Harvey whose intensity is a product of the warmer waters and warmer air of climate change, (see links below on this & other Harvey & Irma related issues) is the result of many, many decisions made during the past couple of decades by people, all over this world, who settle for incremental change rather than responding to the increasingly dire warnings of scientists in a way consistent with the challenge we face.
This is exactly what the Austin City Council did in their vote on 8/17 about 100% renewable energy by 2030. These votes for small changes by our city council and many other politicians are often, very often, a response to the power of corporations all over this world.
On August 10th over 300 people supporting 100% renewable energy by 2030 came to the City Hall to urge the City Council to adopt this goal. Among the 80-100 or so speakers only about 6-8 spoke in opposition to this goal. Many of the speakers in favor of 100% by 2030 urged the City Council to adopt an earlier date than 2030 citing the warnings of scientists. Instead the City Council seemed to listen only to Austin’s corporate community thus betraying the rest of us and our concerns about our future.
On August 17th when they voted, there was scarcely any mention of the 300 plus supporters and all their testimony. Instead the Mayor, who didn’t attend the 17th council meeting, forged an agreement for a conservative proposal that only threw us a bone of a promised study of great emission cuts which the Mayor termed “aspirational” several times. A goal of 100% by 2030 isn’t aspirational. Instead it is what is necessary to preserve a liveable future for us as witnessed by Harvey which is just a peak at a growing possibility of a catastrophic climate change future.
One council member tried to tag a mention of 100% by 2030 at the end of a sentence in the final document but was dissuaded by the Mayor so the offending mention of 100% was withdrawn without even a vote. The final vote was 10-1 with only Troxclair voting against it for the wrong reasons.
The council now needs to hear from all of us about not seriously considering our calls for a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030 and what this decision and others like it mean for our future. Call the Mayor and your council member via the city switchboard at 512-974-2000. You can send an email to the entire council at http://www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members
IMPORTANT LINKS: Michael Mann, famed for his hockey stick graph shown in Gore’s Inconvenient Truth and one of our best climate scientists, explains the scientific relationship between the intensity of Harvey and climate change. https://www.ecowatch.com/hurricane-harvey-houston-2479090479.html
Naomi Klein: On the Media and Harvey https://www.democracynow.org/2017/8/30/naomi_kleins_message_to_the_media
George Monbiot: On Capitalism and Climate Change https://www.democracynow.org/2017/8/31/george_monbiot_we_cant_be_silent?utm_source=Democracy+Now%21&utm_campaign=1100999c03-Daily_Digest&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fa2346a853-1100999c03-190220597