At the second official SA Climate Ready gathering on Saturday, San Antonio residents (and at least one straggler from Boerne) got together to talk about ways our city and her residents can cut their greenhouse pollution and better prepare themselves for the accelerating disasters being ushered in by climate change.
Below are videos from the three public segments of the morning (we left the brainstormers alone to their private ‘storming). The event is just the sort of thing San Antonians should probably be doing every weekend, and very well may in the months ahead as the Climate Action & Adaptation Plan (see PDF below) approved in late June 2017 and kicked off in December 2017 moves through its 18-month sprint.
The path forward for all of us will be a difficult one. Already, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere means we are in for a couple hundred years of rising temps and all the extreme weather that means. So we have to be preparing our communities for these changes now. (No. We do not know how to suck that carbon back out of the upper atmosphere, no matter what the concrete lobby says.)
If the world fails to act in an aggressive, concerted way to reduce the still-galloping streams of carbon pollution from crushed coal and burnt gas and more, our San Antonio summers will twist into months-long, life-threatening experiences beyond the ability of our bodies to regulate.
Despite some of the lighthearted introductions of the town hall, even our beloved ice houses will be drying up. So it would make sense to cut the slide, “It’s Not the End of the World,” from the sustainability office’s presentation.
For millions around the world, the changes we’ve wrought on the climate system are existential matters. Climate-driven drought and storm already feed food shortages, which feed violence, which feeds displacement, which feeds civil strife and war.
Some of the most obvious targets didn’t come up much at Climate Ready. Shutting down our coal plants, the most massive greenhouse point-source emitters in the city (8.3 million metric tons greenhouse gas pollution per year), didn’t rise to the top of conversation as strong marketing and better transportation options did.
While it will take an “all of the above” approach to protect and empower our residents at home and families around the world, some frank discussion about the monster in the room is a prereq.
*Read Brendan Gibbons’ meeting report, “Town Hall Draws ‘Climate Champions’ With Aims of Greater Inclusion.” *
Here are today’s opening comments and some Q&A:
Report backs after exercise one (the “vision”):
Reporting back after exercise two (“priorities”) and the closing Q&A session:
If you are interested in helping build strong grassroots power to ensure that the justice language of SA Climate Ready survives the usual buzz saw of developer-driven San Anto politics, visit ClimateActionSA.com and sign up for updates.
Who is Climate Action SA? It could be you.
“We are a coalition of committed individuals and organizations dedicated to building strong thriving communities in the face of the growing dangers of global climate change. We insist on a rapid and just transition away from hazardous fossil fuels and toward a city driven by clean energy and the sustainable economy it could bring. Alongside our friends and neighbors in San Antonio, we will help our communities, grassroots movements, nonprofits, and governmental agencies prepare for a more uncertain future by creating deeper relationships built upon the values of equality, justice, and peace.”
That is to say: We’re pretty serious.
Read the San Antonio Climate Action & Adaptation Plan
Greg Harman is founder and co-editor of Deceleration.