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Letter to the Editor | Ryan Bell: Climate Crisis Requires Cities Like Pasadena To Go All Out

Published on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 | 1:15 am
Ryan Bell

In “Forecast Calls for Climate Change to Emerge as Topic in Pasadena City Elections,” some candidates expressed skepticism that the climate crisis is something that our city should focus on, but cities like Pasadena are ground zero for this fight for our lives.

Pasadena has made some strides towards a green future, such as gradual movement towards renewable energy but more is needed. Pasadena needs to embrace a local version of the Green New Deal including transitioning to 100% renewable energy and eliminating carbon emissions by 2030. Pasadena Water and Power’s current goal is a mere 60% renewable sources by 2030 and relies on voluntary action by residents and businesses. This is not nearly aggressive enough.

We need to work harder and faster on moving away from a transportation system that prioritizes cars. Transportation needs to be organized around moving people in carbon neutral ways. Improving options for cycling, walking, and public transportation that is free to the rider must be high priorities. We can start by making the city fleet 100% electric and supporting the Bus Rapid Transit route from North Hollywood to Pasadena.

Greater density of affordable housing in the central transportation corridors will allow people to walk and cycle and use other minimally impactful devices like scooters while also addressing the city’s lack of affordable housing. Pasadena’s current waste management strategy aims for Zero Waste by 2040. Again, this is too little, too late. We can do better and when I am on the city council I will fight for these more aggressive strategies to mitigate the climate crisis.

We can achieve goals in line with a Green New Deal in Pasadena by 2030 but we have to get started now. Incremental action and half measures have been inadequate for decades and they are even more inadequate now.

For more information about Ryan Bell, visit his website at:

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