Zero Emission or a Mission of Impossibility?


San Francisco sits on land of enviable climate and gorgeous views. We are a world class city that people clamor to live here. In a city where there are more dogs than children, people who live here cry out for the need to diversify the population. Many of the population is older retirees or younger single, or young parents with one child. I remember clearly when my husband and I had our second child, we needed a two bedroom and there was no way we could afford one, even as a middle class working family. So we had, with much grief moved out of the area. Four years later we returned having miss greatly our support system, parish, and a way of life we dearly loved in the city. Fortunately for us, Treasure Island opened up and had more affordable two, three, and four bedroom homes on the Island available and we could live there. We have been here for almost twelve years now.

Not everyone is so fortunate as we are. By 2020 San Francisco has a goal as a city to produce zero emissions. What that means is no air pollution from buses, cars, or industry. No garbage to the landfill, zero toxic products being used in government buildings and business in San Francisco (and hopefully by volunteers). All this while at the same time, being able to increase affordable housing for families. While thinking about this, I suddenly had a vision that went something like this.

The Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge had only One lane each open for emergency vehicles and Prior approved delivery trucks which were driven electronically. The rest of the bridges had been turned over to bike riders and walkers who commuted by foot or bike to work or visiting the city or east bay. Personal vehicles were no longer used in the city of San Francisco, not even for politicians. Restaurants abounded everywhere as most people no longer cooked at home and ate out for all their meals. All buildings had businesses on the ground floor and upper floors were for housing. Historical buildings were preserved, but new buildings had been built all over the south part of the city in the old Navel Yard that included several miles of elevated walk paths. San Francisco by 2040 became known not only as a zero emission city, it also was known as the healthiest city.

So was this a vision of thing to come? Humm more like of things that COULD be done. It would take a lot of power and of course $$. Some I know would ask me, hey what about those who are disabled that can’t use public transit for what ever reason? Being one of those people, I often wondered about that myself. While there were no personal vehicles in the vision that did not mean there were no cars (although they did not look like the gas guzzlers we have now). My guess is people would put in orders for rides and be picked up. Granted it would grate teeth to wait. Trade off is that many things were now being delivered to the house, so shopping was not done by carrying packages home anymore, but secured delivery. People ate out or did take out, so groceries were pretty much a thing of the past. Yes the food was locally grown and in fact many people grew their own and contributed to local kitchens where they ate. If you did have a hankering to cook, there were facilities. All of this was done to conserve energy. By keeping the number of where food was stored in smaller areas, the amount of energy needed for refrigerators was cut down drastically. Eating out became a lot more affordable because people did it so much and unemployment was less than 1% which was primarily those who are severely disabled.

So, what do YOU think?

Nancy Louise

East side of island
Dawn on the East side of Treasure Island looking out to the Bay Bridge and towards Hayward.What can I say, I live here, see why?Hard side of the city.