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  1. TopTop #1
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Sebastopol City Council ready to move on climate emergency resolution


    Sebastopol City Council ready to move on climate emergency resolution
    By Laura Hagar Rush, Sonoma West Editor, [email protected] Nov 21, 2019 Updated Nov 22, 2019

    After five months of work, Sebastopol Climate Action gave a presentation at the Nov. 19 Sebastopol City Council meeting, asking the council to adopt a climate emergency resolution.

    Speakers included several members of Sebastopol Climate Action, including Sunny Galbraith, as well as several students from Analy and other concerned citizens.

    Galbraith noted that the county of Sonoma and four other cities in Sonoma County — Petaluma, Healdsburg, Windsor and Cloverdale — had already passed climate emergency resolutions, a sore point for the Sebastopol City Council, which likes to lead in all things green.

    Other members of Sebastopol Climate Action took turns at the podium, fleshing out the action plan the group had developed. Steve Pierce urged the city to require all new construction to use electricity instead of natural gas, a potent greenhouse gas. Conner DeVane suggested the city put “a moratorium on the city accepting anymore applications for fossil fuel infrastructure.” Tor Allen suggested the city hire a climate coordinator. (See their full draft action plan below.)

    Sonoma State climate scientist and professor Jose Ayala noted that, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released in September, climate change is irreversible.

    “That doesn’t mean there’s nothing that we can do,” he said. “It means that we should be acting way faster than we are now in order to prepare our communities for these events that are going to keep happening … We’re not acting with the urgency this deserves.”

    Alas, the wheels of government grind slowly.

    Sebastopol Climate Action had submitted a draft climate resolution and a detailed plan of action to the city, but the resolution didn’t make it into the city council’s packet that night, delaying a vote until the next council meeting on Dec. 3.

    Eager to move this item forward, the city council created a short-term ad hoc committee to draft its own climate emergency resolution, using Sebastopol Climate Action’s climate resolution as a model.

    The council also decided to move on Sebastopol Climate Action’s first action item — the creation of an official city subcommittee on climate change. This task was also handed off to the just-created ad hoc committee, which Vice Mayor Patrick Slayter and councilperson Sarah Glade Gurney volunteered to head. Gurney said they’d use the Zero Waste Committee as a model to help structure and empanel the new Climate Committee.

    “You’ve done a lot of work," Gurney said, thanking the members of Sebastopol Climate Action. “It would have been great to have done this last May and been the first city in Sonoma County (to do a climate emergency resolution), but I'm grateful that we’re here now,” she said, promising that the council would move with all alacrity to draft and approve a resolution in December.

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    SonomaPatientsCoop's Avatar
    SonomaPatientsCoop
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council ready to move on climate emergency resolution

    Just bloody brilliant....

    Let's see...natural gas. Berkeley is currently being sued by chefs because...let's face it- there are simply many ways you can't cook without fire. And, let's be honest- natural gas, while fairly limited in the county, is the cheapest form of power- for water heating, cooking, and home heating in the city - so this ban will dis-proportionately harm lower income people.

    We already have a requirement that new construction have solar- further driving up costs and adding to our housing crisis.

    Ban on new infrastructure for fossil fuels? I suppose that means gas stations? Hmm... I suppose that screws the rest of us that can't afford a new Tesla despite our taxes being used to help the wealthy pay for them.

    How about this? We actually deal with the MAJOR sources of climate change in our state- rather then deal with things that let the wealthy who have options feel like they are actually doing something and go about living their lifestyle while the majority of the people in the state bear the consequences?
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  5. TopTop #3
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Sebastopol City Council ready to move on climate emergency resolution

    I think the steps the City Council is prepared to take are good! Things need to change for us all not to get cooked!

    Quote SonomaPatientsCoop wrote: View Post
    Just bloody brilliant....

    Let's see...natural gas. Berkeley is currently being sued by chefs because...let's face it- there are simply many ways you can't cook without fire. And, let's be honest- natural gas, while fairly limited in the county, is the cheapest form of power- for water heating, cooking, and home heating in the city - so this ban will dis-proportionately harm lower income people.
    Cooking... Induction cooking is even faster than gas and much safer. So you are saying that it is more important for fancy chefs to cook the way they are used than flooding millions of people out of their homes?

    Gas being cheaper: That's the problem! The price of gas is subsidized and doesn't include the external costs (CO2). That's going to change. Hopefully an increasing carbon tax is coming soon, which will make gas more expensive than electricity.

    We already have a requirement that new construction have solar- further driving up costs and adding to our housing crisis.
    That's also a good thing... new housing stock should be designed with solar... Any increases in housing cost will be made up in lower energy bills. Solar systems pay for themselves! And theirs plenty of pre-solar fossil fueled housing already.

    Ban on new infrastructure for fossil fuels? I suppose that means gas stations? Hmm... I suppose that screws the rest of us that can't afford a new Tesla despite our taxes being used to help the wealthy pay for them.
    We already have all the gas stations we need. The writing is on the wall. The future of transportation is electric!

    How about this? We actually deal with the MAJOR sources of climate change in our state- rather then deal with things that let the wealthy who have options feel like they are actually doing something and go about living their lifestyle while the majority of the people in the state bear the consequences?
    I can imagine in the switch to electric, fossil fuel driven items will cost less because the expense of operating them will be higher than electric alternatives. Everybody's behavior needs to change! This is an emergency!

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    spam1's Avatar
    spam1
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council ready to move on climate emergency resolution

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Everybody's behavior needs to change! This is an emergency!
    The previous poster expressed a common frustration: communities focusing on nearly trivial sources of green house gases while ignoring the biggest contributors.

    In fact, since something like ~40% of CA electricity comes from natural gas, and there are inefficiencies from generation, transmission and application, it is not clear at all that eliminating natural gas from heating applications (where >93% efficiency is common) will lower total emissions. So there's that.

    And, if you REALLY believe it is an existential threat (meaning a threat to your life, your existence) then doesn't this justify extreme actions against the major sources: coal burning in China and India? Be careful with Existential Threat talk, as it can be used to justify a lot of things you might not like.

    In the US, electric power generation is the largest source of green house gasses. Rather than eliminate gas burning appliances (and cooking is a really really trivial amount; home heating and water heating is largest) instead use the money which would have been needed to switch to solar hot water (with gas on-demand), greater insulation and higher efficiency gas furnaces.

    I live where natural gas is not available, and pay 4X its cost for propane. Electric costs would be greater still; but changing to a solar on-demand water heater (~$10K) saves about 1/4 of my propane bill (or about $800 / year). Barely break even, but break even enough to be justified.

    Likely the best thing that government can do is raise gas taxes and raise mileage requirements; use the taxes to harden the electric system (I have been without power for many, many days in the last few months), increase solar usage, and increase electric and hybrid-electric car usage (which is more efficient than petrol).
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  9. TopTop #5
    rossmen
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council ready to move on climate emergency resolution

    Of course the climate crisis is an existential threat! But taking extreme action against china and india would just make it worse, war has the biggest co2 footprint. Requiring new houses to be all electric is not a bad idea, and banning hot air dryers, any fuel source, begins to count. Electric cars are real, especially if we figure out how to use them as house batteries so grid demand can match solar and wind. Even bigger impact, stop buying airline tickets! Even more important than eating all the food you buy. Word is not having a kid is our greatest carbon save, fortunately for me that is the other sexes problem.

    The solution is simple, let's just take cold showers, put on wet wool sweaters, and with damp hair walk around warming up by having anal intercourse with each other! We would be hungry for more and waste so much less. Let's live like the animals we are in harmony with the earth. So much less miserable than our current guiltfull existence.

    Quote spam1 wrote: View Post
    The previous poster expressed a common frustration: communities focusing on nearly trivial sources of green house gases while ignoring the biggest contributors. ...
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  10. TopTop #6

    Re: Sebastopol City Council ready to move on climate emergency resolution

    Quote rossmen wrote: View Post
    Of course the climate crisis is an existential threat! But taking extreme action against china and india would just make it worse, war has the biggest co2 footprint.
    Why would anyone not support action against two of the biggest threats to the climate on the planet? Explanation?
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  11. TopTop #7
    podfish's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council ready to move on climate emergency resolution

    Quote cyberanvil wrote: View Post
    Why would anyone not support action against two of the biggest threats to the climate on the planet? Explanation?
    uh, I think his post answered your question before you asked it.
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  12. TopTop #8
    rossmen
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council ready to move on climate emergency resolution

    China and India are far more ancient civilizations. They also have way more people. History shows we will not win. Striking a pillow just raises dust. While logically they are the leading edge of co2 spewing, historically they have demonstrated far more responsibility. The world we are destroying by co2 emission is hitting them harder and sooner than us. That's why Chinese and Indians are moving here more than Americans are moving there. Nation states are how we make decisions, or not. To challenge another nation state is old school imperialism. Humans need to move beyond that, or die, killing all around us.

    Quote cyberanvil wrote: View Post
    Why would anyone not support action against two of the biggest threats to the climate on the planet? Explanation?
    Last edited by Barry; 12-03-2019 at 08:49 AM.
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