Sunday, August 05, 2012

Nevada County environmental activists, it's past time for vision. Why so quiet?

What does the future hold for our rivers?   Are our river protectors aware?

From the [U.K.] Independent, Heatwave turns America's waterways into rivers of death.
"Significant tolls of fresh-water species, from pike to trout, have been reported, most frequently in the Midwest..."

 Climate change is here — and worse than we thought, says James Hansen, the climate scientist who's got perhaps the best track record on climate change. His Aug 3 Washington Post op-ed goes on to say,
"...the past six decades of global temperatures...[show] a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.

This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened."
I think we can all see the likely fate of Sierra rivers and their fish, if we continue to act like ostriches and let climate change have its way with us.

Hansen concludes,
"We can solve the challenge of climate change with a gradually rising fee on carbon collected from fossil-fuel companies, with 100 percent of the money rebated to all legal residents on a per capita basis. This would stimulate innovations and create a robust clean-energy economy with millions of new jobs. It is a simple, honest and effective solution."
Where are Nevada County's activists on this issue? There's a bizarre "dog that didn't bark" aspect to the local selective blindness.  Folks, this issue will doom your mission if we don't address it; surely you do realize this?

What do you need, in order to speak up?

I don't want to be an activist - I'm not suited for it, I'm not good at it.  The people who are, really need to step up to the plate.


gzaller said...

What would an effective activist look like today?

Above all else an activist should be successful at influencing others. An activist also should be able to focus on a pathway that will achieve the desired results. This might not be immediately attempting to produce stiff legislation. I think the best point to begin might be to work towards getting people to talk and listen to each other.

Don Pelton said...


What would you suggest that groups like Wolf Creek Alliance, who mount huge volunteer efforts to maintain a regular monitoring program to track the health of the watershed, do specifically to address the issue of climate change?

What action would you have them they take locally that they aren't already taking?

In terms of their passionate commitment to the specific local watershed, they are far from quiet.

More than any other groups I know locally, they walk their talk for little or no reward and little or no compensation.

Anna Haynes said...

Greg - part of effective activism is creating movement in an effective direction. And when the issue must be solved via political will, part of buiding this will entails effective education. (It's great to rouse people to action, but we can probably all think of calls to take an action that wasn't socially constructive.)

> getting people to talk and listen to each other.
That's a good step. Do you think you'd be able to get a high-profile local contrarian (who's not output-only) to sit down with us and talk climate change, with a wireless connection?

Don, on what Wolf Creek Alliance could do, I'd ask: does their audience grasp what unfettered climate change will likely do to the creek, likely effectively irreversibly? Does their audience grasp what policies will and won't effectively tackle climate change?
(Are they "climate literate"?)

If not, the group can and should educate, and it's not hard to do (i.e. do what you do best and link to the rest) - they could be exhorting folks to listen to yesterday's Lemonick interview on Fresh Air, or read/watch David Roberts' "Climate Change is Simple" blogpost/TED talk, on Grist.
(Say "we're visionaries, we need to protect the creek against its biggest long term threat"...)