On the eve of the critical United Nations COP21 Climate Summit in Paris (Nov 30 to Dec 11), concerned citizens all around the world will be coming together for a week of marches and demonstrations to ensure that world, national and local governmental leaders understand that people demand action to stop the increase of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere.

Transition Sonoma Valley and the Earth Care Committee of the First Congregational Church of Sonoma are co-hosting a local “Global Climate March” around the Plaza on Sunday, November 29. Beginning at 12:00 noon, a pre-march rally in Burlingame Hall (252 W. 252 W. Spain Street), will convene for making posters and signs and receiving actionable items before the March kicks off at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Everyone is welcome including senior citizens, students, children, grandchildren and pets, for the march from Burlingame Hall around the Plaza before congregating near the sidewalk at the intersection of Broadway and Napa Street for a public witness in support of sustained political action on behalf of the environment.

Learn More >>

Download the Press Release >>

Protecting and Preserving Sonoma Valley

Protecting and Preserving Our Beautiful Sonoma Valley: What Needs To Be Done?

An Evening of Dialogue with Richard Dale Executive Director Sonoma Ecology Center, and Dave Koehler Director Sonoma Land Trust

November 13 – Burlingame Hall 7:00PM  <add to calendar>

As population, housing, and commercial development have increased, there has been consequent challenge to the Sonoma Valley. Bio-diversity in agriculture has been sacrificed and now California’s sustained drought has placed further stress upon the environment of this special valley.

You are invited to bring your questions and opinions to this evening of dialogue with two thoughtful leaders whose organizations are working to respond to such environmental issues as water supply and quality, protection and purchase of open space, access to public lands, biodiversity, the challenges to the wildlife corridor in the Valley, energy source and use, and climate change.

These issues affect your quality of life and that of your children and grandchildren. What should we do to sustain this valley for the future? How can we ensure the preservation and restoration of waterways, natural habitats for animals and the protection of our natural heritage and public lands? How can we preserve open space? And how can you best join these efforts?

Download the Flyer >>

Harnessing the Economy

In a talk entitled Harnessing the Economy to Fight Climate Change: Carbon Fee and Dividend, Dr. Peter Joseph will address why he believes that the quickest and most efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to put a meaningful price on carbon through adoption of a carbon tax (fee) combined with a re-distributive dividend policy.

Dr. Joseph has been invited by the Earth Care Committee of The First Congregational Church (FCC) United Church of Christ in Sonoma to engage the public on this timely and critical subject on Tuesday evening, October 20th at 7:00 pm in Burlingame Hall, on the FCC campus, located at 252 West Spain Street.

Continue reading Harnessing the Economy

Peak Wine? Let Them Eat Cake

Sonoma County’s 40+ year love affair with grape alcohol may be on the rocks. Or is it time to pop a cork to celebrate the apex of high times in Wine Country?

It depends on whom you ask.

Writing for The Bohemian, Stephanie Hiller reports that Big Vineyards Face a Sustainability Gap in Sonoma County. Napa winederkind [sic] Joe Wagner’s proposal to build a huge new winery, distillery and events center at Dairyman ranch off Highway 12 near Sebastopol has led to a groundswell of opposition.

Does Wagner care?

Continue reading Peak Wine? Let Them Eat Cake

Faith and Science – Who Believes?

For a long time, we’ve been having a pretty confused discussion about the relationship between religious beliefs and the rejection of science — and especially its two most prominent U.S. incarnations, evolution denial and climate change denial.

Josh Rosenau, an evolutionary biologist who works for the National Center for Science Education  has published a chart that, no matter what you think of the relationship between science and religion, will give you plenty to think about.

Crunching data from the massive Pew survey of American religious beliefs (2007), Rosenau plotted different U.S. faiths and denominations based on their members’ views about both the reality of specifically human evolution, and also how much they favor “stricter environmental laws and regulations.” Continue reading Faith and Science – Who Believes?

TSV Sustainability Scholarship 2015

Transition Sonoma Valley is extremely pleased to announce that Stephanie Angulo has been selected to become the first recipient of our first annual, Transition Sonoma Valley Sustainability Scholarship. Ms. Angulo is a graduating senior at Sonoma Valley High School and also an intern at TSV.
Ms. Angulo was selected because we believe in planning for and investing in the future, and we consider her intellectual talents, communication skills, and work ethic to merit our support. We also appreciate all the time and good work she has contributed as a volunteer for our organization.
Ms. Angulo received her award, a check in the amount of $500, on May 18, 2015 at Sonoma Valley High School. She also has been accepted into Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute in Washington. In the Fall of 2015  she will enroll in the 3/2 Engineering Program at Occidental College, where she will have the opportunity to complete her studies at Caltech or Columbia University.

Sustainable Sonoma – What It Is, and Isn’t

Fueled by nearly five years of discussions with you, our beloved neighbors in this feisty Bear-Flag-loving pueblo, The Sun has asked us to comment on a surprisingly moveable topic: ‘Sustainability’.

Like Thomas Jefferson, we generally find the truths about sustainability to be ‘self-evident’. Nevertheless, we offer up a few observations we find neither too obscure nor too convenient to ignore.

What We Know

“Sustainability is permanence.” Soil advocate Lady Eve Balfour said this almost 40 years ago, and it still rings true today. She went on to quote Aldo Leopold, “a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise”.

Sonoma is blessed with an abundance of natural — and increasingly cultural — amenities that inspire our spirits and make almost all of us happy to live here. Sonoma also has a proud tradition of iconoclastic independence. It should come as no surprise that our new vecinos de Michoacán have independence in their tradition too. We have much to learn from one another in the years to come.

Continue reading Sustainable Sonoma – What It Is, and Isn’t

Russian River – ALL RIVERS – May 29


* * Back in Sonoma by Popular Demand * *

Screening at Sonoma’s Burlingame Hall, May 29

Those not able to attend previous screenings of The Russian River: ALL RIVERS The Value of an American Watershed in venues throughout the north bay, will have another chance to catch a Sonoma Valley showing on Friday, May 29 at 7:00 pm. Shown in February to a packed crowd at Sebastiani Theatre, and in March to a sold-out crowd at Andrews Hall,  the film will be presented on a free-will donation basis at Burlingame Hall on the campus of First Congregational Church (FCC) located at 252 West Spain Street. Doors will open at 6:30 pm, and guests will be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Sponsored by Transition Sonoma Valley and the Earth Care Committee of FCC, this showing of the highly acclaimed documentary will also feature a post-film Q & A with Continue reading Russian River – ALL RIVERS – May 29

Lawn Transformations – Now in a Front Yard Near You

By all reports residential lawns in drought-stricken California are fast becoming another one of those quaint 20th century anachronisms . Unless you still have a compelling need to play futbol, polo, or golf in your front yard (Anglo-Saxon bowling or tennis anyone?) it’s getting hard to justify why to still keep one.

How many lawn conversions can you count in your neighborhood?

By last count, one nearby two-block span had at least five in progress (or recently completed). Here in Sonoma, we are not alone. Water agencies throughout the state report a surge in interest in turf replacement and conservation rebate programs as our unprecedented statewide drought continues. Savvy homeowners will want to take advantage of the generous incentives before the free money inevitably runs out.

Best of all, these landscaping changes are as creatively diverse and inspiring as you would expect from Sonoma Valley.  The one above on Third Street East certainly caught our eye. Here’s what the owner had to say: Continue reading Lawn Transformations – Now in a Front Yard Near You

Community Resilience Challenge

Pass it on, the Challenge is spreading. During the month of May, thousands of people across the country will take coordinated, grassroots action to build resilience in their communities. Together, we’ll show the world what’s possible when communities come together to get things done. Will you join us?

Last year we collectively helped register over 16,000 actions as part of the Community Resilience Challenge! Way to stand up and be counted!!

The Community Resilience Challenge is organized around four themes: Continue reading Community Resilience Challenge

Networking for Resilience