It's probably too late to stop a lot of the horrible effects of global warming (and it is definitely too late for the people of the Philippines, or New Orleans, or lower Manhattan, or Denver…), but we can at least try to minimize the destruction? That's the idea with UCLA's just-launched Thriving in a Hotter Los Angeles project--the goal is for "the Los Angeles region to use exclusively renewable energy and local water by 2050 while protecting biodiversity and enhancing quality of life." (A press release points out that "much of the region will be 4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit hotter by midcentury, with far more wildfires and 30 to 40 percent less snowfall in local mountains.") LA imports the majority of its water but has already gotten pretty good at conservation there; obviously the region relies heavily on fossil fuels, most critically in our transportation network. The university, which has already created a shorter-term plan for a more sustainable LA by 2021, plans to raise a bunch of money for research, put dozens of its experts to the task, then release a detailed plan for making LA completely sustainable by 2050--including new technologies and policy recommendations--in 2019. Then it'll be up to the government to make it happen.
Here are UCLA's goals with the project, in their words:
- A smart electrical grid that works with renewable energy sources, and smart metering systems that enable homes, businesses and electric cars to feed energy back into the system. More efficient energy production and storage technology.
- A carbon-free transportation infrastructure and public transit system, with greater options for bicyclists and pedestrians.
- Solar energy on every rooftop.
- A decentralized water treatment and supply system.
- More efficient and affordable technologies for capturing and cleaning wastewater, stormwater and other urban water.
- Developing environmentally friendly technologies for desalinating ocean water.
- Policies that encourage homeowners to use low-water landscaping, rainwater catchment systems, and systems to capture, purify and reuse graywater.
- An increased number of underpasses for wildlife and crossings to connect and enlarge wildlife habitats.
- Supporting native plants and animals with green rooftops, native gardens, neighborhood green spaces and other land-use strategies to break down barriers between urban and natural space.
· UCLA announces plan to tackle 'Grand Challenges,' starting with urban sustainability [UCLA]
· Plan to Tackle Climate Change in LA: 60 Percent of People Living Near Transit, Local Water, and More [Curbed LA]