Union Tpke Profile picture
14 Sep, 22 tweets, 15 min read
As the fires in California, Oregon and Washington get worse, I felt that I needed to write about it. Note I didn't say wildfires: these are not natural. The climate crisis is here & we aren't ready. The worst is yet to come, but our electeds sit on their hands and do nothing.
These fires are unprecedented and have climate scientists in complete shock. nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/…
Due to dry conditions, fires have ravaged usually wet areas of Oregon, and 200,000 people in the Portland suburbs had to evacuate. While that might sound like a lot of people, billions of people, largely in the Global South, will be displaced w/out action. openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/2…
As the climate crisis gets worse, there are so many dominos that will continue to fall, and issues will cascade into unexpected areas, such as our water supply, power systems, social infrastructure, etc.
Another impact we forget: mental health. People that have run away from/lost relatives to fires have gotten PTSD, turned to drugs/alcohol or taken their lives. It is heart-wrenching that a young woman with so much talent nearly took her life. theatlantic.com/health/archive…
As the article states, "When traumas accumulate over time, they may be associated with more severe and complex psychological reactions." As weather events get more extreme, more people will have to flee fires and evacuate from the paths of hurricanes every year.
Disasters like wildfires hit low-income communities much harder. They don't have resources to trim trees and clear brush and might not have insurance to cover their losses. As a result, thousands of people will become homeless in a state with a massive housing crisis.
These events shouldn't be shocking. We've been warned for decades. It's as if we knew Russia was going to launch a missile at the US in 7 days & spent the time arguing whether/not it was Russia that would launch them instead of preventing them from striking, killing millions.
Unlike my hypothetical, the climate crisis is a slow-moving catastrophe. Unlike the 9/11 attacks, when 3,000+ people lost their lives instantly our government reacted. Since the climate is changing gradually, it isn't motivated to act. Billions will die. hbr.org/2018/10/why-pe…
As Californians tweeted photos of the impending apocalypse, @GavinNewsom told people to vote & claimed he has "enacted bold climate policies." California has a Democratic trifecta, and can act on its own.
Newsom said, “If you are in denial about climate change, come to California.” He is right. If you come to California, you will see a State that blocks proposals that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, like SB1120, which would legalize duplexes.
If California cannot legalize duplexes, and New York cannot get more than 6.25 miles of bus lanes installed since the Spring, we are truly screwed.
Furthermore, they are continuing to expand infrastructure for cars, which will increase car usage due to induced demand.
This doesn't have to be the case. First, Democrats in states like New York and California must get back into session and remove barriers to upzoning, cancel all highway expansion projects, transition to a VMT tax, start adding bus and bike lanes, and implement congestion pricing.
Next, voters across the country need to turn out in droves to defeat the climate denier in chief and the Senate which has enabled him, giving the Democrats at least 51 votes to end the filibuster.
Even if the Green New Deal passes, it has a major blind spot. Though the transportation sector is the largest source of GHGs, it calls for nothing more than EVs, which are not enough. We need to reduce car vehicle miles traveled. curbed.com/a/texas-califo… t4america.org/2020/03/18/wha…
We need to densify urban areas & eliminate racist exclusionary zoning. We need to stop all GHG reliant projects like highway widenings and tear down highways and reallocate space to pedestrians, cyclists and transit. We need to expand our transit systems.
The way Americans live, get around and work will have to dramatically change for us to have a fighting chance at saving our planet. It can be done, but it will require people to call and send letters to their electeds, take to the streets, vote, and take unpopular positions.
Finally, as @BernieSanders has said in response to people who have said the $16 Trillion Green New Deal was too expensive. “Expensive as opposed to what?”
I am 20. I shouldn't have to fight to ensure the planet is still habitable. To our electeds, think about the world your children will live in in 50 years. They will wonder why you wasted your opportunity to save the world, and why they have to suffer. You can change this destiny.

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More from @Union_Tpke

18 Jun
@2AvSagas With the Mayor's announcement 10 days ago about the creation of 20 miles of bus lanes, I set out to create a map of all the city's bus lanes, including their hours of operation, type of lane, and when they were installed when possible. google.com/maps/d/drive?s…
I organized the lanes in the map by hours, with layers for 24/7 lanes, lanes that are only in effect in the peak direction, lanes in effect only during both peaks, and lanes in effect between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. I also included scrapped plans for lanes and removed lanes. ImageImageImage
This only map I found of all the city's bus lanes was on the DOT website, but was taken down in the last few days. web.archive.org/web/2020053013… It was out of date, and did not include dozens of lanes as part of Select Bus Service. It also didn't list the hours they were in effect.
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