Once again the global policy makers assigned to develop strategies to reduce our GHG emissions have failed. The degree of its failure can be noted by the several hundred environmentalists walking out on the UN climate talks. This time the discussion was about money, and who is going to pay for the disastrous storms that are just precursors of the new normal of hellish storms. Also, even voluntary limits on emissions is being wrecked and filibustered by nations refusing to reduce their fossil fuels.
Just this week the NYTs, in one day, recounted the “1000s killed, 1 million displaced by Typhoon Haiyan.”; “Apocalyptic storm floods Sardinia.”; and “In tornado’s wake, a ‘Hell of a place’”…Illinois experiences dozens of tornados, one an f-4, in November which is unheard of, 8 killed, 3000 displaced. And in Vietnam: 41 die, 80,000 displaced with severe flooding.
And the word from the scientific community is that man and the industrial revolution are responsible for a dramatically warming planet. That’s it though. Constantly you hear from spokespeople for science that no one storm can be attributed to climate change. This, while policy makers are arguing about who is going to pay for it all.
So there we have it. The planet is entering another chapter in our spiral into disastrous climate change, and the policy makers can’t make policy, and the scientific community, who have a heavy responsibility to inform. Can’t.
Perhaps a better approach would be to as the new truism says, ‘think global, act local’. And in that regard there has been great progress in Marin with Marin Clean Energy taming emissions from our power generation. But the elephant in the room, with 62% of Marin’s emissions coming from its tailpipe, is the auto.
We need to return to our past 100 years ago when electric streetcars and trains traveled all over Marin, and created the charming towns and villages that make Marin a special place. After 8 years of effort, Marin Trolleys, advocating for the Ross Valley Trolley has achieved its initial primary goal, which is a feasibility study for the first carbon free streetcar in America, and to determine ridership, costs, and potential increases in real estate in neighborhoods it serves. If the study produces a green light, the next step will be to initiate a Public Private Partnership which will fund the system for 35 years using low interest bonds. For Marin this will be a paradigm shift. Currently the bus system spends $26 million a year from taxes, state, and federal funding that is, each year, always in question, and is designed for people without cars or what is called “The Transit Dependent”. The electric streetcars will be quiet, for everyone, and will come right thru your neighborhood.
Marin Trolleys needs your political and financial support, come to our Christmas Benefit on the afternoon of December 21st in San Anselmo at Yolanda Station.