Category Archives: Sierra Club

Letter from Sacramento – New Year’s Resolutions

Kathryn Phillips, Director, Sierra Club California

We’re less than three weeks from the end of this year and this decade. The approaching year end makes me start thinking about resolutions.

I love resolutions. Especially if I’m not the one forced to keep them.

So to indulge my resolution-making delight, without bearing the burden of resolution-breaking guilt, I decided to make a few resolutions for others.

For Governor Gavin Newsom: Resolve to end your unhealthy bromance with the Westlands Water District and the State Water Contractors. Those dudes keep trying to lead you down a dark tunnel where only bad things happen.

For the biomass incineration industry: Resolve to stop pretending you are a clean renewable energy source. You’re not. You simply smoke too much. There are better ways to deal with brush and dead trees (read our report here for ideas).

For Sierra Pacific Industries, the biggest private logging company in California: Resolve to be a little less greedy. You don’t need to cut all the trees in the forest, and especially not all at once. Clearcutting is unbecoming.

For PG&E: Resolve to do better. At everything. Fast.

For the solar energy industry: Resolve to get along with organized labor. We hate being stuck in the middle while our friends argue with each other.

For truck manufacturers
: Resolve to follow the leaders, like BYD and Volvo. Go electric.

For the California Air Resources Board: Resolve to resist intimidation and keep pushing technology to improve and polluters to clean up. Lots of slings and arrows are flying your way, especially from DC and from one particularly grumpy state legislator. California’s breathers are depending on you to stay strong.

For road improvement planners
at city, county and state transportation agencies: Resolve to completely embrace complete streets. That cyclist who needs a safe lane could be your kid.

For the methane gas industry: Resolve to get real. You aren’t a bridge, you are a problem. The sooner you realize that, you’ll be happier and find other work.

For environmental advocates everywhere: Resolve to have shorter conference calls, less often.

For Sierra Club members
: Resolve to volunteer in a political campaign. The outcome of the 2020 election will profoundly affect the planet. Walk precincts. Work phone banks. Write postcards. Any and all of these activities will affect what we are as a state and country and whether we can move forward and do better for everyone.

For everyone: Resolve to get outdoors more. Including during the holidays. Reach out to your local chapter for outing opportunities.

Peace to all of you. See you in the next decade.