How Bad Is It? How Can We Make It Better?
By: Patty L. Buchanan
[Editor’s Note: This is the fifth post in a series of articles about Electric Vehicles marking Croton100’s participation in National Drive Electric Week, September 26-October 4, 2020.]
The climate crisis is escalating because carbon emissions from fossil fuels that stay in the atmosphere for decades are heating our world to unprecedented temperatures, bringing us closer to perilous tipping points of runaway eco disasters. With regard to impacts on humans: young people, the yet to be born, and the poorest people will suffer the most.
In the meantime, knowing the causes and impacts of climate change, the Croton School District:
(1) walked away from $200,000 of free aid to buy an electric bus because of its inability to arrange for reliable charging;
(2) just bought four fully fossil fuel vehicles with the $225,000 bond money approved during the community-wide bond vote this past Spring, despite its stated intention to buy at least one plug-in hybrid vehicle and keep an open mind to purchasing an electric bus if feasible;
(3) did not use any of the $78,750 additional state transportation aid, which is automatically added to the bond money, towards any decarbonization of its transportation fleet;
(4) ignored dozens of communications from taxpayers over the past six months with
(5) never even issued a request for a proposal for an electric bus that would also have furthered planning for infrastructure, despite advocates’ pleas to do so;
(6) made an affirmative choice to take Croton emissions in the wrong direction, thus being part of the problem instead of part of the solution;
(7) muddied the decision-making process with misinformation and poor communication; and
(8) deflected its leadership responsibility by forming an e-bus Task Force including community volunteers.
We do not need another Task Force; what we need is common sense, leadership, and the ability to put intentions into action on the part of the School’s senior officers and its full-time paid Director of Transportation. The School and its staff should use all the resources it already has, including information community members have provided over many months to electrify the transportation fleet without delay. Scientists warn us that if we are to avoid irreversible catastrophic climate disruptions, we must make rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes. Forming a Task Force to study how to buy electric buses and chargers misses the mark of this challenge.
How can we make it better?
The remedy to despair is at hand: