Re: “Council supports climate initiative,” July 15-16. Thank you to leaders of the Jewel City for taking a public stand on the climate crisis, without doubt the No. 1 challenge we face as a society. Gov. Jerry Brown recently called climate change a threat to the existence of organized humanity, and he was right.
It is sadly no exaggeration to say that Glendale will be unlivable within the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren if we fail to respond quickly and aggressively. I look forward to working with the council on next steps, including a serious Climate Action Plan that includes a commitment to move to 100% renewable energy by no later than 2035, and a serious second look at whether we should be building a new CO2 spewing 250 megawatt gas plant at the site of the Grayson facility in south Glendale.
Adjunct Professor of Economics, Glendale Community College
The Glendale News-Press reported the Glendale City Council on July 11 unanimously agreed to join other city mayors by embracing the United Nations Climate Change Accord, also known as the Paris Accord or Paris Agreement. Council comments about the vote being in line with Gov. Jerry Brown’s climate efforts adds little to this pronouncement, since California’s infrastructure is decaying under his watch and taxes have increased.
Fortunately, the council’s action means little in terms of national policy. The Obama administration had unilaterally agreed to the accord without the approval of Congress. The agreement put the U.S. on the hook for billions of dollars in payments to the United Nations and the agreement allows for big polluters like China to keep on adding gas and particulate emissions to the air until 2040 without consequence.
It is ironic city leaders would propose joining others on the United Nations Climate Accord. It has been established that human beings are the source of greenhouse emissions. The past policies and actions of the city have added to these emissions by allowing more high-rise construction, denser population pockets, which adds more cars, more traffic and greater demands on resources including electricity, water and sewage. Practices and policies of the city conflict with the goals of improving the environment. Those of us who have lived here for years have noticed the impact on our once tranquil community.
Human beings are the greatest cause of environmental degradation. Instead of so-called cap-and trade policies and agreements that do little except add to the burden of American taxpayers, consideration ought to be given to controlling immigration. According to experts at the Pew Center, if policies remain unchanged, this country will have a population of more than 500 million by the end of this century, more than a 30% increase. In 1900, the U.S. population was 76 million. We have added more than 200 million people in the past century. The toll of such an increase on the environment has been and will be significant. Wildlife habitat will be reduced, water and sewage will become a significant problem, waste disposal will be another issue, along with transportation and housing. These are the issues facing us and these are the issues city leaders should focus on. Glendale’s future may be one of higher population density, increased traffic, challenges for our electrical and water supply, waste disposal problems and strained city services.
Recently, I completed Glendale’s Proposition 64 survey online, reflecting the opinion our family shares with the majority of California and Glendale voters, that recreational use of marijuana by adults should be legalized. I am confident that Glendale can be effective in implementing and enforcing this new law, learning from the state’s experience with medical marijuana, and from the other states which have preceded us in legalization.
I eagerly anticipate Glendale’s coffers being enriched with taxes and fees related to pot, and I want the proceeds to go to the city’s Library, Arts and Culture Department funding, providing other good avenues to exaltation and relaxation.
This is going to be a big cultural change and I’m having a hard time picturing how exactly it will play out, but I am sure of one thing. Now is the time for us to have a candid conversation about what we want and don’t want to see happen in Glendale in carrying out the will of the people on Proposition 64. For starters, I hope everyone goes to https://www.glendaleca.gov/government/prop-64/prop-64-survey and responds.