Wildfires, health and money: How to talk about climate change with skeptics

By Mila Jasper | August 11, 2021 | The Sacramento Bee

Monday marked a major day in climate change news. The United Nations published a new report that found global warming will likely rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next two decades, a level that will bring more instances of extreme weather.

There’s a lot to process in the report, which runs many thousands of pages. But critically, it suggests that humans still have a chance to put the brakes on and stop warming from going beyond that 1.5 degree increase. Here’s how to understand the report – and how to talk about it with skeptics – according to an expert on communicating climate science.

David Colgan is an environmental writer and the director of communications at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability…“What you need is kind of a balance, they need to see a problem and they need to see a potential way out of it,” Colgan said.

Slow and Active Streets

Ralph Propper, board president of the Environmental Council of Sacramento, mentioned one community-level solution that people can focus on: Sacramento’s “slow and active streets” initiative, instituted during the pandemic, was a great way to reduce emissions in the community. But that pilot program ended in July.

https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/article253398155.html

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Photo from https://www.pexels.com/photo/backlit-breathing-apparatus-danger-dangerous-279979/

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The drought is different this time. Everyone in the Sacramento region must conserve water.

By Ralph Propper And Tom Gray | July 31, 2021 | Special To The Sacramento Bee

ECOS Board President Ralph Propper co-authored this op-ed, published in the Sacramento Bee on July 31, 2021.

Vigilance is required to reduce water consumption and water waste. Water your lawn less and early in the day to minimize evaporation; don’t let sprinklers run off onto sidewalks; fix household leaks; take shorter showers and wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.

You should also, however, be sure to efficiently water your trees. Many trees were lost in the last drought, an unintended casualty from reduced lawn watering. Let’s give them special care this time.

Invest in long-term water efficiency measures, like removing or reducing your lawn by half in favor of water-sipping native plants, or adding high-efficiency appliances, WaterSense-labeled smart sprinkler timers, high-efficiency sprinklers and drip irrigation. Many local water agencies offer rebates and other incentives to help residents pay for these improvements — some have recently even doubled rebate amounts.

Water providers are doing their part to preserve water in our lakes and rivers by sustainably shifting to using more groundwater.

Saving water today could leave some carry-over storage in Folsom Reservoir for next year. We don’t want to drain that bank account in case next winter is dry, too.

https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article253036003.html

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Featured Photo of tree shadows by Jill Burrow from Pexels

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Developers funded Sacramento County climate action plan

Environmentalists see a conflict.

By Michael Finch II | June 10, 2021, Updated JUNE 11, 2021 | The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento County leaned on developers last year to help fund its long-delayed climate action plan, raising conflict of interest concerns among environmentalists who say the early drafts do not have enough detail to be an effective blueprint for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In the eyes of some environmentalists, the financial arrangement suggests a conflict of interest. Each of the five firms wants the Board of Supervisors to expand the boundaries of where new development is allowed to include their projects. And that decision is in conflict with the aims of the climate plan.

“I know some environmentalists were concerned that the county’s staff was compromised in this way,” said Ralph Propper, president of the Environmental Council of Sacramento. “There were a lot of concerns about that but the county was pleading poverty.”

https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article252009793.html

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Photo by Pok Rie from Pexels

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