I wanted to shout with excitement and gratitude for the clear-eyed truth of a recent article by Julie Titone (“Bill would add climate-change factors to state planning law,” The Herald, March 11. This story gets to the heart of the issue right away: We don’t see climate change as the biggest issue. Transportation headaches, that’s our real nightmare.
Yup: Transportation, commuting hassles, delays, delays, delays. All that precious time siphoned away from productive activity.
Meanwhile, the intractable and imminent reality of climate change advances inexorably upon us while we cling to memories of the familiar, comfortable past. The tsunami of climate-related disasters has already begun to wash over our little settlement in North America. Review the climate calamities of 2020 summarized by Scientific American at http://bit.ly/38vl9Mr for the partial toll.
If we can manage to shift our focus just a bit, as HB 1099 begins to do, we can make progress toward reducing the transportation hassles as we simultaneously embrace and begin the huge task of recalibrating our lives and communities to the world-to-come, and give our grandchildren a chance to inhabit a still-green earth.
To assert this is “not the right tool” — isn’t it obvious that there is no “right tool”? — this challenge will demand all our resources. The real problem is continued inaction, on endless plausible grounds. For those who fear worsening the housing crisis: We can address that crisis without increasing sprawl and worsening fire risk and loss of precious canopy and agricultural land.
Best of all, I think, the last line of the article brings it home beautifully: “updated GMA would require planners to consider not just mass transit and roads, but sidewalks too.”
Co-chair, Green Snohomish