We want to give you a flash of some local news happening right now on climate action — and invite you to join other climate activists in helping make the news.

First, a big thanks to Connie Roser-Renouf for her presentation on communicating about climate change. More than 40 people attended the Zoom event on August 3 (if you missed it, check out the audio recording on 350 Humboldt’s website). One key take-away from the talk is that relatively few people actually deny climate change. Another is that simply starting conversations about climate change (non-confrontationally, of course) can be a great way to motivate people to work on protecting the climate.

Connie also talked about the importance of starting those conversations with decision makers, in a more formal way of course, by contacting them about climate issues. When they know people are paying attention to their decisions and care about the climate, they’re more likely to act accordingly. So let’s talk about some things we can do in the next few weeks.

You may know that driving is the biggest single source of CO2 emissions, locally and across the country.. California now requires counties to begin lowering those emissions by assessing how proposed developments will affect the number of miles people drive  They call it VMT, for Vehicle Miles Traveled. Then planners decide whether the VMT number is big enough that mitigations need to be built into the project, or are even too excessive for the project to proceed. In the next few weeks Humboldt’s Planning Commission will consider approving formulas to guide the county in accomplishing both those tasks.

An analysis by the Coalition for Transportation Priorities’ Colin Fiske indicates that the proposal the Planning Commission is looking at is deficient in several ways. For example, their plan would predict that residents in new developments in Kneeland or Weitchpec would drive about the same amount as people living near Eureka or Arcata. Very unlikely!

It’s easy to get lost in the details here. The main point is simple: we have to reduce Greenhouse emissions from cars and trucks, which means we have to carefully, and accurately, look at how future developments will affect those.

You can make that point to the Planning Commission when they meet (scheduled for August 20 on Zoom) to discuss this — it will help them know that people who care about the climate are paying attention. We’ll let you know the details in an Action Alert soon.

What we don’t live here for!

Other interesting things are happening on the local Zoomscape:

A presentation on cars and policing on Thursday, August 13 at 5:30 PM with Columbia University professor Sarah Seo, presented by the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities and co-sponsored by 350 Humboldt.

Sponsored by Redwood Coast Energy Authority, HSU students present their research on alternatives to burning biomass for electricity on Tuesday, August 11, 6 PM. Call (707) 269-1700 for details.

Redwood Coast Energy Authority also presents a one-hour webinar for prospective buyers of electric vehicles on August 26. Two sessions, one at 10 AM and again, 5:30 PM.

Enjoy your August!

Pat Carr for 350 Humboldt