Op-Ed: Our Climate Emergency Calls for Drastic Local Actions

During the summer of last year, the Berkeley City Council—in an historic move—unanimously declared a State of Climate Emergency. The declaration spurred a citywide effort to end greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and transition to a local economy that is ecologically sustainable.

To this day, 500 cities across the globe have declared climate emergencies, approving their own emergency mobilization efforts to completely eliminate citywide greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.

Local jurisdictions and cities are traditionally on the forefront of historic progressive movements, from the fight for a living wage to racial desegregation. Localities lead the charge often as a result of grassroots activists demanding change in their community.

While our Republican-controlled Congress continues to stall on the Green New Deal and other efforts to address our No. 1 global security threat—one expected to displace as many as 300 million people by 2050—city councils are assuming responsibility and taking actions to drive down emissions at an emergency speed.

Government officials can’t do it alone.

To keep global temperatures at a level that scientific experts deem safe for continued human existence, officials need prevailing popular opinion to be behind taking unprecedented action in a narrow window of time that is quickly vanishing.

Intensifying climate impacts, unabated, would dramatically destroy human health and development, land and sea food chain networks, and every ecosystem on our earth. The destructive and heartbreaking climate impacts we have witnessed in the Bay Area have included increased wildfire disasters, toxic air pollution, and the deterioration of our coastlines and wetlands, to name just a few.

Environmental groups like the Sierra Club, 350.org, and the Sunrise Movement, aren’t the only ones on the frontlines of the climate justice movement. Our climate crisis is not only an environmental issue, but a social justice issue that disproportionately affects those that live in poverty as well as communities of color.

We have recently witnessed the labor movement and climate justice movement finally unite behind a “Green Economy” that can combat climate change while also creating jobs and lifting people out of poverty.

It’s thanks to the efforts of faith-based groups, labor unions, public health organizations, and other community groups working in conjunction with environmental activists that California passed the landmark SB 100 last year. Introduced by climate hawk and former state Sen. President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, SB 100 will usher in 100 percent carbon-free electricity throughout California by 2045, a defining moment in our state’s continued resistance to the science-denying, environmental rollbacks of the Trump administration.

With special interests spreading undue influence at every level of our government—in our last election cycle alone, $24 million was poured into congressional races by the oil and gas industry—it’s up to grassroots activists from all social justice movements to collectively fight for the future of our shared planet.

A vote on May 20 by Santa Clara County’s oldest and largest Democratic club, the Silicon Valley Democratic Club, epitomized the urgency with which we must act.

With only 1 dissenting ballot, over 100 club members overwhelmingly agreed to endorse support and oppose positions on 33 state bills presented to them by the “SB100 Coalition” that worked to pass SB 100 last year. It was a record-breaking achievement in the club’s almost 40-year history.

From fighting federal rollbacks, to banning harmful pesticides, eliminating unnecessary barriers to residential solar installation, reducing waste and single-use plastic, and finally taxing fossil fuel extraction at a rate most other oil-producing states do, the club decisively agreed that the time to act is now.

This legislative cycle, we must continue to serve as a model for the rest of the U.S. and support aggressive policies that will protect our environment, the ocean food chain and the health of communities across California.

Hoi Poon and Tara Sreekrishnan both serve on the Silicon Valley Democratic Club’s Environmental Committee and the SB100 Coalition. Opinions in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside. Send op-ed pitches to [email protected].

23 Comments

  1. Nice. Try.

    First it was global warming. Then temperatures showed a cooling trend, so the alarmists start pushing the term “climate change”. But since it’s been decades without any predictions coming true (Himalayan glaciers melting, polar bears stranded on ice flows, rising oceans, etc. etc. etc.) the agenda must be renewed, and so we’re now assaulted with the baseless phrase “climate emergency”.

    You want an emergency? Try solving the homeless crisis that has been the result of liberal policies in California for the past 50 years. Solve that one and you might build some credibility – until then, your words are a meaningless insult to people in a truly urgent situation.

    • Gosh you’re ignorant. Huge chunks of ice continue to fall into the ocean and melt, causing sea level rise, due to our climate change, due to human action. See Bangladesh. Or at least what’s left of it. See Paradise, CA. See… ah nevermind, you clearly do not understand both observed/proven/empirical evidence.

      • Hi Sal – kindly point to an example of sea levels rising that is not in a delta region. Delta regions normally experience an ebb and flow of water levels, and Bangladesh has been described as the world’s largest delta region. Florida is another delta example, as well as New Orleans, or our own Alviso neighborhood.

        It’s pretty simple actually – when prime coastal property (not in a delta) begins to drop in value due to rising oceans, I’ll start to consider global warming. Until that time I’m sure intelligent people won’t throw money into a coastal property investment that will literally go under water.

  2. I’ll believe global warming in an emergency when the people telling us it is an emergency start acting like it’s an emergency. That means no more jet-setting off to Davos in private jets or global warming conferences in swanky locales. Practice what you preach.

    • For 8 long years Barry Obama certainly didn’t believe the pseudo-scientific global warming hoax; he and his wife took separate jumbo jets when they vacationed. For shame.

  3. Dear Chicken Little’s,
    I’ve been hearing the world will come to an end in ten years every year for the last 60 years!
    You are Dups.
    Useful Idiots.
    Fools for an “Elite Class of Tyrants” both within and out side the United State, that will have you all living under bridges, covered in tarps fighting for food in trash cans. Take a look around you, Its working. You people are so blind to the fact that you have been so indoctrinated to think your heads should be up your butts to stop green house emictions.

    You all need to fart just to see the light of day!

    • Just a side note, Phoenix is today predicting the coldest Memorial Day on record, back to the 1870’s after it’s one of the coldest longest winter on record.

  4. Anthropogenic global warming is the greatest pseudo-scientific hoax ever perpetrated on the American people by democrats. For shame!

  5. As daily headlines become ever more shrill, hyping climate fears based on projections made by unverified climate models, the international public is becoming increasingly wary of the Chicken Little claims of impending climate doom. Voters in developed countries are saying “enough is enough” to high energy prices that punish the most vulnerable but do nothing to control the weather.
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/around-the-world-backlash-against-expensive-climate-change-policies

  6. This entire article is pure and utter B.S. Those that believe in it should be embarrassed by their ignorance.

  7. > Hoi Poon and Tara Sreekrishnan both serve on the Silicon Valley Democratic Club’s Environmental Committee

    I need to know: Is the Silicon Valley Democratic Club’s Environmental Committee diverse?

    Are there any Muslims on the committee? Shiites or Sunnis?

    How about white male Christians?

    How about native Americans?

    Is every gender appropriately represented?

    How about people with disabilities? Physical disabilities? Mental disabilities?

    How about people with addictions or chemical dependencies? Alcohol? Marijuana? Fentanyl?

    Are there any undocumented migrants on the committee? Any with criminal records? Any MS-13 members?

    We just need to know that the Committee represents a broad cross section of voices from the community.

  8. Thank you, Hoi Poon and Tara Sreekrishnan, for sharing the Silicon Valley Democratic Club’s vote to endorse support and oppose positions on 33 state bills presented to them by the “SB100 Coalition”.

    The risks involved with a changing climate are so extremely high relative to what it would cost to mitigate those risks. Even if catastrophic climate change turns out to be less than what 97% scientists say it will be, the costs to mitigate is projected to be less than what it would cost if the models are correct. Large corporations are making moves with the knowledge that change is coming. The US military is saying that climate change is one of the world’s biggest security risks.

    Some of the naysayer denialists here, with their heads in the sand, are hard core regressives; they would prefer to be the frog in the simmering pot insisting that the water is not getting hotter. Until it’s too late. They would rather listen to conspiracy theorists than the consensus of scientists. They are here only to spread doubt, and that’s it. Sorry, I’m not buying it.

    • > They would rather listen to conspiracy theorists than the consensus of scientists.

      Science doesn’t operate on consensus. I operates on experiments.

      There was a time when a consensus of scientists believed that the sun revolved the earth, that phlogiston was an element that made things combustible, and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was incomprehensible.

      Science advances ONLY when a scientist breaks away from the consensus and proves with an experiment that the consensus was wrong.

      There is no Nobel Prize for consensus.

      • Hey, you got it! That consensus was based on countless experiments, peer review, and more, leading to more than 90 out of 100 scientists to conclude that humans are drastically and quickly changing earth’s climate as a result of their activities.

        Nice job, Bubbles!

        • When you said “97% scientists” I immediately knew you were simply regurgitating globalist propaganda.

        • > Hey, you got it! That consensus was based on countless experiments, peer review, and more, leading to more than 90 out of 100 scientists to conclude that humans are drastically and quickly changing earth’s climate as a result of their activities.

          Every scientist reading this would instantly know that you’re NOT a scientist.

          Scientists do experiments. “Peer review” means only that other scientists simply offer their judgement that the experimental method was credible and competent. It doesn’t mean that other scientists repeated the experiment and confirmed the results.

          Politics is about opinions, measuring opinions, and changing opinions.

          Politicians do POLLS.

          The “global warming debate” is simply the 2,500 year old “debate” between Socrates and the Sophist philosophers.

          Socrates’ goal was the search for truth. He employed “Socratic dialogue” which today survives as the basis of the “scientific method’.

          Socrates asked questions, thought about the answers, and chose the best answer. If someone else’s answer was better than his answer, he changed his mind and accepted the better answer.

          The Sophist philosophers made themselves experts in rhetoric, constructed “narratives”, and used all of the tricks of rhetoric to win arguments. Sophists NEVER changed their minds, because that meant losing an argument, and experts NEVER lost arguments.

          The global warming sophists have lost the argument. But they refuse to give up because that would require them to admit that they were NOT the smartest person in the room.

          This is a universal trait of sophists (and their modern day descendants, the “progressives”): they CANNOT lose an argument and they CANNOT admit they were ever wrong.

          To this day, “progressives” cannot admit that Alger Hiss was a Soviet agent, that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were Soviet spies, that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, or that global warming is a political campaign and not a climate crisis.

          “Global warming” is a largely natural phenomenon which has been going on for billions of years and about which there is not much that humans can do.

  9. > Bubble and other deniers here, I sure hope you’re getting paid good money by the industries! If you’re not, you’re a bunch of suckers.

    I keep sending invoices to the giant oil corporations and I never hear anything back.

    So far, all my public service to fight the global warming quacks has been pro bono.

    When the rising sea level floods my garden and I’m starving, I may have to ditch my conscience and get on Tom Steyer’s gravy train to put food on the table.

    How about you, SCCRezzy? What’s it like being on the Tom Steyer meal plan? Does it pay well enough to allow a middle class steak at Morton’s every now and then?

  10. SCC RESIDENT,

    Denier here.

    I honestly thought your first 2 paragraphs were a parody:

    The risks involved with a changing climate are so extremely high relative to what it would cost to mitigate those risks. Even if catastrophic climate change turns out to be less than what 97% scientists say it will be, the costs to mitigate is projected to be less than what it would cost if the models are correct. Large corporations are making moves with the knowledge that change is coming. The US military is saying that climate change is one of the world’s biggest security risks.

    That paragraph looks like something from The Onion. But I see you were being serious. Well, I suppose that’s what makes a market, eh?

    But how can you believe your “models,” when they’re repeatedly contradicted by the real world? For that matter, how can you believe that “97%” of a group are all true believers in “catastrophes” that are just around the corner, but never seem to happen?

    If they’d said 55%, it might have sounded credible. Maybe. Maybe even 70%. But “97%”?! Please. You couldn’t get 97% of Italians to agree that the Pope is Catholic.

    Here’s a real fact you can chew on: Regarding global temperatures, there’s nothing happening now that hasn’t happened before — and to a much greater degree — before there were any human industrial emissions.

    The climate alarmist contingent is running around in circles like Chicken Little over a fraction of a degree fluctuation in global temperatures, over more than a century — when just prior to the current Holocene, global temperatures (T) fluctuated by TENS of whole degrees, both up and down — and not over a century, but in only a few decades! How do you explain that? And now we’re supposed to believe that a small change in a tiny trace gas, measured in parts per million, is triggering all these scary catastrophes?

    And your ideological soulmate SAL wrote: Huge chunks of ice continue to fall into the ocean and melt, causing sea level rise

    Whoa there, matey, that just doesn’t happen here in the real world. Here on Earth, melting ice cubes in a glass full of water will not raise the water level at all — and the same physics applies when “huge chunks of ice continue to fall into the ocean and melt,” but those “huge chunks of ice” simply cannot cause the sea level to rise. But it sure sounds scary, doesn’t it?

    I’m wasting my time explaining these facts for you two, no? I could also explain lots of other “facts” that you believe, and helpfully explain for you why they’re flat out wrong. But since your belief is emotion-based, as in the ice cube example, you wouldn’t listen, would you?

    But for readers who are interested in some really real reality, here’s an interesting fact: the rise in CO2 always FOLLOWS the rise in global temperatures. On time scales from months to hundreds of millennia, changes in CO2 always LAG changes in temperature (T):

    That’s another pesky fact: ∆CO2 FOLLOWS ∆T, on all time scales — from months, to hundreds of thousands of years. And since effect cannot precede cause, the rise in CO2 cannot be the primary cause of global warming… QED

    I can post solid observational evidence showing that CO2/T relationship. But what good would it do? Your eco-religion is emo-based, so it would matter about as much as a rainstorm to a duck.

    Here’s a question for other readers: if changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature… which one is the cause, and which one is the effect? (That isn’t a trick question). And if the rise in temperature is the cause of the rise in CO2, and not the effect, then why should anyone believe in Algore’s “carbon” scare?

    Here’s another fact: in the world of (real) science, those who propose a hypothesis (such as CO2=AGW; anthropogenic global warming), have the onus to produce convincing evidence showing their hypothesis is valid.

    But also in (real) science, skeptics have nothing to prove. The only job skeptics have is to demolish any hypothesis they encounter. For example, like I’m doing right here4 to the CO2=AGW hypothesis.

    The best test of any hypothesis is predictibility; whether a hypothesis can make repeated, accurate predictions. If a hypothesis can make accurate predictions, it is on its way to being an accepted Theory. But if a hypothesis can’t make repeated, accurate predictions, then that hypothesis is falsified.

    So, how accurately can the CO2=AGW hypothesis make predictions?

    Answer: There has never been even one scary, alarming prediction made by the climate alarmist crowd that has ever come true. Not a single one! In fact, humanity has been enjoying a truly “Goldilocks” climate during the past century. The average person has rarely enjoyed a century-long time period this benign. But the climate alarmist crowd constantly predicts catastrophes and disasters — but those predicted disasters never happen!

    Now, before you get the urge to dig up some insignificant and questionable prediction, please do a search for Sir Karl Popper, and read what he says about predictions. The most accurate are “risky” predictions.

    A risky prediction is one that presumes great risk if it happens, such as the prediction of a specific catastrophe. Only predictions of some kind of a major disaster or catastrophe make the best “testability” grade.

    The climate alarmist crowd has made many specific predictions, for example: Polar bears will soon become extinct because of ‘climate change’. Another failed prediction was that that South Sea islands like Kiribati and Tuvalu will be submerged. And they predicted that the natural, slow rise in the sea level will begin to rapidly accelerate upward, inundating large areas of Florida and other coastal states.

    None of those predictions, nor any others like them, have ever happened. Not a single scary, catastrophic, alarming prediction has ever come true. No exceptions. They were all flat wrong.

    Thus, the CO2=AGW hypothesis has been decisively FALSIFIED. Not by scientists, but by the ultimate Authority: Planet Earth.

    Argue with Mother Nature if you wish. But I’ll take her word for it, over those inaccurate computer models.

    • > Here’s another fact: in the world of (real) science, those who propose a hypothesis (such as CO2=AGW; anthropogenic global warming), have the onus to produce convincing evidence showing their hypothesis is valid.

      Excellent discussion, Mr. Smokey.

      A dirty little secret is: I LOVE arguing with climate quacks because they are the perfect combination of wrongheadedness and stubbornness. They NEVER give up, but they can NEVER prove their case because . . . it’s STUPID!

      Climate quacks are so ill-informed that they make the same bizarre, and debunked claims over and over again and imagine that they saying something “intellectual”. “Hey! They always clap in my community college social studies class when I way that global warming is ‘settled science'”

      Ummmm. No SCIENTIST ever says that science is settled.

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