Topic

climate action

108 petitions

Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Menlo Park City Council

Ban Gas Powered Leaf Blowers in Menlo Park, Ca

Recently there have been a large number of complaints regarding the use of Gasoline Powered Leaf Blowers (GPLBs) in our City. Since people are home much more often these days due to the pandemic, there is no escaping them. People have begun to awaken to the harm they cause, especially in comparison to the benefits they provide. In fact, more than 30 California cities have already banned their use. Menlo Park should be next. Gas-powered leaf blowers utilize outdated, two-stroke engines that disturb the peace while spewing a host of harmful toxins and pollutants into our neighborhoods. GPLBs create extreme noise and spread airborne pollutants. Their use is incessant, often even on weekends and after 5 pm when they actually are banned. What’s more, electric leaf blowers are now as powerful and affordable as gas ones, so the continued polluting and disruption of our neighborhoods with gas-powered leaf blowers is not just unhealthy and obnoxious, it is senseless as well. Gas powered leaf blowers inflict large public pain for a small private gain. Leaf blower exhaust is worse than a truck’s in many ways. Much of the fuel/oil mixture gets emitted incompletely or totally unburned. It disperses a host of hydrocarbons, fine particulates, toxins, and carcinogens. One leaf blower operating for 1 hour will emit an amount of greenhouse gas greater than that created by driving a 2016 Toyota Camry for about 1,100 miles. Hydrocarbons, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide mix with sunlight to create ozone, a strong irritant. Continued ozone exposure can cause airway constriction, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause both mild and serious effects, from headaches, dizziness, weakness, and nausea to vomiting, disorientation, and worse. Toxins and carcinogens like benzene, 1,3-butadiene, acetaldehyde, and formaldehyde increase the risk of a range of health problems, including:  - eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation - neurological effects - several types of cancer The health impacts of leaf blowers are even more serious for children, the elderly, people with pre-existing conditions, and of course, those who operate them. We have suffered many continuous days of high heat and smoky air due to climate change. This will not likely improve in the future.  2020 is already substantially worse than 2019 was. Leaf blowers are also LOUD, and even at a distance, their unique noise raises levels of stress hormones like cortisol, increasing anxiety, cognitive impairment, and the propensity for hostile behavior, elevating blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and compromising the immune system. Hearing loss is a big risk for anyone who operates a gas-powered leaf blower, but anyone else in an area where leaf blowers are used is also at risk because hearing loss is a function of both noise intensity and its duration. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that a small increase in long-term exposure to PM2.5 (which gas blowers spew out) leads to a large increase in the Covid-19 death rate. The Council has already been presented with a Memorandum that details all of the above points and includes citations to scientific articles. Moreover, a simple Google search will lead to numerous studies and articles describing the harms of GPLBs. We the undersigned, ask the Menlo Park City Council to seriously consider a total ban on GPLBs within the limits of our City. (Join our page on Facebook - Ban Gas Leaf Blowers in Menlo Park - https://www.facebook.com/groups/483419245594425)

Leah Elkins
809 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Wanda Vázquez Garced, Greg Abbott, Ron DeSantis

Governors of Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas DECLARE A CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY, NOW

In just about one month Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria have devastated your governorships and the disastrous effects of these monstrous storms could be aggravated by more hurricanes spawned by the new Climate conditions.  The “Inconvenient Truth” is that Climate Change is the power behind extreme weather such as this. As it was predicted by scientists, high water temperatures (80-90º F) and high humidity in the troposphere are the perfect recipe for the formation of “unprecedented” hurricanes.  Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico have become another “Ground Zero” for Climate Change in the Western Hemisphere. The world is watching the destruction from these hurricanes and how these large populated areas are going to recover from such blows.   Your States have also clearly shown how the absence of Climate Change Adaptation work commensurate with the challenges from the Climate Crisis, have dramatically magnified the effects of the hurricanes.  These catastrophic hurricanes are equivalent to the Pearl Harbor attack that fully engaged the U.S.A. in World War II.  A response of similar or greater magnitude is needed in your States to give your populations the best chance to survive and thrive.  If Governors Greg Abbot, Ron DeSantis and Wanda Vázquez Garced make official legally binding Climate Change Emergency Declarations for their territories, all State (and Commonwealth) resources will have to be available for Climate Restoration Actions and for Climate Adaptation, and they will be able to request large contributions from the Federal Government.  There is no time to keep on wondering if Climate Change is real.  How real do you want it to be?  You are having a first-hand experience of what the new Climate can do.  Do you expect that the conditions created by Climate Change are going to go away?  Unfortunately, they will not, but what we do know is that if we keep ignoring Climate Change, the PROBLEM will deepen and we will be unprepared for the next round of Climate Change-related disasters. The incontrovertible evidence is that Climate Change is rapidly increasing the number and magnitude of catastrophic events, like exceptional droughts, fire storms, heat waves, floods, blizzards, tornados, hurricanes, sea level rise, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, ocean acidification, extinction of plant and animal species, epidemics and pandemics, disruption of food production and other deleterious events that have disastrous consequences on our economies and on our wellbeing and survival.  In the Climate Change Action movement there is a humorous (kind of) saying: “If you think that Climate Change Action is expensive try Inaction”.  Besides the irreversible cost in human lives and environmental destruction, the monetary recovery cost of just 3 hurricanes is estimated at $300 to $400 billion for Harvey and Irma and up to $100 billion for Maria.  Where is that money going to come from?  Climate Change Mitigationand Climate Change Adaptation work to minimize catastrophes to come, must become the transformative goal of our societies and economies.  Please turn the catastrophes from Harvey, Irma and Maria (and Florence, Michael, etc.) into an opportunity to protect life, environment and infrastructure from Climate Change in your States and inspire other States and Countries to wake up to the inevitable massive changes humans need to make to have a chance of a livable future. We urge you to issue a legally binding CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY DECLARATION NOW.

Jorge Rebagliati
2,262 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Sonoma County City Councils and Board of Supervisors

Support Equitable Climate Emergency Action in Sonoma County!

Record-setting heat waves, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, vanishing glaciers, thawing permafrost, disintegrating ice sheets, rising sea levels, dying coral reefs, extinction of species – the disasters we are now witnessing are but a preview of more devastating impacts to come. The governments of all nations on Earth acknowledge the consensus view of the world’s scientific community: we are facing a climate crisis that requires, “…rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” We simply cannot delay. We must immediately respond to the challenge of restoring a safe climate system with an understanding that we all rise or fall together! But let’s not just look at this as a battle to be waged! Let’s imagine the kind of world we want to create! Let’s start planning a Just Transition to a vibrant, resilient, people-centered, climate-adapted world -- with clean air, jobs, and justice for all! An Equitable Climate Emergency Resolution is an action passed by a City Council or Board of Supervisors that commits the city/County to: Acknowledge the existence of a climate emergency. Elevate climate issues to the highest priority in all city/County goal-setting. Evaluate all policies, projects, purchases, and priorities through the lens of climate impact. Set a goal of zero net emissions within ten years and annually track and publicly report progress toward that goal. Update its General Plan and other guiding documents in accordance with the goals of mitigation, drawdown, adaptation, and social justice. Create a new entity in their jurisdiction to oversee ongoing climate-related efforts. Educate and engage all city/County employees and all community members on the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for “…rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” Encourage the active participation of the entire community, including our marginalized and disenfranchised members who will be the most heavily impacted by climate change, in a Just Transition toward a resilient future. We ask all the cities in Sonoma County -- and the County of Sonoma -- to join the City of Petaluma and over 960 jurisdictions worldwide [as of 8-21-19] and over 7,000 colleges and universities in passing an Equitable Climate Emergency Resolution and signaling their sincere commitment to an equitable, livable future for all.  This petition will be presented to city councils around Sonoma County and to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in support of all Equitable Climate Emergency Resolutions. Please note that any money that you "chip in" after you click on the petition flows to change.org and only benefits Sonoma Climate Mobilization indirectly! 

Sonoma Climate Mobilization
3,340 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Marc R. Pacheco, Jim Braude & Margery Eagan, Michael J. Barrett, Dylan Fernandes, Michael Rodrigues, Cindy Friedman, Edward J. Markey, Ayanna Pressley, Ronald Mariano, William Francis Galvin, Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides

Make Most MA Government Buildings Renewable Energy Users

Dear Members of the Massachusetts Legislature,  My name is Kourosh Farboodmanesh and I am a 7th grader attending Wellan Montessori School in Newton, MA. However, I live in Wellesley. I have become very interested in climate change and global warming. I wanted to do something about it. I started by talking to the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant about their Voluntary Renewable Energy Program and I pushed to promote it and finally got the answers I was looking for. On January 1st, 2021, the Wellesley Voluntary Renewable Energy Program will become an opt-out program instead of an opt-in program. This makes it so that every Wellesley resident will use renewable energy sources to power their house unless they were to opt-out. I am writing this letter to you because I wanted to take my work on climate change to the next level. My goal is to promote renewable energy usage to make a more habitable planet for my generation.  I want to propose a bill idea to you to use renewable energy to power the major governmental buildings within our state. These buildings include the State House, City Halls, and Town Halls. Ideally, it would be to install solar panels on these buildings, however, I understand that these buildings are very historical. The option that I want to push for would be to have renewable energy being sent to these buildings just like the Wellesley Renewable Energy Program does. A way to pay for this would be to raise the state excise tax on gasoline. I believe that this is a good way to pay for helping our planet. Firstly, gasoline is one of the biggest polluters in our state and our country, and to increase the tax on it for a cause to help our planet is a double-win. Raising the gas tax will send a message to the citizens of the Commonwealth to be careful about their gas usage and ultimately move towards electric cars while using renewable energy in our federal buildings.  Below are the calculations that I made. The current state excise tax on gasoline in Massachusetts is 24¢. In 2016, the Commonwealth made $766 Million in Motor Fuel Tax Revenue. After dividing the revenue by the tax amount, I was able to find the gallons of gas that were bought that fiscal year, about 3,191,666,666 gallons. If we were to raise the gas tax by .3¢, the difference would be about an extra $9,575,000 per year for spending. Based on multiple different sources, for the Massachusetts State House alone, the extra amount to pay for renewable energy sources would be around $1,800 a month extra. These calculations are based on the monthly energy usage of 100,000 kWh. This would be $21,600 extra per year just for the State House to be powered by renewable energy sources.  Moving on to the rest of the Commonwealth, there are 294 towns and 57 cities in the Commonwealth. If we were to say that each of the city halls and town halls had the same electricity usage as the Massachusetts State House, it would cost a total of $7,581,600 extra a year. Or, $631,800 extra per month to power all of the city and town halls with renewable energy.  Lastly, we need to combine the State House price and the price of the city and town halls. The total price of this project would come out to be around $7,603,200 extra per year. Again, this is going off of a monthly kWh usage of 100,000 kWh per month for each building.  Considering that we would raise the gas tax price by three-tenths of a cent, each year this program would be making about $9,575,000. This amount would put us in a surplus of $1,971,800. This surplus could help fund problems that need to be fixed, labor fees, etc.  The benefits of this bill are tremendous. However, to begin with, if we were to say that each of these buildings were to produce 100,000 kWh a month, each building would give off about 70 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. That is the same as 175,444 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle, 77,906 pounds of coal burned, or 7,956 gallons of gasoline consumed.  If we were to multiply this number by 351 (the number of cities and towns in the Commonwealth), every month our city halls, town halls, and State House produce around 24,815 metric tons of carbon dioxide. For better terms, these buildings are responsible for about 0.43% of the Commonwealth’s yearly carbon emissions. By changing the supply of energy to our federal buildings from non-renewable to renewable is a small step in the right direction. We can show the country and the world that climate change is real and that we are taking action now.  Millions of species are dying daily because of the carbon footprint we are leaving on this planet. Last year, the United States of America produced 5,130,000,000 tons of carbon emissions. 36,000,000,000 metric tons of carbon emissions were produced in our world. The US is responsible for 14% of that, this is greater than just our Commonwealth, this is a world problem, and we can be the first to start making change. That is the benefit of this bill.  Overall, raising the gas tax by just three-tenths of a cent can help us show the country and the world that something must be done about climate change and that we are taking action now. Some numbers can be changed based on exact measurements and if you could get back to me on the exact energy usage of the State House in kWh per month that would help our calculations even more. Climate Change is a cause that needs solutions, and it needs them now. This is a small step, but it is in the right direction.  I know there are a lot of things on your mind right now and I thank you for your time.  Sincerely, Kourosh Farboodmanesh

Kourosh Farboodmanesh
93 supporters