Saturday, June 5, 2021

Yet Another Sticky Note Project for our Climate Action Plan Process

As yet without publishing a release, the City just put up a new sticky note exercise, soliciting comment on a selection of 35 climate actions, presumably ones that survived the previous sticky note comment project, or ones that were consolidated from overlapping candidates.

A lot of the concepts are still very ornamental, signalling lofty intent more than actually likely to reduce meaningful carbon pollution. (Too much of the vague "support," especially, like "Support native biodiversity," for example.) It just seems like we ought to have a better idea of actually effective actions and goals at this point, and could relegate feel-good, but ineffective, gestures to the dust bin or some secondary place. But for the moment they all have equal weight.

A new sticky note exercise

Separately, in the May 21st update, the City Manager writes:

Data-driven cost-benefit analysis is underway by the consultants for the ten strategies that will be most impactful and relevant for the City’s Climate Action Plan. The work is being guided by the three councilors from the Climate Action Task Force.

It's not at all clear what is the relation between the 35 concepts in this new sticky note exercise and 10 "strategies" referenced in the City Manager update.

Maybe once the City issues a release and public invitation to comment on this exercize its goals will be clearer, along with its place in the process, and there will be more to say.

But at this point in the process, in the fourth stage of six according to the Project Timeline sidebar, it is reasonable to want a much firmer and more focused sense of likely actions. We would have a clear connection between the 35 and the 10. And projects like the Geer Park Master Plan update, which shared a lead planner with the Climate Action Plan, would evince a stronger sense of coordination. The Timeline shows a final plan with adoption for the fall of this year, and it is very hard to see it all coming together strongly in six months or less.

The Climate Action Plan project remains very diffuse and unfocused, and it is hard not to conclude that the effort is in important ways unserious and the goal to have an ornamental and largely ineffective plan that dodges the prospect of real change and real emissions reductions.

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