Our View: Making those hard decisions

The Santa Clarita City Council’s discussion of climate change at its most recent meeting was both interesting and frustrating.

At Councilman Cameron Smyth’s urging, council members had before them a draft of a letter that would be sent to our US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris and Representative Steve Knight that in essence supported any efforts that they may undertake to address climate change as they represent us in Washington.

Sounds pretty simple because as Smyth said a healthy environment isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, it’s a people issue.

But watching this portion of the council meeting, one could not help but notice that once again politics just may have been creeping into the issue after all.

Councilman Bob Kellar clearly showed that he thought the letter was a waste of time and questioned whether climate change exists or not. He also said that businesses get hurt over excessive environmental regulations.

The discussion then turned to what seemed to be a watering down of the letter so as to not give our federal representatives a blank check of support to negotiate onerous regulations in their efforts to fight climate change.

Also, the council spent way too much time grappling with the issue of who should sign the letter—the full council or just the mayor or maybe just the mayor and mayor pro tem.

Really? What are they afraid of?

Finally, the council instructed staff to rework the letter and add all the efforts the city has undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including the purchase of 9,500 acres of open space.

The city should be commended for its efforts in this area. That’s why it was puzzling that the council would struggle with sending out a letter supporting efforts to protect the environment. Either acknowledge existence of climate change and support efforts to combat it or don’t. There’s no halfway on this issue.

We expect our elected officials to make decisions and show leadership. Some people will agree with them, others won’t.

The council will get the letter back at their next meeting and hopefully approve it and send it off.

Kudos to Councilman Smyth for his forward thinking on this issue and for pushing it.

This post was last modified on January 26, 2018 5:12 pm

View Comments (5)

  • Why so pompous Editorial Board?
    "Either acknowledge existence of climate change and support efforts to combat it or don’t. There’s no halfway on this issue."
    The only Climate created is a "Climate of Fear, Climate of Suspicion" by those clinging to false data and a corrupt scientific community publishing whatever false flags garner the largest Grants, prestiges scholarships or for luxurious junkets.
    There are just as many PHD's whose voices are silenced by opinion establishment media that believe the earth's atmosphere is always, naturally changing, that climate and it's changes on earth are more directly related to solar flares and sun spots than any changes a collective group of humanity can create. The Paris Climate accord had no more constitutional standing than the currency of the Confederate State of America.
    Can Humans control the frequency of earthquakes? the Location fault lines?, Can Humans control the geothermal activity of magma under old Volcanos and unknown new magma spewing domes? Yet we believe we can control the atmosphere? that which is created by our one star?,
    Plants thrive in an environment rich in carbon dioxide. This planet has seen ice ages, mini Ice ages and HOT times without human intervention It would be pompous to think otherwise.. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/climate-qa/whats-hottest-earths-ever-been. Leave the City Council alone, let them focus on the business at hand espousing open space, clean water, traffic management, refuse management and good schools for our families, That is what "local" government is for, nothing more, nothing less, I believe this is why Santa Clarita has been successful since 1987 and god willing, can continue to do so in the future without the distraction of some faulty science activists.

  • The Signal missed the real story behind this council agenda item. Each individual councilmember meet behind closed doors with local activist Cher Gilmore who heads the local chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby. Citizens Climate Lobby has proposed a national carbon tax scheme. When council member Smyth proposed putting this on the agenda, it was for a discussion of climate change to placate Gilmore and members of CCL Instead, there was a letter written by a city staffer which presupposed that climate change is a serious threat. How did this happen is the real question. Who instructed an unknown city staffer to construct a letter for endorsement by the entire council. The letter is meant as another "fig leaf" for politicians to feel good about themselves. As for Open Space resulting in carbon emission reduction....how many tons of pollutants were released when Open Space areas Golden Valley, Wildwood Canyon, Rivendale, and East Walker Ranch went up in flames........There is no investigative or intellectual depth to The Signal's opinion piece. Their readers and this community deserve much better.

    • Is Ms. Gilmore still flacking her obsession to tax all economic activity in the USA?

      This isn't a productive use of taxpayer funded City Council and City resources.

      May I suggest something real like irrigation efficiency on City managed property?

  • "Either acknowledge existence of climate change and support efforts to combat it or don’t. There’s no halfway on this issue."

    False dichotomy.

    No one disputes that climate is changing and this reliably repeated "denier" straw man propaganda is risible nonsense.

    The City Council and SCV residents acknowledge that climate changes and we should focus on efficiency and adaption measures.

    Symbolic letters about government regulations are of little import. Every citizen in SCV has direct access to their representatives and the City Council isn't their Federal interlocutor.

  • I have an idea for the illustrious counsel: worry about pot holes and leave climate politics to the hysterics like Cher Gilmore. Oh, and in case anyone was wondering if I thought the climate was indeed changing, yes it is! 30 years ago it wasn't, but now apparently it is and it's something that concerns politicians who literally have no say so in it's political and economic outcome.

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