Today we sent similar letters to the City Council and the County Board of Supervisors. The county version is shown below.


Dear Supervisors

Thanks so much for voting for the Climate Emergency Resolution on Jan 29, 2019.
Please review the following ideas for faster implementation of the necessary changes.
Thanks for all your hard work for the community

Ideas for County Climate Action

In view of the enormity of the Climate Change Crisis it is essential to do our utmost to achieve true carbon neutrality by 2030. The rising up of the young people is just beginning and this is a truly unprecedented problem. Business as Usual cannot continue. In view of the emergency time scale a different approach is needed.

Business as Usual would follow these steps.

1. Management approval

2. Grant applications

3. Hire Consultants

4. Write report

5. Submit report for approval

6. Make detailed plans for specific actions

This process would take 2-3 years which is an unacceptable portion of the remaining time.

Therefore, I suggest the following

1. Each and every department look at how to reduce its GHG emissions (Green House Gas) to Zero by 2030, and how to help/incentivize the citizens and businesses to do the same, and make a summary. If necessary, provide funds and open up time for employees to research /study what can be done in their department. Incentivize employees to find solutions!

(Note official specifications and quotes would NOT be used at this stage)

Item  /  Estimated Cost  /  Estimated GHG red. / Time to Implement

2. The county managers offices would then organize these items by GHG reduction effectiveness per $ and IMMEDIATELY authorize work on the top one or two for each department. In order to do this with current resources some on-going work would be deferred or delayed. Citizens would be notified why this was happening.

Citizens and businesses can be incentivized to come up with ideas for GHG savings with deductions in property taxes in coordination with the county.

3. Then employees would start working on preparing grants for other major GHG reduction work. They would also consider non-standard sources such as volunteer citizen labor and student interns, and make strong requests for more state funding.

In some cases “CREATIVE FINANCING” would be required – maybe the equivalent of “War Bonds” or other mechanisms. Addressing all these ways to reduce emissions AS SOON AS POSSIBLE represents a valuable investment, as future costs of dealing with Sea Level Rise, storm damage etc. will be very much greater unless we act now.

Pauline Seales

Santa Cruz Climate Action Network