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DUANE PAUL MURPHY, San Clemente

Climate change is real, and humans are responsible for the ever-growing ecological collapse of our own natural world.

As a result of excess greenhouse gas emissions disrupting climatic systems worldwide, summers are getting hotter, falls or autumns are getting dryer, winters are getting colder, and springs are getting wetter, as well as sea levels rising at unprecedented rates and wildfires becoming worse and far more damaging.

Furthermore, land pollution poisons natural habitats for wildlife and all other lands for agricultural uses, water pollution disrupts natural habitats for marine life, as well as water for drinking and hygiene; air pollution is making it harder to breathe, and noise pollution is disturbing physical surrounding peace and serenity.

While recycling more waste, having energy efficient appliances, and using less plastic are modest or decent steps one individual could take personally, we as a communal collective, collaborative, and cooperative society need fundamental, revolutionary and radical drastic systemic changes to our almost entire ways of utilizing energy and resources to preserve our own natural environments for our generations and future generations to come.

That is why San Clemente needs a municipal-level Green New Deal to combat the climate crisis and all other environmental issues during this decade before the 2030s, or we will all be at a point of no return.

This municipal Green New Deal must include a 100% transition toward renewable energy in the form of offshore hydroelectricity, waste-to-energy, biomass energy, wind power, and solar power; localized democratic ownership of the energy power grid systems; banning all non-biodegradable materials; a 100% transition toward energy-efficient and environmentally friendly infrastructure that is resistant to artificial sounds, as well as natural disasters; banning all toxic chemical pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides; embracing high-density housing policies; getting more personal vehicles such as cars off roads; banning gas-powered lawn or yard equipment; and public investment in clean fare-free public transportation, as well as expanded ridesharing programs.

If we act between now and the end of the decade, San Clemente can lead the way toward a better and greener future.

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