The Sacramento Bee recently posed the question: What is California's biggest environmental challenges? Here are some of the opinions reported by the Sacramento Bee on August 13, 2018:
Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/influencers/article216465815.html#storylink=cpy
Roger Salazar – President, Alza Strategies
“It has to be climate change. Climate change impacts everything - from wildfires to our water supply, our energy grid, our air quality, our coastline...everything. This is not a challenge the state can solve alone, but we must be (and are) doing our part.”
Timothy White – Chancellor, California State University
“Nearly everyone agrees that climate change is the biggest environmental challenge facing California and the world. Communities across California are experiencing firsthand the effects of devastating wildfires, persistent droughts, agricultural anomalies and public health crises because of our changing climate. The next question is ‘What are we going to do about it?’ CSU campuses are at the front lines of confronting this challenge through outstanding research and partnerships with business, communities and government. Most importantly – and what encourages me to believe that we will all step up to this challenge – is the incredible spirit of sustainability and innovation inherent in our students, employees and alumni.”
Aziza Hasan – Executive Director, New Ground Muslim-Jewish Partnership
“In my line of work, bringing differing groups together, I am accustomed to different perspectives holding their truth in the same space. Among the diverse group of Muslims and Jews I surveyed regarding this question, however, there was resounding agreement. Water. Rising ocean waters, arctic ice melting, water pollution, lack of water in our vegetation due to extra hot weather-- making it easier for fires to unleash great fury. I heard great concern among these Angelenos that climate change will further exacerbate our water supply challenge along with other environmental issues like air quality. We all have a role to play in water conservation and drought resilience preparation for the future.”
Angie Wei – Chief of Staff, California Labor Federation
“Climate change. How it affects our ecosystems, our plant and animal life, nature’s balance. Human and capital impact on the earth and our limited resources. How managing climate change will foster a sustainable economy that creates good jobs.”
Operation Unite® has contributed to this conversation with the following comment to the Sacramento Bee:
Concern over political will that effectively responds to Climate Change and all its changing conditions (water supply and quality, air quality, sea level rising etc.) seems to be the greatest obstacle. As Founder of Operation Unite®, I have recognized a strong desire by some groups and people to make substantial adjustments in resource use and their application (especially water) in order to match the anticipated extremes in life conditions that await their future. However, more often than not, I have also seen stakeholders come from an entitlement view point as far as remaining whole within their own organizations. No one wants to take a loss. That is an expected view point of today. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work well when choosing effective responses to Climate Change. Limited water resources will necessitate reallocation of water in order to meet critical needs across the California landscape.
Cap-and-Trade agreements also create problems because future water availability is not expected to be the same as the past 100 years; more variability, greater uncertainty and higher demand. Compounding these conditions are the consequences of historical California water management. California unknowingly missed the mark by over committing their surface and groundwater resources.
Today we know that California's future precipitation and seasonal temperatures will vary greatly from past generations. Crafting effective water management under these conditions while back peddling our over commitments will undoubtedly inflict harm to some water users.
My hope is for the people of California, including water stakeholders, to act on their core community values as they develop more effective infrastructure and strategies to manage their collective needs in years to come. Seeds of past generations have been planted. Now it is time for Operation Unite® to water our historic core community values and engage all California citizens in building responsibility for their specific water projects.