Friday, March 08, 2019

Weekend Reading: The Mostly about Climate Change Edition

Well, today we answered the question of "will Cloud go for a rollerblade if it is sunny but not quite 60 degrees?" and the answer is YES. It was chilly at the start but a very nice rollerblade in the end.

In self-promo links: If you're on NetGalley, you can download The Dodo Knight for review now!

In other links:

David Roberts (whose podcast I recommended in my last post) argues that Democrats should call Republican's bluff on the Green New Deal vote in the Senate. I tend to agree with him.

Speaking of my last post, Nicoleandmaggie and I are chatting in the comments, and I think we're in agreement that the most useful individual action on climate right now is to push for policy changes. So here's an interesting old thread from another respected journalist on the climate change beat that has really influenced how I'm thinking about how to get meaningful action on climate:

In particular:

From a different thread of his: We're not going to get real Federal action on the climate until 2021, at the earliest. But there is action in the states, and if you're in a state that isn't taking much action, spending some of your political advocating energy on this could really help:

UPDATE: Grace at Bad Mom, Good Mom also wrote about climate change and energy this week. She has lots of good links, too, as well as her own well-informed opinions in the post. Go check that out!

In hyper-local (to me) local progress news: my mayor apparently meant what he said in his recent State of the City address, and now San Diego has removed parking requirements for multi-family buildings in transit zones. (I have been very moderately active on advocating for higher density near transit and may get a bit more active - advocating for your community to get more transit, bike, and walking friendly is another good local advocacy option that can help address climate change.)

In other topics: Here's an explainer on the new study that shows states with stronger gun laws have fewer mass shootings.

Lux Alptraum argues we can learn to see through "deepfake" videos.

We deserve this burn:

I love this poem:


Have a good weekend, everyone.


  1. Anonymous7:27 PM

    San Diego assumes a car is not necessary to get to every doctor or dentist you use. That public transportation is running frequently enough and with adequate safety both on the transport and from the transportation location tot he resident's home at all hours. That public transportation will time effectively transport residents to any job location at any shift time. That grocery and drug and clothing stores and libraries and all public schools are directly and easily accessible from the public transportation. That public schools can be accessed successfully for children and parents in different grades/locations and also the parent's place of employment on a timely basis. That the public transportation will accommodate the needs of elderly or disabled people. Among other assumptions. Maybe this is true in San Diego.... it is emphatically not true in the San Francisco Bay area. Nor is it true in Portland.

    1. I would not say this is true in San Diego - our public transit is not great. But nor has San Diego removed the parking requirement for all housing. Just for certain types of housing in certain areas that are close to transit.

      I don't think this is necessarily the place for the argument I think you want to have, though, because I have little patience for it. We, as a society, need to move away from having our communities revolve around cars. The issues you raise are real, but the assumption that the way to solve them is to keep prioritizing cars is not one I can agree with, because if we keep doing that, we are headed for a climate catastrophe. So instead of throwing up these issues as a reason not to change how we handle parking and cars, I would say let's look at how to solve these problems in a society that doesn't revolve around cars and start putting those solutions in place alongside the changes to zoning and parking requirements. San Diego has made some progress in that regard, but not nearly enough. I'll support programs that address those problems directly. Requiring all new development to provide free off-street parking to all residents does not address those problems directly, and contributes to other problems (e.g., our critical shortage of housing). If you have suggestions for non-car-based solutions to the problems you raise, please share them. I'm always happy to learn about programs I might want to advocate for in my community.

      Your argument is a common one, and it has helped get us to the system we have now. That system is going to give my children a world with millions of climate refugees and frequent catastrophic weather events. We have to change. Change is going to be hard. We have to do it anyway.

  2. Anonymous6:05 PM

    I absolutely agree with you. Was not meaning to start an arguement, just highly concerned because communities are talking about not providing parking but are also NOT talking about improved transit. Portland said people could ride bikes.... at 79 in the snow?? ANYWAY, I totally absolutely agree housing is needed and car reduction is necessary!

    1. Ah - here the change is targeted to locations along an expanding trolley line, and in a neighborhood called Little Italy that is already well-served by transit. And developers still can provide parking, they just won't be required to do so. One provision is to encourage them to sell the parking spaces separately, so that people who don't need/want a car don't have to pay for the space. Right now, that expense is bundled in with the cost of the condo and some residents in the area argue that they're being forced to subsidize their neighbors' cars.

      I'm glad you came back to clarify! These are difficult issues.


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