Currently, I am in Los Angeles, California.
Driving in Los Angeles can be stressful and time-consuming. Not to mention the problem of pollution; many people unnecessarily drive by themselves in individual vehicles. To counteract this norm I am utilizing the public transportation system to get around the city.
Today, my friends and I used public transportation to go to Venice. While all public transportation systems in the United States need to be vastly improved, LA’s system is useful (in comparison to other cities) for residents of the city traversing through their busy lives. Leaving out a few stops and transfers, it was relatively easy to get from where I am staying (in Hollywood) to Venice Beach. It may not measure up to New York or Chicago, however, it is better than the majority of suburban areas—where public transportation is practically nonexistent.
For car emissions to recede, an expansion and renovation of the current public transportation system (nationwide) needs to occur. Not only is it good for the environment, it connects people—in contrast to individual cars.
In terms of greater sustainability, Los Angeles recently unveiled a comprehensive plan to combat climate change in April 2019. The plan, or “pLAn” (as the city has designed it), includes measures like the shift to 100% renewable energy by 2045, diverting 100% of waste from landfills by 2050, and creating 400,000 new green jobs by 2050—effectively a Green New Deal implementation at the local level.
Mayor Eric Garcetti explained in a New York Times article, “Who cares about potholes if Venice is under water?”. “Politicians don’t need to look across the aisle to find the answer—they need to look across the country.”
This plan also calls for making every skyscraper and house “emissions-free” by 2050. It additionally outlines the construction of a zero-emissions transportation network that would get residents of Los Angeles out of their cars and onto trains, buses, and bikes.
Los Angeles is the only city in the United States which has addressed the climate crisis in a manner that measures up to the issue at hand. It even addresses environmental racism. In the plan, Garcetti states that: “Our Green New Deal is not just an environmental vision. It is designed to prioritize communities that bear the brunt of climate change first.”
This climate action plan aims to be the driving force to combat the climate crisis and inspire other cities to do the same.
So, take action in your community! Get your local representatives to support the Green New Deal by organizing. Get involved in letter writing campaigns and civil disobedience and demand change.