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Becker pushes for state government to reach zero emissions by 2035

Original post made on Nov 6, 2021

State Sen. Josh Becker announced new legislative initiatives for a cleaner California during the United Nations Climate Conference on Thursday, one of which calls on state government operations directly to go carbon neutral.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 5, 2021, 12:30 PM

Comments (27)

Posted by DebbieMytels
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2021 at 3:29 pm

DebbieMytels is a registered user.

It's great to see this leadership from our State Sen. Josh Becker. Since taking office a year ago, he's already accomplished some ground-breaking climate protection laws, such as supporting low-carbon intensity in cement. Having studied what's possible, he is now challenging our state government to set a new bar to protect Earth's climate. Zero-emission operations is a doable goal, although it won't be easy. But by tapping into the ideas and technology we have here in California, Becker's proposal will show the world what we can achieve when we put the political will to work. Palo Alto residents are also showing the way forward for our state, with more EVs per capita than any other city. We can DO this, folks!

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 6, 2021 at 8:41 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

And since Becker didn't oppose the new ABAG/MTC requirements, you've got to love his logic that adding 1,000,000 more people to the Bay Area will do so much for climate change.

But as he said, he couldn't "wrap his mind around" all those pesky details.

Posted by Online Name's mom
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 7, 2021 at 11:54 am

Online Name's mom is a registered user.

Good news for you, @Online Name: Increasing density decreases a person's carbon emissions (Web Link Letting people move closer to where they work, rather than having them commute many miles lead to a reduction in the largest bucket of emissions in the state AND in Palo Alto -- driving!!

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2021 at 12:19 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

What have we learned this past month - our ports are the biggest on the west coast. A huge amount of Supply Chain supplies are moving through the state. The ships travel by oil. The Trucks move by oil. Planes for recreation and busines move by oil. If a person represents the state then they need to undersatnd what the economic elements are that constitute the economy of the state. That includes the Amazon trucks that come to your house. People who live in the tech areas like to think that the whole economy rests with tech. It doesn't - food is moved by trucks to stores.
Note that when we had the fires the planes that drop retardent could not have many flights because they did not have enough fuel. Becker needs to understand what the economy of the state and country is - it is not the ideologial hysteria of thse who are single focused on an issue.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 8, 2021 at 7:03 am

Annette is a registered user.

I agree with Becker that the government should lead by example. Any chance that can include suspending billionaire joy rides in space? That activity cannot possibly be good for the atmosphere. If it contributed to some greater good that widely benefitted society it would make more sense, but at this point these space jaunts, fascinating as they are, look like a you-know-what contest amongst a few extraordinarily wealthy men. Meanwhile, mere earthlings do what they can to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels . . .

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 8, 2021 at 9:55 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Dear Mom, thanks for telling me that my career path should be based on how close the companies are to my home. Rushing out to apply to 7/11 now.

Seriously, how many times do people change jobs in their careers? Do they move every time they change jobs?

Posted by sequoiadean
a resident of Los Altos
on Nov 8, 2021 at 10:59 am

sequoiadean is a registered user.

Hey @Online Name, the commenter did not say you have to live down the street from where you work, but at least nearby. Commuting from the central valley to San Jose on the other hand does have a big impact. Having more housing NEAR where people work will help quite a bit with climate change, along with improving the quality of life of those who now drive far to work. People have to live SOMEWHERE, so closer to work is better than farther.

Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2021 at 11:50 am

William Hitchens is a registered user.

Another idealistic, arbitrary feel good date? That's only 13 years from now!!! That will disrupt the entire state energy, transportation, etc infrastructure, require $trillions of investment, and generally create chaos. I'd really like to see his detailed plan, but I'm sure he doesn't have one, not even in his muddled brain. Some time after 2050 for 80% to 90% reduction from present emissions seems far more realistic. That last 10% to 20% will be extremely difficult, especially if agriculture, construction, personal and business vehicles, home and business heating, and power line right of way acquisition, approval, and construction are included. Oh, what fools and dreamers these mortals be.

So, show us a realistic detailed plan with signoff from all of the major players affected. The resulting political, economic, and technical food fight will make the Infrastructure and the so-called "Social Infrastructure" bills fight in Congress look like romper room game time.

Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 8, 2021 at 12:59 pm

What Will They Do Next is a registered user.

@ William Hitchens ..... now, now William, let's not try to be logical about this. Calling them "fools and dreamers" is being kind. And don't hold your breath waiting for details and sign offs from everyone affected by this proposal. It's not how progressives roll. It's usually pass the legislation, tax the citizen, spend the money on something else and repeat again. Still waiting for road repairs from the last two gas hikes.

Posted by OnlineName
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 8, 2021 at 1:33 pm

OnlineName is a registered user.

Still waiting for an answer about how 1,000,000 more people will help climate change here and how they won't consume any water but how WE should do OUR part to conserve because we're in a historic drought.

Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 8, 2021 at 2:15 pm

What Will They Do Next is a registered user.

@OnlineName .... don't hold your breath !

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 8, 2021 at 4:35 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

I won't. Sadly it's much easier for some to spout slogans.

Hey, sequoiadean -- Great point. Then maybe those jobs should move to the Central Valley since that's where the workers are and housing's already affordable.

Speaking of affordability, how many of those 1,000,000 new housing units slated for the Bay Area are below market rate? Fewer than 5%.

Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2021 at 6:08 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

Re slogan spouting: I find the Dem's "Build Back Better" slogan for their economically- and socially ignorant Socialist-Populist welfare disaster to be just as offensive as tRUMPite's "Make America Great Again" slogan to promote ignorant, Antebellum tRUMPite Religious, flag-loving moronic, and Social Fascism. It's really pathetic when both sides result to 'slogans for the ignorant masses" instead of things that make legal, social, and economic sense. And forget religion. It should have NO part in democracy in the USA. Keep it in the families and their churches, and out of the rest of our lives. And THAT is in the US Constitution, ignorant religious morons. And you fools pretend to be "patriots" and not TRAITORS?

Posted by Duveneck neighbor
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 9, 2021 at 8:09 am

Duveneck neighbor is a registered user.

I'm so sick of knee-jerk, selfish, shallow, logically-defective reactions in these comment spaces. Time after time, posters use the logical fallacies (false dichotomy, false equivalence, cherry-picking, non sequitur, ad hominem, sweeping generalization, mistaking personal anecdotal experience for broadly applicable evidence and proof, and so forth); leaving the value of these comments lying somewhere in a conversational cesspool.

While I've criticized the Comments Editor (who is sometimes the Publisher) in the past, for tilting the table of comments here in favor of his own bias; yet, I would encourage the Editor and Publisher to exercise much greater editorial control over comments and commenters.

For instance, polarized sloganeering without substantive supporting proofs, should be banned; we get far too much of such on social media already.

Also for specific instance in this thread, posters such as Online Name *assume* that adding 1,000,000 people to the Bay Area's population BY DEFINITION increases the Bay Area's carbon footprint. This assumption is provably false: reducing the carbon footprint of everyone already here by 14% (an easily-achieved number) would facilitate 1,000,000 more people while leaving the overall emissions net-neutral; further, if those 1,000,000 people lived in a rural area, their carbon footprint would be much larger, than if they lived in an urban or semi-urban area -- meaning, Online Name commits the fallacy of selective geography, thinking only locally when a problem is global. (And, if they lived in the Central Valley? Think of the massive footprint *increases* due to their requirements for air conditioning. Think of the reductions in our sources of food. Why is the housing in the Central Valley less expensive than the Bay Area? Because we do NOT yet price carbon emissions and long-term climate change effects into the cost of all products and services; if we did, gasoline would be $15 or more per gallon.)

Posted by Jim Lange
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Nov 9, 2021 at 9:45 am

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"...reducing the carbon footprint of everyone already here by 14% (an easily-achieved number) would facilitate 1,000,000 more people while leaving the overall emissions net-neutral;"

^ Is that what people around here really want...everyone driving an EV just to accommodate a million more local residents?

Until hybrids and EVs are both successful and proven on the race tracks, high-performance gasoline-powered cars will always have their allure among driving enthusiasts who take to the open roads.

Electric cars and hybrids are incapable of generating 'heavy metal thunder' or 'smoke and lightning' like petrol-powered vehicles and perhaps best reserved for placid motorists and Tesla owners.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 9, 2021 at 11:37 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Companies need to move their jobs to the inner CA locations. How about UC Merced area? I know for a fact that the local financial houses do not have their computer banks in the bay area. They have a huge processing centers in the area outside Sacramento - Computers cannot be disprupted by earthquakes and floods. My son worked at one - both financial and insurance companies. There is no reason that all of the hi=tech buildings have to be here except for marketing and cross hiring purposes.

Note in the papers to day is that SF has to build a seven foot wall at the Embarcadero to avoid flooding. This area is vulnerable to all type of natural disasters and those disasters are exercising their ruinage of the area. Being local to SF is no longer a selling point - SF is a disaster area. Becker is selling single-point topic that is dependnent on all type of other element being stable and they are not. He is just reading from a talking point paper. There is no back-up to his point of removing fossil fuels.

Posted by Cecilia Vargas
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2021 at 1:30 pm

Cecilia Vargas is a registered user.

"Companies need to move their jobs to the inner CA locations. How about UC Merced area?"

^Sounds reasonable but who would want to live out there given other options?

It's hot during the summers, politically red, and outside of being the gateway to Yosemite, Interstate 5 is about all the region has going for it with the possible exception of some sluggish oil pumps, orange groves, almond orchards, and a few truck stops.

Might as well add Madera and Bakersfield to your list.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 11, 2021 at 10:22 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Rancho Cordova - outside Sacramento is a location for server farms. There is the American River - lots of rafting there as well as proximity in winter for skiing. It has lot of trees and is very nice. Why don't you all look at a map of CA - the whole inner section is foohills and water, rivers, lakes, etc. Right now that is looking very good compared to the city of SF which is deteriorating with empty buildings. We have another blog here on California Street and its' growing number of empty buildings. Tech is also leaving for other states. All of the elements which tell you that the focus on eliminating fossil fuels which is how people get to work or school and trying to make CA an example serving an ideology is wrong headed. The need to be an example to the rest of the country is not working - we are an example of incompetent government.

Posted by Jesse Bream
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 11, 2021 at 2:56 pm

Jesse Bream is a registered user.

Sacramento County is also very hot during the summer. We lived in Carmichael (along the American River) and couldn't wait for an opportunity to eventually re-situate in Palo Alto.

The only advantage residing in places like Citrus Heights, Roseville etc. is that housing is cheaper and it all boils down to location, location, location...which is why a modern $750K tract house in those areas is oftentimes far nicer than a rundown $4M home in Palo Alto.

BTW...not everyone in Ranch Cordova water rafts or skis during the winter.

The Central Valley is even worse...but considerably cheaper because most folks don't want to reside there.

So perhaps the best option is to accommodate newcomers to Palo Alto by building more mixed-used housing developments in the less-desirable parts of Palo Alto (e.g. anywhere south of Page Mill Road & Oregon Expressway heading towards Charleston and San Antonio Roads).

Los Arboles and the adjacent Eichler tracts should probably be spared from eventual demolition and development as some folks are under the dubious impression that these homes are historical landmarks akin to a San Francisco Victorian.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 11, 2021 at 9:26 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

Companies can certainly move to Sacramento region - I liked living there, it was fine.
Expanding to Gilroy, etc. and having solid faster transit makes a LOT of sense.

Meanwhile from our Bay Area “agencies” —
“1.4 trillion Plan Bay Area approved by two agencies,” in PA Daily Post, Monday October 25, 2021, p. 10.
Bureaucratic mumbo jumbo includes vague power concepts
“sharing prosperity equitably” “plan to handle expected population increases” “getting more people closer to their jobs and more jobs closer to the people”— and etc.

Umm the little people!?
Who are “the people” - really, I’m asking seriously.
Umm people change jobs and move.

Are they going to require us to live in stack and pack housing right by our employer (at the time!.)
Is there some Big Brother bureaucracy being created to order us where to live and work?
Why do they get to be in charge of personal decisions of individuals and also company choices.
No wonder B of A and Wells Fargo moved their HQs out of this state (they had been closely associated with, and perhaps originated in San Francisco) - wow, times change.
- and we all know other HQs that have departed -

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 12, 2021 at 7:25 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

[Portion removed.] I see a lot of Eichlers in the north PA section north of Embarcadero, and going through to Oregon Expressway. Three houses on my direct area have just gone through a rebuild with new kitchens, bathrooms, lanscaping, flooring, paint. And these homes are on the market one week and go for $3M+. When I go to the downtown area I see a lot of houses on University with For Sale signs up. Sorry - your area is so cluttered with whatever - dental ofices, ancient homes that are held together with glue. Huge amount of traffic.
when we looked at a house on St. Francis is got flooded the year of the great rains. One story homes are being replaced with new two story homes.
You have so much clutter north of Oregon. People do not need that.

Posted by Michael Weiss
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 13, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Michael Weiss is a registered user.

"ancient homes that are held together with glue."

Still nicer than a mundane flat-top (aka Eichler) primarily made of plywood with a slab foundation.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 13, 2021 at 10:04 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Held together with glue? Try stucco, lath and plaster,....

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 14, 2021 at 8:58 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Jesse lives in the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood. He choses to call out Eichlers relative to south PA nighborhoods. However the Duveneck area is filled with Eichlers. [Portion removed.] I think his real problem is that Embarcadero is a major freeway on-off ramp and is congested. Also the area east of 101 is changing causing changes west of 101. With the toll road about to open at Willow there is going to be a huge blow-back at Unversity and Embarcadero.
He notes Charleston Road - that road has been reduced in commute size by the city putting concrete rails in the street. San Antonio is growing by leaps and bounds with all of the new buildings. San Antonio has two new hotels, a charter school, good street plantings. A lot of upgrades in process in south PA. Many one-story houses replaced by two story houses - all new with updated kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, landscaping. THe lot sizes are well organized and not big enough for four-plexes. So the changes we see being made are going to happen in the older part of the city that has mixed lot sizes and much older homes that are now subject to renovation for pipes, termites, rot.

Posted by Chris G Zaharias
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2021 at 10:13 am

Chris G Zaharias is a registered user.

@Duveneck neighbor - I wish it were surprising to see someone from PA suggest comment policing free speech out of this publication.

I know Josh Becker and have met him on several occasions. He's an astute entrepreneur and until now I've thought of him as a reasonable man. That said, any politician who espouses carbon neutral is either off his rockers or--more likely--himself above the economic implications of this continued climate alarmism top-down engineering. The simple, incontrovertible facts are these:

1) fossil fuels and nuclear are 5X more efficient than renewables, and our only dependable sources of energy;
2) other than in the deluded minds of a *small progressive minority*, there is neither consensus regarding mankind's role in meaningfully affecting climate, nor any means to measure the effectiveness of carbon emissions reduction initiatives;
3) the free market has and will continue to naturally reduce per-person emissions more than any top-down govt-mandated efforts.
4) imposing emissions reductions laws here in California has only served to offshore to other states and countries the emissions we are & remain responsible for.

@Josh Becker - unless your career ambition is to further erode the financial standing of CA's lower and middle classes, *be bold*, return to your admirable capitalist roots and help build more companies like Zoom, Cisco, Microsoft, Netscape, Slack, Amazon and Google whose products reduce car/air travel and make all industries more efficient = less polluting.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 20, 2021 at 3:32 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Since you know Mr. Becker, maybe you can convince him and/or his staff to respond to constituents emails rather than send out a dismissive form letter saying, "Thanks for your note. Don't expect a response but trust us, we read each email and care about whatever your topic was."

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 24, 2021 at 1:33 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Mr. Becker appears to have the same political advisors as other D campaigners in this area. Money backing up a person who is a novice and given a script to follow. Here is your party line - follow it. However the party line is single focused and has too many contigencies that are unaddressed. All of those contingencies are major game changers. My real estate people keep talking about earthquake insurance. Many earthquakes occurring now in the east bay - not major - but happening. The paper is now headlining flooding in mapped out sections on the bay.

Reality is that natural gas is cheaper, cleaner, and readily available compared to the requirement for the elements used to build batteries. Now lots on that topic. That element is found in the Congo - Cobalt - mines owned by China. The SFC and Mercury - BAN have large articles on that topic.
Articles say we are a major polluter - wrong and ass-backward. China and India are majpr pollutors. Ideologs trying to justify taking apart that which works well to support spending in other countries. China and India are not developing nations and should work their issues on their money. All of these contingencies are in the air with no price tag. You - the US taxpayer are the target of these major expenditures.

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