Mon, Jul

Escaping the "Climate Change" Industry to Really Fix Climate Change


ALPERN AT LARGE - As I've stated in previous CityWatch articles, there's a few horrible hucksters in our state who "like" the drought, who gaslight us about affordable housing, and who just looooove the inflation and rising cost of gas because it justifies their theology and/or overdevelopment-based bank accounts. 

In short, they love their power, and they love their influence, and they love their riches, and they just HATE you and me.

As involved as I've been in transportation, urban planning, and medical care my entire adult life, I've seen all this with disgust and horror, and I've seen this state unwittingly empower these terrible snakes-in-the-grass.

1) Governor Newsom is doing what he can with the budget shortfall, and that comes but a year or so after we had a budget surplus. We wasted the budget surplus (Sacramento, it's NOT YOUR MONEY from the taxpayers!), and now we're in trouble. 

Did we set up reservoirs then? Did we set up reservoirs now? Did we arrange for low-cost affordable small houses in the right places with computer infrastructure to encourage telecommuting? Because THAT helps the climate.

2) Are we going to remember that water built this state, and will allow this state to expand its population in the outlying middle-California areas if we do the reservoir/pipeline approach away from the coasts? Are we going to ignore the potential new industrial/commercial/residential bases in central California?

3) Why, oh, why are we over-relying on the Colorado River and the feast/famine cycle of the Sierra Icepack to maintain a reliable amount of water in the ground and in a reservoir system that is decades behind upgrading and upkeep? Are we above any greater vision for a 21st-century water plan?

4) Smell the coffee and the B.S., everyone: hybrids and electric-only cars have both pros and cons, and unless we want to live in a pipedream that we have the cost-effective technology for everyone to have fully-electric cars...

...WE WILL FAIL and have to reverse the politically-driven nonsense that serves a few rich folks' wallets and liberal guilt when REALITY sets in that we will have Californians aplenty racing to Nevada and Arizona to buy their cars, and we will have to import electricity aplenty and costly from other states.

Mandatory hybrids YES, fully electronic mandatory cars NO. Get over it!!!

5) Mass/rapid transit where it works YES, where it doesn't NO. The California High-Speed Transit Authority is a self-serving sham and a fraud that has gotten in the way of a lot of great transit and road/freeway projects that will enhance better mobility and prevent a great deal of climate change-promoting smog and emissions.

Courage is just that...courage. In addition to water, we will need to have better roads and freeways and local Metro rail projects to best reduce climate change. Stop the CAHSR while we can, unless...

6) ...Focus the CAHSR Authority on the private sector, which can and should include a Las Vegas and Native American tribe private-sector sponsoring. Gambling can and should be allowed on the CAHSR trains in the right locations to fund the trains without bilking the taxpayers.

Stop the bait-and-switch that CAHSR was all about (I was an original devout supporter, mind you!) and redirect it to where it will be viable, attractive, and self-fund itself for the unforeseeable future.

7) Dig up the concrete and make more parks wherever the heck we can (see above for redirecting, and RECYCLING water to boot). Grass and trees don't reflect sunlight, and both take in CO2 and reduce urban-induced environmental warming. 

8) Figure out how to balance the K-12 budget with water and infrastructure better (the K-12 teachers' unions OWN this state, and more than a few other public sector unions that FDR and other old-school Democrats warned us about decades ago and really don't give a damn about the rest of us).

9) There WILL be future drought cycles, and there WILL be heavy rainstorms, and they will all occur in climate change settings of all types. We should have a VISION of a "Sputnik-level" effort to NOT let any more of rainwater be dumped unnecessarily into the ocean. 

And I doubt this will be anything but well-received by the taxpayers and voters.

10) Have the GUTS to admit that urban infill has its limitations.

Too much manmade climate change? Of course--so why are we packing people into cities while paving over as much open space as we can, an obvious planning approach that will inevitably raise local temperatures with global implications?

Create 2-3 new Riversides, which are as artificial as the conversions of Orange and Riverside Counties into thriving residential Gold Rushes of opportunities and do it with water and remote-commuting havens, and we'll create AFFORDABLE and AVAILABLE homes for workforce and senior affordable housing.

And allow young people the opportunity to have homes without being millionaires, to say nothing of Leisure World-style communities to retire affordably without having to flee the state.

It's up to us...do want to enrich a few grifters, or do we really, really, REALLY fix the environmental/climate mess we're in?

(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, married with 2 children.  He was on the board of the Mar Vista Community Council for 9 years, he co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees for 10 years, and he also was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee.  Currently, Dr. Alpern is a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association.  His latest project is a fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth and can be reached at [email protected]. )