ONN – The City Of Oakland 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan Is A Cruel Joke
I just read the draft 2030 Oakland Equitable Climate Action Plan, and I have to respectfully ask what the City of Oakland is smoking that actually produced this completely baseless,very illogical, and so-called “action plan”? This is really not a civic plan at all – this is a document of a list of actions that have no real ties to each other, and with goals and objectives that have nothing to do with building a clean city – let alone an affordable one.
The main issue is that it’s not an economic development plan, first. Oakland, perhaps because city personnel lack the knowledge of how to do it, has forgotten how to make an economic development plan and strategy. You can’t talk about jobs and not talk about businesses and industry, but this plan manages to do that – which is one reason why it reads as completely silly. This document, The 2030 Oakland Equitable Climate Action Plan, is full of buzz-words to make it read like it can do something, but in point of reality, it looks like it was done in a piecemeal, patch-work, intellectually uncoordinated fashion, and is so complicated and disjointed that it defies implementation.
First, the plan doesn’t even mention the truth: the global warming problem is one of population, first. Study after study will tell you that even if we reduced emissions to zero, we would still have a World-wide global warming problem. The global warming problem problem rests in the fact that, in my lifetime since 1962, we have added 4.4 billion people to Earth. What happens when you keep adding people to a room? Easy: the room gets warmer. And this “room” is projected to increase from 8 billion to 11 billion people by 2050. That’s not to say that reducing emissions shouldn’t be an objective, it should, but we have to really understand the problem at hand.
Second, the fact that any real study will tell you is we as a city need to focus on encouraging a regional strategy – we’re not going to fix this problem as long as we have rising populations and surrounding cities and states and nations that aren’t playing ball with us. Oakland’s not the whole World, and it sure as hell isn’t the whole San Francisco – Oakland Bay Area. We’re surrounded by Alameda, Emeryville, Berkeley, San Leandro, and then San Francisco’s across the Bay. as is the West Bay Area. That doesn’t mention Walnut Creek, and the World on the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel, or Hayward, Union City, Fremont and San Jose to the South of Oakland and San Leandro. And there’s Marin County, and the City of Richmond, in the North Bay, too.
As an Oakland city, then, we have to focus on the following question, first: How can we help people and businesses reduce emissions without causing rising rents and costs of living, and produce good basic jobs for everyone in the process? Any urban, local focused plan regarding the global warming problem in the context of a city and not a country must start with that simple question. Instead of doing that, this garbage plan doesn’t start with a simple question or a statement of a basic objective and it uses terms like “equity” and then makes it sound like we have a handle on the problem by mentioning race. That’s nice, but it’s more political candy to make someone think we have the right plan.
If you want to help African Americans and Latinos in Oakland, you focus on doing three things: building businesses in low-skilled, high-paying industries, instituting job training programs and job placement operations, and reducing the overall cost of living – that means lower rents and transportation costs. But guess what? doing those three things, those objectives, helps everyone in Oakland – black, white, Asian, Latino – regardless of race. So, we get buy in from all, and no one feels left out or picked on. That’s the Oakland way – or it used to be.
If you want to reduce emissions, you must pay for the application of technology to do so. You must pay money to mandate and then encourage the action by business. That calls for creating a source of income to do that. We can do it via the application of and Oakland City Council approval of a giant lowlands redevelopment zone based on SB-628 (Bealle).
The plan the City of Oakland presents, 2030 Oakland Equitable Climate Action Plan, is silly and is ass-backward: it mentions specific jobs, not businesses – the businesses. Like roofers. Well, what happens when construction demand goes down and there are no incentives that would produce the need for roofers to be hired – let alone trained? Answer: no roofer jobs. (And on that note, the 2030 Oakland Equitable Climate Action Plan doesn’t even mention job training – it just assumes that we were all born with some chip in our brains that allows us to do those jobs in a snap.)
And “roof-top installation of solar panels” is a temporary job done on a weekend, and yet it’s listed as the kind of job that’s sustainable? That’s on page 6 of the 63-page document. Do you realize that it costs $12,594 per home (just about the cost of a 2019 Nissan Versa S Sedan) in California to install a solar panel system? Where’s the incentive package to do that? It’s not listed in the Oakland Equitable Climate Action Plan at all – it’s something you all want that would push costs on to the home-owner – and worst, the apartment renter. And even though the home-owner could realize money saving, that’s only after years go by and not immediate to our needs – you have to have a kick-start plan of locally-financially assisted upgrades to get the solar panels built. And even then, once the inventory of homes is upgraded – guess what? No more jobs.
You’re telling me that’s sustainable in itself? I’m laughing.
That is something we tie into an overall economic development plan around rebuilding industries in Oakland. In that case, the industry is housing and construction in Oakland. Roofers are a subset of that, not the focus. Installing solar panels is a subset, not the central focus. The central focus should be the housing and building industry. That’s not even mentioned as a part of the plan.
In short, the 2030 Oakland Equitable Climate Action Plan was written as if its authors had no idea how cities work.
This plan has many examples of the kind of fake-intellectual garbage that I presented to you. It sounds smart because of the use of buzzwords, but leads to nothing except more out-of-pocket costs, more homelessness, and more unhappiness. Rip up the plan and start over: start with economic development planning, first, and then public financing, second – so we can pay for the plan.
We develop the economic development plan with a “green” objective, but with the tempering goals of “building businesses in low-skilled, high-paying industries, instituting job training programs and job placement operations, and reducing the overall cost of living.” Any part of the plan that does not help meet those goals is eliminated.
In closing, what the 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan is, is nothing more than a naval-gazing exercise in self-pleasure: it feels good to you, but really doesn’t help all of Oakland in the end.
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