Climate change is back on the docket as the California Legislature gets underway in 2021. But buyer beware: one proposed bill would mandate California students are taught about climate change as early as first grade and would make the subject a high school graduation requirement.
A second bill, by the same lawmaker, would establish the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program to facilitate the implementation of regional and state climate change planning into effective projects.
Assembly Bill 585 by Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-North Hollywood), would establish the new program “to coordinate the state’s efforts to address extreme heat and to facilitate the implementation of regional and state climate change planning into effective projects through the awarding of competitive grants to eligible entities for implementation of those projects,” according to the language in the bill.
As California Globe contributor Chris Micheli explained in an op ed Friday, “The goal of AB 585 is to mitigate the impacts of extreme heat through the use of reflective surface materials in the built environment and other activities. Eligible projects are specified.”
“’Eligible entities’ include nonprofit organizations or coalitions of nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations, community development corporations or financial institutions, local and regional public agencies, joint powers authorities, and tribal governments, that demonstrate multi-stakeholder partnership in the development and implementation of a project,” the bill language states.
When looking at the long list of eligible projects (below), it’s not a stretch to assume this bill is endorsed by labor unions, as it appears to be a giant work project to convert the state’s infrastructure and all buildings to reflective surfaces.
One of the goals of the Green New Deal is to gut, rebuild and “retrofit every building in America” with state of the art energy efficiency, and calls for addressing “extreme heat” through cooling surface replacement.
In 2020, President Donald Trump stopped in Sacramento, CA to meet with Gov. Gavin Newsom and state officials to discuss the 2020 wildfires. The Governor and Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot told the president he should acknowledge the role of climate change in the worsening of the wildfires, and claimed that August in California had record high temperatures. But that just is not true according to scientists and meteorologists.
Anthony Watts, a Northern California meteorologist forwarded this graph to the California Globe:
“This is a graph of High temperatures during fire season (March-October) for Chico going back to 1900,” Watts said. “Note that temperatures were significantly higher in the past than today, completely negating the ‘climate change’ claims for the campfire event. The data is from the Western Regional Climate Center. I also checked other weather data near major fires and they show the same thing….warmer in the past.”
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
(1) Cool roofs to increase solar reflectance and reduce structural temperatures.
(2) Cool pavements on roadways and other active transportation surfaces and school playgrounds to increase solar reflectance, reduce heat transmitted, and improve water permeability.
(3) Cool building surfaces.
(4) Other cool surface materials that increase shade, increase solar reflectance, or otherwise reduce heat island impacts.
(5) Building design, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, that reduce heat.
(b) Reduce the public health risks of extreme heat and related climate change impacts and enhance the resilience of affected populations by establishing community resilience centers and supporting community resilience planning efforts and other activities consistent with the purposes of the program. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
(1) The construction of new facilities or the retrofit of existing facilities that will serve as community resilience centers, including hydration stations, cooling centers, clean air centers, respite centers, community evacuation and emergency response centers, and similar facilities to mitigate the public health impacts of extreme heat and related climate change impacts on local populations.
(2) (A) Local planning activities to adapt community infrastructure, the built environment and natural systems to the impacts of climate change, including heat action plans to prepare for and respond to extreme heat events.
(B) The updating of local plans, including general plans, local coastal programs, local hazard mitigation plans, heat action plans, and other local plans to improve community resilience to the impacts of climate change.
(C) Public education campaigns and other measures to increase awareness of the public health risks of extreme heat, the services available to reduce those risks, and further opportunities to reduce those risks.
Assembly Bill 1922, introduced by Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-North Hollywood) in 2020, would mandate that students learn “the causes and effects” of climate change starting in 2025.
California students are required to learn English, Math, Social Sciences (anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology), Visual Arts, PE, Health, and Science (biology, ecology).
AB 1922, which would amend the California Education Code, would mandate the inclusion of climate change under the Science requirement, as the bill language shows:
Science, including the biological and physical aspects, with emphasis on the processes of experimental inquiry and inquiry, on the place of humans in ecological systems. systems, and the causes and effects of climate change. Appropriate coursework including material on the causes and effects of climate change shall be offered to pupils as soon as possible, commencing no later than the 2021–22 school year.
Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-Arleta) says under AB 1922, “climate change education will be a coursework requirement for students in grades 1 through 6, and a graduation requirement for students in grades 7 through 12, starting 2025.”