While consultants and staff continue to work on Sonoma County’s long anticipated Climate Action 2020 plan for mitigating our local share of greenhouse gas pollution, two recent lawsuits in San Diego County may already be setting precedents that could effect us here in the North Bay.
In the first case settled last month, the state Supreme Court decided not to review the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision in a suit originally filed by the Sierra Club. The environmental organization had sued San Diego County after it failed to include enforceable measures for curbing greenhouse-gas levels in its Climate Action Plan, a long-range planning document that addresses everything from transportation projects to housing construction and other types of development. As a result, that county will now be required to set tangible targets for dealing with the effects of climate change.
In the second case, the California Supreme Court will review a lawsuit filed by the Cleveland National Forest Foundation against the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Many anticipate that this case could result in a ruling that determines exactly what California’s rules are for dealing with carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to global warming. The central point in this appeal will be whether Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2005 executive order [S-3-05] sets an enforceable timeline of 2050 for cutting greenhouse gases by 80 percent below 1990 levels.
While Sonoma County’s plan is expected to at least affirm or even exceed these statewide targets, such case law precedents should help make the path forward much clearer for all concerned.
boom, bust and binge — a morning-after water story
The 110-mile long Russian River flowing through the gladed forests and farm lands of Mendocino and Sonoma County and its vast watershed is the subject of an upcoming film presented by Transition Sonoma Valley (TSV) and the Center for Sustainable Living of the Sonoma Community Center (SCC). This final offering in the Films for the Future series will be screened on Friday, March 20, once again on the new 16-foot theatrical screen on the Rotary Stage in Andrews Hall, located at 276 East Napa Street.
To ensure a seat, buy tickets in advance at SCC’s Box Office.
The evening’s presentation will include an opening reception beginning at 7:00 pm with refreshments, the film showing at 7:30, immediately followed by informal conversation to enhance the film’s message and to encourage community dialogue and engagement.
Decades of believing that our daily foods will soon be endangered could all just be a myth. Dr. Jonathan Latham claims that the real food crisis is of overproduction of foods. Food campaigners have carefully strategized their marketing techniques by using this food scarcity myth to disguise the pesticide usage and GMOs as beneficial resources for this generation. Latham explains that people must shift their perception to understand that the biggest struggle in the food war is the one inside our heads.
UPDATE: On March 2, 2015, the Sonoma City Council voted 3 to 2 to send a modified letter to the Board of Supervisors outlining why we as a community oppose adding fluoride to our water supply at this time. Transition Sonoma Valley thanks our Mayor and other council members who voted with us on this challenging issue.
To those who felt that taking a stand at this time was premature, we respect your opinions. We hope everyone on both sides of this issue will join us in promising to keep an open mind as new scientific evidence may become available.
On Wednesday February 18, 2015 at 6:00PM, the Sonoma City Council will consider whether to send a letter of opposition to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors regarding fluoridation of our local water supply.
GMO OMG director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert is in search of answers. How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question, which Seifert tests himself: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t gain back? These and other questions take Seifert on a journey from his family’s table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what’s on your plate?
With the recent declines in numbers of monarch butterflies leading to the popular insect becoming a candidate for listing as an endangered species, more and more gardeners are thinking about growing milkweed. Milkweed, after all, if the only kind of plant monarch caterpillars can eat, and so growing milkweed in your garden means you’re providing monarchs with a nursery and larder for their young.
But there’s a problem: there are about 140 known species of milkweed, some of them potentially invasive in California wildlands. In fact, not all milkweeds are of equal benefit to monarch butterflies. There’s even some thought that one popular tropical milkweed may be harming North American monarchs by changing their migration habits.
Fortunately, there are fifteen species of California native milkweed that gardeners can choose from to give monarchs a helping hand. Not all of them are readily available in nurseries, but with a little searching you should be able to find at least one species appropriate for your part of the state.
Stanford University scientists have found that the economic damage caused by a ton of CO2 emissions–often referred to as the “social cost of carbon–could actually be six times higher than the value that the United States uses to guide current energy regulations, and possibly future mitigation policies.
A new study by Frances Moore and Delavane Diaz finds that the ‘social cost’ of one ton of carbon dioxide emissions may not be $37, as previously estimated by a recent U.S. government study, but $220.
Fans of Sonoma homegrown climate activist and 350.org Executive Director May Boeve will enjoy watching this short and informative interview. Ms. Boeve explains what is next on her movement’s agenda, now that President Obama has vowed to veto the Keystone XL pipeline.
On February 7th, thousands of people from all corners of the state will take to the streets of Oakland to call on Governor Jerry Brown to protect all Californians from dangerous oil activities that harm our water, our health and our communities.
Join us in Oakland, Governor Brown’s hometown, on February 7th to demand that he be a real climate leader by stopping fracking, standing up to Big Oil, and moving beyond fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy.