ECOS Letter to City of Sacramento re Youth and Climate

On July 19, 2022, ECOS submitted a letter to the City of Sacramento regarding Agenda Item 26, the Sacramento Children and Youth Health and Safety Act.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. In the Council’s deliberations on a possible Sacramento Children’s Fund for children and youth, ECOS urges you to consider directly linking youth mental health and climate change in the proposed uses and goals of the Children’s Fund. Within this framework, it would be reasonable to use funding for parks and walks and bikeways to school, in service of a healthy environment, in addition to the social service and career counseling uses noted in the staff report.

Click here to view the letter in PDF.

Effective Climate Communication – A Course

11:30 – 1:00 pm on Fridays — July 29, August 5, Aug 12

Click here to sign up.

THIS! Is What We Did is holding a 3-session course for our members and affiliates starting Friday July 29 from 11:30 – 1:00 pm, continuing at the same time on Friday August 5 and 12. There is no charge, and the classes are by zoom.

The name THIS! Is What We Did relates to the idea of what we could say to our grandchildren about what we did to address the climate crisis. ECOS Member Ron Sadler recommends the course: “The communication skills taught are very insightful and effective. The folks who teach the classes are kind, welcoming and knowledgeable on effective conversation skills.”

Jim Thompson, founder of THIS! Is What We Did, says this:

With our country so divided on so many issues, getting meaningful climate legislation enacted is more than challenging. And as we are reminded almost daily, by unprecedented weather events and record-breaking temperatures around the world, we have little time to act. We work with environmental organizations because of our desire to help protect the planet. So, what else can we do?

We need a climate movement large and loud enough to demand of our elected leaders, at all levels of government, to take meaningful climate actions now. The first step in building the movement is having effective conversations with family, friends and colleagues about climate. But as we have all experienced, that isn’t always so easy.

That is where the Effective Climate Communications course comes in. This three-session course that we have arranged for members of Sacramento environmental organizations teaches how to initiate climate conversations to educate and inspire folks into action, without turning them off, and in way that helps build stronger relationships.

We look forward to seeing you on July 29. Meanwhile, test your climate change literacy at https://thisiswhatwedid.org/climate-change-literacy-quiz/

New building codes include climate change mandates, Sacramento Business Journal, July 17, 2022

Starting in January, most new commercial construction in California will be required to install some solar generation and battery storage, along with heat pump technology, as the state moves toward its zero-carbon goals.

The new 2022 building standards mandate, approved by the California Energy Commission, adds to the renewable solar mandate that went into effect in January 2020 for all new single-family residential construction.

Click here to read the article in full.

Transportation measure comes under fire in some circles, Sacramento Business Journal, July 15, 2022

This fall, Sacramento County voters will weigh in on a sales tax measure with a cornucopia of proposed boosting for local transportation: road fixes, transit improvements and more.

One proposed use of measure proceeds, though, has drawn criticism in some corners, including from a regional transportation planning agency. About 11.5% of all annual tax revenues would be allocated to Caltrans for state highway improvements and to the Capital Southeast Joint Powers Authority for the Capital Southeast Connector project.

To groups like the Environmental Council of Sacramento, the latter project is out of line with smart growth.

“We feel it’s inducing sprawl and vehicle miles traveled,” said Ralph Propper, a past president of ECOS and chair of its climate change committee. “It wouldn’t meet state mandates.”

Click here to read the article in full.

CLIMATE COMMITTEE: Focus on Transportation

July 14, 2022 6:00 – 7:45 pm

Featuring: Dan Leavitt of San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission on the Valley Rail Program

Also, Jim Allison of Capitol Corridor will discuss the addition of a third track between Sacramento and Roseville. Finally, ECOS will provide updates on and invite discussion of the City of Sacramento Climate Action Plan and the proposed transportation ballot initiative.

LINK to join: ECOS ZOOM 6656164155
Call: 1 669 900 6833, Mtg ID: 665 616 4155

6:00 Welcome and Introductions

6:10 Dan Leavitt, Manager of Regional Initiatives, San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, and David Lipari also of SJRRC
• Dan will give a general update on the Valley Rail Program, and Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) and San Joaquins services. Valley Rail will provide new rail service to Sacramento on existing tracks from San Jose, Merced, and Bakersfield.
• David will present Valley Rail station design guidelines and process.
• Q&A.

Valley Rail is a joint program that includes improvements and expansions of both ACE and Amtrak San Joaquins that is focused on improvements between Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley.

7:00 Jim Allison, Manager of Planning, Capitol Corridor JPA
• Jim will discuss the Capitol Corridor, including the addition of a third track between Sacramento and Roseville to enable increased rail service east of Sacramento.

7:20 Ralph Propper, John Deeter, and others
• City of Sacramento Climate Action Plan
• Transportation ballot initiative

7:45 Adjourn

Climate Update

On June 30, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court said that without “clear congressional authorization,” the Environmental Protection Agency was powerless to aggressively address climate change, to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Congress is gridlocked now, but one day Congress will act. Meanwhile the Biden administration is working with many other federal agencies and the private sector to implement clean energy projects and operations.

A few weeks earlier, at the Citizens’ Climate Lobby June 2022 conference, Executive Director Madeleine Para referred to CCL’s extended efforts on carbon fees and dividends with the U.S. Congress, and the sad reality that there isn’t yet enough political will to “pass the biggest, most critical climate policies into law.” So, in addition to carbon fees and dividends, CCL has decided to throw its weight behind Clean Energy and Natural/Land-based Solutions, particularly forests and reforestation to store and remove carbon and help insects, birds and animals adapt to an already-changing climate.

CCL is focused on national and regional issues while ECOS focuses on the Sacramento region. It is important that California and Sacramento lead because “when the people lead, the leaders will follow” – Mahatma Gandhi. We need to get local elected officials to be more aggressive in climate action.

The CARB Scoping Plan states “Many jurisdictions are already asserting bold climate leadership, yet meeting the challenge of climate change requires more widespread action at the local level – roughly 35 percent of California’s GHG reduction potential is from activities that local governments have authority or important influence over.” Here’s a good article, As Federal Climate-Fighting Tools Are Taken Away, Cities and States Step Up, about action by localities on climate change.