When the city of Davis adopted its Climate Action Plan a few months back, local leaders realized the city couldnÕt meet its goals for greenhouse gas reductions without actively engaging all of us, the residents of Davis.
So, the city sponsored the creation of a citizens group to do just that, and that group met many times to figure out the best way to go about this task. You can imagine how much discussion went into defining such a big effort. In the end, the group adopted a mission statement that its goal is Òto inspire and empower the citizens of Davis to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions while having fun.Ó
Taking this seriously (contradiction intended), the group is launching itself into the community with its first event this weekend. Actually, this might be called the second annual event, since it is building on the http://350.org event held last year. YouÕll remember that 350 is the parts per million molecules of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that some climate experts say we should not exceed if we want to avoid the worst predicted effects of climate change.
This year, itÕs all about 10-10-10 (Sunday), with events in communities all over the planet celebrating what can be done to reduce emissions. But, importantly, there is also 10-9-10 (Saturday) with opportunities to plug into tree planting, solar housing, urban front lawns and other Òget your hands dirtyÓ ways of doing service for the planet. For information on projects, times and places, go to http://www.cooldavis.org.
YouÕve undoubtedly heard by now about the Green Living Festival scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the VeteransÕ Memorial Center; the people in charge of organizing the festival are wizards at pre-event publicity. And the event lives up to every word of its mission statement.
There will be plenty to ÒinspireÓ us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, including theater, dance, poetry, music, a speech or two, and a video and other information about global warming. More than that, since the entire day before is organized to provide people with opportunities to participate in environmental service projects, this also will be celebrated on the 10th.
There will be materials and activities to ÒempowerÓ us to act, including information about local green businesses, how to hold a Òzero wasteÓ event at your home, opportunities for energy efficiency and solar in and on our homes and businesses, how to compost, and bike maintenance and repair.
There will be demonstrations of solar cooking and how a bike can be a practical means of transportation for virtually everything we need to do in town Ñ even hauling large and heavy items. There also will be information from groups in town Ñ sort of a Òone-stop shopÓ for information you may want about what is practical to do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including an opportunity to learn more about and sign up for the cityÕs ÒLow Carbon DietÓ program.
And, donÕt forget the ÒfunÓ in the mission statement. The Cool Davis Initiative is dedicated to lightening up a very serious topic, and this festival is going to be a Òparty for the planet.Ó In addition to the music, dance and theater, there will be lots of food and activities for kids of all ages.
The festival will recognize and honor local ÒEco HeroesÓ for their work and commitment. I want to also recognize and honor some of the principal people organizing this event. They have done amazing work in a short period of time and have laid the foundation for this festival to grow and become even more successful in future years. Some of these people are Judy Moores and Lynne Nittler, Lisa Murgatroyd, Brennan Bird, Dominique Sayer, Alan Pryor, Jenifer Segar, Will Klein, Bernie Goldsmith and everyoneÕs energy guru and city treasure, Mitch Sears.
The cityÕs long-term goal is to inspire and empower 75 percent of Davis residents to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The goal for this year is 15 percent. This festival is a good start at providing the inspiration and empowerment to reach our climate goals. Sign up for a service project Saturday and come to the festival Sunday.
Who should come to the Green Living Festival? Everyone. Segments of the population have borne such labels as the ÒSixties Generation,Ó the ÒMe GenerationÓ and ÒGen Xers.Ó Thomas Friedman, the author of ÒHot, Flat, and Crowded,Ó spoke to a Sacramento audience last week and coined a description that encompasses all of us as we confront the challenges of climate change: According to him, we are, collectively, the ÒRe-Generation.Ó Answering the challenge requires everyoneÕs participation.
Ñ John Mott-Smith is a resident of Davis. This column appears the first and third Thursdays of each month. Send comments to [email protected]
Check it out
What: Cool Davis InitiativeÕs free Green Living Festival
When: 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: VeteransÕ Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St.