Category Archives: TSV News

Our Revolution Will Not Be Twitterized

It’s official.  Democrats are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

The votes are in from the California Democratic Party Assembly District 4 delegates election and it was a clean sweep for all 10 of the candidates who ran on the “Progressive Labor Alliance” slate. This fresh crop is made up of Bernie Sanders convention delegates, Mariko Yamada endorsees, students, a farmworker, a grocery store worker, and a nurse. Continue reading Our Revolution Will Not Be Twitterized

Sonoma’s First Public Bank of Ganja

“Strange days indeed, most peculiar Mama” – John Lennon Nobody Told Me – 1977

Surely Lennon would be adding new verses this month.

“Republicans on heroin. Lakota hold the line. Nazis in the bathroom, or in a White House slot. They overbuilt in China, so finish what you’ve got.”

And with recreational cannabis now legal in California, leading cities are  putting on their green banker’s visors and getting ready to pass the proverbial peace pipe.

“… a Public Bank for Ganja, and I ain’t too surprised.”

The time has come to “Stash Your Cannabis Cash in Public Bank of Santa Rosa”.  So writes Marc Armstrong, a founding  member of the Transition Sonoma Valley Steering Team, in the North Bay Business Journal. Continue reading Sonoma’s First Public Bank of Ganja

Joint Statement – We Urge the City to Act Now

The following statement of the Sonoma Ecology Center and Transition Sonoma Valley was delivered at the Sonoma City Council meeting on September 7, 2016.

Climate change threatens what we cherish about Sonoma Valley. The initial path for action is clear and urgent. We urge the City to act now.

Our hills, our crops, and our wildlife suffer withering droughts, followed by floods. Wells are drying up. Fresh tragedies in Lake County show how vulnerable we are to wildfire. Our businesses and governments must cope with uncertainties never before contemplated.

It’s urgent that local governments act boldly now to protect a livable future. Sonoma County’s new Climate Action 2020 Plan (CAP) has a menu of climate action measures itemized for each jurisdiction, showing where we must first focus our efforts. We know we need to implement at least these measures as soon as possible.

Continue reading Joint Statement – We Urge the City to Act Now

FDA Bans Antibacterial Soap

When you buy soaps and body washes, do you reach for products labeled “antibacterial” hoping they’ll keep your family safer? Do you think those products will lower your risk of getting sick, spreading germs or being infected?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there isn’t enough science to show that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps are better at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. Continue reading FDA Bans Antibacterial Soap

Roadmap to Eco-Apocalypse

Update: After these comments first appeared on August 30, 2016, SCS Global appears to have taken down all content from the ClimateStabilizationCouncil.org website. To maintain the relevance of our critique, we have posted a downloaded copy of the original Roadmap in question.

TSV recently  received a so-called Roadmap to Climate Stabilization brief being circulated by some climate activists based in Napa County. Misleadingly titled, this actually turned out to be a very one-sided endorsement of a highly controversial and unproven approach to addressing climate change known as “Geo-Engineering” or “Climate Intervention”.

Continue reading Roadmap to Eco-Apocalypse

City Council Tables Climate Action Report

On Monday, August 15th, the Sonoma City Council voted unanimously to table an agenda item to approve the county’s long awaited Climate Action 2020 Plan (CAP). The vote was based on the advice of the City Attorney. He cited too much uncertainty surrounding the plan, now that it has been challenged in Sonoma County Superior Court.

The lawsuit, filed on August 9th by controversial Sebastopol-based non-profit, California River Watch, alleges that the CAP “fails to accurately assess the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with land use activities within county boundaries and which the county and its communities, cities within Sonoma County, can influence and control. The CAP also fails to identify sufficient enforceable mitigation measures…” (emphasis added).

Until the case is resolved, it is likely that elected officials in Healdsburg (on Sept. 6) and other cities throughout the county will also postpone formal adoption of the CAP.

Opinions differ as to whom to blame for this disappointing delay, and whether this legal dispute might have been avoided. However, no one on either side disputes that we need to take bold action NOW to fight climate change.

The CAP already has a menu of climate action measures itemized for each jurisdiction. It shows exactly where we must first focus our efforts. Our initial list was chosen by Sonoma city staff. Then in July at the behest of the Community Service and Environment Commission, Councilmember Hundley, Mayor Gallian, and staff, an additional eight measures were added. While this  increased the City’s commitments by 51%, we still lag far behind every single other jurisdiction in the county.

We know we need to implement at least these 21 Sonoma-specific measures (CAP p. 5-130) as soon as possible. Once started, we can strengthen Sonoma’s GHG emission reduction efforts to the level necessary to meet this challenge.

Climate change won’t wait for lawsuits to be resolved, nor can we.

On August 26, the Sonoma Index Tribune agreed with us: “if the council is truly serious about taking a leadership role in mitigating the effects of global climate change… it should re-agendize the eight Sonoma-specific measures it was set to consider”.

To fail at this puts our common future in grave danger. Continue reading City Council Tables Climate Action Report

How Did Our GHG Baseline Change?

A bogus GHG emissions baseline would be a giant step backward for Sonoma County

Update: In response to this post and other developments, RCPA issued a statement and additional data on August 26. TSV appreciates that RCPA takes the questions we raised seriously, and we look forward to narrowing the gap in our understanding of the CA 2020 plan. We are continuing to explore these issues and will report back with more findings as soon as we can.

Sonoma County’s long awaited Climate Action 2020 (CA 2020) Plan is finally here. But what is wrong with this picture (Fig. 1)?

How did Sonoma County’s AB32-mandated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions baseline — and even the direction of its 20-year trend line — change so dramatically in just the three months between the Draft and Final Reports?

Climate Action 2020 Baseline Trend, Draft vs. Final Reports
Fig. 1. Climate Action 2020 Baseline Trend, Draft vs. Final Reports (ES-2, excerpts compared)

Did the consultants hired to write the CA 2020 Plan make a serious error in their baseline analysis, or are they trying to rewrite history with a ‘backcast’ that is poorly documented and simply too good to be true?

Only the inattentive or the foolish will fall for this without a better explanation. Here’s how the fable currently goes. Continue reading How Did Our GHG Baseline Change?

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

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