Grateful I am that our SoCo board of Supervisors along with responsible, VERY hard working representatives of local climate activist groups, held a first Sonoma County Climate Action and Resiliency Town Hall April 6th. You can view the zoom at YouTube  Sonoma County Climate Action and Resiliency Town Hall  or on Facebook ( type in a few of those words and magic will take you there!)

Community members are “invited to participate in this town hall to provide input on how the County should move forward to achieve its vision of becoming carbon neutral by 2030” – and responses are encouraged during this policy-making period. “Any questions related to the town hall may be sent to climate@sonoma-county.org,“states the county press release.

The short of it is we have massive work to do to reach climate goals by 2030; the long of it is we HAVE to to reach carbon neutrality in nine years or face end of the world scenarios.  We just can’t let that happen if we have any children we love, if we love life. Period.  Heavy lifting required.

At the Town Hall, Board of Supes Pres., Lynda Hopkins, looking all Hollywood glamorous but deadly serious, told us we have to work twice as hard to get where we need to go.  Wait! I’m working  hard NOW…so look for ways to be more EFFECTIVE…reach more folks; deep education somehow; deep connection to influencers in government, and yes, business, though we haven’t come to terms with our need for corporate allies quite yet.  THAT WILL BE BIG. 

Recall Carl Mears, contributing author of the UN IPCC report, and on the board of The Climate Center, told us awhile ago that whatever we do to improve our chances of surviving climate crises, we won’t make it until the big guys, the rich guys, the corporations, jump in and turn the ship around.  We still talk as if we can just will a healthy climate into existence, but a closer look tells us otherwise.

The challenges are huge, and glad our allies are doing amazing work we can help with, presented at the Town Hall, with a very open format allowing for 100 questions during the zoom – quite fine when you recall any big audience event; 300 participants in the call and seemed all were climate activists.

Justice was left out of the equation at the start but came up again and again as did protecting forests.  General sense was that Climate and Justice must be in the same breath and that we must protect forests, key to sequestering 24% of carbon, according to a new video from Project Drawdown’s Jonathan Foley.

Many great presentors!  Trathen Heckman, Daily Acts founder and inspiration, talked paradigm shift, that our small actions – and building local local leadership – are key to resilience.  We need a more adaptive network that offers a seat at the table for the community. 

Pete Gang, our Green Architect/Climate Mobilization guru who got every city in the county to declare Climate Emergency, now asks us to Imagine Sonoma County 
http://imaginesonomacounty.com/zoom.html before EarthDay, April 22, by letting our minds, hearts and talents wander through the form, adding copy and graphics(!) to areas of vision, policy and sketches, then they invite us to TAKE ACTION.  You go, Pete, along with Emmett Hopkins, spouse of Lynda’s, whose visionary graphic of a boring street becoming a colorful bike lane – community hub rivals that of Rob Hopkins, founder, Transition, U.K.  Any relation?

Was very pleased to see Nina Turner, now of The Climate Center, who we met when we came to meetings as Sunrise allies early in the history of Sunrise Movement, Santa Rosa.  Nina is now a pro, boosting The Climate Center’s Climate Safe California plan which would get us to 100% net negative emissions  by 2030. “Current science says California must do more,” she told us. “Secure a just transiton by prioritizing lower income and POC folks.” Yes, yes, yes.  We need to acknowledge (do I?) that white people are now the minority and wait! We haven’t been so nice.  Reparations are called for and hope somehow we get enough of that. 

Also grateful to see Woody Hastings and Jenny Blaker in their roles (each carries many!) as CONGAS activists, (Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations). When Petaluma got credit as the First California City to declare No New Gas Stations, Woody and Jenny were behind that good move!  Woody reminded us people of color are impacted unfairly and CONGAS is off and running for a moratorium on new gas stations in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. 

Glad to see the Zero Waste team is at it, planning for 75% reduction in landfill!

Caitlin Cornwall of the Sonoma Ecology Center said “Our homes are our resilience; our economy should adapt to our real needs and find solutions for all; a wider look at where and how we build.”

This Town Hall was a big step in gathering public opinion about the road ahead for climate action in Sonoma County.  Lynda Hopkins told us of a policy workshop May 11th and comments will be ongoing. ”  You can participate then, and now go to climate@sonoma-county.org with comments and questions.

 

 

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