Bummer: Palo Alto’s “Lofty Climate Goals” Crash And Burn

It’s very easy to say you support climate action in theory. Once you try and implement them, if it gets that far, it’s not so easy

After setting a lofty goal on climate change, Palo Alto struggles to make progress

Palo Alto’s evolving plan to curb carbon emissions faced a sharp rebuke Monday from numerous local environmentalists, who argued that the city is overstating its achievements while falling well short of its targets for combating climate change.

The criticism came as the City Council took a brief break from its immediate priority — responding to the coronavirus pandemic — to unanimously adopt a two-year plan aimed at getting the city closer to its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2030, with 1990 as the baseline. The council had adopted the goal — known as 80/30 — in 2016 and has since taken some steps to advance it, including raising the energy efficiency standards in new buildings, retiring the sewage-burning incinerators near the Baylands and launching a carbon-offset program for natural gas. (snip)

But even with these steps, the city has curbed emissions by only about 36%, with the vast majority of the decrease attributed to the council’s shift to “carbon neutral” electricity in 2013. If the carbon offsets are factored in, the city’s reduction is about 56.5%, according to the Public Works Department.


Despite the progress, residents maintained that the proposed steps are insufficient to meet the goal, which requires the city to reduce its carbon emissions by 224,600 metric tons annually. The advocacy group Carbon Free Palo Alto criticized the city in a letter for what it called a “longstanding disconnect between our GHG reduction goal and Palo Alto’s program results and plans.”

The question is, which residents? Just the climate groups, or most citizens? If they really care, are they giving up their own fossil fueled vehicles, 2 minute showers, hand washing clothes, growing their own food, etc?

The group argued that the city has not seen significant reductions in emissions since 2013 and does not have any programs that could feasibly scale to the 80/30 goal.

Funny how this always seems to happen, eh?

The council didn’t propose any new initiatives on Monday, though members reiterated the desire to see more electric vehicles. The two-year Sustainability Implementation Plan, which the council unanimously adopted, calls for a greater focus on the installation of charging equipment for electric vehicles at low-income homes.

“I think we really need to focus on electric vehicles and keep driving that adoption rate up in the city,” said Vice Mayor Tom DuBois. “We’re going to add in the electrified heating and cooling for homes and businesses, but a really strong focus on electric vehicles I think is going to go a long way.”

Why, so the rich can scoot on by and charge their vehicles? Low income folks do not spend $37k+ on electric vehicles. They don’t even spend $25K on regular hybrids. Warmists are very much elitists. And do the folks on the council and in the advocacy groups have plugins?

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6 Responses to “Bummer: Palo Alto’s “Lofty Climate Goals” Crash And Burn”

  1. John says:

    The least expensive electric cars are
    Smart. 17k
    Hyundai Nissan Volkswagon eGolf all around 24000 after rebates
    So Palo Alto is 56% of it’s way after 4 years with 10 years to go
    That seems pretty good

    • Kye says:

      Smart is no longer available in the USA. All the electric cars require rebates to exist. Once the rebates are gone so are the cars. Also once the piss poor resale value is realized only the well off will buy them.

      • Dana says:

        Kye wrote:

        Also once the piss poor resale value is realized only the well off will buy them.

        Well, that’s just it: once our betters require that all automobile sales be of plug in electrics, the resale value of electric cars will skyrocket.

  2. samoore says:

    “low-income homes” in Palo Alto?

    The median income in Palo Alto is almost $140,000.
    The “low income” folks are making close to $100,000. One would think they could afford charging stations.

    • Dana says:

      Home charging stations are less than $1,000, but then most people will need a licensed sparktrician to install the damned thing (you’re talking 50 amps and 220 volts) for you, and a secure place to install it. A whole lot of people don’t have places in which they could install chargers for their vehicles even if they could afford it.

      The low income folks making $100,000? Yup, maybe, but remember, both federal and California income taxes are ‘graduated,’ with higher marginal rates as income goes up.

      The median home price in Palo Alto is $3,034,689, while the median rent is $5,500. Even the median income of $140,000 isn’t going to go very far there. $5,500 x 12 = $66,000 per year!

  3. Joe says:

    I’ll admit it’s been many years since I’ve been down to that dump but, Who is to say that the pollution isn’t coming from the toilet of the next city just upwind? I couldn’t tell one city from the next. I guess that passing this worthless crap gets them all warm and fuzzy inside.

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