Local Climate Leadership: Fern Nueno

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Fern Nueno is a Planner at the City of Long Beach and will be a guest speaker at our next Leadership Circle Quarterly Meeting on February 7th.

Tell us about your work on climate.

Long Beach is developing its first Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP), which builds upon the previous work done by the City and other organizations in the area.  Community engagement is an important part of creating and implementing this plan, so we reached out to residents, business owners, and the local scientific community early in the process and will continue the discussion throughout development of the plan.  Through the CAAP, Long Beach will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become a more resilient city by preparing for the impacts of climate change.

What inspired you on your career path? And what or who inspires you now?

I have had many interests that shaped my career path, and have been inspired along the way by amazing new scientific discoveries and technologies.  I enjoy planning because of the variety of projects that planners work on to improve our communities.  I continue to be inspired when I hear presentations by people who are passionate about protecting the environment and improving quality of life locally and globally.  I especially enjoy discussions with multidisciplinary groups of planners, public health professionals, economists, and scientists.

What are the barriers you face in work — and what could make your job easier?

One barrier is a lack of resources, from information to staff time to funding.  Another barrier is trying to balance conflicting priorities, both in Long Beach and at the regional, national, and global level.  Continued collaboration with other agencies, research institutions, and organizations could make my job easier.

A genie grants you two wishes that will help fight climate change. What do you ask for? The third wish is for anything you want (sky’s the limit!).

  1. I want a deep understanding of physics and psychology downloaded into my brain.
  2. An empathy button that I could press to help people consider previously unknown possibilities. 
  3. Super powers!  Maybe teleportation abilities?
Posted on Monday, January 29th, 2018

Local Climate Leadership: Garrett Wong

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Garrett Wong is Senior Sustainability Analyst for the City of Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment and will be a guest speaker at our next Leadership Circle Quarterly Meeting on February 7th.

Tell us about your work related to climate.

I lead policy, programs and projects in climate action & adaptation planning, energy efficiency and renewable energy and electric vehicle charging. We started with the City’s first Climate Action Plan in 2013; an EV Action Plan in 2017 and now a forthcoming Climate Action & Adaptation in 2018.

What inspired you on your career path? And what or who inspires you now?

I spent a year in India working on sustainable development issues. There, many Indians admire the US for its wealth and aspire to have more things like Americans do. From then, I felt it was necessary to make my community (SoCal), a better example of sustainability.

I feel really wonky, but I like doing GHG inventories and plans. It’s technical, yet bridges many sectors so it requires a breadth of knowledge and engagement with others.

Also, I have a daughter now and it’s pretty grim to think about the world she is growing up in.

What are the barriers you face in work — and what could make your job easier?

Time and capacity. Which also means there is a lot of great work to do and I just can’t do it all. Our team is growing, as it used to be just me, so it’s getting easier.

A genie grants you two wishes that will help fight climate change. What do you ask for? The third wish is for anything you want (sky’s the limit!).

  1. Make Santa Monica its own CCA (don’t tell anyone else that!).
  2. Pull together some kind of cross-sectoral turnkey project and finance delivery model to address multitenant building needs (energy, water, solar, storage, EVs, seismic).
  3. A sweet RV to travel all the national parks.
Posted on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

California Leads on Lighting Efficiency

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How many people does it take to change a light bulb?

California legislators recently put a new twist on this riddle and instead asked, “How many lumens does it take to make a change?”

As of January 1, 2018, the correct answer for Californians is at least 45 lumens per watt. By setting this high efficiency standard on light bulbs, California legislators hope to reduce energy demand for lighting and help Californians save on their energy bills. In order to understand how this will save consumers money and reduce energy consumption, we must first understand what lumens and watts are. Lumens measure the amount of light produced by a bulb, and watts measure the amount of power the bulb uses (NRDC).

So in purchasing new CFL or LED light bulbs, rather than looking at the wattage, you can look at the lumens equivalent. CFL and LED bulbs require much less energy to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb. For example, a traditional incandescent bulb needs 40 watts to produce 450 lumens, whereas today’s LED bulb only requires 5 watts for the same amount of light output. With an estimated 250 million sockets with inefficient light bulbs in California, the new standard will drastically improve energy savings.

Another reason for switching to LED bulbs is the improvement of comfort in your home. Replacing old bulbs not only saves you money but can also reduce heat production. Because of their design to reduce energy waste, LED bulbs emit less heat than incandescent bulbs. To observe the difference in heat production between the two bulbs, check out this video: youtu.be/rAcc1WBbE1M.

If you’re worried about not finding the right LED replacement for your light fixture, fear not! Today, LEDs come in all shapes and sizes – fit for everything from your outdoor flood light to that vintage candelabra that you thrifted. Costs of LEDs have also dropped significantly since they were first introduced to the market. And don’t forget: if you’re an LADWP customer, you can visit LADWP’s Efficient Product Marketplace (EPM) for rebates on LED light bulbs and other appliances. (More LADWP rebates here)

For more information on California’s new standard, visit this link: www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/lightbulbguide.pdf

Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018
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