So Wayne and I are going to Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) this Earth Day, Friday 4/22, 9am or earlier to help paint a blocks-long  street mural, a joint effort of more than 30 groups (staying on the street till Oct!), spend some time at the joint Sonoma County Climate Mobilization (SCCM) and Sunrise movement table and then march at 2pm with Sunrise youth and friends to the Board of Supervisors to call for Transit Justice: Safe and Reliable Transit For All.

More climate justice graphics, “oil derricks” and a set of posters designed by indigenous artists provided by famous art activist, David Solnit, will be on display on campus at Emeritus Quad, SRJC.  

Earth Day means a lot to a lot of people.  For parents of grade schoolers it’s likely to mean the kids learn about polar bears and recycling? Well, something sweet and not too scary.  
I found 24 Earth Day events in Sonoma and Marin Counties, mostly school gatherings.

Problem is climate chaos is here and it IS scary!  The April 4th IPCC report states “It’s Now or Never” facing off with climate crises globally – or apolcalpyse soon. MAYBE eight years.

So imagine in five-eight years we have to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half.  That means half the cars must be electric or more? Half the households must be solar or more? We don’t actually know what all it means but Climate Mobilization and Sunrise Movement and many others are scrambling to find solutions and get us to that semi-safe place we’ve carved out in our imagination:  Regeneration of Planet Earth. Things greener and more fair than before. Climate Justice. We Deserve a Livable Future, says a frequently sighted Sunrise banner.

So this Earth Day, Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), 1501 Mendocino, Santa Rosa, hosts a mural painting calling for Transit Justice from 9am-noon, a rally with group tabling and speakers. 

With all Sonoma County cities signed on to a Declaration of Climate Emergency through the efforts of Sonoma County Climate Mobilization (SCCM), they and allies came upon Transit Justice as a door opener to address climate emergency, and a Fair-Free year-long piot project proposal is now before the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors signed by 20 groups. “You Declared a Climate Emergency: Act Like It” reads another popular banner.

Transit Justice: Safe and Reliable Transit for All, also referred to as Fair-Free, would aim to serve riders system-wide including Sonoma County Transit (SCT), Santa Rosa Transit (SR) and Petaluma Transit (PT). The proposal would provide increased bus frequency, reliability and service hours to better serve more people. Up for consideration: Make fare-free permanent for youth.

The proposal would save money for riders (take the free bus!) and cut CO2 emmissions (transit is the biggest CO2 polluter here).  Many may not need  to own a car or pay for gas and will enjoy a more stress free mode of transportation. 

On Earth Day you can support the Transit Justice message, enjoy great company and get some walking in by coming out to paint on Elliot Street near the SRJC campus, then join the march at 2pm. Join us in calling for Safe, affordable, reliable public transportation for all!  

We hope you’ll show up, paint some of the mural (there was an online painting workshop) or just talk with everyone what major shifts are coming and how to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity to live in a greener, more equitable, and adaptable way (The Great Turning, in the words of Joanna Macy). The beautiful world that is now Sonoma County could continue to be beautiful if  we dig in and make regeneration everybody’s business. 

So there’s joy in Earth Day again. It’s a chance to gather for groups who haven’t met up during these COVID years and are now more determined than ever to overcome climate chaos.  

To build a roadmap to a carbon free future, it helps to know where we are headed including all of the positive benefits we hope to gain. Architect and Climate Reality Leader Pete Gang will help us imagine these better possibilities by exploring a big-picture vision of what we want Petaluma to look like in 2030 and beyond. – Emmett Hopkins’ preface to a presentation by Pete Gang, Sonoma County Climate Mobilization 

 

 

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