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Issues Affecting All of Us...

Climate Change: The "Cause for Change"

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"These next few years are critical. We need to make important changes now, both large and small, to protect our environment while recovering our economy for ourselves and future generations. Clean local power now and increasing!"

- Veronica "Roni" Jacobi,
Santa Rosa Councilwoman 2006 - 2010

This section addresses Global Warming and Climate Change. Members of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the co- recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize(2007), have stressed the critical nature of what is facing us, and that significant and increasing action must be taken now. The longer we delay, the more damage will be done. There is much that can be accomplished to address our local challenges and Greenhouse Gases at the same time, creating the changes we need to make to preserve our quality of life for ourselves and future generations.

We hope to see all of us make the changes we need and come together to solve the critical challenges of Climate Recovery.

Changes We Can Make Right Now to make a difference TOGETHER!

  • Walk, Bike, Ride the Bus, Combine Trips & Carpool
  • Drive 55 mph or at the Lower Speed Limit
  • Use EV, Hybrid & Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Vehicles
  • Eat Mainly Plant Based, Local, Organic, Fair Trade & Home Garden Grown
  • Turn Off Unused Lights & Appliances
  • Monitor & Reduce Heating & Cooling Equipment
  • Vacation Locally or Use Alternative Transportation
  • Use Clean Renewable Energy
  • Reduce Consumption & Waste, Reuse, Recycle, Rot (Compost)
  • Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs & Appliances

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Veronica Jacobi's Climate Recovery Plan for Our Area and beyond. Please use and improve it! Also, we have updates if you are interested.

1. Local Green Jobs & Economy: Work to attract and grow local "green" businesses and industries in Santa Rosa, as well as throughout Sonoma County and beyond. These are technology companies in a fast-growing global market for "green" solutions such as PV (solar) cells, wind conversion and geothermal, architectural and engineering services, cleansers, recycled building products, etc. With the right planning and leadership, we could be a new center for emerging Green-tech, just as the peninsula has become a center for bio-tech in the past decade.

2. Clean Renewable Energy: Shifts our energy sources from fossil fuels, oil and natural gas to clean, renewable sources like geothermal, solar, wind and other alternative technologies. Allow private development of renewable energy projects on public property in exchange for a long term power purchase agreement. Santa Rosa, Sonoma County and all our local Cities could leverage the program by providing moderate interest loans for renewable energy projects, plus a green jobs program to complement it. There are many cost effective possibilities with the right leadership.

3. Carbon Sequestration & Offsetting: Seek all possible ways to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, continue switching city government vehicles to EV, hybrids and biofuels, increasing multi-modal transit options, programs for carsharing, carpooling & bicycling to work, opting for special carbon-reducing plantings wherever we can on public lands, encouraging and supporting Community Gardens, entering agreements with green power developers to produce renewable energy on our public lands and properties, and imposing traffic impact fees on new developments to offset their effects.

4. Local Power or Community Choice Aggregation (CCA): Marin Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power are leading the way! A 100% renewable mix is available to Marin and Sonoma County residents and expanding to other opting in cities. Please see the Center for Climate Protection website listed below for details. CCA enables local control over our energy sources to ensure they are climate-friendly, safe, price-stable and renewable. CCA is an energy supply model that allows citizens to use local resources to reduce our carbon footprint, and generate local "green" energy jobs.

5. Water Conservation & Re-Use: Roll-out conservation guidelines for new building and home improvement projects. Permit Greywater and "Purple Plumbing" (treated water re-use) solutions for businesses and residences, encourage rainwater harvesting, and reduce the red tape surrounding these emerging technologies for those who want to use them responsibly.

6. Increased service and effective connections for Buses, SMART Rail, Car-shares, Walk & Bike Paths: Reduce our carbon footprint, get cars off highway 101, give residents alternatives to volatile gasoline prices. Make the small but vital investments to improve walk and bike paths, which will pay dividends for decades to come.

7. Zero Waste Initiative: Encouraging the county to Commit to helping Santa Rosa and all our area eliminate landfill waste disposal through recycling and composting, combined with requirements for producer responsibility for toxic products, in the next 10-20 years.

8+. Taxing Carbon Pollution, Zero Carbon Initiative & Cap and Share: Encouraging the Federal, State, Greater Bay Area, N. Bay Area, and County to Commit to helping Santa Rosa and all our area reduce our net carbon to zero. We need to get back down to 350 ppm net carbon (see below). We have risen to over 400 ppm and that is not a safe level. Cap and Share could be a powerful tool to help us get back to 350 ppm and is explained at the Center for Climate Protection website listed below.

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National Organizations

The Campus Climate Challenge is a project of more than 30 leading youth organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Challenge leverages the power of young people to organize on college campuses and high schools across Canada and the U.S. to win 100% Clean Energy policies at their schools. The Challenge is growing a generation-wide movement to stop global warming by reducing pollution from our high schools and colleges to zero, and leading our society to a clean energy future.

The Sierra Club is an American environmental organization founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the United States.

The 1Sky Campaign is dedicated to aggregating a massive nationwide movement by communicating a positive vision and a coherent set of national policies that rise to the scale of the climate challenge before us. The 1Sky campaign was created in response to the collective urgency for nationwide environmental solutions by a diverse group of determined leaders across the country. Our movement has many strengths, audiences and organizing strategies - 1Sky is aggregating and magnifying our power to positively address the urgent environmental issues of our nation.

Green Facts - facts on health and the environment
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Organizations in Sonoma County and nearby areas

The Center For Climate Protection supports and accelerates the work of Sonoma County, cities and towns within the County, and other partners in measuring and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Many individuals participate with the Center - local elected officials, County and city staff, teachers, students, business people, activists, and concerned citizens.

Daily Acts is a Sonoma County organization that publishes Ripples journal and does sustainability tours that are informative, educational and inspiring.

The Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County is a meeting space for many local peace and social justice groups. It has a video and book library where you can borrow books and movies on a variety of topics.

Lite Initiatives is a Sonoma County organization with the mission to motivate individuals, groups, businesses, and whole communities, to live lightly and more efficiently. Their programs include Community Bikes, Car-Lite, Green Mentor, and Zero Waste. Community Bikes is a Santa Rosa used bike shop that refurbishes bikes for reuse and teaches people to fix their own bikes.
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Laguna Farms is a "beyond organic" farm in Sebastopol that has a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program that provides members a weekly box of seasonal produce.
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Energy Audits

The Home Energy Saver is designed to help consumers identify the best ways to save energy in their homes, and find the resources to make the savings happen. The Home Energy Saver was the first Internet-based tool for calculating energy use in residential buildings. The project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the national ENERGY STAR Program for improving energy efficiency in homes.


From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. You will learn, you will laugh, and you just might change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.
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Cheaper, Cleaner Renewable Energy

Renewable energy photoRenewable energy options like solar and wind power are the future of energy planning. This will help us gain greater energy independence, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and decrease our carbon footprint. Santa Rosa is a Solar America City partnering with Solar Sonoma County!
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Water Conservation and Management

water imageThe Sonoma County Water Coalition is doing wonderful work to protect water quality and quantity. Greywater and "Purple Plumbing" (treated water re-use) solutions and rainwater harvesting for businesses and residences all can play a role. We need to clean up the red tape surrounding these issues and get these systems operational for those who want to use them responsibly. Fracking threatens water supplies by using huge amounts of water and by injecting chemicals that can get into water supplies. Climate Change is impacting rainfall and snowmelt creating more severe droughts, storms and floods.
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Health is a critical part of a good future. Clean air and enough clean water, healthy crops and enough food are areas we need to pay special attention to in reducing the impacts of Climate Change until we get our emissions back to safe levels. We also need to plan the locations of our health services to make it easy for everyone to get there in low carbon ways. How can we best ensure that our emergency and preventive care needs are being met, while not breaking the bank. At the same time as we fix the transportation options and the healthcare safety net, we should also be striving to offer the best healthcare options for all our residents.
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While Government copes with revenue shortfalls, more can and needs to be accomplished. By being creative and cost-conscious, local government can provide programs which enrich our lives while reducing our collective footprint. We need to continue to promote creative and sound policies and management of government resources to maintain critical services and preserve fiscal responsibility.
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Public & Green Safety

As we reduce our carbon footprints special attention needs to be paid to staying safe. Working with Bicycling Clubs on Safe Riding Skills classes and with community groups to address trail or neighborhood problem areas and make improvements. Walking and cycling have many benefits.
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Youth Enrichment

We need to increase the effectiveness of community-based programs working with our young people to help them get involved with protecting their future and resisting the lure of consumerism, commercials and also the lure of gang recruitment. We can address our youths needs holistically and duplicate and share improvements with successful youth mentoring programs. Seniors lives can be very enriched when spending time with young people, and their knowledge of older sustainable ways of doing things is immensely valuable to all of us. For example, canning is a valuable skill that many middle age people do not have that elders can offer our youth.
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We can strongly advocate for more comprehensive planning in the area of affordable housing, ensuring that we build near schools, shopping and transit.
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The Environment

Sonoma and Marin Counties and beyond are noted for natural beauty and quality of life. We need to continue to work to protect our water resources and watersheds, water and air quality, habitat and greenbelts. Let's preserve our precious ridges, hilltops, vernal pools, wetlands, coasts and wild areas for future generations of people and wildlife.
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As we work to maintain and hopefully improve services with limited resources let's always think about saving resources (which fortunately also saves money... Services for children, older persons, people with disabilities, and those with limited incomes. It is a difficult challenge in these economic times. Working with other individuals, advocacy groups, organizations and businesses that provide a better quality of life for those who need assistance and saving money on energy can be effective and rewarding.
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public transporation imageImproved public transportation, comprehensive multi-modal links, and more and safer pedestrian and bicycle routes all can help us address our challenges. Increased evening and weekend buses should serve people working second shifts, people with disabilities, youths, students with late classes, and those seeking social or other activities around town.

Many more of our neighborhoods' transit, traffic and parking issues can be resolved by bringing together city and county agencies and members of the impacted communities to develop solutions. We can encourage greater communication between all concerned, especially early during the planning process, and continue to fight for increased funding for lowest carbon options from state and federal sources.
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We can set limits on the type of development we encourage in our communities. We can demand ultra low carbon and water footprints.

Many of us appreciate the convenience of some existing "Big Box" stores, where we can go to one store, or a series of them in the same center, and get a wide array of choices at competitive prices.

Many of us also want smaller locally owned businesses to survive and thrive. These smaller businesses are often located even closer to us, and we may have a pleasant history of superior personal service and attention with these older businesses. There are many small and medium sized businesses spread throughout our city and county that add to the character and uniqueness of our neighborhoods. Also, on a dollar for dollar basis these locally owned stores provide greater economic benefit to the area because the dollars they take in from sales usually get recirculated in the community, whereas the "Big Box" stores send their profits to corporate headquarters.
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Your Dollars at Work

When we spend money we often encourage and support lower carbon emissions or higher emissions. When we "Go Local" growing food, buying local produce in season, walk, cycle and/or bus to local parks, restaurants and stores, we are making lower carbon choices that benefit ourselves and our communities in many ways.

In Santa Rosa a local tax dollar example that many are disappointed with...The Santa Rosa Junior College's parking garage is a good example of a project where community and student input, the JC, and city and county agencies could have united to provide for the needs of the students, nearby residents, and the commercial interests in the neighborhood to a higher degree.
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Footprint Calculators

  • Footprint Calculators are one of the best ways to figure out how to lower our personal and household footprints. Click here

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- Veronica "Roni" Jacobi, Founder of Our Green Challenge

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