Nearly fifty League of Women Voters members from the San Diego area met on November 9, 2019 to meet, collaborate, learn, and discuss actions on climate change.The forum was hosted by the LWVC Climate Change Task Force. Attendees pictured above.
We learned about climate actions the League is taking across all of California, about resources available and discussed actions in areas of interest to the San Diego area members. We met in breakout groups to discuss potential actions in five areas.
Areas for Action
Housing and transportation, especially in urban areas, are strongly linked and both separately and together have significant impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. The breakout group recommended that the two San Diego Leagues review and update local positions on housing, transportation, smart land use and development; to publicly support "Safeguard our San Diego Countryside" (SOS); to publicly oppose development that does not meet climate goals; to ensure general plan updates are using smart growth strategies; and to advocate for creative housing solutions.
The general population needs increased awareness on the urgency of climate change. Ideas for education included reaching out to minorities, conservatives and military families; to align with youth groups that are already energized and have public service announcements with activist youth; advocate for school curricula that mandate climate change education; take opportunities to talk about the hazards of climate change, making it personal; share actions people can take on a day-to-day basis; and create a speakers bureau to speak at a host of events.
Impact on Resources
Climate change is altering much. Changing precipitation patterns can cause both drought and flooding, both impacting water resources. The group focused water reuse, including: education and advocacy at the local and county levels, educating the public (starting with kids) in cooperation with water districts (e.g. tours of water plants), and building a website to talk about water reuse. We need to ask questions of candidates on water and inform citizens of the water record of elected officials.
Biodiversity is severely threatened, both by climate change and increasing encroachment of development. In the San Diego region, the group suggested an observer corps for the San Diego Area Region of Governments (SANDAG) to monitor.
Half of the forum participants considered sea level rise an issue of concern, but only a handful gathered to discuss possible solutions. It is understandable that handling adaptation to the rising power of the Pacific Ocean is daunting. The breakout group recommended closer monitoring of city governments and the Coastal Commission, and educating the public on vulnerabilities to sea level rise, using resources such as the Carlsbad sea level rise study.
Much can be done to bring carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by encouraging more vegetated open space, increasing gardens for food, being aware of food impacts, and food recycling. Based on our positions, we can lobby and educate. And we need to educate ourselves. Resources in the San Diego area on limiting food waste include Feeding San Diego and Kitchens for Good. On gardening for food and soil health two resources are the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation and videos on KPBS such as Growing Passion.
Resources from the Forum
Climate Change Task Force - who we are, what we're working on, support information for getting started
Climate Change Legislation - legislation related to climate change and LWVC positions