Sonoma County Climate Action

Educate, Organize, Act!

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MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SONOMA COUNTY!

350 Sonoma, an all-volunteer non-profit, is working to slow climate change and promote climate justice in the county. We're part of 350 Bay Area and inspired by 350.org, the international climate action organization founded by Bill McKibbon. We meet the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, 467 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa. Join us!

Support 350 Sonoma Actions:

AB 813: Contact your state senator’s office to stop the California Coalification Bill!

AB 813 would regionalize California’s electricity grid, merging the existing independent management into a broader regional system. This is an extremely complicated issue. There are compelling reasons to consider regionalization, but the risks far outweigh the potential benefits at this time. Regionalization would increase the control that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has on California’s grid, and FERC is currently dreaming up ways to support extending uneconomical coal and nuclear generation. Also, the western region envisioned in the bill includes coal country – and there is the strong potential that this regionalized grid could extend the economic viability of some of the nation’s worst coal plants. California’s existing grid management system is not in dire circumstances! We have a functioning operator supported by existing out of state contracts that balance our energy needs. We are at a time of remarkable innovation in electricity generation and distribution – it is quite premature to lock in this approach in the face of rapidly changing circumstances, especially when California risks losing control over its electricity generation portfolio by doing so.

Call or email your State Senator McGuire’s office before Tuesday morning! There is a critical vote on this issue on June 19, and we need to reach Senator McGuire, a key vote on this issue. His phone number is (916) 651-4002, or email his legislative aide Christopher.Nielsen@sen.ca.gov. A simple message is fine: “Please do not support AB 813: It is not worth the risk to California’s control over its energy mix. We don’t want coal energy in California. We encourage Senator McGuire to take a stand in opposing this risky legislation and to spread the word among other climate aware legislators.” Thank you!

100% Clean Energy Lobby Day in Sacramento

A contingent from 350 Sonoma helped swell the ranks of more than one hundred climate activists from across California on 100% Clean Energy Lobby Day in Sacramento last Wednesday, June 13.   Divided into ten teams, we made quite a statement as we trekked through the Capitol’s halls in our “100%” caps. We talked with staff of nearly seventy Assembly Members (there are only eighty), asking them to support SB 100 – 100% of California’s electricity from renewables by 2045.  The bill has now been scheduled for a hearing on July 3 in the Assembly’s Utilities and Energy Committee.  That’s progress!  Stay tuned…

County ‘Bioreactor’ Compost Ready for Action

Last year, 350 Sonoma’s Regenerative Agriculture action group hosted David C. Johnson, researcher and microbiologist at the University of New Mexico, for training and workshops on his bioreactor technique for creating compost undisturbed by turning. The first Sonoma County bioreactors created during the workshops have been opened to reveal thick compost filled with worms.  We are mixing the compost with our garden beds and making inoculate spray to spread the healthy organisms.  Stay tuned for the results!  Meanwhile, new bioreactors are being built for next year’s gardens.  A bioreactor is used to create BEAM  – a rich compost filled with mycorrhizae (fungal filaments) that are key factors in regenerating and improving soil, carbon sequestration and water retention, according to Johnson’s research.

Legislative Team Focused on 100% Clean Energy in CA

A small team from 350 Sonoma and 350 Petaluma (our new subgroup representing the south county) will be meeting on May 15th with a member of Assemblymember Marc Levine’s staff.  We’ll emphasize the critical importance of quickly achieving 100% clean energy in California. SB 100 is the current legislation mandating 100% clean energy, and it is currently stalled in the State Assembly after passing the State Senate. If SB 100 doesn’t make it out for a full vote this year, we will keep working to get it back into the legislative process. We will also ask for Levine’s vote on AB 3232, a bill that will promote the shift to all electric buildings. Other bills we will ask for AM Levine to join us in supporting: 2304 – atransit pass study, 1775 – to limit offshore drilling, and 2928 – promoting dense housing on BART properties. A million thanks to Kathy Dervine, Judy Pope and the 350 Bay Area Legislative Team for their leadership and guidance.  350 Sonoma will be setting up a meeting with Jim Wood as soon as the dust settles on this one.

Zero Waste Action Group Working for Waste Reduction in the County

It has been a big month for the Zero Waste team.  We worked with the Santa Rosa Junior College student sustainability group to present Wasted, a deep and sometimes profane look at food waste throughout the world. The conversation that followed was lively and informative.  We were also instrumental in converting the Santa Rosa Earth Day to a Zero Waste event. As part of the effort, our own Sunny Galbraith organized 30 middle school and high school student volunteers who sortied garbage, separating compostible  and recyclable materials from trash while educating the public.  In addition, several 350 folks are participating in the “Zero Waste Curious” trainings, where we are being trained by Portia Sinnot of Zero Waste USA to give 20-minute informational presentations about Zero Waste to the general public.

On May 10th, we participated in the second-annual Sonoma County Zero Waste Symposium, which featured an amazing collection of knowledgeable and inspirational speakers.  This event, somewhat coincidentally, marks the beginning our push to get city councils and the county board of supervisors in Sonoma County to pass a Zero Waste resolution. The Zero Waste policy resolution was crafted by a large group of community and business members interested in promoting specific city and county action to reduce waste and climate warming emissions, while promoting good jobs.

Spring Legislative Update

100% clean energy is our top priority!  SB 100 — which would mandate that 100% of California’s electricity be generated from renewables by 2045 — would be a big step in the right direction!  It’s now in the California Assembly. Contact your assembly member (click on “Act Now”) and tell him/her to support SB 100!

Another ground-breaking bill now in the California legislature is SB 964, a bill that would require CalSTRS and CalPRS, the two biggest pension systems in the U.S., to take climate-related financial risk into account when making investment decisions.  It’s past time for California’s big pension funds to divest from oil giants like Exxon Mobil. Show your support for SB 964 by signing the petition!

Other important bills that we’re supporting:

AB 1775 (its companion bill in the California Senate is SB 834) would help prevent oil drilling off California’s coasts by giving the State Lands Committee more power to block unloading and transport of oil from new offshore drilling operations.

SB 1072 would help under-resourced communities compete for state funds in order to fund local projects that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help transition away from fossil fuels.  Another goal of the legislation is to help these communities increase jobs and economic development through investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable infrastructure.

AB 3232 would require the California State Energy Resources Commission to develop a plan that would reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from residential and commercial buildings to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Stay tuned for more info and actions!

 

 

Video: Pushing Back Pesticides

350 Sonoma Looking for Earth Day Volunteers! April 21 in Santa Rosa

Hello Earth Enthusiasts! Please spread the word about Santa Rosa Earth Day. This will be a fun Zero Waste volunteer opportunity, particularly for middle school, high school, or college students and teachers that you know. Enthusiastic students make great Zero Waste ambassadors! Sign up to help with compost and recycling stations at the celebration. We want to give students a chance to sign up first. It will be super fun and a great community service opportunity! For the first time ever, this will be a Zero Waste event, and we need your help to make it happen. I am giving the first sign-up opportunity to middle school, high school, and college volunteers.

Volunteers will help monitor the compost/ recycling/ trash stations so that materials go in the correct bin.  As a volunteer, you will help people sort their waste items (we will provide you with gloves and grabbers).  This is a wonderful opportunity to participate in educating the public about how to sort waste at home so that we don’t send valuable recyclables and compostables to the landfill.  AND, all volunteers get a free Santa Rosa Earth Day Volunteer t-shirt and reusable water bottle.

Click on this link to sign up: http://signup.com/go/VHVOMJz (you will not need to create an account to sign up).   Shifts are either from 11:00-1:00pm, 1:00-3:00pm or 3:00-5:00 pm.