Did You Know? Bonnie Donovan
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the result.” — Winston Churchill
The power failure during the big storm in Texas on Monday should remind Santa Barbara of the dangers of depending upon only one source of energy, that being electric.
Our city is moving in the direction of all electric power and avoiding new natural gas infrastructure. Sounds like a tall order: the plan for having local electricity supply be carbon free by October 2030.
The city’s pushing hard for this policy, which dictates that new construction be all-electric, all the while ignoring the huge supply of natural gas “naturally” available and cleanly accessible right here within the state of California.
Why is natural gas the whipping boy?
Because natural gas gets in the way of the city’s “plans to dominate the power grid with electricity solely provided by a city-run entity.”
It has been said often because it is true: “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (Lord Acton, a British politician, said that in the 19th century.)
We hope our leaders in Santa Barbara are taking note of the 4 million people in Texas who were without power last week. Due to freezing temperatures, the state’s wind turbines and solar panels failed.
Texas’s power system struggled to keep up with the demand for electric-based heating.
In the middle of this pandemonium, the backup generators for the vaccines’ temperature-controlled storage failed. Frantic calls were made to summon “arms” for vaccination to avoid wasting 8,400 vaccines.
Our city’s plan includes its ownership of the electric power in the form of Santa Barbara Clean Energy. That ownership model did not work so well in Florida, when the power system became obsolete. Again, is there expertise within the city to manage any version of a power company?
Remember, the city paid $100,000 to an outside consultant to instruct Public Works how to manage scheduling of street repair and filling potholes.
Santa Barbara City Council recently held virtual workshops for Reach Code Hearings to provide background, propose code changes and work on an all-electric code language. The workshops were recorded and available for viewing later. Best check the city website (www.santabarbaraca.gov). We request the city replay the hearings on the City TV Channel 18.
| To combat climate change, Bill Gates said synthetic beef is part of the answer. During an interview with MIT while he discussed his book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” he said, “I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time” (with more chemicals and additives, of course). “… You can sort of change the (behavior of) people or use regulation to totally shift the demand.” |
During the interview, Mr. Gates also said one of the difficulties of selling the public on fake beef would be political, referring to legislation that protects the consumer. It would require “synthetic meat” to have a warning label stating the meat isn’t the real thing.
Mr. Gates said, “There are all these bills that say it’s got to be called, basically, lab garbage to be sold. They don’t want us to use the beef label.”
That’s because it’s not beef!
The billionaire admitted that beef producers in the United States, a country he thinks should be sold synthetic beef, are better at reducing the emissions associated with beef production than poorer nations.
“For Africa and other poor countries, we’ll have to use animal genetics to dramatically raise the amount of beef per emissions for them,” Mr. Gates said. “Weirdly, the U.S. livestock, because they’re so productive, the emissions per pound of beef are dramatically less than emissions per pound in Africa.”
Watch the 1973 movie “Soylent Green”: It’s life in the year 2022. Connect the dots.
And one more word on Benevolent Bill. He has decided the world needs a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine for the mutant strains. Sounds like the beef he wants to feed the world, and the genetic modification vaccines he wants to give Africa’s cows.
Did you know Bill Gates is the largest owner of farmland in the United States of America? If he cancels the cows, what form of cheese and milk will we be offered? Will we get used to that too?
Santa Barbara County Association of Governments received the Regional Housing Needs Allocation from the California Department of Housing and Community Development. SBCAG voted to accept the assigned housing numbers demanded by the state.
These 24,856 housing units are 15% lower than the previous number of 29,313.
The reduction is due to conversations regarding the accuracy of date and comparing regions related to overcrowding and cost burden.
This housing allotment is divided between Santa Barbara County’s eight cities and unincorporated areas.
Say the numbers were divided eight ways. Each would be responsible for building 3,170 housing units.
However, Santa Barbara, per its latest occupancy update from April 2020, has built 1,288 units out of the 4,100 housing units allocated to the city in 2015.
Per the state’s program, Santa Barbara still has a balance of 2,812 housing units that are required to be built.
Added to the possible new allocation of 3,170 housing units required by the state for 2023-2031, if they were to carry over numbers, the total balance due is 5,982 housing units.
That is a big number for a little town between the mountains and the ocean.
And Goleta and Carpinteria are assigned their own numbers!
However, these allotments are not divided equally, as they are based on jobs/housing imbalance, infill development and promoting fair housing for all income levels. It also depends on who fights how hard for their area.
With the number of people leaving California, it begs the question: Is this amount of housing necessary in these fragile coastal areas where sea-level rise is a concern. A total of 650,000 people left in 2020; 653,000 left in 2019.
Mayor Cathy Murillo is our representative at SBCAG. Let us hope she considers for the future, the necessity of protecting and preserving the reason Santa Barbara is Santa Barbara.
De la Guerra Plaza is in the crosshairs of the city planners and their darlings for an updated renovation. (This time it’s RRM and planner Susan Ellidge, who were already paid $300,000 for drawings). Too bad the likes of renowned Santa Barbara architect Lutah Riggs, who designed Lobero Theatre, and landscape architect Lockwood de Forest (Lotusland) are not here to direct the efforts.
Instead, the plan includes a splash pad for kids!
Not only is that feature contrary to preserving the historical look of Santa Barbara in the middle of El Pueblo Viejo, it is contemporary, trendy, serving only a few, and will not age well and requires additional upkeep and liability.
The wading pool at Los Baños del Mar has already been approved to be remodeled as a “Splash Pad,” which is where it belongs — at the beach with family and kids in beach attire, not a downtown historical Plaza. This is not Rome’s Trevi Fountain, nor would that ever be contemporized.
This is Santa Barbara and deserves as much respect as any world-class city.
People who have the means to live anywhere live here, for a reason. Thankfully, most of the members of the Historic Landmarks Commission are calling for a more traditional look.
We urge the commissioners not to capitulate and accept any element that would cause the late and honorable Pearl Chase or Kellam de Forest to roll over in their graves.
For the love and respect for all who have come before and sacrificed their time and money fighting to preserve the look and feel, contributing to the ambiance of Santa Barbara, let us not let them down.
The project will go back to HLC. Please stay tuned and speak your piece.
We will end with another quote from Sir Winston Churchill.
“There is nothing government can give you that it hasn’t taken from you in the first place.”