This is an epic fail. It is no surprise that the chief cause of rising emissions is vehicle use. Every credible economist will point out that the reason why pollution and traffic congestion continue to rise is that those who cause it do so without paying the cost, which is instead foisted on society as a whole, particularly future generations where it concerns climate change. A fix to both pollution and congestion problems is obvious: Make vehicle parking as expensive as necessary to meet pollution and congestion reduction goals.
There is fortunately an opportunity for our leadership to attack this problem head on, but this won't happen without a long view. The Voice quoted former Mayor Lenny Siegel as saying parking fees would fall on low-income residents the most; I think this view is shortsighted since shifting to transportation alternatives will benefit most those who struggle to afford vehicle ownership. An across-the-board policy affecting both employers and the parking they provide for their employees — as well as users of public parking areas — will ensure that motor vehicle use becomes more economically rational and that the societal costs of pollution and congestion are incurred more equally. If parking fees go up until greenhouse gas emission targets are met, Mountain View will be the leader in applying rational economics to shift behavior off fossil fuels, and will also collect the revenues needed to fund the zero-carbon alternatives that are badly needed.
San Rafael Avenue
Committed to greenhouse gas emissions
Mountain View has committed itself to climate change, at least as far as its own efforts are concerned. Adding 10,000 housing units north of Highway 101 cannot occur without increasing Mountain View greenhouse gas emissions. No actions can possibly mitigate the effect of the huge population increase that is intended.
On a larger scale, say statewide, we have reduced per-capita emissions by 33 percent since 1990, while open border policies and economic development have increased our population by 32 percent. So California still produces an unsustainable rate of total emissions. Physics limits future efficiency gains while nothing limits population growth. The state is committed to overproduce greenhouse gases.
Raymond R. White, Ph.D.
Burning down our future
Mario Savio of Free Speech Movement fame said you had to "throw yourself on the gears of the machine" to stop the progress of a war that was ruining millions of lives.
Today, the fossil fuel industry (Exxon, Shell, BP et al) is throwing itself on the gears of the war to prevent climate change from destroying billions of lives.
While Mario's objective was saving lives and stopping the destruction, fossil fuel flunkies are cruelly undermining the base on which our civilization rests, a climate that supports food for our children and keeps alive the wildlife that today is rushing toward extinction.
Support HR 7173 - Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018, a bill in Congress that will put a price on carbon (and return that price to the citizens), make evident the real cost of burning down our future and so end our shameful reliance on cheap nonrenewable fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy and greater energy efficiency.
This story contains 574 words.
Stories older than 90 days are available only to subscribing members. Please help sustain quality local journalism by becoming a subscribing member today.
If you are already a subscriber, please log in so you can continue to enjoy unlimited access to stories and archives. Subscriptions start at $5 per month and may be cancelled at any time.