I am glad to see that so many people are getting involved in efforts to stop the Trump administration from drilling off the California coast. I was involved in other important issues today and did not participate. However, every time these kinds of “keep it in the ground” efforts come up, I wonder if our behavior is consistent with our message.

If you don’t want drilling off our coast, you probably are not in favor of drilling anywhere. The negative environmental impact is nearly as bad – which of our lands is NOT sensitive, which of our airsheds is NOT precious, which of our waters are NOT critical to life? So, how do we stop using oil? Well, in California, where 37% or more of our carbon emissions are from transportation, we have to radically change our transportation habits.

I will suggest:

  1. Stop using your privately owned internal combustion car. Now. Today.
  2. If you have an electric or hybrid vehicle, decrease your use by 90% over the next two years. Though in an ideal world we’d get electricity from renewable resources, that’s not where it comes from today. Don’t convert from fossil to electric, that is just delaying the inevitable.
  3. Unless you are physically disabled, don’t ever drive to an anti-fossil fuel protest.
  4. If you use ride hailing services (taxi, Lyft, Uber), cut your use by 95% over the next year. It is becoming clear that these services are worse for the environment and livability than private cars are. Don’t be fooled by the techno-glitter.
  5. Move or change jobs within three years so that you live within walking or bicycling distance of work; during the transition period, use transit, bicycling or walking for 80% of your work days.
  6. Join a group that is fighting against greenfield development and suburban and exurban sprawl, for example, ECOS. Work against re-election of any politician who votes for such development or expansion of cities into agricultural lands. Talking about you, Sue Frost.
  7. Get most of your food from as close to you home as possible, and if you have the space, grow as much of your own as possible.

I’m sure there are other ideas. This is what I’m doing, though I’m falling short on the food (and related transportation) ideal.

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About Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.

Category

livability