RCP 4.5 Enlightened Government Scenario
1950 Torrey Pines Association
Formed in response to concern about the "intensity of use" of the park--too many people and too few restraints. San Diego was the 43rd largest city in 1940, but 31st by 1950. By 1980 it was 8th.
1958 Keeling Curve
which measures the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, was developed by Charles David Keeling of Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego. This longest running measurement quantifies the challenge faced by human society. Although it has been taught in college classrooms for decades, little has been done to slow the steady rise from 313 parts per million in 1958 to over 400 ppm currently. Why?
1995 Citizen Activism
In response to plans to build homes in one of the few remaining unprotected areas of coastal maritime chaparral, three activists formed the Carmel Mountain Conservancy. Through educational efforts, publicity, coalition building and identification of laws that supported their efforts, these activists succeeded in protecting much of this diminishing habitat. MORE
2099 2 C Temperature Rise
Given current trajectories, it will be quite an accomplishment if humanity if successful in holding global warming to 2 degrees C. Will those alive at that time mourn the loss of many of the plants and animals that live here today, or will they be grateful for all of the hard work that was done so that many life forms could continue to flourish?
1985 Slowing Growth
passed by 17,000 votes despite supporters being massively outspent. San Diego's population had tripled since 1950. This proposition mandated that a "future urbanizing area" of 52, 000 acres to the northeast of Torrey Pines must remain undeveloped until 1995.
2016 Paris Agreement
The world's first comprehensive climate agreement aims to hold global warming to 2 C above pre-industrial levels. A local scientist returning from Paris expressed optimism that the agreement represented a turning point because of rising investments in renewable energy, the many pledges by local municipalities, the involvement of the business and financial sectors, and the mobilization of civil society.
2035 100% of San Diego Electricity
is powered by renewable energy. This legally binding accord was signed in 2015. The city promised to cut overall greenhouse gases by half, and recycle 98% of methane produced by sewage and water treatment plants. SDG&E is only on track to go 50% renewable by 2030. How quickly will we move toward these goals?
2050 100% Renewable Energy
Citizens, recognizing that C02 remains in the atmosphere for 1000 years, demand policies to reduce green house gas emissions even faster than mandated by California state law. By 2050 California is entirely powered by clean energy--wind (35%), water, (5.5%) geothermal (5%) and sunlight (54.5%). What actions are required to create the political will to make this vision a reality? MORE
1997 San Diego Fairy Shrimp
listed as an endangered species. This tiny invertebrate lives in ephemeral vernal pools without fish. While over 97% of the vernal pools in San Diego have been destroyed, it is estimated that over a third of the invertebrates living in the pools have yet to be identified. How many species have we lost without knowing them? MORE
1998 Suburban Development- Prop. M
Developers need voter approval to build new homes in the "future urbanizing area," which they were unable to achieve until they cooperated with activists demanding conservation easements, affordable housing and consideration of sustainable building options. Were activist's demands adequate to achieve sustainable development? MORE
Urban Agriculture and Forestry
Community gardens and tree filled parks dot the urban landscape helping to sequester carbon, strengthen community, improve access to healthy food, build soils, and assist in storm water management.
2050 Greenhouse Gas Emissions
reduced by 80% in California below1990 levels. This reduction is mandated by executive Order S-3-05 signed by Gov. Schwartzenegger in 2005. Power plants, homes and commercial buildings are said to have a lifetime of about 40 years, so anything built now should be designed to operate at only 20% of emissions currently allowed if we are to achieve this goal.
April 2017 Millions March
in San Diego and throughout the US on April 22 in the march for scientists and April 29 in the People’s Climate Mobilization, demanding that government take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Despite initial reticence in Washington, state and local governments take the lead in mandating clean energy, mass transit, higher auto emission standards and more.
2019 High Density Housing
Zoning plans are changed to permit high density housing along the new trolley lines, thereby helping to achieve the goals of the Climate Action Plan, which mandates that by 2035 half of the city's residents use some form of transit for commuting. Initially raising building height limits was opposed, but is a view worth less when beaches are inundated by rising seas?
The average ring represents the average annual moisture in the upper layer of the soil during 1950-2005. For every 3% increase in annual soil moisture the rings are darker and further apart, for every 3% decrease the rings are lighter and closer together. In the 2090s soil moisture will average 7% less than during the last half of the 20th century. For more info see technical notes.