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Rise for Climate, Justice, and Jobs

"Rise for Climate, Justice, and Jobs,” drew over 30,000 people to the streets of San Francisco

Oct 6, 2018

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September was a big month for the planet.

On the 8th, “Rise for Climate, Justice, and Jobs,” drew over 30,000 people to the streets of San Francisco, joining thousands of others at 900 events in 90 countries. All this was designed to sayit is time for a Fossil Free World with Renewable Energy for All,a message for leaders from all over the world, who gathered September 12-14 at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, to celebrate the climate action achievements of states, regions, cities, companies, investors, and citizens.

I was unable to attend the march or the summit, because I was recovering from surgery. However, Will Carruthers covered the summit for the Gazette. Look for his article online on our website.

Other good news on September 8th.

  • On the 8th, the Ocean Cleanup, tackling an area of mostly plastic trash twice the size of Texas that floats 1200 miles off the California coast, launched from San Francisco Bay. The Ocean Cleanup aims to cut the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by 90% by 2040. (I wrote more about this in my May and June columns.)

Ocean Cleanup, tackling an area of mostly plastic trash twice the size of Texas that floats 1200 miles off the California coast, launched from San Francisco Bay.

  • Gov. Brown signed two bills on the 8th to block new offshore oil drilling in California by barring constructing pipelines, piers, wharves, or other infrastructure needed to transport oil and gas from federal waters to state land.

More power to California for showing the way.

Governor Brown signed SB 100 for California to transition to fossil-fuel-free electricity.On the 10th, the governor signed SB 100 for California to transition to fossil-fuel-free electricity. Requiring 60 % renewable energy by 2030 and 100% carbon-free energy by 2045, SB 100 makes California the largest jurisdiction to legally commit to clean energy.

The same day he signed an executive order to completely eliminate emissions in all sectors of the economy by 2045, making the state carbon neutral. Having achieved zero emissions by 2045, the state will then go negative, pulling more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than it puts in. As California is the fifth largest economy in the world, we can provide the world—which must become carbon neutral by 2060 to 2070—a road map to follow.

During the Global Climate Action Summit, which he convened, Brown also took on the federal government’s lack of action on climate change, including its cutting funds for NASA’s climate research, declaring,“We’ll launch our own damn satellite” to track greenhouse gases. 

We badly need this scientific affirmation.

As we approach the anniversary of last year’s devastating fires here in Sonoma County, science tells us that climate change is a big part of why the wildfires that burned this summer were so severe.

On the East Coast, Hurricane Florence not only swept away homes, interstate highways and other infrastructures, but millions of chicken and thousands of pigs. Perhaps more critical in the long run, is the overflow of animal waste from holding ponds or lagoons, mostly in low-lying areas. Meanwhile early on September 21st, a breach in a dam at a coal-powered energy plant flooded a hazardous stockpile of coal ash, some of which spilled into the Cape Fear River. This 1,100-acre réservoir contained some 400,000 cubic yards of coal ash, which is what remains after coal is burned to generate electricity. The ash contains a slew of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and mercury.

It’s a great time to buy or lease an electric vehicle!

Sonoma Clean Power has a great incentive program to make buying or leasing an electric vehicle really affordable.Sonoma Clean Power still has an incentive program to make buying or leasing an electric vehicle really affordable (https://sonomacleanpower.org/programs/drive-ev). Gov. Brown’s January executive order set a goal of five million EVs by 2030; currently we have less than 400,000, so we have a long way to go! Transportation now accounts for 41% of our greenhouse gas emissions; only 16% are from electricity as we’ve been transitioning to clean energy for some time.

Make a difference — VOTE!

Vote!According to the Environmental Voter Project, 15.78 million environmentalists did NOT vote in 2014; it’s estimated over 10 million did NOT vote in 2016. If you care about the planet, this is ONE thing you can do! Register by October 22, if you aren’t already registered, and VOTE. (While you’re at it, help Sonoma County Parks by voting YES on Measure M.) 

For the Planet by Tish Levee

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