Global Warming & Environment

We are currently in a climate crisis. I have fought to put us on a path to 100% renewable energy. Now, we must make sure we actually achieve that goal.

My research on how the biosphere interacts with the atmosphere became a classic study that is still quoted today. Our world is getting hotter, our coastlines are receding, our wildfires are more frequent, and the warming of our oceans is negatively affecting marine life. As a former climate change scientist, my focus in elected office has been on ways to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the impacts of global warming both through legislation and reducing my own greenhouse gas emissions.

I practice a low energy lifestyle by taking the train to and from Sacramento, driving a hydrogen vehicle, and living within walking distance of BART and bus transit.

In 2006, while I was on the Hayward City Council, I requested a study of how to protect the Hayward shoreline against sea level rise. This study showed that the best way to protect Hayward was to protect and raise our marshes wherever possible. This approach was extended to the whole of the Bay Area and is now the preferred method of protecting against sea level rise. 

While serving as your Assemblymember, responding to the climate crisis has been my greatest passion. I worked with moderate Democrats and Republicans to craft a Cap and Trade Greenhouse Gases bill that had support from both the Chamber of Commerce and environmental groups. With this broad coalition, the bill passed with the necessary two-thirds vote. This program will be responsible for half of all California’s greenhouse gas reductions. 

I also co-authored Senate Bill (SB) 100, which established a landmark policy requiring 100% renewable energy for electricity by 2045. 

Currently, I am working on developing massive amounts of seasonal energy storage. We can only achieve 100% renewable energy by having large scale storage to get us through the winter months when solar energy is low. The primary candidates for seasonal storage are pumped hydro power and hydrogen storage. 

Following up on work I did in 2018 that requires the state to consider the impacts of climate change when planning for infrastructure improvements, I want to take a local and regional approach to climate change planning. A localized focus on climate adaptation will create plans that are appropriate for the dangers that different regions of California will face.