You've probably heard of the Green New Deal, but if you haven't, we'll give you the condensed definition.
It is a call to public policy to address climate change, but it also aims to address and achieve other goals such as reducing economic inequality and creating jobs.
While there are supporters and opponents of the Green New Deal who argue and defend their views on it, let's talk about the aspect of climate change.
In Thursday's Antelope Valley Press, we reported that the Westside Union School District is eliminating approximately 52 tons of greenhouse gas emissions by replacing its gas-powered grounds maintenance equipment with battery-electric devices.
The very next day we received a letter from a reader asking ourselves if the money spent on electrical equipment would have been better spent elsewhere to help the education system.
The letter writer also suggested another way of being environmentally friendly: By replacing the lawn or replacing the gas-powered and electric lawn care devices with “human-powered” lawnmowers.
Another question was whether the electric lawnmowers are only charged with solar power or gas-fired power plants. The letter ended with the author saying that there are other issues in the school system that need to be addressed, such as the quality of teaching and safety, rather than “chasing the Green New Deal.”
The author's questions are legitimate. However, the Westside Union School District isn't the first to replace gas-powered appliances with more environmentally friendly alternatives. The City of Lancaster encouraged local residents who switched from gas-powered lawnmowers to electric ones.
In 2016, they held their eighth annual lawn mower exchange, at which residents could exchange gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn trimmers for emission-free electric models.
“Pre-registered Antelope Valley residents can trade in up to one of each working gasoline-powered lawnmower, leaf blower and lawn trimmer for a new cordless, electric, rechargeable or otherwise emission-free replacement item,” the city website said at the time.
Could the money spent on new battery-powered devices have gone elsewhere in town? Sure, but the mayor and council have taken steps to reduce residents' carbon footprint and make it easier for them to buy greener equipment.
We don't have to look far to see how emissions can affect the environment. One look towards Tehachapi on any given day will likely reveal a thick blanket of unhealthy looking air, and checking your phone's weather app will tell you exactly how unhealthy the air is around you.
Yes, perhaps the money for the gas-powered appliances could have been spent elsewhere, but the district has shown an interest in doing its part to reduce emissions and ensure cleaner air for future generations.