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  • Writer's pictureJessica Day

How Climate Change Impacts Albany, CA

Updated: Apr 16, 2019

Here are some things that you might not know about Albany, California:

Albany was originally founded due to a conflict over garbage dumping. The story goes that "in 1908, a group of local women protested the dumping of Berkeley garbage in their community. Armed with two shotguns and a twenty-two-caliber rifle, they confronted the drivers of the wagons near what is now the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Buchanan Street. The women told the drivers of the horse-drawn garbage wagons to go home, which they did quickly and without complaint. Shortly thereafter, the residents of the town voted to incorporate as the City of Ocean View (which later became Albany)." In some ways this shows how Albany has always been a city that's been thinking about the impact of waste on our citizens. So as pollution and climate risk has grown, it's important to realize that...

Parts of Albany will be underwater if climate change continues unchecked. In 2008, the United States Geological Survey conducted a detailed study of the potential impacts of sea level rise to coastal portions of the San Francisco Bay Area. The study projects that in 2100, approximately 110 acres within Albany could be inundated if a 4.5 foot increase in sea levels were to occur. This means our beloved Albany Bulb will become an island, Golden Gate fields will become a swamp, and 2nd street to Eastshore highway won't be navigable anymore.

The good news? Albany is leading the charge in the era of climate change. Recently, Albany was featured in a national podcast about the City's response to renewable electrification. Of all the East Bay cities, Albany was the only city to make every single one of their customer classes default to 100% carbon-free energy. That's led to the reduction over 4,200 tons of carbon. And more recently, the City Council made the electric appliance requirement into a mandate for including building electrification regarding the development of the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP).

However, natural gas in Albany continues to be one of the top three causes of our carbon footprint. Getting off of natural gas is absolutely imperative to meeting our Climate Action goals and just as we needed citizen support before when it came to defaulting our energy to 100% carbon-free, we need citizen support again. So write to City Council and tell them that you support the phase out natural gas for Albany in new buildings by 2020.

After all, Albany's leadership depends on the engagement of our Citizens. So, what's next for Albany?

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