Author: Erin Zimmerman (Erin Zimmerman)

Zimmerman: Want a recession-resistant job? Go green

The Inflation Reduction Act is expected to create over half-a-million new jobs in the renewable energy sector. In a recent interview with LinkedIn’s Head of Sustainability Peggy Brannigan, she notes that green skills are a great way to secure an in-demand, well-paying position in today’s job market. Brannigan has a lot of evidence back this...

Zimmerman: The sheriff’s election—less crime with green jobs training

Green jobs training for incarcerated individuals has the potential to reduce recidivism, offer people a way out of the justice system and provide employers with much-needed skilled workers. It is up to the new Santa Clara County sheriff, who will be elected in November, to take advantage of this opportunity. Green jobs can rehabilitate individuals...

Zimmerman: San Jose needs to stand up for its climate goals

Almost two years ago, the San Jose City Council passed landmark legislation banning the use of natural gas in new residences, becoming the largest city in the nation to do so. Shortly after, councilmembers considered additional legislation banning natural gas in commercial properties. In the eleventh hour, at the behest of Bloom Energy, an exemption...

Zimmerman: What’s in a name? Methane vs. ‘natural’ gas

I remember back in the early 90s my father replaced our electric stove with a gas version. It was a big investment for our family, and I remember being proud when my father explained we were doing it because natural gas was better for the environment. At the time, my grasp of environmentalism meant turning...

Zimmerman: San Jose takes an electrifying step forward

Last month, the San Jose City Council voted to adopt the Framework for Existing Building Electrification as a step toward reducing the climate-destabilizing use of “natural” gas. All councilmembers joined Mayor Sam Liccardo in approving the framework, except Councilmember Dev Davis, who voted against it, and Councilmember Maya Esparza who was absent. The framework lays...

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.”...

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