Comments On Tucson’s Climate Action Plan

climate action tucson cover
TUCSON Resilient Together Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

The plan declares a “climate emergency” and requires the city to “achieve carbon neutrality for City operations by 2030.” The plan ignores the fact that there is no physical evidence that carbon dioxide has a significant effect on global temperature and that global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels constitute just 0.01% of total greenhouse gases. The plan also ignores the fact that water vapor constitutes 95% of green house gases.

You can read a draft of the plan here, 156 pages. It is labeled “TUCSON Resilient Together Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.”

In introductory remarks, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, claims that “Tucson is one of the fastest-warming cities in the country” which she blames on rising carbon dioxide emissions. She ignores the urban heat island effect (UHI) which is the phenomenon that cities are usually much warmer than surrounding rural areas, especially at night. The main cause of UHI is that in cities, the land development, concrete and asphalt, absorbs heat during the day and gives it up during the night. (See my post on UHI here).

It appears to me that the Tucson plan is very “woke.” The executive summary states: “This plan outlines the City’s roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as to adapt and build community-wide resilience to the current and future impacts of climate change. Tucson Resilient Together centers equity and environmental justice in these efforts because the impacts of climate change are unfairly distributed toward the front line communities of Tucson, which historically have been marginalized by government-led planning efforts.”

Some of the actions the city plans to take:

Tucson Million Trees: an initiative led and driven by Mayor Regina Romero to plant one million trees by 2030 to increase the city’s tree canopy and help mitigate the impacts of climate change in heat-vulnerable neighborhoods. Question: how much water will those million trees need?

Solar Tucson: an initiative to promote and install solar in the community through highly visible installations on city-owned buildings, including community centers, the Tucson Convention Center, police substations, water facilities, park shade structures, and parking lots.

Electricity Production: Tucson Electric Power currently produces about 20% of its power from wind and solar generation. The City plan is to increase that to 70% by 2035.(This will make our electric grid very unreliable and may cause frequent blackouts. See my posts on problems with wind and solar electrical generation here.) This ignores the fact that all wind and solar generation needs backup by fossil-fuel burning or by nuclear generation.

Transportation: The City will discourage private vehicle travel. Instead the City will “reprioritize sustainable movement – starting with walking, biking, and public transit. This will be supported by land use regulations that support our vision for a ‘15-minute city,’ where every resident can access daily necessities within 15 minutes of walking or biking. The City will encourage electric vehicles and electric City transportation. (I wonder how that will work with establishment of much less reliable generation of electricity.)

The City wants to “Adopt a ‘smart growth’ approach that supports car-free and car-lite living throughout the City of Tucson and concentrates public services and infrastructure investments in existing neighborhoods.” The City will also replace all its fossil-fuel vehicles with electric vehicles. (Sorry, the fire department can’t come right now; they are recharging their engines.)

In my opinion “decarbonization” and all of its implications will be very expensive and completely unnecessary. It is all based on the false assumption that it will prevent climate change. See my blog article: A Review of the state of Climate Science.

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