Want to Do Something About Climate Change?

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People ask, What can I do about climate change?

On the last page of the November Los Angeles County ballot, you have an opportunity to strike a major blow against climate change by voting yes on Measures M and A.

Measure M will create a comprehensive transportation system in Los Angeles. It will result in less traffic, cleaner air, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The largest share of California’s climate pollution comes from burning fossil fuel in our cars and trucks. (This is true nationally as well.) Measure M will give Angelenos a viable alternative to always relying on automobiles.The Los Angeles Times editorial says it best: Measure M would be a huge, transformative investment in making it easier, safer and more convenient to travel around Los Angeles without a car.

Among the plans are:

  • A new line through the Sepulveda Pass, connecting Van Nuys to Westwood to LAX
  • A new LAX station that connects new rail and rapid bus lines to the airport
  • A new, 20-mile rail line between Artesia and downtown LA
  • The extension of the Crenshaw Line, connecting LAX to Hollywood
  • The extension of the Gold Line, going out to Claremont, and, along the southern portion, an extension to Whittier New rapid bus lines along Vermont & Lincoln & connecting North Hollywood to Pasadena
  • New bike paths, including those connecting the LA River from the Valley to the sea
  • New funds to maintain local streets

yes_on_measure_m_-_before_and_after

And those are just a few of of the improvements we will see. Add to the mix Metro’s new green policies (won by the EnviroMetro coalition) ensuring that new construction will be built to the highest green standards.

Add to all this — Mayor Garcetti is doing a great job leading the campaign. He’s joined by virtually every leader in the region — as well as almost every business, labor, and nonprofit organization in Los Angeles.

Here’s one last reason to support Measure M. There will be another three million people living in LA County within the next three decades. My god, is there room on the freeways for all these people? Of course not. There is a better way — Measure M will result in less pollution, improved mobility, and a more livable Los Angeles.

Climate Resolve also supports Measure A, the Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks Measure. Los Angeles is one of the most park-poor regions in the nation. This is not only bad for our physical and mental health, but there’s a climate connection as well: parks build social resilience. Parks are places of natural cooling. They provide access to shade and water. Parks lower the urban heat island effect throughout the region. So the next time you’re flying into LAX, look out the window and ask yourself, could LA could use more parks?

#YesOnA for LA parks, and #VoteYesOnM for a world class transit system in LA. We deserve it, and we can make it happen.

p.s. Not yet registered to vote? Do it here!


This story was originally posted on the Climate Resolve blog by Jonathan Parfrey on September 29, 2016

Posted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

3 Simple Ways to Kick-Start Community Climate Solutions

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Posted on Monday, October 3rd, 2016

How state and Regional leaders are Spearheading Climate Solutions

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States Leading the Way

California, which has been at the forefront of climate action, recently passed an ambitious new bill slingshoting the state into uncharted territory as an environmental leader—both here in the United States, and internationally.

First passed in 2006 by then governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, AB-32, or the Global Warming Solutions Act, set out to decrease fossil fuel emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The bill helped launch California’s cap and trade program, mandated energy efficiency standards, and required utilities to begin transitioning to renewables. And all of this was accomplished with a thriving economy.

A newer version of the bill, SB-32, will require the state to decrease emissions even further, 40% by 2030. While the first round of SB-32 has proven to exceed expectations, the latest incarnation and standards will prove more challenging. Lawmakers will have to redouble efforts at transforming power generation to renewables, investing in mass transit, exploring carbon capture technologies, and more.


“I don’t consider myself a climate change activist… I consider myself an advocate for my community.” Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia


However difficult, California has proven that ambitious state climate goals can be met when leaders commit to climate solutions. But statewide solutions are not enough, and climate challenges don’t recognize borders. This is why many climate leaders are beginning to explore ways to get their neighbors in on the action.

Nudging Neighbors

Transforming state policy is certainly the first step towards meaningful action. However, many states throughout the country are extending the reach of their climate goals by partnering with others in order to affect regional change.

One of the models for this type of collaborative climate action is currently underway in New England. Already under the umbrella of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Governor Charles Baker of Massachusetts is hoping to accelerate climate progress in the Northeast. To this end, the Baker administration has proposed a 5% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions each year between 2020 and 2031. While not every state within the existing regional agreement has made the pledge, the pressure and ambition of state leaders to act marks a bold commitment to climate action.

The Bigger Picture

What shouldn’t be lost in this discussion is that leaders at the local, state and regional level are acting not primarily for the benefit of environmental stewardship, but in the best interests of their constituents. Climate action makes cities healthier places for residents to live and raise families. Cleaner air and less pollution is associated with a decreased incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases. Transitioning to clean energy creates stable, well paying jobs for Americans. Already, renewable energy employs three Americans for every one job in coal. This is a sector of the economy that cannot be outsourced, and one that is projected to see increased growth over the coming decades.

The efforts by climate leaders at the local and state level have become an increasingly important aspect of the climate solution picture. The work by these state and regional leaders are becoming the envy of the world, and states are even finding themselves in the unique position of pressuring federal officials to ramp up national climate solutions. In order to implement effective climate action plans, leaders must equip themselves with the necessary materials and information. The most important element of such a toolkit is the knowhow and most up-to-date research on communicating with ones’ constituents. To this end, ecoAmerica has released 15 effective steps for effective climate communication that can immediately enrich or enhance your dialogue with residents about the benefits of climate action in your city.


This story was originally posted on the Path to Positive blog by Stuart Wood on September 9, 2016

Posted on Monday, September 19th, 2016
Path To Positive Los Angeles