To Adapt or Not to Adapt?


Recently there had been a several hazardous fires within the California.

Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 9.06.32 PM

(Source: “Los Angeles, Cal.: Pollution of Streams.”)

This, however, is not the start of California’s everlasting clash with pollution effects.


Backtracking to the summer of 1943, an acrid cloud settled over downtown Los Angeles. On the streets below, cars collided as “lacrimous fumes” blinded drivers. City officials received letter after letter complaining that the smoke destroyed the community, “depressed … [the] spirits,” interfered with vital war production and the pursuit of happiness, and threatened the public health.l A municipal judge found conditions so unbearable that he considered adjourning court until the fumes lifted, while the tuberculosis ward at General Hospital reported increased hemorrhages and death (“Los Angeles, Cal.: Pollution of Streams.”).

Since 1970, California has been trying to enact a law to stop the emission of greenhouses. The California Environmental Quality Act, was supposed to create an environment review and minimize the effect of pollution There has been an influx of major problems. The Senate recently stated that “California communities have to be redesigned to make it easier for people to walk, bike, or take transit” (Board). Under the CEQA rules, a project in particular has created more negative externalities than thought of before. The project views roads in Los Angeles through a dependent on speed. The project in totality was geared on getting cars to move faster. This is counteractive to the entire project as this pushes for the opposite of the objective. Prioritizing cars to go faster, pushes the increase of greenhouse gases.  

Under current CEQA rules, a project has a negative environmental impact if it would slow the speed of traffic or add to congestion. There are several major problems with this approach.

Now, the method of operation it to disincentivize people to use cars and to rely on other sources of transportation. Though L.A. does have their own underground transportation, a reinvestment in such a project is more feasible to ensure the sustainability of air control in the city.

Despite the negatives of the act, the positive and beneficial regulations include the stipulations of the Los Angeles river. Under the “Pollution of Streams” clause, it is unlawful for any person, corporation to deposit or to cause permit to be deposited, in any reservoir or aqueduct, or in any pipe” (Sage Productions  2207). That effort to push sustainability thought the effort was initial.

All the contaminants that smog, pollutants, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrocarbons, articulates, nitric acid, and cyclic concentration pattern with maxima in the winter” ( Mosher et al  576).  In 1971, the mean squared for residuals for the model with carbon monoxide is 192.0, a reduction of 36 percent from since 1970.

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(Source: “Los Angeles, Cal.: Pollution of Streams.”)

Most recently the had been fires in Los Angeles this year that destroyed hundred of homes and moved thousands of people. This massive inferno occurred in Ventura county and had been increasing the threat to Santa Barbara, and other coastal communities. The fire had headed to Santa Ynez Mountains. The methods to stopping the fire was not an efficient solution either.

There needs to more attention toward intergenerational equity. By the applying this, it will prioritize every depletable resource within the confines of cultivated land. It also prevents the increasing rate of negative externalities from occuring. This minimizes not only pollution but the chance of cities having to use a bandaid solution towards the violation of the environment.

These occurrences highlight the need of more incentivization. All in all, there also needs to be more education involving such practices so people can humanize the potential casualties that can result from environmental haphazardness.

Consumers must take heed to the climate change and its impacts to the environment. Adapting had been done in areas Texas, Atlanta, normally hot places that have been exposed to colder climates. California’s extension of pollution which only contribute to the speed of the climate transformation. Actively producing such harmful chemicals in the air–black carbon, and other greenhouse gases–will push California to act in a speed they are not ready for. They could not adapt to the rampant fires plaguing to the city due to environmental barriers, but their behavior progresses such and creates a quick sand of climate changing actions.

  Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 9.06.16 PM

(Source: Balbus)


The recent droughts in California are only one of the repercussions. Efficiency has to be in the state’s trajectory or there will be no quick enough and adaptable way to maintain human life there.

There also needs to be a prioritization of sufficiency. With this, comes the incentivization of using more environmentally sound practices. The easiest and most efficient way of getting people to follow such a movement is to consistently remind them of the repercussions of not doing so.

Potential incentives is adding or expanding bike lanes and minimizing travel for those with motor vehicles (CEQA’s problems). For example, cities like New York City, New York; housing the highest disincentives of driving and more of an influx on underground transportation. Adding more fees to curb those from all income who drive is crucial in fortifying this eco-friendly bandwagon. This method is not only optimizing but in some respects, maximizing in that train carts fill up due to other people’s incentive to get to their destination. Showcasing method such as the aforementioned help in deterring people from.

     Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 9.06.01 PM

Understanding the limitations of the environment we in also helps in instilling that supply and net benefit increases when operation at perfect competition is actualized. There is also an increase in marginal net benefit when the policies works towards efficiency.  It reaches new zeniths and promises a equity for the present and future. The “rates of loss of animal and plant species, arable land, water quality, tropical forests and cultural heritage are especially serious” (“Intergenerational Equity.”).

Another incentivizing method that enforces is installing more deposit-return systems. The revenue would come from  

This rudimentary practice would increase the narrative in remaining and sustaining eco-friendly systems. Increasing the importance of such for every individual will exponentially multiply the impact.

Hopefully the movements and adjustment California makes move towards less negative externalities, and forward economic growth.


Priscilla Omisore
*Proper Format*

Works Cited


Balbus, J., et al. “Ch. 1: Introduction: Climate Change and Human Health.” The Impacts of

Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, 4 Apr.



Board, The Times Editorial. “If California is serious about climate change, the car can’t be king

of our roads.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2017,


Mosher, John C., et al. “Air Pollution in Los Angeles.” Science, vol. 173, no. 3997, 1971, pp.

576–580. JSTOR, JSTOR,


Serna, Joseph, et al. “’This fire is a beast’: Massive inferno keeps growing despite all-out battle.”

Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2017,


“Intergenerational Equity.” Equity – Intergenerational Equity, Sharon Beder,


“Los Angeles, Cal.: Pollution of Streams.” Public Health Reports (1896-1970), vol. 27, no. 52,

1912, pp. 2207–2208. JSTOR, JSTOR,



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