Climate activism can sometimes seem like it’s all about writing letters. Letters to voters, letters to get lawmakers to do the right thing, letters to editors. Don’t get me wrong — writing letters is vital to what we do. But many of us have a hunger for something more direct, more expressive, to give voice to our concern for the climate.
Here are some ways to put your voice to work for the climate — in person, as much as Zoom allows — right here in Humboldt.
One is by speaking up for the Hatchery Road Solar Project proposed to be built near Blue Lake. Humboldt County’s Planning Commission will consider the project, which could generate renewable electricity for 1,200 local households, in a public hearing at 6 PM on Thursday, March 18. You can get the Zoom link for the meeting from Humboldt County’s website at https://humboldt.legistar.com/ beginning March 12.
Here’s another opportunity to project your voice. Remember the Climate Action Plan (CAP) that County planners began working on in 2019? It’s designed to meet requirements contained in the SB 32 law passed in 2016 to make Humboldt (and other counties) more climate-friendly. The plan will likely be released soon, and early indications are it will contain recommendations that would significantly cut emissions.
But a plan can only work if it’s followed. CAPs are supposed to guide real actions, but in reality it will be up to each of Humboldt’s city councils and the county Board of Supervisors to decide how seriously they’ll take it.
That’s where our voices are needed. Wherever you live you’re represented either by the Board of Supervisors or a city council. Look at their website and find out when they’ll meet, and join that meeting to provide your public comment. Tell them you’re glad Humboldt’s CAP meets SB 32’s goals, and you want to see it guide future decisions.
As we all know, Humboldt is just one county, in one state. Still, even the World Economic Forum, that heady group that meets annually to shape the world from Davos, Switzerland, thinks we’re doing good things for the climate. Or at least our trees are, as they write here. We’d probably all agree with that sentiment.
Seriously, Joe Biden’s executive orders nixing Keystone XL, rejoining the Paris agreement, and halting federal energy leases appear to show he means business. But Democrats hold a razor-thin Senate majority, and many share with Republicans an allegiance to fossil fuels. One day last month it appeared Biden’s leasing moratorium would be undone by the Senate, before enough senators had a change of heart and voted against themselves (see here). We have to be aware that the current Congress, even led by Democrats, will require a lot of convincing before it treats the climate with the urgency it requires.
Our friends in the greater 350 network hope to help us gain the skills to do that convincing, whether at the local or national level. 350 Seattle is organizing a series of online trainings beginning this month. Take a look at https://www.facebook.com/
Keep up the good work!
Pat Carr for 350 Humboldt