Tag Archives: Climate change

Climate Change: Six Easy Ways You Can Make a Difference

Tuesday October 24, 2017

Located at and co-sponsored by:

Marin Art and Garden Center, the Studio Building
30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Ross, CA

6:30  – 8:30 pm

What is happening in Marin to address climate change and what can you do to help? Learn about Marin’s Climate Action Plans and programs, including 6 easy actions you and your family can take now to make a difference. Marin is leading the way, local governments are taking action, and we have some of the cleanest electricity in the country, yet we are still far from truly being ‘green’. Join three local sustainability experts and staff from local impact programs (electric cars included), and see how you can lower your carbon footprint. 

Join us as we try to save the world or have fun trying!  

Light refreshments will be served. Organizations tabling include: Cool the Earth, Resilient Neighborhoods, Zero Waste Marin and MCE.

Speaker Biographies

Environmental Forum of Marin <lectureseries@marinefm.org>


Master Class Preview August 12 2017

Get involved – learn more: Environmental Forum of Marin

Offered only once per year…the Master Class begins in August 2017 Preview Event for the Master Class 44

Don’t miss our Preview Event on the morning of Saturday, August 12, 2017. Open to everyone considering the Master Class, it is your opportunity to hear highlights of our special program.  Learn more about the class series, our dedicated and professional presenters, and meet other participants. While this event is not mandatory, all potential and registered students are highly encouraged to attend. We will be accepting registrations and provide direction on how to access all class agendas and materials on-line.

Be inspired and hear about everyone’s favorite class. On the West Marin field trip, you will visit the Straus Family Creamery, and have lunch by the bay at Hog Island Oyster Farm. Learn about our keynote speaker for Face to Face with Climate Change Class; Mark Hertsgaard, author and journalist who has traveled around the world reporting about climate change, politics, culture and the environment. Have you had a chance to play Game of Floods? You will in Master Class 44.  Join us.

Preview Event Saturday, August 12 10:00 am to Noon

VenturePad 1020 B Street, San Rafael Classes begin on Saturday August 26, 2017!

For more information about Master Class 44, contact us by clicking here.

If you have not registered for Master Class 44, but would like to attend the Preview Event please email us at: Masterclass@marinefm.org

Looking forward to meeting you at the Preview Event

Environmental Forum of Marin

Gas Taxes & Gas Prices in CA

California Legislature passed a bill (Thursday April 6, 2017) —  a  $52 billion transportation package- passed with a two-thirds vote. This is a 12 cents a gallon increase in gasoline prices and more. 

We often pass bills, and learn about the consequences later. More than that, I believe what DOES NOT WORK is continuing to raise taxes without showing progress.

Let’s face it. We have a lousy track record on roads.

It seems everything is getting squeezed in California.  Will small businesses simply leave CA?

  • How will CA really fix our roads? (Roads are still unrepaired in cities and highways, and we keep paying.)
  • How can we ENSURE quality infrastructure updates? (Remember, corroding Chinese STEEL in the Bay Bridge?) (Road extensions that cost triple the estimate?)
  • How can we get fair, competitive bids? How can we stop year over year cost over-runs?
  • Will we address FLOODING on our highways? and Road Safety?  It has been a mess this year!

Senate Bill 1, which would fix California’s pothole-ridden roads and unstable bridges by hiking gas taxes and vehicle license fees.

  •  It squeaked by in the Senate 27-11
  • In the Assembly – It passed narrowly, 54-26.
  • After passing, the Legislature’s Democratic leaders began lining up for FUNDING  transportation projects for their districts. (Pork Barrel politics)
  • We really need oversight here, let’s prioritize, road repair, safety and removing hazards RATHER than “let’s build a new ITEM in my district”.

More details:

The deal will hike gas taxes +12 cents per gallon and diesel taxes +20 cents per gallon, starting Nov. 1, 2017.  It will create a new vehicle license fees starting Jan. 1.

  • nearly half of California drivers whose cars are worth under $5,000 would pay a $25 fee each year (50% of the cars in CA are worth less than 5K – WHO made this estimate?)
  • vehicles valued between $5,000 and $25,000 — about 40 percent of drivers in the state +pay $50.
  • Drivers of luxury cars would pay as much as+$175 more.
  • +$100 per year, starting in 2020, for electric vehicles

The bulk of the money would  go to road repairs, though it also includes more funding for public transit.

WHO will this affect? Many small businesses and consumers because cost increases would be passed on to consumers.  Construction workers, Landscapers, Mail-order, Internet Businesses (Amazon!), Tesla, Toyota, Diesel car owners, even the Clunker cars would take on a $25 registration fee.

We already have gas taxes, but judging by the pot holes that can pop tires and break axles, there has not been much investment in ROAD SAFETY OR MAINTENANCE. I wonder where the last 5 years of gas taxes went? Seriously, have you seen improvements in our roads? At least, Bike riders were not considered or included in this bill to provide road repairs.

It is often said that Democrats main concern is for Climate Change. Does this reduce driving from the average 40 miles /day? Does a gasoline tax reduce the numbers of cars on the road or lessen pollution? Does it even create local jobs? As a state, we need to take a look at our lack of strategic planning, cost to workers, state budget. As a Sanctuary City, SF & LA might be doubly concerned over Federal Funding cuts due to non-compliance.

Governor Brown, heard angry protests on:

  • environmental justice for low-income /working-class communities
  • regarding the Late-night concession to the trucking industry (politics in action!)
  • communities impacted most by dirty air

I imagine that CA tax-payers are wondering where this huge PILE of money will go. Where is the oversight? We keep paying and paying and still and still hear the standard line: We Don’t Have Enough $$.  We haven’t added roads to CA recently, we can’t maintain what we have, and our mass transit is a MESS. Go ahead, ride BART after 8pm, you’ll see that BART doubles as our “Bay Area homeless shelter”.

Another Viewpoint:  More pain at the pump? a video by PragerU

Capitalism vs. Climate in Perspective— Thoughts on Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything

BERKELEY, CA—January 19, 2015 – Naomi Klein’s remarkable book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Simon & Schuster, 2014) is a deeply insightful and unflinching look at the global threats posed by climate change, environmental devastation, and economic injustice.

Klein offers up a new framework for understanding the economic and political roadblocks preventing progress on climate protection and social justice. She does not, however, offer a “one-size-fits-all” solution that will work everywhere around the world.

Instead, she points to tactics—like building broad domestic coalitions with strong global ties to Progressive forces abroad—that could lead to the creation of diverse global solutions. Klein’s solutions are best suited to the U.S. and other advanced economies and thus don’t seem to grapple with the problems of burgeoning global population, oil-producing Middle Eastern dictatorships, volatile impoverished nations like Pakistan, and rapidly developing, coal-reliant economic powerhouses like India and China.

Population, half-hearted conservation, increasing consumption and cow farts – all big contributors to Climate Change. What are YOU gonna do about it? How about a victory garden, car-sharing, a vegan meal or two and working from your home? Some of us can do this! Start with our own efforts, that should come first. –the editor

Today’s economic and climate challenges represent a unique “climate moment,” Klein says, and we must seize it in order to implement sweeping new economic and environmental policies for reorienting humanity’s relationship to the natural resources that sustain life on Earth. This Changes Everything is at its core as much about the redistribution of wealth and power on a planetary scale as well as about the ecocide we’re committing in assailing the climate.

Klein thus argues that we must make a revolutionary shift from an unsustainable economic model based on resource extraction and the exploitation of people to a relationship of interconnection and reciprocity with the natural world. Easier said than done.

To bring this about, we have to build a broad social movement, she declares. It needs to be founded on basic moral values and ecological principles, rather than those of unfettered free enterprise, profit maximization, and perpetual economic growth. The steps on the path to creating this movement, however, are never clearly laid out.

False Ideology and The Policies It Vindicates

The current climate impasse, Klein says, stems from acceding to the fundamentalist free-market capitalism paradigm, a false ideology rife with deep contradictions.It rests on a counterfactual belief in infinite growth and on the tenets of minimalist passive governance, hostility to regulation, and aversion to public sector investment. Their free-market worldview, she believes, has brought us over the edge of disaster to the brink of catastrophic climate change.

Commonsense responses to the climate crisis have been blocked, she tells us, by multinational corporations and other vested interests, especially large energy corporations. So, a core battle of ideas must be fought and won to de-legitimize them and their policies before effective massive action to take on global warming can succeed. That means supplanting the free-market paradigm of resource extraction and perpetual growth with a more sustainable model based on resource stewardship and regeneration. But to do that, you need a broad popular movement to curb the influence of corporate money and oligarchic wealth in politics and to force government to regulate corporations and invest in a far-reaching economic transformation.

Once you postulate a powerful social movement in the service of climate protection and social justice, the rest of Klein’s long-term agenda begins to seem more feasible, although it ultimately requires a major economic restructuring, lifestyle changes, and a political transformation, as well as policies aimed at reducing consumption—a politically taboo subject. Klein’s solutions also require long-term energy and economic planning with an emphasis on the kind of decentralized renewable energy production that has proven so successful for many farmers and ranchers in Western Europe and the U.S., plus investments in energy efficiency and electric vehicles.

She envisions an expansion of the public safety net, carbon taxes, and greater support for infrastructure, including mass transit with electric trains powered by renewable energy. As Klein understands, entrenched vested interests will fight these reforms tooth and claw.

Building a Mass Movement

Advocacy of job-creating public investment could indeed serve as a nucleus around which a broadly based social movement could begin to coalesce, but whether it could be induced to embrace Klein’s larger agenda is unclear.

This movement would likely first be dominated by “bread-and-butter” issues. Then smart leadership would need to weave climate concerns into core demands for jobs, higher wages, less inequality, and a better environment. The broad movement could flourish through the implementation of a “Marshall Plan for the Earth,” to which Klein makes a couple of references.

Where Power Ultimately Resides

Klein has great faith in the activism of indigenous people to block fossil fuel development and inspire broader public opposition. She evidently sees these and other local “pockets of resistance” to fossil fuel encroachment as the yeast from which the broad social movement will arise. Here her argument may be more a leap of faith.

These local communities trying to block resource extraction projects don’t have the power to change the U.S. tax code or alter national spending priorities or ram big, New Deal-like social programs through a recalcitrant Congress, all of which must eventually be done to protect the climate.

Yet their isolated pitched battles may be like sparks awakening the conscience of a nation, particularly youth and those who live in the urban population centers where political power is concentrated and middle class movements are likely to arise. In any case, brilliant as it is, This Changes Everything never fully explains the step-wise process by which the seeds of resistance are transformed into that vitally necessary mass climate movement so key to Klein’s vision. Klein seems to believe that like lightning striking a mixture of amino acids in a beaker, the recurrence of ever-more serious climate-related disasters will catalyze the creation of the movement. But even huge disasters like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina have not yet done so, though they have already clobbered tens of millions of people. If a truly colossal disaster on a gargantuan scale is required to finally empower such a movement, it may by then be too late.

John J. Berger, PhD. (www.johnjberger.com) is an energy and environmental policy specialist who has produced ten books on climate, energy, and natural resource topics. He is the author of Climate Peril: The Intelligent Reader’s Guide to Understanding the Climate Crisis and Climate Myths: The Campaign Against Climate Science

Follow John J. Berger on Twitter: www.twitter.com/johnjberger

**Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book, review written  by John J. Berger © 2015

Pollution to Plastic

USA TODAY just published this article on a global-warming-fighting technology that could take off in 2014. It’s called “AirCarbon,” and it transforms air pollution into plastic. The entire process is carbon-negative — it actually reduces greenhouse-gas emissions.

I thought you might find AirCarbon’s story interesting — and perhaps might want to blog about it or share it with your social-media following. (You can read the full story here, complete with a video of the technology in action: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/30/plastic-from-carbon-emissions/4192945/.)

The material could begin replacing conventional oil-based plastics — and fight climate change at the same time — in 2014. Wisconsin-based manufacturer KI Furniture will be among the first companies to put AirCarbon to use in its products this year, with several lines of new chairs.

Please let me know if you’re interested in learning more — or if you’d like to speak with executives from KI or from Newlight Technologies, the inventors of AirCarbon.

Thanks Chris for sharing!

World Conference on Ecological Restoration

25 Years of Ecological Restoration  —World Conference returns to Madison                                              

(MADISON) World renowned experts on ecological restoration will gather at Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin on the afternoon of October 6 to launch the 5th World Conference on Ecological RestorationReflections on the Past, Directions for the Future.  The conference organizer, the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER), returns to Madison, the city where the group was first founded.  The SER2013 World Conference will mark SER’s 25th Anniversary.- Oct 7

More than 1000 people from 50 countries around the globe will convene in Madison bringing together those who are interested in the science and practice of ecological restoration, large-scale ecosystem restoration, natural resource management, climate change, biodiversity conservation, environmental policy, and sustainable development.

The four-day scientific program, which begins Monday, October 7 at 8 AM, at Monona Terrace and Community Center, features speakers such as author and entrepreneur Paul Hawken, Dr. Braulio Dias and Luc Gnacadja, the Executive Secretaries of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity and Convention on Combating Desertification, Alvaro Ugalde, the founder of Costa Rica’s national parks, as well as Roger LaBine, a Native American from Michigan who teaches younger generations how to restore and harvest wild rice beds.  Local partners include the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, and the International Crane Foundation.

People from the Madison community are welcome to attend.  Online registration ends onSeptember 27; onsite registrations are available too.  Rate information is located athttp://www.ser2013.org/registration/online-registration-form/.

Conference symposia and concurrent sessions will include restoration experts from universities, government agencies, private firms, non-profits, and international organizations giving presentations on restoration of prairies, forest, freshwater, wetland, dryland, marine and coastal ecosystems.   Panels will also offer talks on urban ecological restoration, art and restoration, carbon sequestration, climate adaptation, regional restoration efforts in New Zealand, and large-scale restoration projects, such as the Great Lakes and Mississippi basin.

In addition to a full four-day program, SER and its local partners are offering field trips to conference attendees on Friday, October 11.  Local guides will take groups to see the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the International Crane Foundation and conservation and restoration projects in the Baraboo Hills, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area, and the Driftless area.  Field trip details are available on the conference website: www.ser2013.org.

GREEN Gone Wrong! Don’t Despair! Put this on your Reading List!

Dispatches from the Front Lines of Eco-Capitalism

by Heather Rogers

Publication date: January 16, 2013 the wait is worth it.

If watching the green revolution makes you want to cry “FOUL!!! ” sometimes, you will love this book. The section on organic farming may make you go to the local farmer’s market and HUG every organic grower you see there. Heather Rogers writes with humor, clarity and acknowledges the irony that is part of the green movement. This book examines the green edicts and helps us understand the manipulations. Be Green, with your thinking cap ON!!  Heather Rogers will go on tour with this book, I hope she is scheduled for our beloved Kepler’s in Menlo Park. I will let you know.

Jacqueline Smith, editor

green gone wrong PB

“The climate crisis is far too urgent to squander another decade on false solutions. This carefully researched, deeply human, and eminently sensible investigation arrives just in the nick of time. Let’s hope it inspires a radical course correction.”
Naomi Klein

“Heather Rogers … makes a convincing argument that, as most of us have probably already suspected, we can’t simply buy our way out of the crisis that our planet is experiencing.”

“Green Gone Wrong doesn’t just go after easy targets like big corporations … Rogers offers plenty of evidence that consumers who load up their shopping carts with organic food, for instance, may be unwittingly subsidizing big farm companies that are eradicating forests and defiling the soil in some developing countries.”
New York Times

“Self-proclaimed environmentalists should read Heather Rogers’s stories and weep.”
New Scientist

“Readers will be troubled by the laundry list of fallacies at the heart of ‘green business,’ but the book’s final chapter, which discusses developing and very positive alternatives, will keep them from despairing.”

“Heather Rogers reminds us with vivid examples that there’s no way we can just subcontract our environmental conscience to the new breed of green marketers. We have a very narrow window to preserve some version of our planet, and we can’t afford the kind of egregious mistakes this volume identifies with such precision. If it’s too good to be true, it’s not true—even if it comes with a shiny green wrapper.”
Bill McKibben

“[An] excellent anatomy of greenwashing in corporate culture and personal life.”

“By going beyond exposé to analysis, Rogers gives a deeper assessment of environmental problems and solutions than the usual global-warming investigative book.”
Publishers Weekly

“Rogers “exposes how the “green” movement is failing to live up to the promise of sustainability and stewardship of the environment when the solutions are hijacked by economic and political interests. [Her] clear-headed approach proves effective in uncovering the truths behind the mantle of green washing.”

For information from the publisher, click here.

Fracking Oil Shale

Fracking is the process of injecting millions of gallons of chemically laced fluids into underground rock formations to release natural gas or oil.
Robert Redford is launching ads to stop this process and get information out (check the link for more info) on our shale gas reserves.

Oil and Gas shale hold great promise as a safe, clean energy supply that can help prevent climate change and lead the way to American energy independence. Thirty-one states are involved in the battles for safe regulation and use,   there is debate on most claims ranging from amount of energy to safety of fracking.

Take a look at the movie GASLAND and check out the grass-roots organization Catskills for Clean Energy for more information. As we look for alternatives to petroleum energy, the fight over climate change continues, even as Hurricane Sandy barrels down on the East Coast —

“Meteorologists have called this ‘the biggest storm ever to hit the U.S. mainland,’ which is a reminder of how odd our weather has been in this hottest year in American history,” said 350.org founder Bill McKibben.

Visit EcoWatch’s WATER and CLIMATE CHANGE pages for more related news on this topic.

Global Climate Change

Rear Admiral David Titley, the Oceanographer for the US Navy is discussing climate change with Ira Flatow on Science Friday, his discussion is pragmatic and clear. He has testified before congress and in this broadcast, discusses the changing thoughts on military preparedness, and convincing congress that climate change is real. Listen to the discussion, from Admiral Titley and the cascading effect of sea level rise and his chief concerns for the future. They also discuss political instability, predicitions and preparations for our human timeline (rather than geologic timelines). To learn more, check out the Navy Task Force on Climate Change on Facebook.

To Be a Trout

Learn more about Climate Change from the perspective of a TROUT.  When I was living in Daly City, I dreamed of tropical paradises, and although I enjoyed the fog (it was so clean and sparkly and made the street noise quieter), I know climate change is not what I hoped for. Imagine being a trout, your living space is changing rapidly and you can’t move on, pack up and leave, or install a water temperature gauge. You have to try to stay alive…. Climate change from a trout’s eye view.

Now add the other factors that affect the streams, environmental disasters, oil spills in Louisianna, toxic runoff, loss of salt marshes, and you’ll be wishing you could live in a place where people thought about the earth.  Read SOS California”s Native Fish Crisis.  (pdf)  If you care about Salmon or Steelhead….. read this well written report.  You do want to know.