By Mark Huising
A recent survey among 10,000 youth from both the global north and south revealed an astounding 86% who expressed moderate to severe concern about our climate. These youth are right to be deeply concerned with the climate crisis that happened on our watch and that we need to solve. Bapu Vaitla brings a wealth of experience of working with local communities in Brazil, India and Ethiopia facing hunger caused by poverty and environmental upheaval due to climate change.
Tackling climate change starts close to home with local solutions. In Davis, 75% of our greenhouse gas emissions comes from transportation, largely from people who work in Davis but cannot afford to live here. Bapu has articulated a realistic vision to grow our city into a community where people who work in Davis can afford to call our city home. I know that this is achievable: I grew up in a town the size of Davis where I was able travel by myself by bike safely without ever needing to rely on parents to drive me. That freedom is possible here in Davis too by building on our existing strength as a bicycle-friendly town.
Transitioning to renewables to power our grid and our transportation makes economic sense according to the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC). We would save money, even without considering the significant co-benefits for human health and preserving irreplaceable California ecosystems.
We are so incredibly fortunate that someone like Bapu who combines his professional expertise as a Harvard-educated climate economist with the personal intangibles of a tireless and compassionate advocate of high integrity is willing to serve on the City Council in order to build a better community for us in Davis. It is no surprise that every single living Davis mayor has endorsed Bapu with many actively canvasing for him. I am deeply engaged in climate work on the UC Davis campus and know many of the world-leading experts on climate change and sustainable city planning who have endorsed him. Please vote Bapu!
Mark Huising is a Davis Resident, Professor and UC Davis Faculty Sustainability Champion