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Responding to the Climate Crisis 

Editor:

Thanks for reporting on local governments' climate action planning ("County Climate Action Plan Plods Forward," Jan. 30). The graph of our county's emission sources also gives a sense of what we individual citizens can do.

With transportation impacts so great, we already know we can carpool, drive 55, ride a bus or bike. We can also push local governments for wise land use decisions, in McKinleyville for example, or make bus passes free.

We can eat lower on the food chain and support local schools in creating gardens to help kids eat healthy lunches while learning a lower-carbon food habit.

We can invest in heat pump water heaters connected to RCEA's low-carbon electricity, as we also support local governments in reducing "stationary emissions," the graph's term for the 12 percent of emissions mostly coming from gas appliances.

And we can support Arcata City Council members who intend to enlist their city in an expanding group of California cities and counties that have banned natural gas in new buildings. Those cities have recognized that new gas lines increase Greenhouse emissions while also boosting the cost of a new house by $5,000 to $6,000. With California requiring solar electricity be available for new housing, this enables electric heat pumps to operate at lower cost and with no emissions.

We face an emergency and these steps are among the very least we can do.

Patrick Carr, Arcata

Editor:

The workshop at the Wharfinger Building on reduction of Humboldt's greenhouse gas emissions was depressing and boring. The organizers should have asked people to sit down in groups and discuss different aspects of the problem, and then present to the body. We have to find out what we all think about issues such as:

1) lowering the speed limit, which would reduce our emissions appreciably

2) divestment from fossil fuels, as individuals or as a city (Charlotte, Virginia, did this)

3) what a low-carbon life-style might look like

4) biomass, or burning our forests for energy

5) carbon sequestration provided by our forests (Norway doesn't cut its trees anymore)

6) cows and their methane belches

7) walking the talk

Instead, there was a vapid Power Point, which offered drearily expensive expedients and the expectation that building all of it would just barely meet the renewable energy portfolio for 2025. Then we were all asked to run around putting little red dots on a limited number of preferred alternatives (personal consumption was not on the table), many of which could not be distinguished from one another.

Even though it was at the end of a working day and a big storm was roaring around outside, the audience could have been brought back to vitality if it were given the chance to address this looming catastrophe. Good cookies (they were) is not enough.

Ellen Taylor, Petrolia

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