Governor Signs Historic Climate Action Package – $15 Billion to Tackle Climate Crisis and Protect Vulnerable Communities

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Sacramento, CA – With California facing a severe drought and water shortage as well as being plagued once again by historic fires that many experts believe are being super-fueled by climate change, the state legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled on Thursday what they are calling the California Comeback Plan—over $15 billion in funding to tackle wildfire and drought challenges, build climate resilience in communities, promote sustainable agriculture and advance nation-leading climate agenda.

The governor signed 24 bills on Thursday that focus on such efforts—providing immediate monetary investments in a package that they hope will build wildfire and forest resilience, support immediate drought response and long-term water resilience and directly protect communities across the state from multi-faceted climate risks, including extreme heat and sea level rise.

“California is doubling down on our nation-leading policies to confront the climate crisis head-on while protecting the hardest-hit communities,” said Governor Newsom.

He added, “We’re deploying a comprehensive approach to meet the sobering challenges of the extreme weather patterns that imperil our way of life and the Golden State as we know it, including the largest investment in state history to bolster wildfire resilience, funding to tackle the drought emergency while building long-term water resilience, and strategic investments across the spectrum to protect communities from extreme heat, sea level rise and other climate risks that endanger the most vulnerable among us.”

When the governor signed the state budget and related legislation in July, he and legislative leaders agreed to additional discussions during the summer to further refine steps to advance their shared and funded priorities, including natural resources investments.

One of the big pieces of the legislation was a $1.5 billion package supporting a comprehensive forest and wildfire resilience strategy statewide, the largest such investment in California history.

“Building on a $536 million early action package in April ahead of peak fire season, an additional $988 million in 2021-22 will fund projects to reduce wildfire risk and improve the health of forests and wildlands,” the governor’s office said.

According to them, this includes investments for community hardening in fire-vulnerable areas, strategic fuel breaks and fuel reduction projects, approaches to restore landscapes and create resilient wildlands and a framework to expand the wood products market, supporting sustainable local economies.

“California continues to be a leader on fighting climate change as Gov. Newsom’s action clearly demonstrates,” Senator Bill Dodd, who represents among other areas Yolo County, said on Thursday. “This is an important milestone that we will build upon. And with the escalating frequency and devastation caused by wildfires, we must also seek better ways to prevent and respond to this urgent threat. The signing of my bill will help us tap the wealth of innovation in our state, using emerging technology to protect life and property.”

With the signing of SB 109, the new Office of Wildfire Technology Research and Development under Cal Fire would study, produce and test new equipment to battle wildfires. Public, private and non-profit organizations and companies would join forces and become a state hub for firefighting advancements. The office could focus on developing fire retardants, predictive modeling, aerial technology and other tools that allow the state to more efficiently and effectively stop wildfire.

“Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Dodd, SB 109 will establish a statewide office dedicated to bringing emerging technology and innovation to help our first responders fight wildfires,” said Alfredo Pedroza, chair of the Napa County Board of Supervisors. “We must invest in new technologies to combat the unprecedented wildfires we are experiencing each year.”

There is also about $5.2 billion for water and drought resilience.

“Climate change is making droughts more common and more severe,” the governor’s office said.

The plan calls for $5.2 billion over three years to support immediate drought response and long-term water resilience.  These include funding for emergency drought relief projects to secure and expand water supplies; support for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, with a focus on small and disadvantaged communities; Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation to improve water supply security and quality; and projects to support wildlife and habitat restoration efforts, among other nature-based solutions.

Another section invests $3.7 billion for a climate resilience package which aims “to build resilience against the state’s multi-faceted climate risks, including extreme heat and sea level rise.”

These monies address the impacts of extreme heat include urban greening projects, grants to support community resilience centers and projects that reduce the urban heat island effect, and funding to advance the Extreme Heat Framework as part of the state’s Climate Adaptation Strategy.

“Sea level rise and climate change have begun to threaten iconic communities, precious ecosystems, and critical infrastructure up and down California’s coast,” Senate Leader Toni Atkins said. “It’s vital that we make key investments and changes to our planning strategies to account for this climate reality.”

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) estimates that California could experience up to seven feet of sea level rise by 2100, which would have massive impacts on the state’s lands, economy, and physical environment—waiting too long to initiate adaptation efforts likely will cost the state and its economy billions of dollars.

SB 1 gives local governments and communities “tools and funding, which helps foster coordination and more inclusive solutions to the challenges of sea level rise.”

Atkins said, “This is yet another demonstration of California’s leadership in the fight against climate change and our commitment to protect California communities.”

The governor also signed SB 27 by Senator Nancy Skinner that is designed to accelerate the removal of climate-harming carbon from the atmosphere.

Skinner’s office said Thursday, “SB 27 will expand California’s carbon removal capability, also known as sequestration, as well as improve the carbon retention of the state’s natural and working lands.”

Skinner said SB 27 “will maximize our capacity to use nature’s own carbon-reduction tools through capture in soil, grasslands, farmland, wetlands, forests and other natural systems, as well as explore cutting-edge technology like Direct Air Capture that mimic this natural process.”

The package also includes $3.9 billion to accelerate California’s transition to zero emissions vehicles.

The package includes funding to put 1,000 zero-emission drayage trucks, 1,000 zero-emission school buses and 1,000 transit buses, and the necessary infrastructure, on California roads—prioritizing projects that benefit disadvantaged communities.

“Helping drive consumer adoption, the package funds consumer rebates for new ZEV purchases and incentives for low-income Californians to replace their old car with a new or used advanced technology car,” the governor’s office said.

A year ago to the day, Newsom signed an executive order announcing California will phase out gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.

“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” said Governor Newsom in 2020. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse—and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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80 Comments

  1. Keith Olsen

    strategic fuel breaks and fuel reduction projects

    providing immediate monetary investments in a package that they hope will build wildfire and forest resilience

    So now Newsom wants to invest in forest management when he sued the Feds for trying to do just that a few years ago.

     

    As Wildfires Rage, Gov. Newsom Sues Feds For Clearing Out Forests
     
    The NEPA lawsuit came as no surprise, given that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has sued the Trump administration 100 times, but critics accused California Democrats of putting their loyalty to the environmental movement and focus on climate change ahead of proven strategies for forest health.
    “It’s not just saying, on one hand, you want to manage your forest, and then suing the government to stop the management of forests by changing the NEPA requirements, which is what Newsom has done,” H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow on environmental policy at the Heartland Institute, said on a press call.
    “He goes publicly and says, ‘We want to manage the forest. Let’s cut a deal.’ And then when they take steps to help [manage] the forests, he sues to block it.”
    https://climatechangedispatch.com/as-wildfires-rage-gov-newsom-sues-feds-for-clearing-out-forests/

    1. David Greenwald

      “So now Newsom wants to invest in forest management when he sued the Feds for trying to do just that a few years ago.”

      I suspect there won’t be money put into raking the forests.

      1. Keith Olsen

        Nice attempt at a dodge.

        That’s an NPR article by the way, not some conservative publication.

        Maybe if Newsom had allowed the Feds to go forward with their forest management plans in California instead of suing to block them this year’s fires might not have been as bad.

        1. Keith Olsen

          I remember this story because Newsom took a lot of crap at the time because California wasn’t properly managing its forests.  In fact last year in 2020, the governor cut funding for fire prevention and forest management.

          1. David Greenwald

            You are talking in vague generalities. The discussion requires a deeper dive. I don’t have time to do that now. And apparently you don’t either.

          1. David Greenwald

            This doesn’t look much like the plan that the Trump administration rolled out and California opposed – https://fmtf.fire.ca.gov/media/cjwfpckz/californiawildfireandforestresilienceactionplan.pdf

            Moreover, “Last year, the Newsom Administration and the U.S. Forest Service announced a shared stewardship agreement under which they are working to treat one million acres of forest and wildland annually to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire.”

            https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/08/13/california-u-s-forest-service-establish-shared-long-term-strategy-to-manage-forests-and-rangelands/

            Notice the agreement was reach last August (2020).

            That’s why I asked you for specifics and you declined and instead proclaimed “Keeeeeep dodging…” while offering vague generalities.

    2. Don Shor

      The lawsuit by 23 state attorneys general, including California’s, was an attempt to block the streamlining of environmental reviews of forest management proposals involving increased tree cutting, salvage, and prescribed burns. Their rationale is that it threatens or threatened to weaken the Endangered Species Act. The state and federal governments, as noted, had already agreed on implementing forest management practices in principle. Most of the land in question is either federal (57%) or private (40%). State lands are only 3% of forests.
      I don’t know the status of the lawsuit.
      My personal opinion is that the Endangered Species Act needs review and revision, but that attempting that in our current toxic political atmosphere would be pointless.

      1. Bill Marshall

        The lawsuit by 23 state attorneys general, including California’s, was an attempt to block the streamlining of environmental reviews of forest management proposals involving increased tree cutting, salvage, and prescribed burns. Their rationale is that it threatens or threatened to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

        Guess what the fires have done to endangered species, and their habitat… so, we need comprehensive environmental studies, fully vetted, ‘reasonable time’ for public comment, public hearings (figure 2 years, total, minimally) before action?

        In the meantime…

  2. Keith Olsen

    These include funding for emergency drought relief projects to secure and expand water supplies

    Yeah, how’s that $7.5 billion water bond working out that the voters passed in 2014?  How many more billion$ are being added and who’s getting rich while nothing gets built?

      1. Keith Y Echols

        How about building a man made river to increase the water supply all the way from Alaska to San Diego and then putting ferries and high speed mass transit boats on them?

        I’m not sure how many environmentalists I pissed off with that idea.

  3. Ron Glick

    On the surface it looks like Keith is pointing out inconsistent positions from Newsom. Problem is that the Dems and Reps have had different visions of forest management for a long time and there is much distrust between the parties in this policy area. The Dems believe Reps want to allow industry to high grade the forest increasing the fire hazard while the Reps believe the Dems want to protect everything increasing the fuel loads.

    The sad truth is that up until now there is some truth in both arguments.

    What has been somewhat successful has been fuel load reduction programs around communities so that when fires burn in these areas they are less intense and give firefighters a better chance at saving lives and property.

  4. Ron Oertel

    The state should be paying down unfunded liabilities.  Instead, there’s this massive bill, which sounds like it will give auditors something to review for years to come. Let’s just *hope* that there’s not an economic downturn, which would make this decision really “stand out”.

    If the state was serious about environmental concerns, it would (among other things):

    Discourage sprawl and freeway-building (e.g., the new one out to the Folsom area – as a result of that new sprawl), expansion of I-80, etc.

    Require that those living in high-risk fire zones pay the cost of their decision to rebuild after a fire (e.g., by not requiring others to subsidize the bulk of that cost in the form of insurance rates, utility costs, firefighting efforts, emergency relief, etc.).

    Stop encouraging more than 40 million people to occupy the state in order to satisfy their friends in the technology, real estate, and construction industries.

    By the way, this is inaccurate:

    A year ago to the day, Newsom signed an executive order announcing California will phase out gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.

    I suspect (for example), that I’ll still be using the same vehicle that I’m using today, after that “deadline”. Let alone all of the new gasoline-powered vehicles that will be sold until the “cut-off” date (which I doubt is set in stone).

     

     

     

    1. Keith Olsen

      Newsom signed an executive order announcing California will phase out gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.

      It sounds so impressive but it ain’t going to happen, but it’s a nice soundbite anyway.

      1. David Greenwald

        That’s not that far-fetched. It’s not like we don’t have good electric options right now. 14 years is a pretty steep curve, but a phase out could be no more manufacturing of gasoline vehicles by that point rather than pulling them off the road.

        Part of what will drive it is how bad things get climate wise. If things are this bad already, in another 15 years, we may be looking at very severe conditions.

        1. Keith Y Echols

          Yeah, but didn’t you like the Bullet Train to Nowhere too?

          Yeah but at least you know a river goes somewhere.

          Now that I think about it; a river from Alaska would probably put us at war with Canada.

        1. Ron Oertel

          How much of the grid is powered by non-renewable energy? How much more capacity would the grid need to accommodate, if all vehicles (and homes) were powered by electricity?

          How much non-renewable energy is required to create EVs, solar panels, and the like?

          What are the broader impacts to the environment, in regard to the creation of those technologies (e.g., extraction of raw materials needed, the manufacturing process, etc.)?

           

    2. Keith Y Echols

      The state should be paying down unfunded liabilities.  Instead, there’s this massive bill, which sounds like it will give auditors something to review for years to come. Let’s just *hope* that there’s not an economic downturn, which would make this decision really “stand out”.

      I’m all for paying down liabilities (Jerry Brown was good with that).  But given the state of all the fires and air quality in CA, don’t you think it’s one of those things that needs to prioritized?

      Discourage sprawl and freeway-building (e.g., the new one out to the Folsom area – as a result of that new sprawl), expansion of I-80, etc.

      Given how most of the people moving to the Sac region are coming from the Bay Area and I believe that the Bay Area shrank after the lockdown (I could be wrong), I would think that moving some of the transportation funds from the Bay Area to Sac would be in order.

       

      1. Ron Oertel

        But given the state of all the fires and air quality in CA, don’t you think it’s one of those things that needs to prioritized?

        If you mean spending massive amounts of money to essentially “rake the forests” on an ongoing/permanent basis to protect communities that shouldn’t be there in the first place, then the answer is “no”. Along with subsidized insurance, utility, firefighting costs, emergency relief, etc. Much of those costs are paid by those who don’t “insist” upon living in high-risk zones.

        Same principle applies regarding flood zones.  It’s outright corruption that politicians approved the use of taxpayer money to benefit developers, in those cases.  Including Democrats, I understand.

        Given how most of the people moving to the Sac region are coming from the Bay Area and I believe that the Bay Area shrank after the lockdown (I could be wrong), I would think that moving some of the transportation funds from the Bay Area to Sac would be in order.

        I’m *sure* that would be a popular decision in the Bay Area.

         

         

         

        1. Keith Y Echols

          If you mean spending massive amounts of money to essentially “rake the forests” on an ongoing/permanent basis to protect communities that shouldn’t be there in the first place, then the answer is “no”.

          What about protecting the forests for the sake of the forests and the air quality?

        2. Ron Oertel

          What about protecting the forests for the sake of the forests and the air quality?

          The forests have been there for millennia.  If they can’t adapt to the new climate, they will die-off and be replaced by some other ecosystem – regardless of “Smokey Bear’s” attempts.

          Regarding air quality – no.  There will likely come a time where an equilibrium is reached.  Trying to control forest fires throughout the state to improve air quality sounds like a true folly.  In addition, much of the air quality problem does not have as much impact along the coast – where most of the population is located.

          Nature does not need mankind’s “help”, until mankind screws it up in the first place.

        3. Keith Y Echols

          Regarding air quality – no.  There will likely come a time where an equilibrium is reached. 

          Yeah, for the sake of “equilibrium” so screw people living inland!  Uh…wait…where’s Yolo County located again?

          In addition, much of the air quality problem does not have as much impact along the coast – where most of the population is located.

          Haven’t we talked about before how people are moving from the Bay Area to the Sac area?

  5. Ron Glick

    “The state should be paying down unfunded liabilities.”

    The State has been doing that for some years now. Because you can’t revoke pension commitments Jerry Brown both raised contributions and lowered benefits for new employees. The balance sheets of the two big pension funds CalPERS and CalSTRS have been improving. I also recall hearing that Newsom was providing additional funding to the person funds but I’m not sure.

    The consistent second guessing of Newsom’s budget priorities demonstrates a lack of understanding of California’s financial position. With a $75 Billion budget surplus there is enough money to do many things at once.

      1. David Greenwald

        The city has unfunded liabilities generated when they increased pension formulas without back filling the difference. Not sure what that has to do with the issue at hand here.

        1. Ron Oertel

          The amount that each city “owes” to CALPERS varies based upon the fiscal health of CALPERS.  In other words, the amount of contribution required from cities is not set in stone.

          Davis is by no means alone in this.

          Is the governor doing anything about this, for cities across the state?

          Regarding the “issue at hand”, Ron G. claims that the state has enough money to do “everything”, including paying off unfunded liabilities for cities across the state. It seems like you believe that, as well.

        2. David Greenwald

          From CalPERS: “ The enacted budget includes a $1.9 billion payment to pay down the state’s unfunded liabilities (PDF) that is in addition to the regular required annual state contribution.

          The supplemental payment made toward paying down the unfunded liability is estimated to have a long-term gross savings ratio of 2:1 (PDF). This payment only applies to the state’s fund and doesn’t impact the public agency funds or the schools pool for classified school members.”

        3. Ron Oertel

          So it sounds like they’ve almost made a tiny dent in the $1 trillion shortfall.

          In regard to the article at hand, that’s immediately what comes to mind for me regarding spending bills such as this.

        4. David Greenwald

          So let me get this all straight.  You’re in favor of the governor instead of dealing with very pressing issues of fire protection and drought mitigation among other things and climate change more generally, the state bailing out local cities because you are afraid that unfounded liabilities will lead to cities like Davis having the incentive to develop their way out of their fiscal woes?  Is that about the sum of it?

        5. Ron Oertel

          I believe that much of the money is ill-spent, for reasons such as those mentioned in my initial comment.

          In general, throwing money at climate change doesn’t change the climate.

          And that issues such as unfunded liabilities are a better-way to invest limited funds.

          1. David Greenwald

            Most of the money isn’t going to climate change, it is going to fire and drought mitigation which has to be done.

          2. David Greenwald

            In addition, while neither the state’s going to all-electric vehicles by 2035 or the sequestration system will solve climate change on a global level, it could point the way for more macro policies that would make a big difference, so I’m supportive of both efforts.

        6. Ron Glick

          Saying “With a $75 Billion budget surplus there is enough money to do many things at once” is different than saying “Ron G. claims that the state has enough money to do “everything”, including paying off unfunded liabilities for cities across the state.” Please try to be more accurate.

           

        7. Ron Oertel

          Most of the money isn’t going to climate change, it is going to fire and drought mitigation which has to be done.

          Much of the effort is actually counter-productive, for reasons such as those mentioned in my initial comment.

          1. David Greenwald

            We have to address fire and drought. And frankly given the enormity of the climate challenge, I don’t see how we can avoid that either. Sorry but to me that’s much more pressing that paying down unfunded liabilities.

        8. Ron Oertel

          Going back to my original comment, if the state continues to subsidize those living in high-risk areas, it’s not only a waste of money – it’s also dangerous (and contributes to global warming and environmental damage, itself).  The costs and impacts include ongoing firefighting efforts, rescues, subsidized insurance, utilities, etc.

          And it will all prove useless, in the long run.  The only question is how many times the state will continue doing so.  So far, the answer is “unlimited”.

          Regarding the increased use of electricity, that could help (as long as the vastly-increased grid that would be needed isn’t relying upon non-renewable sources).

          You’ve already seen a fight regarding cutting down trees in a parking lot (for solar), as well as environmental concerns regarding the manufacture and placement of solar panels in environmentally-sensitive areas.

          As far as increased water storage is concerned, you already know that there’s significant environmental impacts regarding that.  In addition, dams don’t help much if there’s no precipitation.

          As far as “unfunded liabilities”, it seems likely that the “proposed solutions” for that would (ironically) include increased greenhouse emissions – from the same people who claim to be concerned about greenhouse gas emissions.

           

           

        9. Richard_McCann

          In general, throwing money at climate change doesn’t change the climate.

          Ron O, how do you know this? Are you working on policy solutions to climate change? Are you working on climate change adaptation strategies? Are you working on specific technologies that address the problem? Are you working as a scientist on studying the climate? If you’re not doing any of these things then you’re not well informed about what is possible and what the opportunities and impediments are. Your opinion on the effectiveness of spending on climate change strategies and measures isn’t really worth anything unless you are immersed in what’s going on right now.

        10. Ron Oertel

          Richard:

          I realize that you (depending upon the topic) claim to be an expert in all things (such as the housing market), but it’s really not helpful for you to demand “qualifications” in regard to any particular topic discussed on a political blog.

          It’s much better to actually put forth information.  And I realize that you actually do have at least some knowledge regarding this topic.

          So, here’s some questions off the top-of-my head for you (repeated from above):

          How much of the grid is currently powered by non-renewable energy?

          How much more capacity would the grid need to accommodate, if all vehicles (and homes) were powered by electricity? And, would all of this increased need be accommodated by renewable energy?

          Are there enough “rooftops” to accommodate this, or would solar farms (in environmentally-sensitive areas) be required?

          I already provided an example where hydroelectric power cannot be relied upon.

          How much non-renewable energy is required to create EVs, solar panels, and the like?

          What are the broader impacts to the environment, in regard to the creation of those technologies (e.g., extraction of raw materials needed, the manufacturing process, etc.)?

          Also, what do you think of the state’s practice of continuing to encourage and subsidize both sprawl, and building in high-risk zones?

           

      1. Bill Marshall

        Simple.  Change the Constitution, laws, and you could cancel all public pensions…

        Same as to Social Security and Medicare… do you understand the magnitude of those unfunded liabilities?

        Social Security just ran a $9 trillion deficit, and nobody noticed | TheHill

        Social Security/Public Pensions… most are only ‘resourced’ by one of the two.  A few get both.

        Look at both unfunded liabilities?  Nah… not Reagan conservative enough.  Ronnie at least made sure that anyone with a public pension would have all their SS benefits ‘offset’ dollar for dollar, by any public pension.  Paid a lot into SS.  Paid a lot into my public pension.  Will see exactly $0.00 in SS pension.

        Maybe if the Feds confiscated all public pension funds, while eliminating them, keep the current standard that you only get SS and Medicare benefits if you directly paid for them, SS would be solvent and a big payday for SS recipients, to boot.  Sound good?

        1. Keith Y Echols

          Eh, they’re just going to keep printing money until the rest of the world pays close enough attention.  But then most of the rest of the world is on a fiat money system too….so it’s not in their best interest to call the US on their money printing financing scheme.

  6. Ron Oertel

    Renewable energy?

    Maybe not so much:

    California shuts down major hydroelectric plant amid record-low water levels at Lake Oroville

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/06/california-shuts-down-major-hydroelectric-plant-amid-severe-drought.html

    At the same location as this, only 4 years ago:

    In February 2017, Oroville Dam‘s main and emergency spillways were damaged, prompting the evacuation of more than 180,000 people living downstream along the Feather River and the relocation of a fish hatchery.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oroville_Dam_crisis#:~:text=In%20February%202017%2C%20Oroville%20Dam,relocation%20of%20a%20fish%20hatchery.

    By the way, how much greenhouse gasses were expended in this evacuation and subsequent dam repair? (The latter being much more significant, no doubt.)

    1. David Greenwald

      “Officials said the record-low water levels at Lake Oroville, a man-made water reserve in Northern California, are a result of the drought exacerbated by climate change.”

      But hey climate change should not be the priority, right? We need to pay down our unfunded liabilities during a time of multiple emergencies according to some.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Again, throwing money at climate change isn’t going to impact climate change.

        With this example, I was simply showing the vulnerability of one form of “renewable” energy.

        Which isn’t really all that renewable in the first place, when considering the environmental impacts of dams and greenhouse gasses that result from their construction, repairs, and maintenance.

        Not to mention the financial cost of repair alone, in this example. (More than a billion dollars.) Fortunately, it did not flood-out the 180,000 people evacuated, or there would have been even more costs.

        https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-oroville-cost-20180905-story.html

        Since you’re bringing up unfunded liabilities again, I’d just note (again) that some propose to address that by encouraging even more greenhouse-gas emitting developments.

        1. David Greenwald

          “Again, throwing money at climate change isn’t going to impact climate change.”

          Agree, but since no one is advocating just throwing money at climate change, that’s kind of a red herring. To me investing in sequestration and moving away from gas-powered vehicles is a great investment by California that can pay dividends more globally down the road. At this point, doing nothing is not a good option.

        2. Ron Oertel

          And so far, development has not saved the state from (either) climate change or fiscal challenges.

          But hey, keep trying!  Most of the politicians are already on your side.

          In the meantime, grab yourself a rake (to “clean-up” the forests). Should only be a one-time thing.

          Leaf blowers might help, as well.

          Well, I’m off to a gender-reveal party involving fireworks. Let’s hope that goes well. 🙂

    2. Richard_McCann

      Ron O

      One anecdote about a single 600 MW power plant out of a hydropower portfolio of 6,000 MW which in turn is part of a total portfolio of over 60,000 MW statewide. So it’s a 1% problem. And its solar and wind renewables that are expanding–hydro is fully built out.

      Instead of anecdotes, try looking up data. Here’s the renewable energy production from 2013 to 2019 from the Air Resources Board: 
      https://www.energy.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2019-12/renewable_ada.pdf.
      It went from 22% to 36% of state generation.

       

  7. Alan Miller

    This seems to me like a diet based on running twice a week and your meals consisting of two ice-cream sundaes subsidized by the government, and the legislation the diet sponsored by ice cream companies.  CA spends all this money, and India’s thirst for coal increases along with China.  We spend billions, and those receiving the billions benefit, but overall the climate is harmed.  Locally, Davis builds a wall, and puts in an infill project or two.  Meanwhile, Folsom sprawls tens of square miles over the hills south of 50.  Have you seen it?  What does it matter what Davis does when Folsom doubles in size in a single-family cul-de-sac héll that you could never even string a functional bus line through.  What does it matter CA spends multiple billions on climate reform, and China a India keep burning coal, much of it our coal?  In case you haven’t been following, a proposal to move even more coal through Davis for export to Asia in underway, and may succeed because it’s being backed by a group with ‘sovereign’ rights, plus you can’t legally stop interstate commerce.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Meanwhile, Folsom sprawls tens of square miles over the hills south of 50.  Have you seen it?

      You must be mistaken, since (Newsom/Wiener/Atkins/the Yimbys) recently pushed-through their “density” solution, instead.

      In case you haven’t been following, a proposal to move even more coal through Davis for export to Asia in underway, and may succeed because it’s being backed by a group with ‘sovereign’ rights, plus you can’t legally stop interstate commerce.

      Again, you must be mistaken, since I recall seeing signs that Davis is a “nuclear-free” zone.  Surely, stopping coal must be even easier.

      (In the future, I’ll try to refrain from calling you “Surely”. Where’s the “h”, by the way?) Works better verbally, in Airplane.

      1. David Greenwald

        “You must be mistaken, since (Newsom/Wiener/Atkins/the Yimbys) recently pushed-through their “density” solution, instead.”

        That was such a powerful bill that it had a huge impact before it even took effect.

        1. Ron Oertel

          I could say the same regarding at least half of your articles.  Regardless, it’s a big part of the greenhouse gas issue.

          If you give people a choice, they’re going to choose low-density, relatively affordable new sprawl in nicer areas.  And the state/region continues to provide that choice.

          Roseville and Folsom are perfect examples of that.

          But unfortunately, it goes well-beyond the region (and California), for that matter.

          1. David Greenwald

            I don’t bring housing into every conversation… you do.

            What you fail to see is that it’s actually your policies that have forced sprawl. You don’t want sprawl but you don’t put people where jobs are, you don’t allow denser housing, you’ve done nothing to get more affordable housing – you think blocking everything will reduce sprawl, but it actually causes it.

        2. Ron Oertel

          What you fail to see is that it’s actually your policies that have forced sprawl.

          Unfortunately, I don’t have “policies”.  At least, not any that are “required listening”.

          You don’t want sprawl but you don’t put people where jobs are, you don’t allow denser housing, you’ve done nothing to get more affordable housing – you think blocking everything will reduce sprawl, but it actually causes it.

          More jobs are what ultimately “causes” sprawl (and resulting greenhouse gasses).

          Affordable housing is not accomplished by either sprawl or infill.  There is an enormous discrepancy in wealth/income.

          If the state forced more infill (while simultaneously taking action to contain sprawl), they might have more credibility regarding their stated goals.

          But they don’t.

          And a large part of that is what people “naturally” desire, along with the corruptive influences that the building industry, technology industry, real estate industry and others have on state and local politicians.

        3. Richard_McCann

          David G

          Unfortunately, I don’t have “policies”.  At least, not any that are “required listening”.

          You’re giving Ron O too much credit. As he finally admits he really doesn’t have any idea of what type of housing policies that he wants. We’ve asked him repeatedly to express what his solution to the problem. Now we know that he doesn’t actually have any–he just wants to snipe at whatever anyone else proposes.

        4. Ron Oertel

          No – I just want to change what “we” have been doing which got us into the situation we’re facing today.

          And a lot of this involves acknowledging limits.  Cutting back “half” of the amount of resources used does no good if the population is encouraged to double, which is not a goal that I support.

          In other words, “flush twice, stop sprawl”. On an individual level, you’re not helping the environment (or humankind) by conserving or via efficiency, if policies continue to push growth.

          When the state gets serious about their policies which subsidize sprawl and development in high-risk zones, maybe I’ll take my own personal role more seriously. (Though truth be told, I already do.)

  8. Ron Glick

    China announced this week it would no longer fund coal powered generation. As for the carbon footprint of housing much of it could be reduced with solar photovotaics upon the roof, upon the ro o of, upon the roof, up on the roof.

    1. Alan Miller

      I believe . . . China said it.

      Meanwhile 70% of energy production in India is coal burning, for a population of 1.4 billion.  That can turn on a dime with a declaration as well, I’m sure.

  9. Ron Oertel

    Everything really is about housing for you.

    Says the guy who has 2,451 articles regarding Land Use/Open Space in his archives.  Perhaps even more numerous than the “Free the Convicts” or the “Recall Reisig” campaigns.

    Which probably doesn’t even include other categories it’s discussed in, as well (e.g., Economic Development).

    https://www.davisvanguard.org/archives/

    In any case, I was noting Alan M.’s observation, when you made that comment.

  10. Ron Glick

    For those who think that Newsom is wasting money on liberal virtue signaling I would say at least left wing virtue signaling doesn’t result in the death of the unvaccinated.

    1. Ron Oertel

      The good thing about “right wingers” is that they don’t claim to have “virtue” in the first place.  At least, not in the same way.

      They find virtue in ways that the left finds objectionable – even via a “signal”.

  11. Ron Glick

    “And a lot of this involves acknowledging limits.  Cutting back “half” of the amount of resources used does no good if the population is encouraged to double, which is not a goal that I support.”

    This assumes that resource use is static when in reality it is not. This is a giant mistake that is common to anti-growth arguments going back to the 70’s. This was settled in 1990 at the end of the famous Simon- Ehrlich bet. From Wikipedia:

    “Simon challenged Ehrlich to choose any raw material he wanted and a date more than a year away, and he would wager on the inflation-adjusted prices decreasing as opposed to increasing. Ehrlich chose copperchromiumnickeltin, and tungsten. The bet was formalized on September 29, 1980, with September 29, 1990, as the payoff date. Ehrlich lost the bet, as all five commodities that were bet on declined in price from 1980 through 1990, the wager period.”

    1. Ron Oertel

      What we’re witnessing (in regard to climate change, endangered species, loss of habitat) is directly-related to the environment’s reaction to an increasing human population combined with the impact of modern lifestyles – which are being increasingly adopted by “third world” countries. Some of which dwarf the U.S., regarding population.

      The earth would probably not support the number of people that already exist, if people lived in a truly-sustainable manner.

      I don’t look toward technology for the purpose of cramming even more people onto the face of the earth.  Unfortunately, that does seem to be the purpose for some.

      I would also note that this article doesn’t really go into details regarding the 24 bills that were signed, or how each one will supposedly impact climate change.
       

       

       

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