Council briefed on city’s carbon footprint, says no to videotaping committee meetings

1373
37
A graphic explaining the Greenhouse Effect, courtesy of Environmental Science Associates.

The Edmonds City Council got back to business on Wednesday, hearing during its first meeting of 2019 a report on the city’s greenhouse gas emissions along with a brief overview of possible community changes to reduce those emissions — all with the goal of minimizing global warming.

Citizens will have a chance to learn more details about the inventory and possible changes to reduce emissions during an open house Jan. 17 in City Hall’s third-floor Brackett Room, starting at 6:30 p.m. You can see the entire report here.

Led by Councilmember Mike Nelson, the council passed a resolution in 2017 that called for an inventory of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions trap heat in the atmosphere and are the cause of current climate change. Such an inventory is also known as a carbon footprint.

The inventory presented Tuesday night by consultant Mark Johnson of Environmental Science Associates measured a range of greenhouse gas emissions, from residential buildings to transportation to waste generation. It also covered greenhouse gases produced through household consumption, with the largest impact coming from products imported from outside the city — in particular, from other countries, Johnson said.

The inventory took a look at the year 2017 because that is the most current year for which annual figures are available.

One of the next tasks — and one that will be discussed both during the Edmonds Mayor’s Climate Protection Committee meeting on Jan. 3 and at the Jan. 17 open house — will be recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The goal, Johnson said, is to focus on a “science-based target” that remains constant. As an example, he noted that the Paris Accord on climate change calls for keeping the increase in global average temperature to a maximum of 2.0 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Revolution levels (from about 1760 to around 1840), although the Paris accord has an even lower “pursue” target of 1.5.

The bottom line: a lower desired temperature increase (for example, 1.0 degrees vs. 2.0 degrees) means a higher annual rate of greenhouse gas reduction to reach it.

Pointing to a chart that showed three different target reductions, Johnson noted that all of them are science based. “It’s a matter of choice for your community to figure out which one (of those targets) fits best with your values,” Johnson said.

Johnson also outlined some of the local implications for global warming: By the year 2100, with no further action, average summertime temperatures here would be the same as in Orange County, Calif. — 81 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 70 degrees we now experience, Johnson said.

In addition, as a waterfront community Edmonds would be affected by sea level rise caused by melting ice caps, he explained.

Based on the inventory results and future discussion, the council over the next few months will consider potential policies, programs and actions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The city will also be identifying systems for tracking emissions in the future.

In other action, the council — down to five members with the absence of Councilmembers Kristiana Johnson and Neil Tibbott — also had a lengthy discussion on a topic raised by Councilmember Mike Nelson a few months ago: Whether to begin videotaping city council committee meetings.

Nelson has said he believes all council committee meetings should be on video, in the interest of transparency. Currently, council committee meetings are held simultaneously in separate rooms in the Public Safety Complex, with no video available. Audio recordings are made and notes are taken, although the recordings are not available live and have to be requested via a formal public records request.

On Tuesday night, Nelson shared that city staff estimated it would cost approximately $16,200 in one-time costs to add cameras to the two rooms currently used for committee meetings, plus a few thousand dollars for maintenance. Staff costs to operate the cameras could be required, although it’s likely councilmembers could perform that task since no camera switching is required.

A discussion ensued about whether the current system of audio recording was sufficient. Councilmember Diane Buckshnis argued that it was, stating that she had “no interest” in pursuing video recordings.

“It’s much ado about nothing,” Buckshnis said. “I feel it’s unnecessary because audio is just as transparent as video and we’ve had no complaints, no lawsuits.”

Councilmember Dave Teitzel asked City Clerk Scott Passey if the audio recordings could be made available on demand for citizens to access, and Passey replied he wasn’t certain the city’s current computer network would allow for that function. Passey did say, however, that he could make the recordings available to those who requested them, by the next day.

In the end, the council defeated Nelson’s motion to pursue the video recording idea on a 2-3 vote, with Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas supporting Nelson and Councilmembers Buckshnis, Teitzel and Tom Mesaros voting against.

Current Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas with 2017 Council President Mike Nelson.

Also on Tuesday night, in her role as 2018 Council President Fraley-Monillas shared a lengthy list of council appointments to various committees, boards and commissions. We’ll include a listing of those appointments in the next day.

Finally, Fraley-Monillas read a proclamation thanking 2017 Council President Mike Nelson for his service.

— By Teresa Wippel

 

 

 

 

37 Replies to “Council briefed on city’s carbon footprint, says no to videotaping committee meetings”

  1. How can anyone stop a carbon foot print? Global warming?
    You understand there are as many scientists debunking this theory as there are ones for it. Going from plastic bags to paper is called recycling and we have been doing it for decades. Recycling is good. Taxing the people, forcing more laws in the name of global warming is bad. (Well, good for the many people who made billions from it. Ask Al Gore.) I’m all for recycling, not littering, cleaning up the area we live in. But to me the real issues are: forest fires. Are we keeping the forest beds clean? No. It’s kindling for the fires. But it’s so much easier to say its global warming? (Meaning we are helpless and need more taxes.). Mark my words…when council starts talking carbon footprint it’s really mimicking Seattle to put in a Carbon Tax. Which failed already but they will bring it back under another name. (Something to do with seniors or children, usually works that way.)

    Ignored

    1. That is not true. It is not debunked. 97% of scientists agree global warming is man made. It has followed the exact path as projected by Exon Mobile in the ’70’s. Those who deny it are paid by energy companies to try and blind people from the truth so the billionaires can keep their money factories flowing.
      Don’t be chump.
      https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

      Ignored

  2. This is a pile of crap…quit chasing rainbows and unicorns and deal with the fiscal issues of Edmonds!

    Ignored

  3. Imagine the increase in our carbon footprint if the videotaping had been approved. Those cameras are manufactured with plastic parts, and would be installed using electricity or batteries by technicians driving fossil-fueled vehicles. After the informative session I can’t believe the vote was so close!

    If Edmonds can affect the course of global climate change, is it too late to change my answers to the sign survey? We should go for the big arch variety broadcasting that you are now entering Reno-Northwest: the other biggest little city in the world!

    Ignored

    1. Brian, that is funny!!
      The sad part, you are spot on. These Public Servants love to think they are in charge of a really big machine.
      The “Bowl”, overflowith with political egos.

      Ignored

  4. Climate Change has always existed. The great news for the planet is that plants were suffocating due to geological co2 sequestration, but thanks to Co2 emissions the planet is getting greener. The science clearly shows that increased greenhouse gasses mostly just causes the tropical region to get wider and more dense, with there being practically no correlation between global temperature and CO2, which is great seeing how tropical land conversion is a real crisis and trees need all the co2 they can get to grow. Note how the Paris Accord is playing out in Paris.

    Ignored

  5. I cannot attend the meeting but want to raise a big issue with our emissions : food. Please take a look at this link and do research for other sources below for the science and numbers. Ask our restaurants to offer even more plant based options. You arent forcing anyone to change, but offering and encouraging. I urge Edmonds leaders to do the right thing.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/04/animal-agriculture-choking-earth-making-sick-climate-food-environmental-impact-james-cameron-suzy-amis-cameron

    Thanks

    Ignored

    1. Not having a dog is an easy way to reduce ones ecological impact. Not a lot of vegetarian dogs out there, pets eating more than 30% of our nation’s meat. 1-20th of landfill mass is dog poop in plastic bags.

      Ignored

      1. Regarding all the various comments about climate change, pet waste, meat consumption, whether our city should be involved with this, etc. — I encourage you to watch the video presentation from last night’s meeting, including council questions and answers, as many of these topics were discussed. Going to the Jan. 17 open house and asking questions would also be helpful for those who want more information. Video link is here: http://edmondswa.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=2704&Format=Agenda

        Ignored

        1. Mark Johnson’s presentation was difficult to watch. The thesis is that there’s a known optimum temperature of the planet and it was 100 years ago, 1.2 degrees cooler than it is today. The biggest point worth saying and tabling for now is the fact that taking the planet’s temperature is an evolving science, in that there were no thermometers everywhere 100 years ago, and ocean temperatures are very rough calculations with practical measurement being a developing science. Considering the fact that the earth has been warming long prior to human activity, which is intuitive considering the earth is leaving the Little Ice Age, why is 2 degrees cooler the chosen optimal temperature? Why not 8 degrees cooler or 4 degrees warmer? Say, hypothetically, municipal governments could ban together a stop climate change altogether… isn’t that unnatural? Doesnt our ecosystem require climate change? Why was the planet so often much colder when there was more CO2 than today? Unlike temperature, we know from science that theres an optimum CO2 level for plant and animal life on earth, and its 1200-1500ppm, so why is +400ppm a bad thing? Paris is walking away from the Paris Accord but it’s a priority for our city council?

          Look at the global warming prior to human activity:
          https://muchadoaboutclimate.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/blog4_temp.png

          Ignored

  6. Well this beats the Edmonds City Council addressing much more mundane issues such fixing broken sidewalks, filling pot holes,Policing,minor zoning variances,and managing budgets and tax increases. I guess the Council Positions get boring quickly.

    Ignored

    1. Allen, Your comments are why I wish the thumbs up weren’t scuttled. Even sensitive people on college campuses and poetry jams allow snapping of figures in approval.

      Ignored

    2. Come on Allen, how can they fix the pathetic sidewalks when the Mayor of little Edmonds, a small tiny town of 40,000 citizens gets paid a salary, not including his yearly CPI adjusters, which is equal to more than one quarter of what the President of the United States gets paid ($400,000.00 per year).
      Don’t expect anything legal or logical from this City:
      Illuminated lighting as “Art” embedded into the roads, in direct violation of Federal Regulations. They intentionally violated the MUTCD manual, placing citizens lives in danger. They did not even bother to apply for FHWA “experimentation approval” on their illegal (RPM) ego project. Even the manufacture of the RPM’s in their brochure, only shows them as being used in sidewalks, never in a road surface. Yet, City Hall loves to tell every citizen how they are such a “legal” entity, and they know best. Citizens know nothing.
      Ed!, the failed business improvement district in Edmonds, a tax placed against downtown business owners for being in business by the City, using falsified documents, and lies.
      Our own local politician in Olympia, who loves the liberal policies of Olympia and Seattle. Never enough regulations or taxes. The Homeless are not a problem in his– gated community.

      Edmonds leaders never meet a new way to tax people, or a new regulations they didn’t like (legal or not).
      Remove them all from office.

      And as matter of fact, not belief, the earth has gone thru multiple warm and ice age cycles, spanning millions of years.
      The cave man must have caused the first warming cycle by his “carbon-footprint” from his cave fires.

      Ignored

      1. The Mayor of the City of Edmonds is, by any reasonable measure, not over paid. And I do not know of any local politician who lives in a gated community. Who are you referring to?

        Ignored

        1. Of course Ron, you contributed to his campaign to be elected, just like the $ 10,000.00 that came from Chicago to finance his election.
          Do your homework Ron:
          Denver, with just over 600,000 people, pays its mayor $172,000. Compare that to San Antonio, Texas, which, with a population of over one million, was only paying its mayor $4,040 until 2015 when voters agreed to increase it to $61,725 per year.\
          In comparison to Mayors, Earling is way over paid.
          Strom lives in a gated community, so Ron, you are correct, “you do not know”.
          You should do your DD before you comment.

          Ignored

        2. Here Ron, are some more examples of how overpaid Earling is:
          Columbus, OH – $173,000
          Philadelphia, PA – $218,000
          New York City – $225,000 (Population of 5-6 million)
          Los Angeles – $238,000 (Population of multi-millions of people)
          San Francisco – $289,000 (highest paid U.S. mayor)

          No Ron, as you can see, Earling is paid far to much, but then he is the one who restarted the compensation board to raise his own salary. What a great gig !!
          I think I will run for the position.

          Ignored

  7. One house next to me was removed and 6 houses will be built in its place. Please fill me in on how Edmonds cares about climate change?

    Ignored

    1. If we don’t care about climate change part of Edmonds will be under water! And eventually the planet and future generations will suffer (some are already). Look at species going extinct etc. With minor changes to our lives we can make a whole world of difference, literally!

      Ignored

        1. Clearly Earth has its natural tendencies, I’m referring to human impact and it’s negative consequences.

          Ignored

        2. Understood. So far, the objective result of human CO2 emissions is an overwhelming positive.
          https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth

          That said, there are real issues regarding too much land conversion and loss of biodiversity. There are other human emissions, such as Methane, which are a problem, but CO2 is not bad. Science clearly shows there is no macro correlation between CO2 and global temp, but the warmer the planet the bigger/wider the tropic region gets. A warmer planet with more CO2 would give us more tropical forests. Yet, it’s just as likely the planet will get cooler, regardless of recent beneficial CO2 increases.
          https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1600/0*3Vm0copgT8K-pcRm.gif

          Ignored

  8. Best way to stop ocean filling with plastic stop drinking bottled water. How many of you that are all for carbon tax etc…drink bottled plastic water in bottles. We used glass bottles and recycled.

    Ignored

  9. Personally, I’ve found the best way to combat climate change in Edmonds is to leave in the winter when it’s cold and wet most of the time. Oh, wait a minute, that’s weather not climate. Got a little confused on that for a minute, just like our fearless orange haired leader. Think I’ll put on my shorts and head outside where it’s heading toward 70 today.

    Ignored

  10. On Edmonds being under water–when I was a kid in Edmonds, a good share of the bowl of Edmonds was underwater. They still had some of the old dike from Edmonds early days left to hold the water back.

    Ignored

  11. Mr. Malgarin:
    The geographic area that’s relevant when comparing salaries is the Puget Sound and South Snohomish County cities.
    Strom Peterson does not live in a gated community.

    Ignored

    1. The irony worth pointing out [in a nice way] is that the whole Affordable Housing agenda argues that the entire city of Edmonds is a gated community, not affordable to those who make less than [say] the mayor. From an Equity perspective (another agenda the mayor professes a belief in) why not pay the mayor of a town the average household income of the town?

      Ignored

    2. Really?
      You can print a retraction after you invalidate your perpetual objections to my comments.
      Go check Ron.

      Ignored

    1. In the interest of keeping the facts straight, here’s the summary of what the city council-appointed compensation commission decided in 2017 about compensation for both the mayor and council: https://myedmondsnews.com/2017/09/edmonds-salary-commission-tuesday-recommend-raises-mayor-city-council/

      And here’s the background on why the council decided to reestablish the commission after disbanding it into 2014, and also more information about salaries:https://myedmondsnews.com/2016/11/council-re-establishes-salary-commission-receives-recognition-for-5-corners-roundabout/

      Ignored

      1. Thank you Teresa. It’s obviously not enough for some people to have their own opinions, they insist also on having their own facts.

        Now we need someone other than me to verify that Strom Peterson does not live in a gated community.

        Ignored

  12. Strom Peterson does indeed not live in a gated community. Mr. Wambolt please don’t waste your time here.

    Ignored

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *