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Climate plan drops off local leadership’s to-do list

2013-01-25T20:25:00Z Climate plan drops off local leadership’s to-do listNapa Valley Register Editorial Board Napa Valley Register
January 25, 2013 8:25 pm  • 

It was front and center in President Barack Obama’s words to the nation during his inauguration speech this week. And Gov. Jerry Brown stressed its importance in his State of the State address Thursday.

Yet, fresh off Napa County leadership’s go-back-to-the-climate-plan-drawing-board edict to staff in December, there was no call for climate change urgency in Board of Supervisors Chairman Brad Wagenknecht’s local look-ahead earlier this month.

In fact, the word “climate” wasn’t in his 2013 opening remarks speech.

Wagenknecht spent three minutes of a 14-minute address discussing the need to get more frequent vote tallies after an election, but said nothing about the county’s desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save passing mention of an opportunity to work with Marin and Sonoma counties on a regional green electric program.

How can this be?

Election processes and controlling gun violence — another prominent part of the county’s 2013 objectives — are important issues in need of attention, but certainly climate change must also be included in the county’s priorities.

This week, President Obama said as much in his inauguration speech, calling for the country to lead the world in the transition to more sustainable energy. Gov. Brown said California must act now, adding that “no long-term liability presents as great a danger to our well-being.”

County leadership must also publicly promote the necessity to address global warming.

County staff spent the whole of 2012 working on a Climate Action Plan, which ambitiously challenged new development to reduce carbon emissions by 38 percent from 2005 levels. The plan was at first praised in April, then tossed aside in December after the wine industry argued that it was overly punitive, particularly on small winery expansion. County leadership asked staff to instead target vehicle traffic to meet its 38 percent reduction goal.

County staff spent years developing its plan, and while its work was initially universally praised, its plan was unanimously rejected.

The county is working with the Napa County Transportation and Planning Agency to produce a traffic study with the hope of identifying the drastic cuts in vehicle traffic necessary to answer the Climate Action Plan’s mission.

In this quest is the opportunity for innovation. The county and the wine industry can work together to develop new ideas to answer climate change locally. If wine and tourism interests in Napa are concerned about the economic impacts of a local Climate Action Plan, they should be more active in helping to identify solutions that stimulate the economy rather than hinder it.

And the county needs to take its cues from the president and governor in making climate change a larger part of the public dialogue.

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(19) Comments

  1. glenroy
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    glenroy - January 26, 2013 7:39 am
    A larger hoax than the last liberal scam aka Community Re-investment Act…not in dollars, yet anyway, in destroying domestic jobs and creating more government dependents.

    The liberal way.
  2. rpcv
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    rpcv - January 26, 2013 7:52 am
    Thanks for this refreshing editorial. I agree; our local representatives need to lead the way on this important issue.
  3. publiusa
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    publiusa - January 26, 2013 3:41 pm
    The Napa Valley wineries produce over 15,000 tons of CO2 gas into the atmosphere every year in the fermentation process but nothing was mentioned about this anywhere during the hearings last year and now by the Napa Valley Register editors. Why is that? The county officials won't touch it because of fear of or influence from the wine industry. Is the Napa Valley Register also influenced to ignore this massive CO2 emission?

    Does political power shift the right control pollution from one person to another? Is it right to shift the responsibility to auto traffic instead of on the real polluters th wineries?
  4. tedub
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    tedub - January 26, 2013 5:23 pm
    You spew CO2 every time you open your mouth. Let's all just hold our breath...
  5. gettingreal
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    gettingreal - January 26, 2013 6:07 pm
    Think about it. 15,000 tons of Co2 a year and no one died. No one even got sick. If that's not proof that this climate change hysteria is a hoax, I don't know what is.
  6. rpcv
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    rpcv - January 26, 2013 7:28 pm
    How do you know that for a fact, gettingreal? Could it be that the huge increase in incidents of asthma among children has something to do with climate change? The perils of climate change are gradual and widespread, unlike an earthquake or a tsunami or a hurricane. Some think that because they can't see a direct, immediate effect of a force on their own lives, no danger exists. Think again.
  7. gettingreal
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    gettingreal - January 26, 2013 10:06 pm
    Study the medieval warm period. Real science doesn't lie. This alone proves that climate change theory is complete hogwash. Maybe the taxpayers should finance my religion.
  8. glenroy
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    glenroy - January 27, 2013 7:03 am
    Really educate yourself....rp.

  9. Old Towner
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    Old Towner - January 27, 2013 9:30 am
    I am not clear on what the Community Reinvestment Act has to do with this topic, other than it fits into a worldview of Glenroy's.
    Publiusa is unclear on the concept of the source of the carbon dioxide "spewed" by wineries--it was released by fermentation, and was first taken out of the atmosphere by the vines--it is not from fossil fuels.
    Glenroy refers to a study (not yet reviewed by other scientists, BTW) about climate sensitivity to increasing CO2. It is interesting, but by itself is not a 'get out of jail free' card for the consequences of emissions.
    And gettingreal has a big supply of red herrings, like the MWP. Without CO2 going up, the global climate would not be warming, given where we are with solar radiation and the earth's position in relation to the sun.
  10. rpcv
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    rpcv - January 27, 2013 10:06 am
    Glenroy, nothing is proved by one study suggesting that human emissions of CO2 are not a problem, especially in the face of the overwhelming number of scientists who believe the contrary. There are other reasons to curb CO2 emissions besides global climate change. Since you shared an article, so will I. Educate yourself: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2008/january9/co-010908.html
  11. Old Time Napkin
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    Old Time Napkin - January 27, 2013 11:03 am
    Old Towner, please tell us how the world emerged from the ice age. No cars, no wineries, etc. Was that not global warming? Who's to blame for that turn of events?
  12. napken
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    napken - January 27, 2013 11:24 am
    It's kinda hard to get all worked up about global warming when you have to spend ten minutes each morning to scrape ice off your Prius. GW hysterics need to plan their meetings and call to action groups in the summer when it's actually hot. How many annual GW meetings have been delayed or canceled due to snow storms?? Hint- next year plan the meeting in Phoenix AZ in the summer to help gin up support (after flying around the globe several times in a private jet- while spreading the "YOU need a smaller carbon footprint messege".) Furthurmore the folly in thinking that reducing the CO2 emmissions here in Napa actually influences anything is ludicrous. When countries like China or India or Mexico ( or natural sources like volcanos) spew more CO2 in one second than all of Napa county does in a year-it is difficult for me to get in to the "let me make a sacrifice for the good of the world" mindset. In the mean time if you want to walk or ride a bike that's fine with me.
  13. publiusa
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    publiusa - January 27, 2013 3:51 pm
    Vines take in CO2 then release it in fermentation and that's OK with you? I have two responses to that. 1. Stop the fermentation and make grape juice - would that make you happy? 2. If its OK for grape vines to take in CO2 then to release it, it must also be OK to burn tree wood, right?
  14. vocal-de-local
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    vocal-de-local - January 28, 2013 10:38 pm
    How about we start figuring out a humane way to reduce population growth? It will be a LOT cheaper paying for birth control here and in third world countries than it will be to react to over population after the fact, with futile attempts to control CO2. I'm not suggesting that those efforts not be made. I'm saying it's the equivalent of putting a band aid on a wound that saturates a band aid in 3 seconds or less.

  15. LMW
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    LMW - January 30, 2013 3:26 pm
    Right at the gates for this county and I must agree about working towards the stuff we should be on and addressing the flow of congestion around everywhere would help. Seek the Transportation 4 America the NCTPA adopted it should open some doors to areas we would likely already have in place support system for our safety.
  16. gettingreal
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    gettingreal - January 30, 2013 9:55 pm
    The climate action plan is is the product of an agreement that our government made to use environmental concerns to downsize and bankrupt our country, better known as Agenda 21!
  17. gettingreal
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    gettingreal - February 03, 2013 12:26 pm
    New E-mail leaks show that the UN knows that solar activity has more to do with climate change than anything else!


  18. glenroy
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    glenroy - February 04, 2013 2:05 pm
    rp...read every boring word. Have you ever studied physics? I have not per se… though in a roundabout way called ‘Dimensioning’…a term used by favorite Professor who said the law of physics must be avoided for liberalism continue… the relationship to this study is man does not stand still, if 1,000 deaths result from every degree C there are other reasonable ways to mitigate this unlikely scenario.
    The temp has not increased a degree C over the last century and is declining today and for the last 16 years...but even if...a better solution is planting trees, vines whatever to cut Co2 levels and or cut electrical use in the urban areas....turn off the A/C.
    Either way it's still a hoax…a long living one at that trending back towards the original hoax...man made ice age…but I do understand your concern just can’t find any logic in it.

    BTW...Name a horrific prediction made by Gore in the 90s that is even close today?
  19. glenroy
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    glenroy - February 05, 2013 8:15 am
    What are you taking about old towner? Liberalism?
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