The Green Guillotine

Hermosa BeachIf you’ve ever wondered what happens when Berkeley-grade environmentalists finally seize control of all the levers of government power, let me introduce you to my town of Hermosa Beach, California.

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The first thing they do is come for your carbon.

They want you to stop burning it. Immediately.

Environmental purists believe that burning carbon in any of its various forms ultimately causes the seas to rise and the polar caps to melt. They believe carbon emissions cause the rainlessness that is turning central California into fallow hardscape.

Hermosa’s newly elected political leadership decided to take a stand against carbon and recently unveiled a blueprint to reach the city’s goal of being “carbon neutral” by 2030. In green-speak, “carbon neutrality” means achieving zero net carbon emissions by eliminating greenhouse gasses (i.e., carbon dioxide) and purchasing “offsets” (i.e., trees) for whatever they can’t. Their roadmap to achieve this goal is called PLAN Hermosa.

Predictably, the first step towards “carbon neutrality” calls for getting rid of the city’s cars. According to PLAN Hermosa, transportation accounts for 54 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the city, so it is important to “disincentivize conventionally fueled automobile use.”

Hermosa Beach politicians aren’t bold enough (at least not yet) to issue a diktat banning gasoline burning automobiles from the city’s streets, so they do the next best thing – they make it hard for their residents to use them. PLAN Hermosa calls for the elimination of parking spaces and charging more for the ones that remain. In the densely populated beach city where parking is already at a premium and 95 percent of the working population drives to their place of business, this will be a significant imposition. But bicycling is good for you, and the ice floes and polar bears aren’t going to save themselves.

PLAN Hermosa also says that natural gas has to go because it’s the next biggest source of greenhouse emissions after cars. A draft of PLAN Hermosa “mandated” all homes in the city that currently use it (almost all of them) for heating and cooking convert to “biogas technologies and electrification of heating and cooking appliances.” Commercial buildings that use it (almost all of them) would be forced to retrofit with renewable energy sources at the time of sale or before any major renovations.

Given that “electrification” means homes and businesses will be forced to draw power from plants that generate most of it from fossil fuels, this is an obscenely expensive, self-congratulatory gesture.

The drafts of PLAN Hermosa are peppered with the word “mandate,” which means there’s no choice. City forces will presumably identify homes in Hermosa Beach (again, almost all of them) that use gas stoves and force homeowners to replace them with electric ones. It would be one thing if the city paid for the conversion, but given the state of the city’s finances homeowners will likely bear the cost. For the Hermosa’s businesses, consumers will pay for achieving carbon neutrality through higher prices. Either that or they’ll shop elsewhere.

Notably absent from PLAN Hermosa is a discussion of how the city will enforce these green “mandates.”

What will the city do to homeowners who refuse to convert? Typically, violating the municipal code is a misdemeanor offense punishable by fines and jail time. Will the city fine homeowners who keep the outlawed ovens, or will it throw recalcitrant “climate deniers” who refuse to do their part to combat global warming in jail? (This might seem like oppressive government overreach to most, but don’t forget President Obama’s DOJ contemplated legal action against “climate deniers.”) Either way, the city will have to do something, because a mandate without enforcement is merely a suggestion.

Hermosa Beach’s green political activists also know eliminating residents’ demand for carbon is only half the battle; they must also cut-off the supply. Like the DEA dusting Colombia’s coca fields with herbicides to stem the production of cocaine, Hermosa Beach’s politicians will choke-off the supply of climate-killing carbon through “Community Choice Aggregation.” This is a state-approved plan that allows cities to create a municipal utility to purchase and sell energy from green sources. In other words, when Hermosa residents fire-up their new electric stoves the power will come from solar panels and wind turbines. Some estimate the set-up cost could be as much as $1,000,000. Residents and businesses will automatically become customers of the new utility unless they choose to “opt out.”

The idealistic French revolutionaries who seized control of their country brought liberté, égalité, fraternité to the French people – and eventually, the guillotine. When the green Jacobins took control of Hermosa Beach they brought a regime of taxpayer funding, symbolism, and government coercion to residents. The last two, symbolism and government coercion, are to environmentalism what fuel and oxygen are to fire. Cost – especially when it’s other people’s money – isn’t a consideration. Green idealism currently rules Hermosa Beach, and where idealism rules the guillotine isn’t far behind. But in Hermosa Beach, at least it will be solar powered.

Patrick “Kit” Bobko is a former two-term City Councilman and Mayor of Hermosa Beach, California. Kit was also a Republican candidate for Congress in 2011. Kit is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and a proud Air Force veteran. He currently practices law in Los Angeles.


  1. The sun rules supreme even as it goes through cooling cycles. Beware!

  2. The enviro whack jobs are in total control now!! All of these nutty regs will solve NOTHING!!

  3. Rottweiler says

    Defund California via Moonbeam’s assault on Trump with his santuary city theology. This way they won’t be able to afford all the luxuries they want the taxpayer to foot, especially their crazy makes no sense socialist antics.

  4. Patton'sGhost says

    It appears that Hermosa is a microcosm of Brown’s green jihad on California as a whole…
    Let the roads rot so people want to be shepherded into trains…
    Let the cost of electricity rise to the point that people want to install solar panels…
    Encourage people to rip out their lawns & install rocks & cactus or artificial turf landscaping by limiting the supply & water infrastructure maintenance…
    The “crazy Jesuit” wants to drive thinking, self reliant citizens out of California so his party can pander to the uber-wealthy entertainment & sports industry and their peasant servants that mow their lawns and wipe their offspring’s backsides…
    The writing is on the wall..
    But the weather & scenery are nice…

  5. These morons want to get rid of carbon, NO PROBLEM, first we cut off their electricity, and put road blocks at the town limits to stop them from leaving. I give them 4 days.

  6. Really??? says

    The Battle Cry should be “Remember the 1970’s”!!!

    Then it was a mini ice age was upon us. *laugh*

    Now it is we are cooking ourselves…..*groan*

    When the cost of energy goes up the quality of life goes down. When the costs of energy goes up it hammers the poor and middle class. When the cost of energy goes up the civilization crumbles.

    Good going Democrats…. You really are stupid.

  7. Randy Frodsham says

    Sounds like they have a GREAT! idea. But they NEED to lead by example. If they TRULY believe that carbon dioxide is a bad thing for the environment, they should lead by example and STOP EXHALING since a significant majority of what humans exhale is carbon dioxide.

  8. Call it what it really is…..Atenda 21

  9. Call it what it really is, Agenda 21. No doubt supported by California League of Cities, a non-elected board and organization.

  10. What about those forest fires? Why are the low IQ;s attracted to government?

  11. Where is that asteroid!

  12. Emanuelle Goldstein says

    “electrification of heating and cooking appliances.”

    Really? Are they going to build a few more hydroelectric plants? Probably not. So that means frying your food on your solar panels.

  13. flyovermike says

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