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"Climate change science has not changed in the way Councilwoman Alessio would like us to believe. Let's stick to credible sources on science, not talking points from the climate change denier's briefing book." -- Kathleen Connell, PhD, sustainabiltiy expert and former NASA astrobiology science founder

By Miriam Raftery

Upated May 1 to add comments from Mike Bullock and data from a climate change paper he authored.

April 30, 2015 (La Mesa) – At La Mesa’s City Council hearing Tuesday, Council heard a report detailing the city’s progress on reducing its carbon footprint in order to reduce climate change.

Councilmember Kristine Alessio then stated, “The science has changed behind climate change in the last ten years. Maybe at some point we need to reconsider being part of the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Change Protection Agreement.” Here audio clip here:

Likening the agreement to “religious dogma,” Alessio then then scoffed at the idea that “cutting greenhouse gas emissions in La Mesa is going to make one difference anywhere.”

Her comments drew swift responses from a climate change expert and and from the city’s former mayor.

Professor Kathleen Connell, PhD,  is the CEO and Founder of the Green Startup Institute in San Diego and has chaired the Sustainability Alliance of  Southern California.  A founder of astrobiology science and senior scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, she has received the NASA Public Service Medal  and is an expert on sustainability issues who has advised the White House, California local governments, and the private sector.

 She told East County Magazine that while science does change and progress through peer-reviewed studies, “Climate change science has not changed in the way Councilwoman  Alessio would like us to believe.  Let’s stick to credible sources on science, not talking points from the climate change denier’s briefing book.”

Dr. Connell then provided these facts on climate science. “NASA’s climate watch, Vital Signs of the Planet, shows that as of March, 2015, NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) reported that the climate change trend is increasing, as the rise of heat trapping gasses in the atmosphere continues…The trend has been clear for many decades, and the trend that matters has not changed, except to move upwards.”  See for yourself at

Mike Bullock, a retired satellite engineer and leading environmentalist in San Diego who has served as chair of the San Diego Sierra Club's Transportation Committee, called Alessio’s statements  “ridiculous.”

He forwarded an Air and Waste Management Association report he authored on the climate predicament  which he says is caused by massive quantities of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere that becomes trapped.  

The California Governor’s Executive Order S-3-05 is similar to the Kyoto Agreement, based on greenhouse gas reductions recommended by climate scientists for industrialized nations back in 2005, which included lowering CO2 emissions by 2050 to 80% of 1990 emission levels.

But the situation has worsened and even those ambitious targets are now not enough, according to Bullock’s report.  A new mandate, California’s AB 32, imposed a cap and trade program to move up the timeframe to 2020 instead of 2050.  California is on track to meet that second target, says Bullock because “world emission levels have, for most years, been increasing contrary to the S-3-05 trajectory. 

That means that California “if it is still interested in leading the way to human survival, must do far better than S-3-05, going forward,” Bullock states.  His report concludes darkly that if we fail to achieve these goals or they turn out to be too little, too late, the consequences are dire.   A report in the Nation stated that, “ “A recent string of reports from impeccable mainstream institutions-the International Energy Agency, the World Bank, the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers-have warned that the Earth is on a trajectory to warm by at least 4 Degrees Celsius and that this would be incompatible with continued human survival.”

Moreover,  Bullock’s report cites data indicated that lags in replacing fossil fuels with clean energy have “put the world on a pace for 6 degree Celsius by the end of this century. Such a large temperature rise occurred 250 million years ago and extinguished 90 percent of the life on Earth. The current rise is of the same magnitude but is occurring faster.”

Former Mayor Art Madrid signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agremeent on behalf of  La Mesa, becoming the first mayor in San Diego County to do so. The Council adopted the agreement at the Mayor’s urging in 2007.

ECM asked Madrid for his response to Alessio’s proposal to undo his achievement.  Madrid retorted, “Just consider the source of who is making those asinine remarks.” He noted that Alessio has also opposed regulation of electronic cigarettes or “vaping” devices. (The Councilwoman lit up and smoked from her Council seat as a protest to efforts to protect public health by restriction e-cigarettes.)

As for La Mesa’s progress on its climate action plan, the report revealed that the city has targeted reducing greenhouse gas pollution in 12 areas.  The planning department has prepared a climate action plan funded by SDG&E’s Emerging Cities Program with a draft due for release in May. 

La Mesa had a 71% increase in solar photovoltaic systems last year. The Council adopted two new Property Assessed Clean Energy  (PACE) programs, Hero and Figtree; Hero financed 32 completed projects. 

La Mesa has a recycling rate 40% higher than the state required last year and collected over 80 tons of recycled material, with help from EDCO.

Through its downtown village streetscape now in progress, the city is also encouraging use of transit, walking and bikes as alternatives to vehicles that emit green house gas emissions.  A natural gas fueling station will be completed in La Mesa in July. La Mesa’s public works department has also installed devices on vehicles to reduce idling and improve fuel efficiency. 

In addition, the city recently participated in the Earth Day fair in Balboa Park to promote its Climate Action Plan and other sustainability programs – all actions that could be rolled back if Councilwoman Alessio’s proposal to withdraw La Mesa from the U.S. Mayors Climate Action Program moves forward.

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Ya, it's Fox news........

Mr. Coppock, thank you for cementing my premise that once one has expressed an opposing opinion to a progressive one is profiled into a certain and defined group. Not to be dealt with as individuals but as a single, mindless, uninformed mass.
Evidently I can now add "Fox news watcher" to the list of traits I certainly posses because you have deemed it so.
No hard feelings, like most self righteous bigots you can't help yourself.

From Time magazine, June 24,

From Time magazine, June 24, 1974:

As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere—from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest. Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data.

No, K. George, no.

Question easily observed facts, and people will think that you are disconnected from reality. Published in peer reviewed science over that last decade has not changed the overwhelming consensus that man's greenhouse gas emissions are principle cause of observed warming of our planet. You can live in your FOX News fantasy world, but realize that dealing with the real world that most of us live in is not a "Classic Tactic."

Classic Tactics

We're all used to it.

Question a single progressive principle in the slightest and you are relegated to the flat Earth, tin foil hat, birther, moon landing/holocaust denying, chem trail fearing gang, to be castigated as ignorant, backward, Luddite racists and thus not worth addressing.
It's a lot easier that way.

Godwins Law

When losing an argument online always invoke Hitler or the Holocast. As a person of Jewish descent I find it abhorrent that anyone would characterize any argument about climate as being akin to denying the Holocast. The Holocast is based on historic fact. Climate change isn't. Kristine C. Alessio, Esq. Member La Mesa City Council Director, Savannah Cat Rescue, Inc.

No, it doesn't make him wrong

No, it doesn't make him wrong. And, as I said, he's one of many.
Kathleen M. Connell has worked closely with quack futurists like Alvin Toffler, among others. That doesn't make her wrong, either. But it does show how easily we often dismiss those we're determined to disagree with.

I support Ms. Alessio and

I support Ms. Alessio and look forward to local city reasoned action based on careful cost/benefit analysis that has demonstrable benefits worthy of actual public spending, new laws, or policy. Let's step back from the hand-wringing hype see if an action really makes a meaningful improvement or are we just doing so many "feel better" acts. Our previous mayor was simply a moist finger in the air politician running head long at nearly any effort, signing up for nearly any willy-nilly cause (often in secrete while on out of town taxpayer paid junkets and never telling his fellow elected officials) to garner another vociferous constituency voting block, however small.

Shameful that any purported

Shameful that any purported news outlet would so dramatically and condescendingly seek to squelch a dissenting voice, especially one on the comment page. The not-so-tacit command: think our way or shut up, is especially ironic given the growing and credible list of qualified scientists who are now questioning what many seem to take for granted.
Writers like Steven E. Koonin now fill the literature. To suggest otherwise reveals nothing but an unfamiliarity with the same.

What's this about?

Is this article about Kristene Alessios ability to propose changing La mesa's climate policy or a device to promote climate change legislation?

If it is about her proposal, she has every right to put it forth and have a vote.

If it is about the climate change debate, I will move on because nothing is more antiproductive than arguing this subject on the internet. It's all been said a thousand times before.

You are confusing climate and weather.

Climate change occur over the long term. In any one day, week, year, etc. there will be some fluctuations. A single year in a single part of the world where you dodge the bullet does NOT mean anything statistically speaking, and we have seen some devastating storms such as the tornado in Oklahoma last year.  It sounds like you're not fully informed, with all due resposect. My degree is in Enviornmental Studies.  I studied under climate change scientists at UC.  I am constantly appalled at the ignorance of those who spout off talking points off political sites with apparently zero knowledge of the actual science and data that is mounting around the world.  

There are a few pseudo-"experts" who are touted by biased media outlets and they have been thoroughly debunked.  One was falsely claiming to be a member of Britain's House of Lords and had other resume inflations.  Another is an ex TV weatherman with zero science background, just a pretty boy talking face. Others are in the pay of the oil or coal industry - some who have testified to Congeress trying to debunk climate change were the very same people who used to get paid by the tobacco industry to claim tobacco wasn't harmful to health.  We all know they were liars then, so why would you believe those phony "experts" over scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying climate science? While there can be some discussion on just how fast it's accelerating or when we reach a point of no return, there is simply no credible evidence to support a contention that climate change is not accellerating at a dangerous pace faster than at any time in earth's history and it correllates directly to the infusion of man-produced fossil fuels  pumped into the atmosphere. Denying climate change with the massive data now available is akin to denying the Holocaust or claiming man never walked on the moon.

Please read the addition to the article from Mike Bullock and click through to read his report.  Read the links at the bottom. I encourage all readers to get educated on the facts on this critical issue, arguably the most iimporant issue of all. The future of our children and grandchildren depend on dispelling the falsehoods being promulgated by monied interests backed by the oil and gas industry, who are spending a fortune to mask and distort the facts.


Alessio's comments

I heartily applaud Councilwoman Alessio for her honesty and courage. It takes real guts to speak truth to power. Since when is science and scientific inquiry "closed" on a particular matter? Those who preach such reveal a close-minded streak that might be labeled science fascism. The Manmade Global Warming theory is highly suspicious and has in many important ways been contradicted by reality. We were supposed to have "no more snow" by this time according to true believers a decade ago, and this is only one of many absurdly wrongheaded predictions. Where are the horrendous hurricanes that TBs (True Believers) "knew" would be wiping out the US east coast? Instead we've seen nearly ten years of record calm in that region. The whole thrust of the cult-- 'Global Warming'-- had to be switched to 'Climate Change' when record colds became common winter after winter.