Make Every Day Earth Day : How to Fight Climate Change Year Round

By Hutton Marshall / SanDiego350.org

Originally published in the San Diego Free Press on May 5th 2016

Last month’s annual Earth Day reminded people all over the globe of the importance of our planet’s health to everyday lives and to survival of future generations.  Locally, thousands swarmed Balboa Park to celebrate the popular Earth Fair San Diego.

Earth Day plays a larger role than sending a powerful message about the necessity of environmental protection and sustainability. More directly, it attracts countless volunteers in San Diego and beyond to spend the holiday working toward creating a healthier planet and pushing back against forces that are rapidly changing our climate.

Unfortunately, for many volunteers, Earth Day may be the only day of the year we get out and work to combat climate change, despite widespread understanding of the need for action. This happens for a number of reasons. Finding free time to contribute to environmental causes in between our jobs, families and ever-growing list of obligations may seem impractical, but we all have an opportunity to make a difference. Almost every person, no matter how busy or chaotic their lives may be, can find a way to take meaningful action. Here are ways that we at SanDiego350 suggest. [Read more…]

Learning from the Best & Worst U.S. Public Transit Systems

From Portland’s TriMet to Atlanta’s MARTA

Originally published in the San Diego Free Press on March 31st 2016

Not all public transportation systems are created equal. Across the country, there’s a huge gulf between bumper-to-bumper black holes like Los Angeles versus cities like the subway-happy New York City, which boasts 660 miles of rail transit.

Many of the cities we now see as pinnacles of functional transit became that way out of utility. New Yorkers, for example, have come to see their expansive subway system as a way to escape fierce blizzards and even fiercer rush hours.

Today, however, many cities have come to see public transit as an important tool in growing in a sustainable, environmentally conscious manner. The 2015 and 2016 climate change reports increased the importance of efficient transit. [Read more…]

TransNet Tax Increase – SANDAG Course-correct Opportunity

Originally published in the San Diego Free Press on February 25th, 2016

A region doesn’t become environmentally friendly by accident; it does so through careful, ambitious planning with the good of future generations in mind. In this regard, the San Diego region now finds itself at a crossroads.

Through the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the region’s planning agency, we now have the opportunity to begin realizing an environmentally friendly future in the San Diego region for many years to come. SANDAG recently announced that it will consider putting forth a ballot measure that will increase the TransNet sales tax by half a cent. Pending voter approval, such an increase would mean billions of additional dollars for transportation projects in coming decades. Although SANDAG may do the opposite, this money should be spent on projects that will mitigate climate change and protect San Diego’s most vulnerable populations. [Read more…]