WatchSonoma Watch

Santa Rosa likely to miss 2015 climate target



In 2005, Santa Rosa set two goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Santa Rosa's Old Courthouse Square. (PD FILE, 2004)

The first was to reduce its own emissions from municipal operations to 2000 levels by 2010.

The second was to reduce emissions citywide to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2015, one of the most aggressive targets in the nation.

The city government missed the first goal and the community is almost certain to miss the second, which is less than three years away.

But under a plan approved Thursday by the Planning Commission, city officials believe they should be able to reach that second goal by 2020.

“We’ve done pretty well, but we still have a ways to go,” said Gillian Hayes, the city planner who’s been working on the city’s Climate Protection Plan for two years.

The 231-page document is described as a “road map for reducing Santa Rosa’s communitywide emissions related to transportation, land use, energy, waste, water, and agriculture.”

The Planning Commission has met several times over the past two months to understand the plan and suggest changes to the policies it recommends.

The commission removed several items, such as a ban on leaf blowers, and softened many others, such as making many mandatory policies voluntary.

For example, the original plan called for requiring new businesses with more than 50 employees to subsidize their employees’ use of public transportation. Some business leaders noted that such a measure could prove a burden to new businesses, and the commission agreed to change the language to “encourage.”

Hayes said the commission softened its stance on many mandatory items after additional research of other voluntary or incentive-based programs already under way in the city showed they were proving effective.

PG&E’s rebate program that rewards consumers for purchasing energy-efficient appliances was “way bigger than we thought,” Hayes said.

An array of other voluntary programs such as the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program also are working well, and are helping put the city on track to meet the later 2020 goals, she said.

The commission “seems like they are trying to do the right thing for the environment and for businesses,” Hayes said.

The plan calculates that if the city implements all of the measures, Santa Rosa could reduce its total emissions 42 percent from 2007 levels by 2020. That’s well ahead of the state target of 15 percent.

A key element of the plan was to analyze the city’s existing emissions to set a starting point to which it could compare future years and gauge its progress. The plan set 2007 as that baseline.

The baseline showed that the single greatest area of greenhouse gas emissions in the city is associated, not surprisingly, with transportation, which accounts for 51 percent of the city’s total emissions. That was followed by residential energy use at 19 percent, non-residential energy use at 16 percent, and solid waste at 10 percent.

Overall, the study showed the city produced 1.32 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2e, in 2007. This figure excludes emissions from stationary sources such as factories because they are regulated by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

If the city and its residents did nothing to address the issue, meaning no local or regional regulations, that CO2e figure would grow to nearly 1.4 million tons in 2020 and 1.8 million tons by 2035, according to the study.

Various state programs, such as more fuel-efficient vehicles and green building standards, are expected to help the city reduce its 2007 emissions 5 percent by 2015 and 6 percent by 2020.

The single biggest hurdle preventing the city from reaching its goal by 2015 is the challenge of retrofitting buildings. There is no way the city could retrofit enough homes between now and 2015 to meet the goal. The plan now calls for 6,700 units to be retrofitted per year to improve efficiency by 30 percent.

Ann Hancock, head of the Santa Rosa-based Climate Protection Campaign, said she’s not surprised that Santa Rosa missed its initial targets. Other cities across the nation have also fallen short of such goals for many reasons, including the housing collapse and continued weak economy.

“The fact that we aren’t making the progress that we wanted to doesn’t mean the goals are irrelevant,” Hancock said. “It just means that it’s hard.”

The city has been an environmental leader for years, she said, and she hopes that commitment continues.

“Santa Rosa has an opportunity for climate protection leadership and this is a chance to be bold and do the right thing for future generations,” Hancock said.

The commission approved the plan with little discussion on a 5-0 vote. The plan next heads to the Santa Rosa City Council.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com.

31 Responses to “Santa Rosa likely to miss 2015 climate target”

  1. Jim Bennett says:

    It’s great to see that so many folks have spit out the green Kool-Aid.

    It would be different if these people’s beleif was benign.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.


    This is not a movie, where you are in the audience.

    It’s been said; ‘A slave is someone who waits for someone else to save them’.

    No one else is going to do it for you.
    Besides doing nothing holds no dignity,
    it feels like being at effect, rather than at cause of your own destiny.

    Make no mistake.
    The Agenda will incrementally reduce us to impoverished serfs.
    Your public servants are escalating it’s implementation.

    Yesterday concluded a two day national ‘Susainable Living’ ICLEI Conference.
    First day at St Fransis Winery, then at the Double Tree in R.P..
    Valerie, Jake and all the brainwashed minions are ‘proud’ and are absolutely giddy with the prospect of imposing this ill founed oppression on YOU.

    Forgive me, but sometimes our complacency
    strikes me as a kind societal autism.
    An inability to decern outside stimuli from our internal diologue.
    Internal dissent will only make your head bad, nothing else.
    Like a fuzzy line between observing the movie and being in it.

    Soon it will get so real, make such tangible changes in your life, and your choices, you’ll know you’re not in a movie.

    We have some tools in our tool shed too.
    Show up at City Council. Activate your civic responsibility.
    Meet a contentious, disagreeable character. Me.

    Even if it doesn’t work, we’ll be one of the cool kids at the gulog.

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  2. Reality Check says:

    “. . . we already can’t feed all the people on this planet.” What’s new about that?

    In fact, fewer people go hungry today than did several decades ago. Between 1960 and 2000 the world’s population doubled, while food production tripled. Isn’t it time to subject the Chicken Little predictions of Thomas Malthus and Paul Erhlich to some fact checking?

    Birthrates are falling all over the world, and are below the replacement rate in much of the developed world. The population of Italy, Spain, Japan, Russia and others will drop 20-30% in the next 2-3 decades. If anything, the issue will be having enough new workers to pay the pensions and health care promises of the welfare state.

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  3. Canthisbe says:


    At least we agree on one thing – but for different reasons -

    You say “It’s a done deal, and at this time even if we shut everything off it will continue”, in which case there is no reason for us to give the Global Warning fraudsters billions / trillions of $$$ that they demand and complete control over our economy and lives since, according to you, it will make no difference.
    I say there is no reason for us to give the Global Warning fraudsters billions / trillions of $$$ that they demand and complete control over our economy and lives since there is no AGW and even if there was, there are far better ways to spend billions / trillions than giving it to the Global Warning fraudsters.
    Either way, we agree there is no reason to give billions / trillions of $$$ that they demand and complete control over our economy and lives to the Global Warming fraudsters.
    And while I am not a Republican (or a Democrat) and do not speak for Republicans, I think what the majority of Republicans are saying is that the taxpayers should not have to pay for other peoples’ birth control. If the Republicans have forbidden people to use birth control, they have not been very successful. Neither has the Pope for that matter.

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  4. Skippy says:

    “I would say the best solution to slow it down is for people to use birth control. But we all know that that won’t happen. The Republicans forbid it.”
    Actually the best solution has been happening for 40 years.
    Roe/Wade legalized abortion, and the biggest supporters are liberals.
    They have exercised their “choice” so often that they are reproducing at a fraction of population replacement rate.
    Demography is destiny, and irony is a cruel mistress.
    The Catholics and Mormons will inherit the nation “whether you like it or not.”

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  5. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Canthisbe-anyone can find justification for pretty much anything on the net. It isn’t just islands disappearing and we already can’t feed all the people on this planet. Ocean currents are changing, weather is changing, snow and glaciers are disappearing in places like Patagonia, both the artic and antartic weather patterns are changing and ice is disappearing and so on. You can continue to bury your head in the sand, but the change is happening. It’s a done deal, and at this time even if we shut everything off it will continue.

    The overwhelming concensus out there is pretty much against your opinion.

    I would say the best solution to slow it down is for people to use birth control. But we all know that that won’t happen. The Republicans forbid it.

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  6. Canthisbe says:


    Islands are disappearing. Most people that think that man caused (anthropological) global warming – AGW – is a huge scam to steal trillions of dollars don’t disagree with this. But island are also appearing. Shifts in tectonic plates, hurricanes, tsunamis, erosion, changes in water tables, tides, volcanoes cause this to happen.
    Islands are not disappearing because of man made global warning.
    “Contrary to prevailing scientific opinion, a Climate Change conference organised by the University of Mumbai and the Liberty Institute, New Delhi, and INSTUCEN India study centre on Friday claimed that the sea levels were not rising and carbon dioxide did not pose a special threat to the climate. Sea levels in the Indian Ocean were not rising and cities like Mumbai, islands like Maldives or Tuvalu would not be affected at all, speakers stated.”
    Population growth will probably not be a problem.
    See http://overpopulationisamyth.com/
    If you seriously believe it will, the solution is not carbon cap and trade but getting a vasectomy and encouraging your fiends to do the same.
    The US has more forest land now than it did in 1920.
    “The US Agriculture Department says today America has 749 million acres of forest land. In 1920, we had 735 million acres of forest. Wait a second. Did you catch that? We have more forest now. How can we have more? Well, for one reason, technology now allows us to grow five times more food per acre, so we need less farmland. And so, lots of what once was farmland has reverted to forest.
    Furthermore, the greatest threat to forests is not rich people who want a fancy rare wood dinning room table. The greatest threat is millions of poor people who cut down forests for their firewood and to make room for crops because they do not have access to coal and oil and genetically modified crops to help them survive.
    Most people who see AGW as a huge scam are not anti-environment. They want a cleaner, richer world with abundant energy for everyone and believe in developing all types of energy in a reasoned, non-political way. They do not see slamming most of us back into the pre-industrial age while the main proponents of AGW (the Gores, the Clintons, the Kennedys, the Arnolds, the Redfords fly personal jets and ride in SUV convoys to go to resorts and give us lectures on how greedy we are.

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  7. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Raw-you must have missed my point. I’m a liberal, and a science major, and I definitely believe in global warming. Islands are always disappearing. It is not made up as most of the people who post here think.
    I just think it’s way too late to do anything about it. It’s way past there being any way to improve it. And I was being sarcastic about the rest, as I don’t expect the human race has a survival gene anywhere to found in our bodies. No change in our selfish self destructive behavior. Population growth will continue unabated beyond what this planet can support if we aren’t there already. The oceans are dying in many areas from our refuse and pollution and we don’t want to make changes that will stop it. We a cutting down forests which is where our oxygen is made.

    As you can see, I don’t have much hope for us long term because we don’t think in long term survival.

    On the other hand, with the oceans rising, I expect the old Santa Rosa lake bed to fill and I will have lake front property to enjoy.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  8. Steveguy says:

    “The 231-page document is described as a “road map for reducing Santa Rosa’s communitywide emissions related to transportation, land use, energy, waste, water, and agriculture.”

    The Planning Commission has met several times over the past two months to understand the plan and suggest changes to the policies it recommends. ”

    In other words ‘ A 231 page document that seeks to control just about everything’..

    Wow, just wow. and they still don’t understand it !

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  9. Grapevines says:

    How about if we just get the “Smoke Nazi’s” to just declare every day to be a “spare the air day?”

    No smoke, no fires, you can’t even take a breath (and if you do you can’t exhale), and if your in Sebastopol, don’t even think about firing up a leaf blower.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  10. Jim Bennett says:

    What we really have goin’ on is wilder than fiction.
    We have a globalist NGO which has insideously permeated OUR Government.
    Completely restructured everything,
    I do mean everything.
    Until recently our membership to ICLEI has been denied, much less voted on.
    We have our public officials skirting their oath in favor of an allegiance whose Agenda is socially engineered to crash everything we hold dear.
    Everything our Country was founded on, everything we are responsible to uphold.


    The reason, the excuse, is based on a contrived false science lie.
    They even know it.
    E-mail correspondence has been discovered to that effect (Climate Gate).
    The founding figures of ICLEI have socialist ties.
    Maurice strong being an international gangster, in exile.
    He’s in China, he should feel right at home.

    If this last ten years or so was in a book…
    we’d probably get about to the 9/11 part and cast the book aside as rubbish.

    Well, it’s time to get past the ‘shock and awe’ part.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  11. Canthisbe says:


    For your own peace of mind, you need to quit watching PBS (where they had a computer generated video of whales swimming over the tops of New York City’s sky scrappers to imply that if we don’t return to the stone age, that AGW will result in unbelievably catastrophic flooding) and read more. There are hundreds if not thousands of serious, intelligent articles available to explain that AGW is not happening and even if it is that allowing AGW alarmists to destroy our economy and transfer trillions of dollars to them to spend as they wish (mainly on nice meetings at expensive resorts and tourist locations like Copenhagen) is not the answer. They themselves have acknowledged that the AGW scam is not about global warming but about massive transfers of wealth from advanced industrial economies to them and poorer, backward countries.

    Here’s just one example:
    New source of climate warming: Wind farms

    The greatest threat to future generations is not AGW but that we allow liars and thieves like Al Gore and the UN to divert billions of dollars from intelligent development of our resources. The US is one of the leaders in using energy more efficiently and making the air cleaner because it has the economic resources to do so, not because it is tilting global warming windmills.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  12. Skippy says:

    “We might as well give up, pollute that air with impunity, and wait until there’s no more oil to burn when, hopefully, the quality of the air will get better and temperatures will go down. Of course, we may not be around then. The planet will abide and life will adjust better without us.”
    That, in a nutshell, is the perverse religion the Left has adopted. Mankind, alone among the creatures of the earth, is a noxious infection and the planet will be perfect again as soon as we are all dead.
    That explains so much about Leftists and their abiding anti-human philosophy.
    Why don’t they take the lead and show us by deed what needs to be done to save the planet?
    Or are they the only people worthy of life?

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  13. BigDogatPlay says:

    This action is a tacit statement by the city that they have figured out that the global warming hysteria is nothing more than a costly scam. Backing away from the sucking money grab in small increments is likely the best they could do at present without offending the uber-vocal greens and progressives who think they run things around here.

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  14. RAW says:

    Do not despair Mockingbird, it isn’t true. You don’t have to worry.
    Compared to the typical doomsday cult, the global warming cultists are better-educated and use the jargon of science to make their beliefs sound reasonable. The global warmers have the special advantage of generous government financing. Billions of dollars of government money is spent on climate research and low-carbon energy schemes. The money buys impressive political support.

    The advocates of global warming are beginning to have the classic doomsday cult problem. The Earth hasn’t been warming for 16 years, and that’s starting to get very embarrassing. The first adjustment to the dogma was to stop talking about global warming and start talking about climate change. The latest version of the party line is that we are going to have more extreme weather. The reality is that the weather is now no more variable or extreme than in the past. The facts, as embarrassing as they are, are still the facts. The scare about global warming was hoax, to soak more money from the government.

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  15. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Well, folks, global warming is going to happen no matter what. We’ve accelerated it and there’s no stopping it now no matter what we do. We might as well give up, pollute that air with impunity, and wait until there’s no more oil to burn when, hopefully, the quality of the air will get better and temperatures will go down. Of course, we may not be around then. The planet will abide and life will adjust better without us.

    In the meantime we can continue to rape the earth and leave nothing for future generations if there are any.

    I hate to think like this but when I read the other posts any hope for the future flies right out the window.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 16

  16. John Lennon says:

    ClimateGate 2.0 pretty much killed the global warming debate. Now, The father of the global warming issue has jumped ship. the models dont work, the science is wrong.


    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  17. John Q. Public says:

    It’s 2030 and Obama has been discredited. He couldn’t make the oceans subside as he promised. The Sonoma County People’s Environmental Correctness Court long ago found Ann Hancock the head of the Climate Protection Campaign and Gillian Hayes the City Planner guilty of crimes against the people’s environmental control and condemned.

    The Democratic People’s Presidium has replaced the City Council and altered the green house gas standards so that never again would the city presidium be embarassed by unattainable standards and the five year plan for emmissions, limiting population growth and the continuation of limiting economic growth will be maintained.

    The 5 year plan of directing where people will work, what they will eat, and where they can live has been declared a success by the Presidium.

    There hasn’t been a negative story in the Press Democrat for 10 years. All is well in the world of Sonoma County.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  18. Canthisbe says:

    George Carlin explains global warming and saving the Planet:


    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  19. Jim Bennett says:

    As most of you know now by now,
    all these oppressive ‘green house’ gas reduction goals are INCENTIVIZED and provided by ICLEI.
    That’s what they do.
    That’s not all they do.
    The ICLEI ideology and Agenda provide guidelines to implement much more.
    Subverting our Constitution.
    Undermines our official’s oath.
    Incrementally attacking our Property Rights and small business landscape.
    Sabotaging automobile use.
    Implementing the Wildlands Project with our open space with various shenanigans.
    Playing games with our utilities, empowering non-elected ‘boards’ ‘n ‘councils’, etc..

    Socially engineering our decline in every way, while creating an almost cult like governmental culture that circumvents the accountability to the citizens.
    Increasingly imposing communitarian principals that are fundamentally opposed to our Constitution;
    ‘the greater good’, the ‘collective’,
    ICLEI’s forte is creating the illusion of consensus.
    These concepts are not consistant with the INDIVIDUAL, UNALIENABLE Rights that are not to be granted by or reconciled through government.
    This fertilizes an environment for government over reach and a totalitarian state.
    Incrementally, like they impose everything else.

    This is heavy stuff guys.

    Please join us as we put our public officials on notice, and go about the process of purging our community of this
    Despite our requests they won’t agendize this important subject.
    Next is a petition.

    Let’s GET TOGETHER and do like 55 other communities have.
    Let’s ask the ICLEI QUESTION and

    Thumb up 29 Thumb down 5

  20. Follower says:

    Its amazing how the anthropogenic climate change crowd has managed to get their myopic agenda so deeply entrenched in our entire society.
    GLOBALLY no less!

    Thumb up 29 Thumb down 4

  21. barbi says:

    Shame on you City of Santa Rosa Planning Commission, City Council and all you uninformed true believers that buy into the hoax that is AGW.
    While businesses are failing, high unemployment continues and the shadow inventory of foreclosed properties stealthily awaits its attack on our economy, you play silly games with trying to stop a non existent problem.
    Here is an excellent article by Bob Silvestri that intelligently debunks the affect of planning by our government masterminds on the reduction of GHG.
    Wake up, good citizens. The masterminds running our government will bring us to our knees in the worship of the fake religion of AGW and the likes of Goldman Sachs will end up being the beneficiaries of their planning.

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3

  22. brown act Jack says:

    If all of the humans on earth were to disappear it would not make any difference to the climate or the weather.
    the earth has been hot, warm, and cold, and all without the benefit of the human existence.

    It is easy to dream and believe that humans can change the weather, but we are insignificant. We can kill ourselves, out consume the production capabilities of the earth, and eliminate all life on earth and the climate will remain the same.

    But global warming beliefs provide jobs for the believers, profits for the prophets, and raise taxes for the rest!

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  23. Canthisbe says:

    You can see the Santa Rosa General Plan 2035 here:


    “The Planning Commission has met several times over the past two months to understand the plan and suggest changes to the policies it recommends”.

    I believe the Planning Commission was a key player in drafting the Plan and approved the Plan. It is a good thing that the Planning Commission is meeting now to try to understand the Plan.

    Take a look at it and see what the plan is for you.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  24. Jim Bennett says:

    Hey Steveguy:
    Once again we scratch our head, try apply common sense.
    Everybody check out the 10 min. Youtube link in my previous post.

    The UN’s plan would take us back to the turn of the century, without the burning coal part; so even further back.
    Their stated goal is to ‘deindustrialize’

    All of our ‘shortages’ and lack with big oil manipulating the supply and demand dynamic.
    There’s no such thing as ‘peak oil’.
    It’s not a ‘fossil fuel’.
    We have a huge untapped supply right here in the US.
    No need to kill people all over the world and share their brand of ‘Democracy’.
    It’s naturally occuring and many beleive the globalists have hoarded technology that would negate our need for all this oil.

    It’s good old fasioned oppression.
    Main difference is the reason/excuse.
    The high tech component of the ‘Plan’.
    The unprecidented surveilance and invasion of privacy.

    Giving cheap energy to the people is like giving a machine gun to a child.
    -Henry Kissinger, UN globalist.

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 5

  25. Canthisbe says:

    “For example, the original plan called for requiring new businesses with more than 50 employees to subsidize their employees’ use of public transportation. Some business leaders noted that such a measure could prove a burden to new businesses, and the commission agreed to change the language to “encourage.””

    Don’t worry about this. With all of the excessive government interference here there won’t ever be any new businesses with more than 50 employees.

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 3

  26. Sarkyfish says:

    Headline: Santa Rosa fails to save planet earth. All is lost.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  27. Jim Bennett says:

    Hey good news, it’s OK ’cause ‘Global Warming’ is a hoax.
    Political science not atmospheric/climate science.

    If we had more carbon dioxide our vegetation would be more lush than it is now.

    That’s why state of the art green houses often deliberately pipe it in.

    If our economy and freedoms weren’t at stake, it would be humorous.

    If you were socially engineering our failure, which is exactly the Agenda we’ve subscribed to through our ICLEI
    membership. What would you do?

    Thumb up 30 Thumb down 7

  28. John Q. Public says:

    If Santa Rosa and Sonoma County immediately turned of all the electricity, banned cars, buses and trucks from driving on the streets, banned their unsmart train from running, banned all forms of energy in the city and county, they wouldn’t meet the deadline they set in 2050 let alone 2015.

    All of this is a huge hoax. It is impossible to take these nimrods sitting on the Board of Supervisors and city councils serious when they dream up these wild fanacies.

    Ms. Hancock needs to go into the forrest and commune with some more trees and stop embarrassing herself with these fanciful illusions.

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 7

  29. Steveguy says:

    I would love it if Skippy’s post just stood there on it’s own. No need for further comment beyond it.

    We have the greenest energy use on the planet pretty much, yet they fail ?

    If they only realized that CNG is our near-future. ( like Sonoma County buses are ‘clean’ and cost like $2.00 a gallon equivalent now.

    By the way, back when Tesla figured out electricity generation, he thought that batteries would be easy. He was wrong.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  30. Skippy says:

    Potholed roads; unfunded pension behemoth; massive unemployment, and our Masters in Big Govt are in a tizzy over their inability to change the weather.
    The gigantic hoax that is AGW will stifle growth and crush the life from the economy as long as saps believe in it.
    It would be a hilarious joke if our Masters weren’t about to stuff us back to the 19th century in order to make AlGore even wealthier.
    Any Big Govt official advocating policy changes over the AgW hoax has disqualified themselves from serious intellectual consideration.
    IOW, stooges with a knife to the throat of your lifestyle.

    Thumb up 35 Thumb down 6

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