Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pulling the City Together

For the first time in decades a major environmental crisis has actually united our squabbling political parties at the national level. While they may support a differing range of policy solutions, all of the leading candidates for president, Republican and Democrat, agree on one thing: human induced climate change is a real threat to our nation's resources and economy.

Next month President Bush will be hosting a meeting of the world's industrial nations on this very issue. Governor Schwarzenegger has put the State of California at the forefront in responding to the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Both of our Senators and our local Congresswoman are supporting the effort (and also leading this) to address climate change.

Our Mayor has joined with hundreds of other mayors across the nation to show that cities can take a lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Now our City Council together with the City's Visual Art in Public Places Committee and Historical Landmarks Commission agree: it is time to allow a public art statement on this vital issue.

Most people living in Santa Barbara grew up somewhere else. We've all settled here for a reason: Santa Barbara is a fantastic place to live. We love the waterfront and the recreation and beauty of our coastline. We may have come from a thousand other places but we share a common future: the future of Santa Barbara. The lightblueline art project is our community's way of showing we care about Santa Barbara's future. We want to help protect our waterfront resources for future generation.

When we decorate the street we challenge ourselves to get real about climate change. We stand on this possible future coastline and say to each other, "this is not the future we will leave our great-grandchildren."

Stopping global warming will not be easy. It will not be inexpensive. But the cost of not stopping global warming is far more expensive. Painting a decoration on the street announces we understand why each of us has to do our part to stop global warming. As a city we must pull together in our response to climate change. Fortunately we have real leaders on the City Council. Together we can protect Santa Barbara's future.

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