Tags >> carbon
Jul 08
2009

Urban Permaculture

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , teens , seniors , resources , parks , nonprofit orgs , Ideas , food , families , environment , education , conservation , community engagement , climate change , children , carbon , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

Permaculture - an idea that began around sustainable agriculture - is moving into the urban environment.

  You can also learn more about this subject at the Oakland-based Urban Permaculture Guild.

Dave Henson, Executive Director of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (right), explains that interest in permaculture arose in part in response to the widespread dominance of "monoculture," or large-scale farming of a single crop.

One of the enduring examples of crop integration is indigenous to Mexico and the American southwest, and known colloquially as the "three sisters."

 

Jul 01
2009

Climate One debate

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , speaker , solar , Science , resources , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , media , legislation , jobs , Ideas , government , events , environment , economy , corporate responsibiliyt , climate change , carbon , alternative energy , air quality , activism

Bruce Robinson

 An oil industry leader and a major California environmentalist agree on the steps the United States must take to address climate change and increase national energy independence-but they have markedly different ideas about how long it will take to reach those goals. Today's North Bay Report is a preview summary of their conversation.

Chevron and the Sierra Club both see renewable fuels as a growing part of our future. Yet as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, they have different views on how that change should occur and who should bear the costs. Higher taxes? Voluntary conservation and efficiency? Government mandates? In their first-ever public conversation, Chevron CEO Dave O'Reilly and Carl Pope, Executive Director of the The Sierra Club, discuss balancing energy and the environment in the 21st century.  The conversation,  which was recorded live on June 10, 2009, was moderated by Alan Murray, Deputy Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal. Hear it in full here.

 

 

  Although the climate protection legislation passed by the House of Representatives includes a cap and trade provision, to "monetize" co2 emissions, both speakers said they favor a simple carbon tax or fee instead. Dave O'Reilly (left)  offered several reasons why that would be preferable.


Pope (right)  and O'Reilly were also in agreement on the desirability of quickly reducing our national dependence on coal to generate much of the country's electricity. Pope was adamant about the need to more strictly regulate the coal industry in many respects.

While O'Reilly agreed with Pope's forecast that this country and the world will need to move toward renewable fuels for vehicles and transportation, he expects the transition will take far longer than Pope's projections.
 

 

 

 


 

Jun 14
2009

Grow Smart Bay Area

Posted by Bruce Robinson in transportation , resources , recreation , policy , planning , parks , open space , nonprofit orgs , jobs , housing , government , environment , economy , design , construction , carbon , business , alternative energy , air quality , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

With another 2 million people expected in the Bay Area by 2035, Greenbelt Alliance is urging local governments to plan now where they are going to live. And they've got some ideas to suggest, too.

Greenbelt Alliance Executive Director Jeremy Madsen (left) points to the east bay town of Hercules as one community that has proactively embraced a smart growth development plan for their city.

 How might that work in the North Bay? Greenbelt Alliance has already prepared a case study of Novato as an example.

There is mounting demand for smaller homes in attractive urban neighborhoods, says Madsen, and he predicts that builders and developers will need little encouragement to move toward meeting that demand.

If we change how the Bay Area grows, says Greenbelt Alliance, we can make our region more climate-friendly, affordable, and economically competitive, while protecting our farms, forests, and watersheds. Read more about the Grow Smart challenge here, or click here to see a regional map of projected residential growth sites.


Jun 08
2009

Green New Deal

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , Sonoma , solar , resources , politics , policy , planning , nonprofit orgs , legislation , jobs , Ideas , government , environment , employment , economy , community , climate change , carbon , business , budget , author , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

 Almost eighty years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal helped America climb out of the Great Depression. Now some North Bay activists are promoting a Green New Deal to respond to our current economic crises.

 They state their mission as follows:

The Green New Deal for the North Bay is a grassroots initiative to help transform Marin and Sonoma counties into a resilient community guided by environmental sustainability and economic equity.

During 2009 and early 2010, the Commission on a Green New Deal for the North Bay will seek answers to such questions as:

  • How can we create a sustainable green future that includes economic equity and social justice?
  • How can agendas for economic rights and environmental protection become more integrated and more successful?

To explore such questions, the commission held eight public forums in May and June 2009-in San Rafael, Mill Valley, Point Reyes Station, Novato, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Sea Ranch, and Petaluma. 

 Having completed this first series of community meetings (notes from some of them can be seen here), Green New Deal co-commissioner Norman Solomon says the comments could be seen to reflect at least a few ideas that were widely shared throughout the region.

During the summer, the commission will assess that community input and schedule public hearings in fall 2009. In those hearings, the commission will hear testimony from experts on such issues as food, housing, water, energy, health care, and social equity.
 The difficulty in reconciling valid but competing interests may be the biggest challenge facing these Green New Deal commission, as those potential conflicts  crop up in such a wide range of issues and circumstances. Solomon cites a recent public meeting in Petaluma at which the hotly disputed new Dutra asphalt plant proposal was being debated as just one example.

 

The commission will communicate its findings, first in draft form and then as a final report, to the public, media outlets, and government officials. To effect change through community participation and public policy, the report will also offer overall specific recommendations for North Bay residents, businesses, community groups, institutions, and government entities.

 The 17  Green New Deal Commissioners who are working to carry out these tasks are:
Co-Chairs
Kiki La Porta
Sustainability Activist, Marketing Communications & Design
Lisa Maldonado
Executive Director of North Bay Labor Council
Will Pier
Water, Fisheries, Waste Management and Ecology Specialist
Norman Solomon
Author and Activist for Social Justice and Peace.

Commissioners
Caroline Banuelos
Olivia Beltran
Steve Burdo
Julie Combs
Rue Furch
Jonathan Frieman
David Keller
Jerry Mander
Judith Newton
Daisy Pistey-Lyhne
Peter Richardson
Ginger Souders-Mason
Carolyne Stayton


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