California is on fire, and we need to take action now

California is on fire, and we need to take action now

Climate change is rapidly accelerating in California, state report says.

It’s been a very busy month for California on the climate front.

In fact, it may very well be the busiest month of all time.

The state is on fire, as evidenced by the fact that the new California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) now has more than 20 co-authors, including three from the state legislature.

And after decades of inaction, California is finally beginning to take steps toward addressing the climate crisis that has been building for decades — a crisis that is poised to get worse in the coming years unless we take action now.

But before we take action, it’s important that we understand what a massive jobs program we need to address the crisis and what will be required of us as we work together to build such a program.

The new bill, AB 32 — the California Global Warming Solutions Act — takes the reins of the state’s climate policy and directs the state to put forth a $240-billion, five-year plan that will transition the state away from fossil fuels, invest in renewable energy, transition our transportation system to cleaner options, implement policies to prepare residents and communities for climate impacts, and prepare the state for sea-level rise by ensuring that we can meet future sea-level rise with investments in coastal infrastructure like storm-proofing levees, flood walls, and other structural improvements.

As the bill’s authors told me:

“A recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists identified that California’s economy has not had a real impact on the global climate. In fact, by 2040, nearly all of California’s economy will come from our contribution to global climate change. Without meaningful policies to address the threat, California’s economy will not succeed. We must take the action now in order for California to have a lasting impact.”

I think their point above summarizes the best arguments for climate action — that we need to do our part to fight global warming, and that doing our part will make a significant long-term impact on our state’s economy.

But I think it’s important to reiterate one point as well, which is this:

One of the things we have always understood to be true about the

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