The Bay Area emits 100 million tons of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) per year. Scientists tell us that to avoid catastrophic warming we must cut GHG emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 (down to 17.6 million tons in the Bay Area). California aims to reduce GHGs to 1990 levels by 2020. It's a start, but not nearly enough. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) has the power to regulate over 50% of all the GHG emissions in the Bay Area. The Air District needs to lead the way to bring those emissions down to safe, sustainable levels. If the progressive, environmentally aware Bay Area can't lead the way, who can?
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Mission is “to protect and improve public health, air quality and the global climate.”
We petition the Air District to use its authority to:
- Declare that catastrophic climate disruption is an escalating emergency
- Act on its mission by adopting aggressive programs by July 2014 to reduce Bay Area greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050*.
*This is the level that the National Research Council determined as a worldwide goal in order to keep global warming from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius.
I certainly agree with your enthusiasm and hope. At 80, having been an activist since the 1950s when I protested the A-Bomb tests in the Pacific, HUAC, and the execution of Caryll Chessman until now, I am still out there trying.
My statement about the, up until now, futility of our actions, is based on many long years of witnessing the multiple ways TPTB dismiss us. At 80, with emphysema, exacerbated by my four years at the Concord Naval Weapons station Nuremberg Actions, less than a mile downwind from what the Chronicle named the entire Bay Area’s worst air polluter, the Tosco Refinery (now sold to another company), I am on oxygen and use an electically powered breathing machine and a nebulizer to deliver albuterol medication 4 times a day.
In spite of this, I still go to the righteous rallies, and will so long as I have the health to do so.
When they got discouraged that we weren’t accomplishing our goal of stopping the armament shipments to Central America, I used to tell younger activists who came to the Nuremberg Actions at CNWS, that even though the goal was important, we shouldn’t focus on it. We act because it is the right thing to do. If we focus too much on achieving the goal, we aren’t equiped to survive the disappointments.
As much as I hope for the success of the “Forward on Climate” movement, because without success here, the evolution of homo sapiens is over; and we take many more with us, I still think we must recognize the intransigence of “the other side”.
This is protection from the discouragement and burn out. I commend and honor your passion.
dharmasyd (aka: Sydney Vilen, Berkeley, CA.)