Kudos to Yolo on climate plan

By March 21, 2011

Jonathan Edwards’ reporting for The Enterprise is normally stellar, but I take exception to the focus of his March 17 article about Supervisor Duane Chamberlain’s questioning of the Yolo County Climate Action Plan. The article focused on the drama surrounding the plan without describing the plan itself.

I think your readers would be interested in knowing the purpose of the Climate Action Plan, the goals it has set, and the incentive-based measures it includes for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the local level. There are good reasons why the majority of supervisors approved the plan.

Indeed, Chamberlain is correct that the science used to develop the Climate Action Plan is incomplete. Science is never complete. Our policymakers must make the best decisions based on the best information available at the time. And they shall constantly question what we know to be true — this is the beauty of science. As a living document, the Climate Action Plan includes monitoring mechanisms that will be responsive to improvements in the knowledge we gain from science and the on-the-ground effectiveness of the emissions reduction measures.

Lastly, your readers also should know that the fertilizer application rates for all cultivated crops reflect input from UC Davis scientists, Supervisor Chamberlain and other stakeholders from the agricultural community. Yolo County should be commended as the first county to recognize the important role of nitrogen-based fertilizer in the generation of emission of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 310 times greater than carbon dioxide.

Austin Kerr


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