Climate Leadership in LA: Interview with Laura Renger

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Laura Renger is the Principal Manager of Air & Climate, Regulatory Affairs, for Southern California Edison (SCE) and a speaker for Climate Day LA.

Tell us about your work on climate change.

I work for Southern California Edison, where I lead a team focused on air quality and climate issues. We spend a lot of our time focusing on electric vehicle adoption, because transportation is responsible for almost half of the GHG emissions in our state.

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

Like everyone else, I breathe air! Poor air quality is making us sick. I have lived almost my whole life in greater Los Angeles and I love our home. I want it to be healthy and well.

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

I need more time in the day. There is so much work to do in order to help the state meet its GHG and air quality goals. I think that the utilities play a really important role in this effort, and my team and I are working really hard to get there.

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!).

CPUC approval of SCE’s January 2017 Transportation Electrification filing. Continued strong climate leadership from the state of California. All customers waking up one day and realizing that electric transportation can work and they don’t need a gasoline car to live in LA!

Posted on Monday, June 26th, 2017

Climate Leadership in LA: Interview with Jonathan Parfrey

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Jonathan Parfrey is the founder and Executive Director of Climate Resolve and a speaker at Climate Day LA.

Tell us about your work on climate change.  

Climate change is inevitable. I enjoy working to limit the extent of damage. Hey, what’s life’s purpose if not to reduce suffering? I’m lucky I get to work on climate change solutions in Los Angeles with a smart and dedicated staff.

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

I was initially inspired by Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King — now I’m inspired by Marcus Lemonis. (What does that say about me?)

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

I have this tough relentless boss (wait, I am that boss.)

In truth, the greatest barrier in LA’s fight against climate change is resources, or lack thereof — AKA money. Philanthropy in Los Angeles is curiously ambivalent about the city. “Is LA worth saving?” I wish folks would finally make up their minds and start investing in the Southland, just as philanthropists do in the Bay Area, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and Des Moines.

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!).

  • Asynchronous condensers attached to the grid. Everywhere.
  • CARB mandates the cleanup of LA’s abandoned oil wells.
  • Three hundred million Americans simultaneously experience glorious metanoia and instantaneously mature in understanding their connectedness with other people and species and the cosmos.
Posted on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Climate Leadership in LA: Interview with Kiana Lucero

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Kiana Lucero is the Project Coordinator at the Institute for Sustainability at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN), and a speaker for Climate Day LA.

Tell us about your work on climate change.

Sustainability is one of the seven priorities at CSUN and we have set a goal to achieve net zero emissions (carbon neutrality) by 2040. Steps we have already taken to help meet this goal include: solar panel installations, LED retrofits, use of a fuel cell plant on campus, installing meters on buildings to help monitor energy consumption, and completing a commuting survey of faculty, staff and students. CSUN is a largely commuter school, with more than half of our carbon emissions being a result of individuals driving to campus. In order to reach our carbon neutrality goal, we will be largely increasing our solar production and investment in renewables, striving for all new construction to meet LEED Gold or higher standards, and working to support alternative transportation options such as electric vehicles, bicycling, and public transportation.

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

My background is in working with exotic, captive animals and teaching the public about issues that their wild counterparts face. A major goal of mine has always been to raise awareness about what humans are doing to natural habitats and what we can do to stop, and even reverse those damages. I began working at CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability because I saw an opportunity to reach students and the public and implement change on a large scale. I am inspired by the students’ eagerness to create positive change in the world, whether it is making small changes in their diet, boycotting plastic items or working toward reversing the effects of climate change and habitat loss.

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

Getting our message out to a larger audience seems to be our biggest obstacle. Through our sustainability classes, we are able to see the effect that learning about issues such as climate change, waste, and diet choices has on the students. We also host special events related to sustainability topics and post informational signage around campus, but these do not have as large of an impact as direct education in classroom setting. Having a larger captive audience would definitely help us educate more people and spread the message of sustainability!

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!).

I would ask for an immediate switch to renewable energy so that fossil fuels are no longer used as an energy source. My second wish would be for a carbon-sucking devise that removes carbon — not only from the atmosphere, but also reduces the acidity of the oceans so that coral reefs can return to their original splendor. For my third wish, I would love to see a reversal of all animals that are currently headed toward extinction or have already gone extinct due to human activities.

Posted on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
Path To Positive Los Angeles