News

City scrambles to salvage sustainability goals

Despite efforts, Mountain View's carbon output increases by 9 percent

When it comes to climate change, it seems like there's no stop to the cascade of distressing news about a slow-approaching apocalypse.

An October report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outlined the problem: The planet as we know it is headed toward an irreversible tipping point. Average global temperatures are expected to increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, creating a multifaceted catastrophe of ecosystem changes, rising sea levels and resource scarcity.

And this is now believed to be the optimistic scenario. This less-than-rosy picture still requires the international community to commit to rapidly cutting all carbon emissions by almost half by 2030. Barring that swift action, the Earth's temperature will get even hotter, and the consequences will become more extreme.

This mounting problem has created a sense of desperation among environmentalists, including here in Mountain View. This was on display earlier this month as city leaders approved a long-term sustainability plan designed to drastically cut the city's own carbon footprint. But the city's sustainability road map through 2030 -- which is expected to cost more than $82.4 million -- was still criticized as insufficient by many members of the city's own advisory group.

At the Dec. 4 City Council meeting, multiple members of the city's Environmental Sustainability Task Force said that the city couldn't wait any longer to reduce its carbon emissions, and they urged city leaders to give the issue top priority. The current steps being taken by the city were blasted for being rudderless and inconsistent.

"Without a vision and a sense of direction and leadership, we'll never get closer to meeting our climate goals than we are today," said Bruce Karney, a task force member and co-founder of Carbon Free Mountain View. "At this point, any kind of further delay feels like a full rejection."

Despite Mountain View's prosperity, the city is still falling short of its stated goals to reduce its own carbon output. The city's previous long-term sustainability action plan established a target of reducing greenhouse gases 15 to 20 percent by 2020. But the city appears to be going in the wrong direction: As of 2015, the city's carbon emissions had actually increased by 9.1 percent compared to a decade earlier. The majority of these emissions come from vehicle transportation (60 percent) and the energy used for buildings (33 percent).

Realizing they were falling severely short, city leaders last year organized the Environmental Sustainability Task Force to come up with a revised list of steps to take. The 27-person group convened 17 meetings over the last year to produce a list of 36 recommendations.

Among these ideas are steps to reduce auto-related emissions by restricting parking and encouraging more use of bicycles, transit and car pools. The city is currently investigating a paid-parking system for the downtown Castro Street area, but it is unclear if the idea has enough support on the council.

The sustainability plan also calls for stronger green building codes that would switch indoor heating from natural gas to electricity and install electronic-vehicle chargers at new apartment complexes. A ban on disposable food utensils, a sustainable landscaping program and a citywide composting program were also proposed.

If implemented, city staff members say they would eventually be tracking Mountain View's carbon footprint as scrupulously as the city's budget. The city would create a new "sustainability office" that would include up to six additional employees to carry out the various carbon-reduction goals.

"The goal here is to address climate change, and that's a big lift," said Steve Attinger, Mountain View's environmental sustainability program coordinator. "We understand the urgency of the recommendations laid out here, and we're interested in addressing them as efficiently and effectively as possible."

But the city should be doing more, according to Karney and other members of the Environmental Sustainability Task Force. The volunteer group has been meeting for nearly a year on recommendations for the city work plan, and some members were dismayed to see some of their ideas nixed in the final staff list.

Four recommendations out of a list of 36 were not supported by city officials. City staffers eliminated a suggestion to subsidize ride-sharing services because they believed it could undermine their efforts to reduce reliance on cars. Another idea to impose a utility tax on natural gas usage was rejected because its effectiveness was called into question.

Karney said he was disappointed that the city's final sustainability report didn't include detailed metrics for the estimated greenhouse-gas reductions for each recommendation. The city seemed to prioritize ideas that were eligible for grant funding, not necessarily the ones that would be the most effective, he said. As laid out, the city's implementation plan would likely never reach its target goal, he said.

"You have about 12 years to solve this problem, not to start solving this problem," he said. "We know that the residents of Mountain View want action, and they want it now."

During a Dec. 4 discussion of the work plan, City Council members were stuck in an awkward position with differing advice coming from city staff and its citizen advisory panel. The council urged city staff to find ways to implement the package of recommendations more quickly without having to wait.

Mayor Lenny Siegel endorsed all the suggestions except for a study on paid parking downtown. The cost would fall the hardest on low-income residents, he said. But he suggested other ideas to investigate, such as coordinating a group purchase of electric vehicles at a reduced cost. A similar idea was successful about a decade ago when dozens of Mountain View residents banded together to purchase solar panels.

Siegel also highlighted the city's housing growth as an initiative that would someday dramatically reduce traffic and carbon emissions.

"The most important thing we can do to reduce greenhouse gases is make it so people are closer to where they work," he said.

In the short term, the City Council immediately allocated $500,000 to begin early steps to cut carbon emissions without having to wait for next year's goal-setting session. That funding would help identify locations for up to 15 new electric-vehicle chargers throughout the city and begin a new "building decarbonization" road map to reduce emissions from city infrastructure. Mountain View would also work on compiling a complete citywide greenhouse gas inventory.

Additionally, city staffers said they would provide $100,000 to help expand the city's community shuttle system, possibly to provide service for public school students and Caltrain commuters. Google currently funds the shuttle system, and city officials say that the company has offered to expand the service.

The sense of urgency on climate change was palpable among Mountain View residents and officials, but it stands in stark contrast to the position of national leaders. Last year, President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, a nonbinding compact among nations to cut carbon emissions to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Last month, Trump disavowed a national assessment authored by his own government scientists, who warned that climate change would inflict hundreds of billions of dollars in damage each year unless ameliorated.

In the face of that resistance, Mountain View has a limited role to play but it could still inspire other cities to do more, said Councilman Chris Clark.

"This is a much bigger problem than the city of Mountain View," he said. "We can do some steps, but we can have a much greater impact if we get the ball rolling on a county or region-wide level."

The City Council approved the sustainability report and the short-term actions in a 7-0 vote.

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Comments

16 people like this
Posted by Jerry
a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 1, 2019 at 2:43 pm

I'm eager to read the full list of recommendations but one item in this new report bothered me greatly. It seems the City Council is thinking of its response to Global Warming as another task, requiring its own staff, and having its own programs. And the rest of the time, for the rest of their work, it's "business as usual"? At some point GW needs to be the central concern of EVERY activity of government. It needs to be our approach to EVERYTHING, not just a side activity. Sustainability should not be a department, it should be part of the charter of EVERY department.


13 people like this
Posted by mary hodder
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 1, 2019 at 2:53 pm

For the past 7 years, depending on the dense development, I've asked the council when speaking about it:

* why not require solar to cover all common area power needs?
* why not require grey water collection from everything but toilets and water the planted areas?
* why not ask the developer to only allow organic products so the water is "cleaner" for reuse, and then put in a filtration system for the grey water reuse?
* how about wind systems for night power collection?
* why not require indefinite subsidizing of transit passes for users of the building?
* what about creating all composting and recycling where essentially everything used in the common / support of building is not ever going to landfill, and residents / office workers are set up to create little trash?

And I have always gotten the answer: we can't do that. Or my requests are just completely ignored. I hope that this changes with the next council coming in next Tuesday.

EVERY new development needs to do all of this, starting today. We have to change everything we are doing in new development, and the city needs to lead in helping existing buildings retrofit. The city should help us retrofit grey water systems. The city should pan packaging that isn't compostable or recyclable.

We should be able to be a 'no trash" producing city in 5 years.. if we work to make it so.

Let's lead the Bay.. not follow.


14 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Jan 1, 2019 at 3:33 pm

It is not surprising that waste increases with the influx of people here.


7 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 1, 2019 at 3:34 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

There's a big difference between arbitrary, feel-good, idealistically motivated goals pulled out of thin air versus pragmatic, realistic goals based upon sound economic, engineering, and public acceptance analyses. Instead of trying to "hit home runs" on multiple fronts, MV should carefully identify and publicly debate "low-hanging fruit changes" that "yield maximum bang for the buck" --- and that residents are willing to accept because they have minimal impact upon their quality of life. Sorry about the trite, overused phrases, but they seem appropriate in this political situation. There's a lot of impractical, wishful thinking going on right now.


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2019 at 3:43 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Here is where I agree with William Hitchens

The real problem is that the City cannot do it alone. IT is simple economics of scale. THe fact is that in order to make any difference it will require a WORLDWIDE effort. THAT means that the U.S., State, County, and City/Towns have to be part of a comprehensive effort "LARGE" scale to make the costs lower.

But my observation is that the WORLD is like herding cats. I hate to be pessimistic, but we are heading toward the extinction of the human race because of its own immaturaity regarding innovation being currently only for short term gain.

I hate to say this but it is increasingly liekly that by the end of 2099, the world will either see the end of the human race, or a dramatic reduction in it.

Carl Sagan tried to warn us more than 40 years ago, we didn't listen. He demostrated that the climate of Venus was not gradual, but catastrophic (Web Link)

We were warned, but we didn't listen.


15 people like this
Posted by Al Gore says,
a resident of Castro City
on Jan 1, 2019 at 5:07 pm

Sorry everyone, but Al gore said 30 years ago that if we do not act now, in 10 years it will be to late to reverse the damage. All the ice caps should have melted away 20 years ago, according to Gore, but they are still here.

Do not worry people, there is nothing man can do to change what has been naturally occurring for thousands of years. The world has slowly been warming, and if it had not, you would not be living here as it would still be under an ice sheet.

I, as a Mtn.View resident, am not concerned and I am not demanding action from anyone to change anything.

This state has already passed a law against cows farting, this silliness really needs to stop because all you are doing is driving up costs-like the P.G.&E bills, and driving out businesses from our state.


1 person likes this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2019 at 5:33 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Simply put,

I believe the SCIENTISTS.

Al Gore was a politician, I never believed in him. But he was not far off from Carl Sagan.

I believe in Carl Sagan. His work is apearing to be accurate. But his expertise was :

University education
Sagan attended the University of Chicago, which was one of the few colleges he applied to that would consider admitting a sixteen-year-old, despite his excellent high school grades. Its Chancellor, Robert Hutchins, structured the school as an "ideal meritocracy," with no age requirement.[14] The school also employed a number of the nation's leading scientists, including Enrico Fermi and Edward Teller, along with operating the famous Yerkes Observatory.[14]

During his time as an honors program undergraduate, Sagan worked in the laboratory of the geneticist H. J. Muller and wrote a thesis on the origins of life with physical chemist Harold Urey. Sagan joined the Ryerson Astronomical Society,[15] received a B.A. degree in laughingly self-proclaimed "nothing"[16] with general and special honors in 1954, and a B.S. degree in physics in 1955. He went on to earn a M.S. degree in physics in 1956, before earning a Ph.D. degree in 1960 with his thesis Physical Studies of Planets submitted to the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.[17][18][19][20]

He used the summer months of his graduate studies to work with his dissertation director, planetary scientist Gerard Kuiper,[1] as well as physicist George Gamow, and chemist Melvin Calvin. The title of Sagan's dissertation reflects his shared interests with Kuiper, who throughout the 1950s had been president of the International Astronomical Union's commission on "Physical Studies of Planets and Satellites".[21] In 1958, the two worked on the classified military Project A119, the secret Air Force plan to detonate a nuclear warhead on the Moon.[22]

Sagan had a "Top Secret" clearance at the U.S. Air Force and a "Secret" clearance with NASA.[23] While working on his doctoral dissertation, Sagan revealed US Government classified titles of two Project A119 papers when he applied for a University of California at Berkeley scholarship in 1959. The leak was not publicly revealed until 1999, when it was published in the journal "Nature". A follow-up letter to the journal by project leader Leonard Reiffel confirmed Sagan's security leak.[24]"

This is why I expect the near future of humanity is already in effect doomed. We didn't listen to the REAL scientists when we had the chance.


9 people like this
Posted by Al Gore says,
a resident of Castro City
on Jan 1, 2019 at 6:05 pm

I agree, I believe the majority of scientists as well. There is a petition in which 40,000 professionals who have signed this stating that there is no man made global warming. They are the majority on this issue. It also includes many scientists who originally agreed with this nonsense but later changed their position.

The only "professionals" who agree with this is the people who are making loads of money from this, like University's, the UN, and Al Gore who said he wanted to be the worlds first carbon billionaire. This is a scam in which these socialists want to redistribute wealth from wealthy counrty's, like the USA, to the poor country's AROUND THE WORLD.

In the height of stupidity, Al Gore wrote in his book that if we do not act, the ocean levels would rise and flood many coastal cities. Since the world did not act, what did Gore do? he bought a multi-million dollar mansion in Malibu that according to his map in his book, his mansion should be under water already, and it is not.

Follow the money people. Then ask yourself why Gore and others like him have refused to have one public debate about this from people on the other side of this issue.

There is not such thing as "settled conscious" on this matter. Just loud people trying to silence other people from pointing out the problems and other things that have not happened when they said it would.


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2019 at 6:30 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Al Gore says you said:

“I agree, I believe the majority of scientists as well. There is a petition in which 40,000 professionals who have signed this stating that there is no man made global warming. They are the majority on this issue. It also includes many scientists who originally agreed with this nonsense but later changed their position.”

PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR PETITION RESOURCE?

I found this resource “How the OISM Petition Project casts doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change “ (Web Link) Which referenced this petition (Web Link)

But, this resource is not a SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEWED resource. Simply put, it is nothing but propaganda. Exactly the thing that Carl Sagan hated. People trying to destroy SCIENCE because they have a FINANCIAL conflict of interest. The resources do not disclose their funding or interests which means that this resource is unreliable.

This is what I have:

(Web Link)

“What is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report?

The 2018 IPCC report is the most up-to-date and comprehensive explanation of the science of climate change and the future of Earth.

91 lead authors and 133 contributing authors, from 40 countries, assessed 30,000 scientific papers and made over 42,000 comments during the review process.

Their findings cannot be ignored.

Prepared by leading researchers from around the world, the report was delivered to governments, policy-makers and individuals in Korea on Monday 8th October. It warns that the world has already warmed by 1°C since the middle of the 19th century, and could reach 1.5°C before the middle of this century at the current rate of warming.

The change caused by only just half a degree came as a revelation, the difference is substantial and demands action.

It’s scientists’ way of using numbers, diagrams, and modelling to say that the whole world, at a global and individual level, must take action now.

It sets the world a clear target. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to net zero by the middle of this century to have a reasonable chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. This thunderous call to action lays out the tools we have at our disposal to mitigate climate change, sequester carbon emissions and steer the future of Earth in a direction we can live with.

It’s yet another wake-up call.

One of the main findings is that we are on track for 3°C rising. Limiting the rise to 1.5°C will require immediate action, and still create climatic difficulties but will have markedly better results for the planet.

Staying below 1.5°C will require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

“Adaptation is expected to be more challenging for ecosystems, food and health systems at 2°C of global warming than for 1.5°C,” according to the IPCC.

Is there actually that much difference between 1.5 °C and 2 °C temperature rise?

Half a degree may be the difference between a world with coral reefs and Arctic summer sea ice, and a world without them.

Carbon brief showing 1.5/2 degree

What happens if we don’t take action?

It’s key to remember that we tend to talk about climate change in terms of averages, at the global level. However, masked in those averages are extremes: more frequent and intense heat waves, more damaging storms, higher oceans. The world, and its people, will be affected disproportionately. At the local level, the disparity is great.

And those least able to adapt will face the greatest impact.

We have to act now. The warming effect of increasing carbon dioxide takes decades to influence the planet’s temperature. Even if we cut all emissions today, we are still set for a temperature rise, due to the cumulative effect of the climate. To meet a goal of 1.5 °C warming, this demands immediately cutting the planet’s emissions to 45 % below 2010 levels by 2030.Graph showing emissions trend and temperature overshoot

Understanding the IPCC Special Report, 2018”

Simply put, this report is PEER REVIEWED. Your resource is not even from a scientific research institute.

PLEASE DO NOT POLLUTE SCIENCE WITH THIS KIND OF PROPAGANDA


7 people like this
Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 1, 2019 at 6:48 pm

I was the Chair of the 2017-18 Environmental Sustainability Task Force. You can find our final report here: Web Link

Near the back of the report you will find a table that lists the "bang for the buck" estimates. That is to say, the estimated cost per metric ton of GHG reduction.


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2019 at 9:31 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

What I find hilarious is this:

THe current situation regarding trying to "balance" economics and the current path humanity is on.

What we have in fact is humanity just torturing itself for the almighty idea of cash is power.

But if the pattern of Caborn Dioxide increase gets to causing more fires and floods, thus destroying the resources on those lands (housing, agriculture, commerce, etc). The permant loss of these resources will cause famine, and increased wars and destruction.

If you think the idea that a war is based on only "political" differences are bad enough, like World War 1, World War 2, and the War on Terror. Just wait till this war starts.

I remember the PC game Civilization by Sid Meir, it had 2 winning outcomes, destroy all othe civilizations, or succeed to go to Alpha Centauri.

But in our current situation, destroying all other civilizations is not a winning outcome because that will result in still the same toxic long term climate danger.

Again, HUMAN BEINGS are in effect DOOMED, the band is already playing and the Titanic is sinking. But instead of building lifeboats, we are trying to kill all the people on the ship before it sinks.


4 people like this
Posted by Californian
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2019 at 9:00 am

Blah blah blah.... you all sound nuts along with Gore. The only thing you all care about is money from everyone’s pocket. In case you haven’t noticed this state is falling apart.


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2019 at 9:59 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Californian you said:

“Blah blah blah.... you all sound nuts along with Gore. The only thing you all care about is money from everyone’s pocket. In case you haven’t noticed this state is falling apart.”

You think that a piece of paper will solve the problem? That’s all what “money” is, a piece of paper.

When the food shortages hit the world, money will not feed you.

When the population declines faster because of the global demographics: the first world’s population is older and is not replacing itself, the second world’s population will die off due to starvation and corruption, and the third world will not be able to save the world because it has no resources. In economics it is clear, your markets cannot survive a significant decline in population. Just look at Europe during the black death, it just about fell apart. Money is not going to do any good here.

The world will become simply put toxic to human life. For example no one is even looking at the existing pollution that is already killing us, like TCE vapors that are in the valley. The only solution is to make homes and offices into clean rooms, but the outside air is already polluted and will take 20 years to get it under control in Mountain View alone. What will money do for you if you are already being killed?

Simply put, “money” doesn’t get anything done at all. When the fit hits the shan, money will be just as good as firewood. Especially when the worlds energy process freezes because those with it will simply stop transacting with those tat are using money to attack them via unsafe businesses. Remember Unio Carbide in India (Web Link):

“The Bhopal disaster, also referred to as the Bhopal gas tragedy, was a gas leak incident on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. It is considered to be the world's worst industrial disaster.[1][2] Over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas. The highly toxic substance made its way into and around the small towns located near the plant.[3]

Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259. The government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.[4] A government affidavit in 2006 stated that the leak caused 558,125 injuries, including 38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.[5] Others estimate that 8,000 died within two weeks, and another 8,000 or more have since died from gas-related diseases.[6] The cause of the disaster remains under debate. The Indian government and local activists argue that slack management and deferred maintenance created a situation where routine pipe maintenance caused a backflow of water into a MIC tank, triggering the disaster. Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) argues water entered the tank through an act of sabotage.

The owner of the factory, UCIL, was majority owned by UCC, with Indian Government-controlled banks and the Indian public holding a 49.1 percent stake. In 1989, UCC paid $470 million ($929 million in 2017 dollars) to settle litigation stemming from the disaster. In 1994, UCC sold its stake in UCIL to Eveready Industries India Limited (EIIL), which subsequently merged with McLeod Russel (India) Ltd. Eveready ended clean-up on the site in 1998, when it terminated its 99-year lease and turned over control of the site to the state government of Madhya Pradesh. Dow Chemical Company purchased UCC in 2001, seventeen years after the disaster.

Civil and criminal cases were filed in the District Court of Bhopal, India, involving UCC and Warren Anderson, UCC CEO at the time of the disaster.[7][8] In June 2010, seven former employees, including the former UCIL chairman, were convicted in Bhopal of causing death by negligence and sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of about $2,000 each, the maximum punishment allowed by Indian law. An eighth former employee was also convicted, but died before the judgement was passed.[2] Anderson died on 29 September 2014.[9]”

Simply put, money is nothing when it comes to life and death on a global scale.

HUMANITY IS DOOMED.


6 people like this
Posted by Nora S.
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 2, 2019 at 2:55 pm

I do wish the city would consult people with facts and figures rather than people with FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). For instance, have per capita emissions gone up or down? As Robyn observes, we've had a lot of influx of both housing and jobs. This would naturally increase emissions even if our efficiency has increased.

Second, I would prefer it if the city concentrate on supplying convenient solutions (for instance, providing electric or hybrid shuttles, improving pedestrian and bike safety) rather than increasing inconvenience for residents and visitors (restricting parking). The former is deeply appreciated by people like me, who want to ditch the car whenever possible. But the latter makes me furious about the self-righteous snobs on the city council who think they are holier than moi because they happen to live closer to downtown.

Also, what about demanding that vehicles providing city services begin to reduce/eliminate emissions? I'm sick of the diesel stink that permeates our streets on trash day. And what about two-stroke motors? Burning wood in fireplaces? We could improve carbon emissions and air quality at the same time.


Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2019 at 3:55 pm

To you the skeptics:

If you are not actively part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

I was discussing Global Warming with my dad and my aunt earlier tonight. My dad told me that people are leaving his village in Turkey because wheat doesn't grow anymore due to the continuous drought. If you are not ready to invest in preventing climate change, I hope you are ready to share your resources with the new migrants.


1 person likes this
Posted by Some like it hot
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2019 at 4:15 pm

“I hope you are ready to share your resources with the new migrants.”

At the national level, it looks like we are going to use our resources to build a wall to keep new migrants out.

Sad.


2 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jan 3, 2019 at 11:48 am

Perhaps the city should have an new environmental commission, remove the word "environmental" from its current planning commission, the title is misleading, and have a new commission dedicated to the environment.

The city in its own actions can model sustainability, but also lead residents to make changes in their own habits, so that we may all live and work in MV knowing that we are doing our part in this global climate crisis.

Just as MV hasn't shirked being a leader in housing, when it knows MV can't solve it alone, but also knows that's not a reason to not do more, we in MV should be a regional leader in sustainability, taking the best practices of places like Japan and Scandinavia, and innovating our own solutions as well.

The new North Bayshore neighborhoods could be a "World's Fair" of the world's best sustainable plans.


6 people like this
Posted by Nora S.
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 3, 2019 at 11:52 am

Follow-up comment. I read the report Bruce Karney posted (above), and it said that, while Mountain View's "service population" grew by 37% over the study period (2005 - 2015), carbon emissions only grew by 9.1%. So, listen up people, that is a good start: it means we are doing many things right. Although you wouldn't know it to read the alarmist article here! (Note to the Voice, could we please have a bit more thoughtful analysis on this kind of thing?)

Second, I want to give a shout out to Mary Hodder, who (see above) seems to have better ideas for tackling this issue than anyone on the sustainability taskforce. Requiring new developments to include solar seems like a no-brainer. (Also having better standards for insulation.) And I love the idea of requiring developers to fund transit passes for residents.

City Council, hope you are paying attention.


4 people like this
Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 3, 2019 at 5:03 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

Mary Hodder's ideas are classic ladder-pulling. She wants to try to fund all of this on newcomers rather than an existing single-family home owner like herself, and mandates like this will lead to less housing being built. It is amusing, though, to see people proposing plans that conveniently will not require them to change their lives in any way.

In reality, allowing more people to live near where they work and building more densely will do far more to alleviate greenhouse gas emissions than even covering all of Mountain View in solar panels would. What we should do, if we want to have an impact and stop climate change, is tax low-density lifestyles like those of single-family homes.


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