¿re well past just hugging a tree on Earth Day ¿ not that there¿s anything wrong with that

April 01, 2011|By Diane Pajak

April 22 is Earth Day.

It was on that day in 1970 that Americans made the decision to get involved with the environment, its preservation and beauty.

And now, 41 years later, the environment is the focus of many awareness groups and is ever-present in political dialogue.

The Climate Change Initiative of Howard County is one such group. This grassroots organization’s mission is to inspire and engage residents in efforts such as reducing the county’s “carbon footprint,” or carbon emissions that harm the environment.

With about 100 members, CCIHC has 12 discussion circles that meet and brainstorm about topics like global warming, sustainable living and voluntary simplicity.

The group’s 2011 focus is advocating for offshore wind energy, something steering committee member Margo Duesterhaus says “would create thousands of green jobs for Maryland, provide stable electricity prices and replace dirty coal energy that contributes to global warming and numerous health issues.”
CCIHC participates in local events, including GreenFest 2011,  to be held April 2 at Howard Community College.

The group also recently partnered with Howard County Legacy Leadership Institute (HoLLI), another volunteer leadership and environmental education program, and the Howard County Earth Forum, a community forum of county government employees, faith communities and concerned citizens,  to discuss climate change impact and issues.

The April 17 forum’s topic is extreme weather, with guest speaker Wayne Higgins, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center. The forum meets at First Presbyterian Church of Howard County.

On April 30, CCIHC celebrates Earth Day with its second-annual Climate Network Party for the Future.

The program will cover the “state of the climate solutions” in the county, shared Duesterhaus. The venue is the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center.

CCIHC welcomes volunteers to participate in the circles, plan events, help with an electronic newsletter and write for its website,, and blogs.

For details, go to

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