We know climate change kills people, pollutes our skys and oceans constantly yet we don’t have anywhere near all the answers that would together End Fossil Fuels and thus the pollution that makes the climate change.  Will 2030 be the peak oil year, diminishing use afterwards?

In a NYT podcast, Ezra Klein interviewed a guy who claimed 95% of the technical fixes have yet to be invented!  We need hope to carry on, which is why I’m loving Instagram’s Good Climate News of the Week at http://itsthegarbagequeen  “Hoping you do not give in to climate doom.” She shares good climate news of the week  – and there is a LOT!

Sonoma County groups are taking a lot of the sting out of the bad news.  Cool Petaluma is a great model for how we can form neighborhood support groups and Resilience Hubs while 350BayArea and The Climate Center keep us abreast of local, national and global efforts to change laws, rein in polluters and encourage regeneneration while Daily Acts shows us how to create a food forest, a rain garden and generally to cooperate with nature and regenerate our land, and Bounty Farm raises food and distributes widely to those who are food insecure while teaching how to grow a vegetable garden.  That’s just a few of our local groups, often cooperating to make events and actions much stronger than individually undertaken.

Cool Petaluma hosts ongoing Mending Mondays Climate Activist Trainings and it’s Expo 2023 brought hundreds to Petaluma’s Luchessi Community Center, hope and connection for the town and environs.  An Electrify Petaluma event brought out 60 professionals to meet up and collaborate as the need arises. Originally a project of Empowerment Institute’s Cool Cities program, Cool Petaluma is now locally funded and growing steadily with hundreds of block leaders in place and more in upcoming trainings.  

So what are the constraints we know now? Don’t run your car – or your house – on gas.  Shut down factory farms. Cut back on military spending.
– How do we get to 100% EVs by 2030, a goal set by many?  
– What happens to used EV batteries?  
– Is there enough lithium and cobalt to even MAKE all the needed EVs?
– Will EVs challenge the grid, making it more unstable?

Challenges a plenty and yet Petaluma has set 2030 as the year it will reach net zero emissions!  Lofty goal but still doable?

OK, so EV’s cost way less to run and (with subsidies!) should come out costing about the same as gas cars at some point.  The batteries last 12-15 years, so that’s about what you’d expect with a gas car.  Recycling for batteries? Not yet.

Bigger badder questions loom: Can the US, let alone the globe, get its corporate hegemony and military tamed enough that we can all survive?  Peace and good health are more important than amassing a million for yourself or high numbers on Wall Street.  You DO want your grandchildren to have a life, yes?  

We’ve got to stop going to war, a huge leap for those who hunger for war movies!  I’m with CODE PINK here: defund the Pentagon!  We can kill every living thing X times over but haven’t a clue as to how to save the planet while we do the killing.  Wrong way Jose!  Or is that somehow a put down? Sexism needs to go, too! And rascism.  Maybe all the isms?  Can’t ever get to We Are One if our focus is me and my close circle of friends – and the rest of humanity up shit creek.

That and an author interviewed by Ezra Klein proclaimed 95% of the solutions to climate change haven’t been invented yet!  Hope for a future!

How to get back to a Natural Balance?  And with Justice!

Since 1989 and the publication of Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature, where he explains the world is not what nature intended, (indeed, we’ve permanently altered it!) I’ve been preoccupied with HOW we restore a balance with nature and how to do so in a way that is fair; a Just Transition till other words come.

California, Sonoma County, presents itself as a role model for restoration and justice, even more so just Petaluma alone.  After all, Ptown was the first to declare itself a Sanctuary City for the undocumented among us – no body has to answer to ICE so immigrants don’t have to fear being “disappeared” and the first to ban building of any more gas stations!  First in the nation for that.

With the persuasion of Pete Gang and his group of  Climate Mobilization allies, every city in Sonoma County declared Climate Emergency.  Climate Mobilization folks researched and found transit to be a transmitter of up to 60% of pollution so we/they called for support for public transit by talking to and writing Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, stating ongoing funding must come from the general fund to make permanent change happen.  Not a whole solution as people who are poor and have mental meltdowns travel by bus and insult or attack the driver, making him/her furious or scared or both. Many people at the Transit Mall in Santa Rosa responded that anger from the driver was a main reason they didn’t take the bus regularly. So fix mental illness, poverty and THEN public transit works?

 Climate crisis is so obviously a real and present danger. Pete Gang and a small group of friends at Climate Mobilization got every Sonoma County city to adopt a Climate Emergency resolution. A follow -up was identifying transit as 60% of pollution, thus a call for more money for public EV transit and related issues (including mental health of both riders and drivers set upon by unbalances riders).  

Our Safe Streets program wants to slow down traffic so less or maybe NO pedestrian deaths, more use of bicycles and personal EVs for transit none of which pollute.

So what’s the score card? Seems we’re doing moderately well on fire issues. California was called out as a model for fire surpression and response on one NPR show recently after the County gave notice to those with tall grasses to cut them and any other fire hazards. Good work by many.

A 2030 goal for some groups would mean we need 100% EVs on the road but we’re just a quarter of the way there in new car sales. How to get to 100%? Obviously, more people need to “feel the heat” one way or another and be held accountable in some way. We can’t just keep pumping oil and say we’ve done our part to stop fossil fuel use!

Point being we need so very much to “stop being an individual” in McKibben’s words, to stop wars, famine, patriarchy, world domination by corporate conglomerates and the military industial complex.  We need to work our way through the world with Joy, kindness and Art.

With all the darkness of war, pollution, flooding, hurricanes, gun violence, I’ve taken to these for balance:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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