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Sonoma County Gazette
Sonoma County Climate Change Summit

Climate Change Activists host Summit in Santa Rosa

Sep 6, 2017


No one has come up with the answer to climate change and no one will. That’s because there is no one answer. Climate change solutions are a gumbo with lots of chefs contributing to the stew.  

On the last day of July, Occupy Sonoma County hosted a gathering of local climate change activists at the Peace & Justice Center. The purpose of this summit was to introduce ourselves and our various climate change campaigns to one another. Over 70 people, representing 25 different organizations, attended. Climate change activism is alive and well in Sonoma County. Lots of chefs with lots of ingredients for the gumbo.

The first hour was spent sharing a potluck meal and gathering. This allowed for social interacting prior to organizing. We spent the next two hours introducing ourselves and the climate protection campaigns we are engaged in. Each group was given five minutes and then unaffiliated climate activists were given one minute to talk about their efforts. It was amazing.

Many of the groups, such as Sierra Club Sonoma, Transition Sonoma Valley, the Lite Initiative, the Climate Change Disaster Campaign, The Center for Climate Protection and Sonoma County Conservation Action have campaigns focused on influencing governments to take immediate, decisive action. Democratic Socialists North Bay, Sonoma County Citizens Climate Lobby, 350 Sonoma, Fossil Free California and Friends of Public Banking are using economic pressure, primarily for divestment from fossil fuel companies. North Bay Jobs with Justice, an umbrella group of 18 organizations, is working with the Teamsters on quality waste management with safety and union benefits for workers. Zero Waste and Green Mary were there to address waste diversion as a method for reducing greenhouse gases.

The Community Alliance with Family Farmers, the Compost Coalition and Northern California Earth Institute concentrate their efforts on sustainable farming and soil management while the Regional Climate Protection Authority and Sonoma County Transportation Authority are government agencies that deal with local transportation issues.

The Center for Climate Protection is working on Sonoma Clean Power. Daily Acts pays attention to the effects of climate change on the health of growing children. Sonoma Solidarity with Standing Rock supports public banking and is raising funds for legal issues including the defense of water protectors and lawsuits to force divestments. The Green Party has been about protecting the environment since its inception.

Occupy Sonoma County talked about their GMO campaign, their Earth Action listserv and unveiled their Climate Change Declaration. Local students spoke including an SSU student, three students from SRJC who are forming an Environmental Club and a high school Freshman who has formed Schools for Climate Action. The Sonoma County Nonviolent Training Collective, Sonoma Climate Coalition and Climate Mobilization were also present. This is only a summary ofsome of the actions these people are taking. Every group there is also involved in educating the public and empowering folks to take action.

Thanks to skilled and disciplined facilitation, we accomplished our objective of introducing the Sonoma County climate activist community to one another in our allotted time of just two hours. We ended the evening with a plan to meet again at the Peace & Justice Center on October 30th at 7:00 pm to form action plans and discuss meeting regularly to coordinate our efforts.

Does any of this sound like something you’d like to do?

Do you want to be a part of the solution?If so, find the group that speaks to you and jump in or find your own way to join this movement. It’s gonna take a lot of chefs and a lot of different ingredients to make this gumbo just right.

The Occupy Sonoma County Earth Action Campaign meets on the 3rd Monday at 7 PM every month. at the Peace & Justice Center, 467 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa 95401. For more information go or call 707-877-6650.


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