Dear Editor:

I have spent considerable time wading through the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan draft and have forwarded my comments to the city. The CAAP draft is a concatenation of reality, conjecture and fantasy. The document is far too lengthy and contains much cut-and -paste language which is unnecessary.

All the language regarding potential benefits and equity aspects of the CAAP have little relevance to the achievement of the plan’s goals. Such topics should be relegated to an appendix if included at all. Very few people are going to wade through all the verbiage only to find that the plan is incomplete. The massive societal and economic changes described in the plan require clarity and transparency understandable by the general public, which are missing. Consequently, I find three glaring omissions.

Operational assumptions: There are no clear statements of the working assumptions underlying the CAAP which will lead to achievement of the stated goals.

Financial considerations: An action plan without a thorough and transparent financial analysis, ideally under several scenarios, is useless. Unfortunately, there are no detailed discussions of the financial aspects of the proposed climate actions. Upgrades, modifications and additions to the local energy infrastructure, housing and transportation stock will be required. What are the estimated costs of those items during the lifetime of the action plan? Where are the details on how they will be paid for? Without a financial analysis the tables of numbers have little connection to the reality that residents will face going forward. My suspicion is that it will create a city full of people in debt over their heads.

Risk considerations: Every proposal or plan needs a comprehensive analysis of the risks that will cause its modification or failure. Not all of these risks will be known at the outset but a thoughtful perusal of worldly conditions should provide strong hints. This plan faces an incredible array of risks. Will there be adequate domestic resources to manufacture all the required hardware? Factories to build EVs, solar panels and batteries take years to build and bring online. What about the supporting infrastructure and the skilled labor required?  There is developing resistance and backlash around the country against the building of large wind and solar installations. Even Greta Thunberg has advocated for the removal of 150 wind turbines from reindeer pastures in Norway. Solar installations have been subject to protests because of the vast amounts of land required and the negative impact on local environments. What happens if a portion of the population simply will not cooperate? That is human nature and completely justifiable based on the democratic traditions of our country. There are many who for various reasons will not want an electric vehicle. There certainly will be resistance to switching from gas to electric cook stoves as well as other gas to electric conversions Will there be enforceable mandatory measures put in place? What happens if all the goals are met but there is no net effect on climate change?

 I seriously recommend that everyone read Vaclav Smil’s book “How the World Really Works.” Smil is very concerned about climate change but looks at the problem in an analytical and scientifically pragmatic way. I challenge you to carefully read this book and then find out if the CAAP makes sense in its present state.

 Eugene D. Thorsett

Half Moon Bay

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