Tag Archives: climate action

E Tu, Jerry?

California climate activists are bleeding from several stabs in the back this summer from our erstwhile friends in the neoliberal environmentalist establishment and the Democratic Party. Governor Jerry Brown, desperate to preserve California’s failing Cap & Trade program,  brokered a deal (AB 398) so shamefully full of pork for polluters that it has made even some veteran sausage-makers blush.

How could Governor Moonbeam do this to us?

Continue reading E Tu, Jerry?

Climate Activists Keep Sonoma County on Point

By Shoshana Hebshi, Communications Coordinator – Sierra Club Redwood Chapter

When President Trump announced he would pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement May 31, it felt like a national day of mourning to many concerned about the future of the planet. But the conversation quickly shifted to efforts by state, county and city governments, businesses, individuals and organizations to uphold and even go beyond Paris’ carbon-limiting recommendations.

“For every terrible decision Trump makes, grassroots activists, frontline communities, local governments, and concerned people across the country are fighting to make sure clean energy continues to grow by leaps and bounds,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement following Trump’s announcement.

Sonoma County is no exception. Seven years ago, environmentalists in Sonoma Valley began an initiative to shift their focus from the national to the local level in addressing the growing challenges of climate change, resource depletion and economic instability.

Sonoma resident Tom Conlon joined a handful of other concerned citizens to form Transition Sonoma Valley, a certified local “initiative” of the international, grassroots Transition Movement to organize and prepare local communities for climate change and economic threats ahead. Continue reading Climate Activists Keep Sonoma County on Point

What’s Your Carbon Footprint Sonoma?

Stanford University scientist Mark Jacobson recommends that we collectively cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 6% each year. Effectively that is what 144 countries have agreed to do by signing the Paris Agreement which went into effect last year.

Find out if you are above or below the 44.9 tons of CO2 that the average household in Sonoma generates each year. Regardless where you are right now, it’s not too late to set your own -6% plus goal for 2017.

Continue reading What’s Your Carbon Footprint Sonoma?

Sonoma Supports Standing Rock Sioux

Approximately 300 people turned out in force at Sonoma Plaza on Tuesday night November 15 in a show of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their ongoing blockade of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). For well over an hour, hundreds of passing drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians signaled their support with horns, waves, and enthusiastic cheers. Local politicians, civic leaders, and media were prominent in the crowd, as were people young and old chanting, “What Do We Want, NO Pipeline” and “Protect the Water, You Can’t Drink Oil”.Sonoma Protest in Support of the Standing Rock Sioux

The peaceful protest was just one among hundreds of other events held all over the world as part of an international “day of action”. The Sonoma protest was locally organized by Continue reading Sonoma Supports Standing Rock Sioux

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

GHG Limits – We Know What We Need To Do

Over the objections of our most selfish factions, human beings across the planet are finally beginning to unite in cooperation to fight climate change. At all levels, from global to local, a new governance framework for climate action  is materializing.

Saturday’s decision by China and the US, the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters, to ratify the landmark Paris COP21 accord on climate change heralds a new era of global cooperation on limiting emissions.

In California last week, our legislature, including local Assemblyman Bill Dodd, reversed their previous votes and narrowly passed SB32, locking in Governor Brown’s ambitious, but necessary climate action goals through 2030.

In Sonoma on Thursday night, Dodd said that what changed his mind

Continue reading GHG Limits – We Know What We Need To Do

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?