Kane church takes active role in ‘climate change’ debate

Photo by Ted Lutz — St. John’s Episcopal Church in Kane has been holding public discussions on the “climate change” issue. Posing with books on “climate change” recently placed at the Friends’ Memorial Public Library in Kane are, left to right, seated: Suellen Snapp of St. John’s and Patty Kunicki, library director; standing: the Rev. David Pflieger, pastor of St. John’s; and Becky Harris of St. John’s.
Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

According to certain scientific information, temperatures on earth have risen about 1.8 degrees since the early 20th century.
Atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane have climbed as well.
Heated discussions on the basis for the warming of the planet are taking place in communities throughout the U.S. 
In Kane, the St. John’s Episcopal Church on Chase Street is moving the “climate change” issue front and center.
Three public programs on “climate change” already have been held at the church. More forums are planned.
“We’re called to be good stewards of the earth,” Becky Harris said in explaining why St. John’s Episcopal Church is tackling “climate change.” “This type of issue is important to the community.”
The Rev. David Pflieger, pastor at St. John’s, said the church’s public forums on “climate change” are “an outgrowth of our faith.”
“We want to keep Kane as a healthy community,” he said.
Harris, Pflieger and others in Kane believe the recycling of trash is one key for improving the local environment and climate.
“Recycling is something we want to encourage,” Harris said. “Let’s do the things we have control over and show that people do care.”
Many Kane residents appear to favor trash recycling, but the practice is not as easy in Kane as it is in larger communities.
Casella, which operates the former county landfill in Hutchins, recently removed the trash recycling bins at the rear of the Wetmore Township building.
Kane once had its own recycling bins, but they also were removed. 
While many followed the rules, some dumped trash at the sites when the bins were full. Wind often scattered the trash and the litter spawned complaints.
Others dropped off old television sets, auto tires, junk, garbage and other illegal items at the recycling bins.
The county received a grant to upgrade the recycling operation at a site at the former Poor Farm on Route 6 near Smethport. Some Kane area residents drop off recyclables at that secured location.
Harris believes local residents would support a recycling program in Kane.
“It’s frustrating when nothing’s being done,” she said. “A lot of people feel stymied. People care, but don’t know what to do.”
Suellen Snapp said the “climate change” discussions at St. John’s Episcopal Church are “helping our residents become more aware of our environment.”
“It’s an important issue that we need to tend to,” Pflieger said. “If we don’t, we’ll pay the price.”

For full article, check the March 21, 2019 printed or e-edition of The Kane Republican