"I hope this doesn't just become another academic Earth Day and that there is a real implementation plan," said San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, co-founder of the state Green Party. "San Francisco is very good at investigating our options that steer us away from fossil fuels. But we have a long ways to go, especially in comparison to many other cities that will be visiting."
Others are cautiously complimentary. When Newsom ran for mayor, environmental organizations gave him a D compared with opponent Matt Gonzalez's A, based on their environmental voting records on the Board of Supervisors.
But as mayor, they say, Newsom has shown a greater interest in environmental causes, such as renewable energy.
John Rizzo, chairman of the San Francisco Bay chapter of the Sierra Club, a sponsor of some World Environment Day events, said he doubts the protocols that will be adopted will become solutions. But "to have the general public know these are problems -- that's worthwhile.... I think it's going to be hyped. But there is something there," he said. "It's not exactly fluff."
Richard Register attended the U.N. event in 1972 in Stockholm when World Environment Day was created. His Berkeley-based Ecocity Builders is dedicated to ecologically healthy cities that are not reliant on automobiles, and he has traveled the world to find them. San Francisco never made the list.