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A rare opportunity

by Freeman Allen

I’ve been reading Bill McKibben’s latest book about climate disruption, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? I knew rapidly increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a very serious problem, but it hadn’t occurred to me that mass extinctions in the past have been caused by a similar build-up.

We could go down the same path unless we get very serious about solving the problem soon. I’ve been encouraged by all that California is doing, but we need to do more, so I’m wondering what we could be doing here in Claremont.

The city of Los Angeles has just published an impressive 152-page plan—pLAn: LA’s Green New Deal—setting ambitious goals for economical, social and environmental sustainability. (plan.lamayor.org). 

Claremont also has a sustainable city plan, created in 2008 and updated in 2013. It is less ambitious and was scheduled to be updated last year, but that wasn’t done. However. Claremont now has an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show what could be done as a model of sustainability.

It’s a 17-acre redevelopment project west of Indian Hill in South Claremont, where Hibbard Chevrolet is located. Both the League of Women Voters and Sustainable Claremont have asked that this redevelopment be a model of sustainability, but that has not been included in the present Village South Specific Plan.

This important area is about the same size as, and is adjacent to, downtown Claremont. It will help tie the city together. What pride we could take if this does become a model of social, environmental and economic sustainability!

This can happen, but it will take community support to convince the city council. Please help with that. There is a good opportunity coming up during the public comment period at the next city council meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, May 28.

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