We hope you’re staying healthy and adapting to the strange reality of social distancing.
Since we can’t meet, we’re trying to keep in touch with this News Flash. Coronavirus news can get old, so here are a few things you might find different and worthwhile.
Believe it or not, good things still happen in a pandemic. Our last News Flash reported on the trend toward dramatically lower carbon emissions in China in recent months. Now, research by the Netherlands Meteorological Institute and reported by the BBC shows this is probably also occurring in Europe. Satellite images show sharp declines in nitrous oxides which generally rise and fall with carbon emissions. Though the trend will likely end with the pandemic, we can hope that people will get hooked on something unusual — clean air — and demand an economy that doesn’t rely on killing the planet.
A bit of local good news is the continued operation of Humboldt County’s local transit systems. Redwood Transit, running from Scotia to Trinidad seven days a week, now offers free rides to all! And the buses get extra cleanings. Many lower-income people in Humboldt rely on buses to get to work, and if they’re still working it’s vital — both for them and the public — that they get there.
If you’re looking for good things to do while sheltering in place, here’s an online petitionfrom Climate Mobilization demanding JP Morgan Chase stop funding a gas pipeline threatening the homeland of Canada’s Wet’suwet’en people. And here’s a link to sign up for Fossil Free California’s free webinar “Covid-19 and the Climate Crisis” presented by Dan Kammen, who chairs U.C. Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, this Tuesday, March 31, 4:30-6:00 PM.
And in the it-could-have-been-worse department, this week Congress passed a two trillion dollar Covid-19 relief package.
The bill began as a massive bailout for fossil fuel and other giant corporations, sweetened with $1,200 checks for most Americans. 350.org‘s Tamara Toles O’Laughlin credited thousands of 350 members who called Congress with the removal of billions in handouts to oil companies and the addition of funds for mass transit. (Click here for more.) O’Laughlin still describes parts of the bill a “corporate bailout fund.” She adds “Let’s learn from the wake up call of this pandemic and act boldly. We must make a down payment on a regenerative economy to prevent future crises.”
We couldn’t agree more.
We’ll let you know the date of our next 350 Humboldt General Meeting as soon as possible. Until then, stay well.
Pat Carr for 350 Humboldt