The world's leading scientists are calling on us to finally heed the warnings about the climate catastrophe that we're running full speed into: that we have a very few years to act decisively to prevent the worst impacts of climate change to current and future generations that imperil not just the human species, but all life on the planet.
The people of my generation -- the baby boomers -- have been divided about the existence of climate change for years, and what, if anything should be done about it.
I think that the majority of people now believe climate change is real -- evidenced by the extreme weather, drought, fires, and floods we are experiencing now -- and that something should be done.
We baby boomers have taken some strides, the state of California in particular, to enact policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it's not nearly enough. A newer generation coming of age now fully understands what its future looks like and is not satisfied with the "baby steps" we have taken. Groups such as the Sunrise Movement, and young politicians like U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are advocating for and taking the bold actions necessary to fight for a livable planet.
Cities have a vital role to play in this fight, including the city of Pleasanton.
Our 2005 General Plan vision states that "Pleasanton is committed to sustainable community principles and will meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs". Our 2012 Climate Action Plan is described as "a roadmap -- a set of bold ideas -- to help expand on our successes to slow the effects of climate change".
The city now needs to build on these early actions, engage this newer generation, and take bold and effective measures to play our part in confronting what truly is an existential crisis.
A good first step is to recognize that there are limits to growth -- both in the physical realm and in the economy -- and reimagining our city motto from the "City of Planned Progress" to the "City of Sustainable Progress." We owe it to our children and grandchildren.
If you agree, please let the City Council know your thoughts by sending an email to email@example.com.