March 30, 2014
Earth Hour forum to kick off Manhattan Beach’s vision for 100% renewable energy
Renewables 100 Policy Institute Founding Director Diane Moss, South Bay 350.org's Joe Galliani, and City of Manhattan Beach Environmental Programs Manager Sona Coffee
Manhattan Beach’s ambitious campaign comes at a time when scientists, politicians and citizens alike are waking up to the reality of global warming. A report released by the American Association for the Advancement of Science last week states that the planet’s temperature has climbed about 1.4 degrees since the late 1800s. If carbon emissions continue at this rate, calculations indicate global warming will rise to two degrees Celsius by 2036, a threshold that would cause irreversible damage on the climate.
“The evidence is overwhelming: levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are rising,” the report says. “Temperatures are going up. Springs are arriving earlier. Ice sheets are melting. Sea level is rising. The patterns of rainfall and drought are changing. Heat waves are getting worse as is extreme precipitation. The oceans are acidifying.”
Many policymakers and environmentalists believe that the switch from fossil fuel dependence to renewable sources — such as solar, wind and hydro power — is inevitable. It’s a matter of when, not if, and the team’s effort sets Manhattan Beach at the forefront of environmental initiatives.
MB 2025 is backed by the Renewables 100 Policy Institute, which works with cities across the country to make the transition from fossil fuel to 100 percent renewable energy. The latest city to make the pledge is Palo Alto. No city in the Los Angeles area has yet signed on.
“Change is slow,” Galliani said. “We are in a civilization right now that is set up for fossil fuel use. It takes some effort to get to this point.”