Monday July 9th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. Here is today’s main climate change post related hot topic:
Hometown Energy Changes and
Does your hometown have plans to convert to green energy to help alleviate the climate crisis? If you live in the United States or in many other countries as of 2018, probably so. Specifically, though, what are timelines for changes to transportation and energy generation and by what percent? If you are an activist it might be a good idea to contact a city council person for those answers and jot them down. By doing so at the very least you can communicate concerns to somebody in charge who may equally want energy changes, putting more political pressure behind the climate issue.
I recently read some fantastic news in association with my own home town, Atlanta, which is trying to go green in the midst of a very conservative state, Georgia, that has many politicians who are averse to change and don’t think that climate change adds up to a proverbial hill of beans as far as a problem goes. I learned about plans for Atlanta here: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/25062018/atlanta-city-council-renewable-energy-100-percent-clean-power-climate-change
Quoting from the article:
Atlanta is among more than 70 U.S. cities that have adopted a 100 percent renewable electricity goal, according to a tally by the Sierra Club. That number has more than doubled in the last year as mayors and cities have reacted to President Donald Trump‘s announcement that he was pulling the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
“It’s encouraging to see this, and it provides an opportunity for hope,” said John C. Dernbach, a professor at Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and an expert in the legal aspects of transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables such as wind and solar. “The more cities that do this and the more aggressively they do it, the faster we are going to get a tipping point on the economics and technology and, frankly, the politics.”
Other cities that have pledged to get all their electricity from renewable sources include Salt Lake City, San Diego, St. Louis and Orlando.
‘Cities Must—and Can—Lead the Way’
Atlanta, which last year became the largest city in the South to make the pledge, is among the first to develop a blueprint showing how to get there, said Sierra Club’s Georgia director, Ted Terry. The plan was drawn up by the city’s Office of Resilience after an extensive public outreach effort and has the blessing of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
“Cities must—and can—lead the way in accelerating this critical transition to clean and renewable energy sources,” she wrote in a message that was included in the plan, noting the oversized roles that cities play in the global economy. “We not only have the capacity to act; it is morally incumbent that we do so.”
The council had instructed the city staff to develop a plan to meet the clean power goal for city buildings and operations, including the world’s busiest airport, by 2025, and then community-wide by 2035. (The airport accounts for nearly half of the local government’s electric consumption.) City officials recommended 2035 for both goals.
The plan says its goals could indeed be achieved in such a short time, but largely through purchasing renewable energy credits outside of the Georgia Power service area. Instead, it suggested taking longer and doing the harder and more locally beneficial work of improving energy efficiency in Atlanta and growing renewable electricity generation closer to home.
After reading the Inside Climate News article in its entirety, which I would encourage all to do, I got the impression that any change was just in the “talking and planning stage” well before contracts are signed and necessary financial commitments made. Also, knowing how much corruption has come from Atlanta’s mayor office in the past, particularly with Hartsfield Jackson Airport, I have many doubts. Then there is necessary cooperation with Georgia Power, which has woefully mishandled the ever increasing costs of developing nuclear power plant Vogtle:
Yes, it is heartening to learn about green energy changes, but in this state like many others, any plans are fraught with peril given entities who have no problem greedily skimming money from projects. Any bad press that a green project may get from corruption will only delay if not end desired goals.
As an activist frequently check on any hometown initiatives to make sure that dollars are being spent well, particularly going through the critical decade of the 2020s. Together we can change our hometowns for the better insuring a good future for planet Earth as a whole.
Despite fairly high 500 millibar heights over the CONUS the U.S. is seeing a few days break from extreme heat, but maxes will remain above 90F for most through Tuesday:
I will be adding relevant information later today on this post.
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The Climate Guy