Celebrating Earth Day 2021
As we prepare for Earth Day 2021 on April 22, I recommend a March 2021 article in National Geographic, “When ‘Natural’ Disasters Aren’t,” to convince or remind you of how dire the circumstances are for our planet. Here in California over 4 million acres burned in 2020, double the previous record. (In South Pasadena where I live, for the first time in decades I regularly check the air quality before a walk with my wife and our dog.)
A carbon fee to discourage fossil fuel use and encourage renewable fuel innovations is a method found effective in an MIT study (news.mit.edu/2018/carbon-taxes-could-make-significant-dent-climate-change-0406).
How about encouraging your representative to support The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act that was recently introduced in the House? It puts a price on CO2 emissions, can bring the U.S. to zero emissions by 2050, and disburses the revenue collected to anyone with a valid SSN or ITIN. It is supported by the Citizens Climate Lobby, a nonprofit, nonpartisan grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.
And lest you think fossil companies are not on board, note the support of the American Petroleum Institute (wsj.com/articles/oil-trade-group-considers-endorsing-carbon-pricing-11614640681).
What about business leaders? The Business Roundtable statement (businessroundtable.org/climate) sees carbon pricing as a viable solution. Then add to that the endorsement of over 3,500 American economists (clcouncil.org/economists-statements).
Let’s really celebrate our mother earth by getting our representatives to support a solution.
Re: Jane Velez-Mitchell and the Ballona Wetlands
David Kay is a strong advocate for our community, especially those who have benefited from commerce and investment in gas resources. He speaks with a voice that is tinged by his connection to gas and the cultivation of native lands for financial development. He means well; it’s tough to be objective when you and those scientists you believe have also been given grants for study by corporate funding.
The community of Westchester and Playa del Rey area has long benefited from the contributions of corporations: Hughes Tool Company, LAX, Southern California Gas Company, and now the developers in Playa Vista. We appreciated much of what they have given toward creating a wonderful and safe community, but as these agencies provide financial support for our community, their agendas become intertwined with a need to reject current needs and the protection of our environment, an increasingly important consideration that has been neglected in the past.
The voices Kay denounces represent a growing group of people including educators, journalists, scientists and native people (whose land still is of value to their culture), citizens who see clearly without financial lenses. We see the decisions our leaders have made that slowly have polluted our beautiful world while they seek to enhance our standard of living. We see the need for a “stop-change” movement to clean up our environment and start building havens for wildlife and appreciation of the natural world. Our toxic past is not forgiving.
We are not starry-eyed; we are researchers, parents, teachers and advocates for the world we want, and we encourage everyone to read the “gentle restoration” plans that will help us create one step toward the stop-change that is needed (bit.ly/20PtGentle). It’s a plan that will give our community a beautiful natural spot and remove the toxic presence of a no-longer-needed reserve of toxic chemicals and potential dangers.
Kay means well, but his perspective is a last gasp on what we hope will not be a dying ship.
It’s time for the community to become educated.
Playa del Rey