Perhaps the brightest idea of late is the city’s decision to declare a Climate Emergency and setting 2030 as the goal for net-zero emissions. It being a call to action…
BRIGHT IDEA: Begin acting like it’s the emergency it is.
Realizing their futures hang in the balance, young people understand this… but why doesn’t everyone? Sure, there are signs that some hear the clarion wake-up call, but with only 10 years left in which to respond, the wake-up had better happen fast!
Top climate experts maintain that an escalation equivalent to that in response to WWII is required. Consider what people did back then – the food and fuel rationing, the massive transformation of industries throughout the country to produce the necessary armaments and supplies, among other things. We urgently need something similar to happen now if we are to avoid the direst consequences of the climate crisis.
BRIGHT IDEA: Let’s join forces to do something big and significant.
As individuals we can do lots, but what really big things could be done en masse? Climate action groups have grappled with this question for years.
Realizing that 84% of all carbon emissions are from the energy sector, which is difficult for us as individuals to address, our team members suggested we focus initially on transportation where 27% of emissions come from cars and trucks. But these are all big, expensive things, aren’t they?
Here are a few ideas worthy of consideration (disclaimer: some of you may find them outrageous and inconvenient):
- Limit access to the city by internal combustion
engines. Adopt the odd/even numbered license plate system – odd numbers for
three days; even numbers on the other three. Consider the benefits:
- An instantaneous, major reduction in pollution.
- Stimulation of METRO usage and ridesharing as well as walking and biking.
- Significant reduction in parking problems.
- Create more bike paths, trails, and pedestrian “villages” by blocking off vehicular traffic.
- Place a moratorium on building new parking areas (to further discourage bringing vehicles into the city).
Notwithstanding, we also need to promote more costly solutions like electric vehicles, infrastructure and building upgrades, heat pump and solar panel installations, etc. And carbon needs to be sequestered anywhere, and in any way, possible.
It will take political courage to accomplish this because there will be naysayers. Sacrifices must be made as each of us does our part. Business-as-usual is no longer a viable option. Creative, novel solutions are called for.
It’s time for us to work together cooperatively!
Bright Ideas is brought to you by Portland Climate Action Team which meets the 4th Thursday of the month, 6-7:30 PM at the Reiche Community Center on Clark St. All are welcome. FMI: firstname.lastname@example.org.