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Los Angeles Leaders: What Inspires Us to Act on Climate

By Kristina von Hoffmann
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We asked Path to Positive: Los Angeles members, What inspires you to take action on climate change solutions in Los Angeles? Here are some of their answers.

John Beynon, United Nations Association and Whittier Area Environment Coalition
“Information coming out of UN Panel on Climate Change.”

Stuart Cooley, Santa Monica College
“Seeing the positive changes to date: cleaner air, electric vehicle uptake, coal company bankruptcies, and seeing the interest among the decision-makers and political leaders.”

David Eisenman, UCLA
“I am inspired by the growing momentum for action across so many sectors and fields!”

Cinzia Fissore, Whittier College
“Understanding the relationship between soils and climate inspires me and motivates me. With my teaching and research work, I am very much invested in the discourse concerning the role of soils in mitigating climate change while continuing to secure food and resources for a growing population. LA, and California more broadly, is a hotspot for carbon consumptions and emissions. While this can be interpreted as a challenge, in reality LA and California have the potential to develop effective strategies to mitigate climate change.”

Todd Flora
“L.A.’s need to capture and use our stormwater in this “new normal” of drought boom or bust (mostly bust) cycles. My other big concern is the urban heat island effect, and cooling measures we can take to create a cooler ground temperature in our dense areas.”

Loraine Lundquist, California State University Northridge
“Protecting my children’s future.”

Daniel Mabe, American Green Zone Alliance
“When setting out to take action on air, land, and noise pollution, I learned how my mission could be a significant contributor to fighting climate change. It is really about preserving the planet for future generations.”

Keith Malone, California Fuel Cell Partnership
“A shared responsibility to my family, community and the world. The idea that I can contribute to reducing the effects of or preventing climate change by my individual actions and my contributions to larger actions.”

John Martinez
“Knowing that younger generations are more aware, educated and active in their lives, actions, lifestyles — and teaching older generations that global warming/climate change is real and needs to be addressed now.”

Ron Milam, Los Angeles Funders’ Collaborative
“It’s linked to so many issues I care about — transportation, land use, housing, equity and health.”

Duane Muller, The Playa Group, LLC
“Living in LA, I have great affinity for our region’s breathtaking coastline and magnificent mountains and would like to maintain them for future generations, but I feel like we are running out of time. While I love the cultural vibrancy that comes from megacities, I also recognize the need to balance our population growth with sustainable solutions. For me, LA represents a unique challenge to preserve the region’s natural beauty, while also managing increased population pressures — whether from transportation, housing, energy and/or water use.”

Nancy Pearlman, Trustee, Los Angeles Community College District
“As an environmentalist for over 46 years, I recognize that climate change is a serious problem affecting all other ecological issues. We must deal with overpopulation, wildlife extinction, pollution and toxics in our environment but climate change must be dealt with to create a green, healthy environment and economy.”

Los Angeles is an incredibly diverse and vibrant city and I’m inspired by what this region has to offer me and my children so much that I want to ensure its resiliency and sustainability for future generations.

Casandra Rauser, UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge
“Los Angeles is an incredibly diverse and vibrant city and I’m inspired by what this region has to offer me and my children so much that I want to ensure its resiliency and sustainability for future generations. I’m inspired by the forward-thinking of our policy makers both statewide and locally, and want to continue the momentum built to create positive change and serve as a model for other cities worldwide in fighting climate change.”

Laura Rosenthal, City of Malibu
“I am trying to preserve a livable earth for my children and all future generations. I am both distressed at the current state of things yet inspired by so many positive initiatives and results that are currently happening.”

David Rosenstein, Intex Solutions
“I love Los Angeles and it is my home. Though I try to be involved in regional, national and international efforts to mitigate climate change, I figure it is worth some time and energy to do the same in my backyard. As things go to ‘hell in a hand-basket,’ as the saying goes, I want to feel I have done as much as I can to prevent or reduce the harm.”

Allen Schuman, Green Business Council of Southern California
“As a native Angeleno, I have seen how Los Angeles has grown over the years with little or no control regarding our growth, the lack of use of public transportation system, our electrical grid, etc. I strongly feel that through our everyday actions we are all having a direct impact on climate change here in Los Angeles. No man is an island onto himself.”

Jim Stewart, PhD Sierra Club, Ocean Foresters
“Climate catastrophe.”

Sr. Mary Joseph Suter, Daughters of Charity
“I have been reading Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry, and Pope Francis on the environment.”

Janet Valenzuela, USFS
“What inspires me to take action is having an upbringing in an urban city with parents with an agricultural background who have raised me to be concerned with all the changes that are happening in our climate and the systems that depend on it.”

Stephanie Williams
“I’ve always been concerned about the environment, but I recently watched an episode of Chelsea Handler’s show on Netflix about climate change and it downright terrified me. I had no idea America was running out of resources as quickly as it is and, at the rate we’re going, several cities will be under water by 2030. That is less that 15 years away, and I had no idea about it. Which leads me to believe that a lot of people have no idea about some of these things. Thus I felt compelled to join a movement and get the word out and advocate for change.”

Thomas Wong, President, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
“Knowing that our actions, or inaction, today will have impacts on the world and community we live in 30, 40, 50 years down the line.”

Learn more about how Angeleno leaders and advocates are advancing climate solutions at the second annual Climate Day LA event on April 21.

This post first appeared on the Path to Positive Los Angeles blog. P2PLA is an initiative jointly organized by the nonprofits Climate Resolve and ecoAmerica.