Author: Erin Zimmerman (Erin Zimmerman)

Zimmerman: Drought and heat stress California’s infrastructure

The heat this past weekend was a reminder that California’s weather is changing—and we are in a hot-zone. Parts of California, including San Jose, are actually warming faster than the global average and some parts have already reached the 2 degrees Celsius cutoff cited by scientists as the point of no return. California’s infrastructure isn’t...

Zimmerman: How to talk about climate change

The single biggest contribution you can make to combat climate change is to talk about it. The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication poll shows 72% of people think the climate is changing, and that the consequence will likely be negative on plants, animals and future generations. Despite this, an even larger number of people—up to...

Zimmerman: The importance of environmental literacy

For decades, educators and legislators have failed students regarding environmental education. California’s Environmental Literacy Task Force noted in 2015 that, “K-12 students in California do not currently have consistent access to adequately funded, high-quality learning experiences, in and out of the classroom, that build environmental literacy.” The lack of education on climate change, and the...

Zimmerman: Take time to celebrate climate victories

One important aspect of environmentalism is knowing when to take a break. News feeds are dire right now, and without diminishing the gravity of contemporary events, we need a win. So, I am taking this opportunity to highlight some good environmental news. The world, the United States and the residents of San Jose—and our elected...

Zimmerman: San Jose needs your help tackling climate change

San Jose recently announced that it is aiming for carbon neutrality in 2030, instead of a goal for 2050 as other cities are setting. This gives the city eight short years to change habits and policies that people have developed over many decades. Unsurprisingly, when asked if I thought this goal was achievable, I answered “no.”...

Zimmerman: San Jose’s solar threatened by new utility rules

On Jan. 27, California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will vote on a revised set of rules applying to Net Energy Metering (NEM 3.0). If you care about climate change, are considering investing in solar or are one of the approximately 28,500 Net Energy Metering customers in San Jose, NEM 3.0 will impact you. Under current...

Zimmerman: San Jose’s trees improve human health and save money

Anyone who has ever read “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein knows humans take for granted the benefits and gifts of the trees around us. We underestimate how they impact our lives and the weight of our responsibility to protect them. It seems like, finally, we are learning how important trees are, not only to...

Zimmerman: Taking action after a useless U.N. climate conference

It is a surprise to no one—or no one familiar with climate diplomacy—that the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) has failed to produce a significant agreement on addressing the climate crisis. As it stands, mankind will not limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In the unlikely event that countries stick to all the agreements...

Zimmerman: Car crashes and climate change

Years ago, I was in a car accident. I remember looking over and seeing the other car right before it hit me. I knew the crash was going to happen, I knew that things were going to be bad, I just didn’t know how bad. Time slowed down and I recall a moment of utter...

Zimmerman: What the findings of the U.N. climate report mean for San Jose

The Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released last month. Since its release, the report has been lauded and derided, but its significance cannot be dismissed. The intergovernmental panel is not a political body and the report is not a political document. Rather, it is an amalgamation of the...

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