Butte County Climate Crisis Resolution

RESOLUTION ENDORSING THE DECLARATION OF A CLIMATE CRISIS AND REQUESTING REGIONAL COLLABORATION ON AN IMMEDIATE JUST TRANSITION AND EMERGENCY MOBILIZATION EFFORT TO RESTORE A SAFE CLIMATE

WHEREAS, in April 2016 world leaders from 175 countries recognized the threat of climate change and the urgent need to combat it by signing the Paris Agreement, agreeing to keep warming “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”, and

WHEREAS, the death and destruction already wrought by global warming of approximately 1°C demonstrate that the Earth is already too hot for safety and justice as attested by increased wildfires, floods, rising seas, diseases, droughts and extreme weather; and

WHEREAS, the United States of America has disproportionately contributed to the climate and ecological crises by its combustion of fossil fuels and has repeatedly obstructed global efforts to transition toward a sustainable economy, and thus bears an extraordinary responsibility to rapidly solve these crises; and

WHEREAS, severe rainfall in February 2017 across northern and central California resulted in at least five deaths and an estimated $1.5 billion in damage U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather & Climate Disasters 1980-2018 (see CA Flooding); this accelerated the structural faults in design and construction, damaged the Oroville Dam spillway, and resulted in a multi-day evacuation of 188,000 residents (see the Independent Forensic Team Report on the Oroville Dam Spillway Incident); and

WHEREAS, The state’s deadliest fire ever was also the world’s costliest catastrophe in 2018. The Camp fire, which killed at least 86 people and destroyed 14,000 homes, was the costliest last year, at $16.5 billion in losses, including $12.5 billion of insured losses. (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/california-camp-fire-costliest-disaster-2018_n_5c37b1b4e4b045f6768a484f) The environmental and human catastrophe caused by the Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, had a devastating effect on Butte County’s health and public safety, air and water quality, taxpayer funded infrastructure and services, economic base, and emotional toll of displaced individuals ; and

WHEREAS, restoring a safe and stable climate requires an emergency mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors at wartime speed, to rapidly and safely drawdown or remove all the excess carbon from the atmosphere, and to implement measures to protect all people and species from the consequences of abrupt climate change; and

WHEREAS, in developing and carrying out the emergency mobilization to restore a safe climate, justice requires the active consultation, participation with, and benefits for communities that have historically borne the brunt of the fossil fuel extractive economy; and

WHEREAS, education pertaining to the well-being of the earth’s environment and the potential adverse impacts of human activity on the environment in Butte County K-12 schools is critical to building a society that provides clean air, water and nutritional food and values the well being of all life on earth; and

WHEREAS, the Butte County Board of Supervisors can act as a global leader by both converting to an ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable economy at emergency speed, and by catalyzing a unified regional just transition and climate emergency mobilization effort this year.

NOW BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, Butte County declares that a climate crisis threatens our cities, region, state, nation, civilization, humanity and the natural world; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Butte County endorses a countywide just transition and climate emergency mobilization effort to reverse global warming, which, with appropriate financial and regulatory assistance from the State and Federal authorities, ends countywide greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible and immediately initiates an effort to safely draw down carbon from the atmosphere; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Butte County commits to educating our residents about the climate crisis and working to catalyze a just transition and climate emergency mobilization at the local, state, national, and global levels to protect our residents as well as all the people and species of the world; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Butte County commits to curriculum in K-12 education that addresses, as in the Next Generation Science Standards, the science of climate to include the adverse impacts of fossil fuels and human activity related to extraction and consumption, on the earth’s environment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Butte County underscores the need for full community participation and support, and recognizes that the residents of Butte County, and many community organizations, labor, environmental justice, economic justice, and racial justice organizations will be integral to the mobilization effort; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Butte County commits to keeping the concerns of vulnerable communities central to all just transition and climate emergency mobilization planning processes and to inviting and encouraging such communities to actively participate in order to advocate directly for their needs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Butte County calls on the State of California, United States of America, and all governments and peoples worldwide to initiate a just transition and climate emergency mobilization effort to reverse global warming, which immediately halts the development of all new fossil fuel infrastructure, rapidly phases out all fossil fuels, transitions to regenerative agriculture, ends greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible, initiates an effort to safely draw down carbon from the atmosphere, and provides high-quality, good-paying jobs for those who will be impacted by this transition.