Saturday, March 20, 2021

New City Survey on Climate Action Plan may Vitiate rather than Boost

 The City just pushed out a new survey for the Climate Action Plan.

It may be too oriented to popularity

It's soliciting comment on whether to include concepts for further action in the plan. It's gauging popularity and acceptance, "community priorities."

But this may be the wrong approach. We already have set a community priority, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in 2035.

Shouldn't this be the way we evaluate ideas?

Asking the question again could be a way to delay or obfuscate. "Are you sure about that?"

Probably we should be taking a different approach. A more useful way to evaluate the concepts might be first by effectiveness, by how much carbon pollution we think they will eliminate. Then we should evaluate them by cost. 

Then we should have a chart of actions broadly ranging from high cost and low effectiveness to low cost and high effectiveness.

With this basic grid, then we have the information to ask about popularity and acceptance. Popularity will be most helpful in deciding among the middle group of ideas that are not obviously terrific or terrible, and on which the trade-offs are more significant.

Politics should follow a technical analysis of concepts, not precede it.

So once again, when the City and project team seems to have a choice between strong and weak approaches to the Climate Action Plan, it's not obvious they are choosing the strong one. 

This approach to a survey looks instead like the weaker and vitiating choice, one in the end that may hamper the likelihood we reach our goals in 2035 and 2050.


Here's the report generated by a scenario tool developed at UC Berkeley, with an input of our new Police Chief's former city. Look at urban infill!

via Coolclimate at UC Berkeley

This is the kind of thing we should be looking at first instead of soliciting more on community preferences and priorities.

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Added a clip and link to a UC Berkeley scenario tool.