Border walls are a national emergency but our responsibility for our planet’s degradation is not? Who would be against clean air and a safe environment for our children and grandchildren? Denying climate change is no longer acceptable to a new generation of young Americans and denying action is intolerable to over 72% of us. Greenland is now melting four times faster than it was in the 1980s and that the rate of melting ice is increasing. Scientists now agree we are within 20 years of reaching a “tipping point” from which there is no return. It’s about time for bold thinking and leadership to navigate these troubled times.
The “Green New Deal” resolution is a great way to force the national dialogue about our environment, our economy and how the two can work together toward healing the planet. California leads the conversation by already passing law establishing that California strides toward building a renewable energy economy by 2045. The “Green New Deal” resolution meets California’s goal and raises it by emphasizing that the goal to build a renewable energy economy nationwide by 2030.
Bold and audacious, we need strident national, state and local leadership on climate change to avoid the continued deterioration of our icecaps and rising ocean temperatures. It’s time to unplug our failing fossil fuel energy infrastructure with this unprecedented opportunity to create a renewable, resilient energy system that protects our health and safety, creates family-sustaining jobs, and puts decision-making power back in the hands of our communities. While we step toward a clean energy future, let’s applaud our California Legislature for moving the conversation forward, but if should be unacceptable to all of us that our Assembly Member (Marie Waldron) fails to lead on these important policies.
An important correction to leadership and local participation is in new bill, AB 423, which would require local communities to appoint members to the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District and would impose a state-mandated local program so that our communities could actually appoint members to the SDCAPCD rather than just the County Board of Supervisors.
This antiquated and unfair structure denies our residents basic information about air pollution levels in their community and makes it easy for polluters to keep polluting. Though one of the top-five air districts in the State representing a diverse group of businesses and residents, it is the only major district solely governed by the County Board of Supervisors. Existing Health and Safety statutes provide for the establishment of air pollution control districts and air quality management districts. All communities deserve to breathe clean air, but we know not all communities do.
It’s clear business as usual isn’t getting the job done. By providing local voice to the SDCAPCD, I believe we have the real potential to get the County to take aggressive action on climate change and ensure climate action strategies are equitably distributed from San Marcos, Escondido, Fallbrook and the rural region. #CleanAirNowSD
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Alan Geraci is a consumer attorney who ran in 2018 for the 75th Assembly District.