Sustainable Race Mile is an annual run that helps foster climate change awareness. All participants receive a T-shirt that references an alarming NASA climate change study with a stunning iceberg photo. It’s the perfect conversation shirt, especially for those unusually hot and/or drought-stricken days. Is that an iceberg on your shirt?
The goal this year is to get climate change labels at San Francisco gasoline stations. The Board of Supervisors may pass such an ordinance in late July, said legislative aide Jeremy Pollock of Supervisor John Avalos’ Office. After passage, the Department of the Environment plans to have climate change warning labels at stations within 90 days. To support The City in this endeavor, the back of the Sustainable Race Mile T-shirt states: “Support Climate Change Warning Labels at Gasoline Stations.”
The oil industry will undoubtedly grumble like the tobacco industry before them. But change is in the air. The green revolution is driving a
vicious technological advance, stymying investment in the oil industry. We can power our homes, factories and transportation with renewables. Battery technology is the key to the speed of this revolution. We can significantly increase the odds of such breakthroughs by increasing the demand for green technologies at the margins.
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz stated last week transportation is responsible for one third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Moniz is an unabashed Tesla fan.
Runners, walkers, bikers and electric vehicle enthusiasts are the leading advocates for clean air. We want policy that pushes the demand for cleaner, better and faster. This campaign has enormous potential to push the apathetic majority to greener choices. It’s good for business!
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently cited that “in New York, after construction of a protected bike lane on 9th Avenue, local businesses saw a 49 percent increase in retail sales, while businesses on other streets saw only a 3 percent increase during the same period.”
Local critics of this campaign will justifiably complain about current alternatives: overcrowded transit, unsafe biking routes and the lack of electric charging infrastructure. Many sources have cited the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency leadership as poor. I would concur. I can sometimes beat Muni by running to my destination. Last year, I went to a couple of SFMTA meetings and found agency chief Ed Reiskin to be a nice guy, but unlikely to sell a major transportation upgrade.
Without a major transportation upgrade, I see San Francisco taking a backseat on the climate change world stage. This will not play well to a San Francisco audience, especially the technological elite. This is a tiny city geographically that could afford a makeover, especially at today’s relatively low interest rates.
Here are some long-term solutions:
• Fast automated subway system;
• Electric bus rapid transit replacing antiquated surface rail
• Protected bike routes
• Shared autonomous electric vehicles;
• Zero emission zones;
• Commercial walking-only zones.
These solutions create the environment and jobs that we need and want for the long-term.
Sustainable Race Mile
Let’s get The City talking with climate change warning labels at gasoline stations. Sustainable Race Mile will be Sept. 6. The race starts on John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park in front of the de Young Museum. Runners and walkers head east a half-mile, turn at Nancy Pelosi Drive and return back to the start. This is a fast and flat course in a healthy green environment with the iconic Conservatory of Flowers adding some exotic San Francisco zip.
Jack Collins is the founder and CEO of EV News Report.