I remember when California became the first state in the country to legalize marijuana for medical use. People around the country thought we were crazy Californians. Marin County and the Town of Fairfax were among the leaders in this effort. And now, sitting here on a South Carolina beach, I read about South Carolina Republicans getting ready to make marijuana legal even here. (HERE). California led the way. Maybe we were not perfect in how we did it, but we did it.
Now, humanity faces its greatest crisis - the rapidly accelerating changes from our changing climate. (HERE).
In California, we have always been leaders. In Fairfax, we have always been leaders.
We adopted our first Climate Action Plan in 2014. We aimed at a 20% reduction in Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs) by 2020. We achieved a 25% reduction by 2018. We showed the leadership our county, our state, our country, our world needed. Our goal seemed unreachable when we adopted it; and look what we did.
Today, scientists tell us the Climate Crisis is ramping up and that the needs for more dramatic action are becoming ever more urgent. (HERE). Today, economists tell us that it is far less expensive to do the work to prevent the looming crisis than it will be to deal with the crisis. (HERE).
And, in Fairfax, we continue to lead.
As we sit here today, we are finishing our next Climate Action Plan, building on the success of the last half-decade, and aiming at another seemingly unreachable, but even more important goal - elimination of all GHGs by 2030 in our Town.
As a first step, we are trying to help the people of this Town by not making it harder for ourselves - by adopting a requirement for all new buildings to be All-Electric. We all know how difficult it will be to de-carbonize our existing buildings. Not making the problem worse will save the people who buy these homes money in first cost, money in operating these new homes, and money in fighting the climate crisis. The urgency of this decision is huge, as we face mandates for additional housing in our Town.
Fairfax has always been a leader in this country, and we have always been a leader on the climate. (HERE). The world needs us to do it again.
1. Review and comment on, and support our next Climate Action Plan (HERE). Understand, we cannot get to zero without working together to overcome the obstacles in our way; but we cannot do that without determining that we will.
2. Support the move towards all-electric buildings and transportation in this Town. If you want more on how to do this, let us know.
3. We need help on the CAC. Tackling the challenge in front of us is going to take the best that we all have to give. We have several spots on our committee, and the climate needs your energy. Be in touch and we will help you find a way to contribute.
The challenge we confront is bigger than any that has come before. But the people of this town have always risen to, and overcome difficult challenges in ways that provide a vision to others for how they, too, can follow.
I am sitting on the beach of South Carolina, listening to people talking, now, about driving electric cars. We Californians are leaders, and it makes a difference. Let's do it again.