Letter: It’s not enough
In 1958, the scientist David Keeling produced the “hockey stick” graph, which shows the direct correlation between the rise in CO2 production and world temperatures. It has taken 63 years from that point to the closing of the Hayden Power plant. We don’t have another 63 years to address catastrophic climate disruption. We have, perhaps, only 10 years before we reach a climate tipping point where there is no return to our normal life.
I respect the work and time put in by the city, county, community members and the consultants on the Climate Action Plan, but it is not enough. The strategies of the CAP proposal are admirable, but in the real world, they are unrealistic, short-term and lacking in the boldness we need now. The CAP needs the following guarantees in order to be successful:
1. Continuous and permanent dedicated funding for all strategies.
2. Our elected officials need to codify theses strategies so that the CAP doesn’t end up on shelves gathering dust.
3. The public will need incentives and/or disincentives to engage in many of these strategies.
4. Reevaluate the emission strategy that expects 95% use of electric vehicles (EVs) in 2050, because it is probably unattainable and would be 30 years too late.
5. Reevaluate the EV strategy because it does not solve traffic congestion. EVs will still require more roads, parking and the related construction emissions and impacts.
6. There is a need to quickly fund and expand a regional public transportation system that replaces much of the vehicle miles traveled.
7. We need strategies to limit vehicles and VMT since a 2% increase in VMT per year is projected.
8. We need a program to require and incentivize that all buildings be energy efficient.
In addition, the city has proposed a Transportation Master Plan, which does not adequately address climate change issues. Its two main goals are to make it easier and more accessible to drive and to improve bike/pedestrian access. It doesn’t sufficiently emphasize that a major public transportation system is necessary to alleviate traffic and CO2 emissions nor does it propose strategies to significantly reduce vehicle travel in our community.
If the voters elect representatives who will make the hard and sometimes unpopular choices now, and I mean now, not 2030 or 2050, we can be successful.
Comments are accepted for CAP at Docs.Google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf4gwElRo9YnUGLDPZSzgoFBtmTslzW0orDZnBnpdKQQKS28g/viewform. Comments are accepted for TMP at TooleDesign.GitHub.io/B0067_steamboat_springs_tmp.
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