In response to Van Collinsworth who wrote:

Van Collinsworth wrote on May 29, 2007 8:06 AM:

Citizens and environmental leaders need to help politicians prioritize environmental stewardship/action. When the public is able to focus, politicians follow. What are our priorities on global warming? Here is one policy action that can have major impact: Change state law; require utilities to purchase excess solar energy produced by homeowners at the lowest tier rate. There becomes incentive (not only to offset demand) but to become power producers of clean energy.

Van — as my last post covered, I think we need to approach the environmental battle from the bottom-up and top-down. I agree the public and environmental leaders must “help politicians prioritize environmental stewardship/action.” As much as I’d like to see more leadership from our elected officials, I also recognize that it will be made a lot easier if and when the environmental community in San Diego (and nationally) is stronger and more unified and the public is more engaged.

However, we face a catch-22, where it is sometimes hard to engage the public if our “leaders” don’t lead. With most people working too hard to pay rent or the mortgage, put food on the table and gas in the car, and cover ever-increasing medical costs, it is difficult to mobilize the public on environmental issues. I do think most people now recognize how critical environmental stewardship is to our long-term survival, but these issues often do not fit into people’s short-term needs. As much as we try to mobilize and empower the public — and nothing speaks more to that than the 10,000 volunteers Coastkeeper and our partners recruit annually for beach cleanups, water monitoring, and habitat restoration — it would be nice to see our leaders (elected, community and business) start to make the long-term needs of our community (namely, the environment) priority No. 1. 


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