The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Mitzvah Moments - Tish Levee


Mitzvah Moments - December 2015 - Tish Levee

by Tish Levee

Paris is coming up—Now! 

Due to the Da’esh (the group formerly known as ISIS) terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday the 13th, the mobilization marches in that city for the Climate Talks (COP21) have been cancelled. That is why it is even more important to let world leaders know that we will hold them accountable for a binding climate agreement. There will be other mobilizations around the country and the world, too, during the two weeks beginning Nov. 29th. Go to to stay posted on what is happening and to sign a petition to world leadership.

Good news for the climate.

President Obama turned the Keystone Pipeline down once and for all. Shell has withdrawn from the Arctic and Statoil followed them. It seems as if more companies are realizing that some ways of extracting fossil fuels are untenable financially. Let’s hope this is something that catches on. Science tells us that even if we keep all fossil fuels in the ground, it will still take about 300 years for all the carbon that’s in the atmosphere to disappear.

El Niño is coming and it’s a doozy!

The record hot weather (October was the hottest month on record) also means the ocean is warming, up, which is what drives El Niño and such extreme weather events as Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever. While we may get a lot of rain (more likely Southern California will get much heavier rain than we do), El Niño means that there won’t be the upwelling of ocean currents that brings the nutrients marine life need, so we are likely to see fisheries crash.

Succulents are an encouraging sign.

 I’m seeing more gardens planted in succulents. It says to me that people are getting serious about water savings in landscaping.

Ripple the World—Daily Acts Fundraising Breakfast.

On Oct. 29th over 600 of the North Bay’s top professionals, government officials, business owners, students, teachers, farmers, gardeners, and citizens gathered at the Santa Rosa Veteran’s Building to celebrate to celebrate this homegrown organization’s success. Only a few days earlier Daily Acts had their most ambitious project to date, transforming 64,000 square feet of lawn at a business park in Petaluma, thus saving 1.6 billion gallons of water a year.

Sustainability Lectures at Santa Rosa Junior College. 

A series of lectures on sustainability, open to the public, meets at the east end of the Bertolini Student Center at SRJC. On Nov. 19th, Tom Suchanek, Research Manager, Lead Scientist, and Climate Change Coordinator for the USGS Western Ecological Research Center, gave the best and most comprehensive overview of what climate change is and its local, regional, and global implications that I have seen anywhere. Coming up on 1/28 is a lecture on the Transportation Sector, on 2/25 on Land Use: Agriculture and Sustainability, on 3/30 Social Justice and Sustainability, and on 4/14 on Local Community and Tools for Sustainability. From noon to 1 PM. Bring your lunch.

There’s a train coming. Watch out!

The SMART train is conducting tests of trains on the tracks throughout Sonoma County. Be careful. If you see Tracks, think Train! Schools and community organizations can schedule a free rail safety presentation at Phase I service between Santa Rosa and San Rafael is scheduled to begin in 2016 – a clean, green alternative way to commute.

My website is finally up and running!

Check out for ideas I’ve accumulated over the last eight years. Some have seen print, many have not. I still have a lot of work to do on it, but at least it says more than “Future home of my new website.” I had to get it done, because I was going to Boston for the Rising Seas Summit (see the article on the Gazette web page), and I had had 500 business cards printed with  the website address. Over the last year or so this column has drifted some from its original premise, and while I understand many people like the new column better,  I still want to be able to share all those ideas for how each of us can make a difference.

© Tish Levee, 2015