Meetings: Climate Action Now holds public meetings to highlight special events regarding climate change issues.  All are welcome.

Link to our new facebook page!

Help Stop Global Warming. Protect the earth. For now, and for future generations. 

Go to the Energy Sub-Pages to see information about what individuals, businesses and cities can do to reduce their energy usage and switch to renewable resources. 

Go to Education -Health and Climate Change page for what you can do to reduce health impacts of CC

            Winter 2020 Contest

An Opportunity for Students and Families

Family Energy Night flyer.jpg

                     How to Enter

Use your imagination and research to perfect your work, in class or over the holiday break.

 

1. Click on link for criteria to enter the solar design contest.         Read the suggestion pages. (Teachers, see the resource           page at the end!)

 

2. Click on link for criteria to enter the literary and arts              contest. Let your imagination soar.

 

3. Click on link to read about the family energy contest. A           simple form lets you check off the changes you make, over     time, and keep pace with friends.

 

4. For all contests: Fasten your name, age, cell phone, and           email address to your entry. Label it, Beautiful Future             Contest.

 

5. Mail or drop off your solar and art entries by 5:00 pm January 15 at:

           Sustainable Energy Group,

           420 Sierra College Dr., Suite 320, Grass Valley

           Optionally, literary entries may be emailed to                         harry@seg.energy; cc TLangness@gmail.com

 

Winners will be featured on Family Energy Night via Zoom

January 28, 2021

     NC-CAN - A Focus On Youth Actions

 

More than 15,000 people in Nevada County fall under the age of 14. Another 15,000 are 15-30. “Many of these youth do more than tweet or rally to participate in a good cause. They tether their skills to tangible outcomes and study solutions to local and global challenges,” according to the Nevada County Climate Action Now (NC-CAN) Education Committee conveners, who believe that “the attitudes, actions and initiatives of these youth help them emerge as potential change makers of the future.”

Go to the Education Climate Change Agents Page for report on the 2019 camp.  

Go to Education Page to check your climate footprint!
 
Go to Social Action Page for info on Centennial Dam project.

April 2017 climate march in Nevada City

How cities can lead on climate change solutions By Ian Klaus on Dec 11, 2018

Last month, diplomats from about 130 countries are gathered in Katowice, Poland, for COP24, the latest in the annual series of climate change meetings convened under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. At the heart of the discussions this year is a grim report released in October by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees C (SR1.5).

The product of more than 90 scientists working from thousands of peer-reviewed studies, SR1.5 laid out the catastrophic effects of exceeding 1.5 degrees C warming over the coming decades. Much of the global news coverage that followed the report’s release focused on a chilling projection in the form of a 12-year deadline the IPCC established to limit the most disastrous impacts of planetary warming. But the report wasn’t just a grave warning: It was also a roadmap to solutions.

Click here to read full article

Meeting the 1.5°C warming goal

 

International

 

Under the Paris climate agreement, nations set a goal of limiting warming to 3.6°F, or 2 °C, increase in global average temperatures, with ambitions of a stricter limit of 2.7°F, or 1.5°C of warming. The UN asked the IPCC to figure out what it would take to hit the 1.5°C target, and what’s in store for the world if we did pull it off.

 

Staying at or below 1.5°C requires slashing global greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. Current level is 37 billion tons of CO2 each year.

 

We have just 12 years to make massive and unprecedented changes to global energy infrastructure to limit global warming to moderate levels, the United Nation’s climate science body said in a monumental new 2018 report released Sunday.

 

By 2030 the world must triple emission reductions to reach 2 degrees centigrade and reduce 5 times to reach 1.5 degrees centigrade.  

 

United States

 

In 2015 Obama said the United States would cut its emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. Trump is pulling us out of the agreement in November 2020

 

California

 

In 2018 California passed SB100 which is to achieve a 50% renewable resources target by December 31, 2026, and to achieve a 60% target by December 31, 2030. This bill states that it is the policy of the state that eligible renewable energy resources and zero-carbon resources supply 100% of retail sales of electricity to California end-use customers and 100% of electricity procured to serve all state agencies by December 31, 2045. Governor Brown also announced an executive order directing California to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and to be net greenhouse gas negative thereafter. The order will require California to undertake additional decarbonization efforts, such as capturing and sequestering carbon in soil and building materials.

 

In selecting a GHG reduction goal for 2030, the Energy Commission staff is recommending a stay-the-course, 46 million metric ton (MMT) target, the same target the Commission used before the passage of SB 100. That target and the accompanying Reference System Portfolio will put California far behind the curve in 2030 when electricity demand is expected to accelerate due to growth of electric vehicles and electrification of other sectors of the economy. The Reference System Portfolio is also seriously flawed because it fails to consider or model low cost hybrid resources, like solar paired with battery storage, as new candidate resources that should be procured. With the risk of catastrophic wildfires and other climate disasters increasing, California cannot afford delays in implementing SB 100. Vote Solar and many other parties to the Commission’s Integrated Resource Planning proceeding have called on the Commission to adopt a significantly lower 2030 target of 30 MMT, which was previously modeled by the Commission staff and, if adopted, will provide much more confidence that California can get to the zero carbon emissions goal by 2045.

 

California 2017 GHG emissions by sector:

  • Transportation 41%

  • Industrial 24%

  • Electricity in state 9%

  • Electricity imported 6%

  • Residential 7%

  • Commercial 5%

 

Building Energy Efficiency Standards goals

 

Residential

2013 ~ 30% more efficient than 2006 code

2016 ~ 28% more efficient than 2013 code

2019 ~   7% more efficient than 2016 code

              7% without PVs and 53% of entire house with PVs

Non-residential

2016 ~   5% more efficient than 2013 code

2019 ~   30% more efficient than 2016

 

Nevada County Energy Action Plans

 

  1. Nevada City Energy Action Plan goal of 28% electricity reduction by 2020 and natural gas use by 10%. Ensure the transition to 100% renewable energy for its community electricity supply from PG&E and independent providers by 2030 and 100% Renewable Energy by 2050.

  2. Grass Valley Energy Action Plan goal of 36% electricity reduction by 2035 and natural gas use by 29%.

  3. Nevada County Energy Action Plan goal of 51% electricity reduction by 2035 and natural gas use by 30%.

 

The California Climate Center Goals for California

 

Climate-safe California Rapid Decarbonization Campaign.

 

  • California measured emissions in 1990 were 431 million metric tons (MMT)

  • California actual measured emissions in 2017 were 424 MMT

  • California goal is 40% below 1990 by 2030 (259 MMT)

  • The Campaign goal is 80% below 1990 by 2030 (86 MMT)

  • This also includes sequestration of 100 million metric tons per year though healthy soils and habitat restoration for a net of minus 14 metric tons per year.

 

Earth Day 2030: California Celebrates Reaching Net-Negative Emissions Nation & World Collaborating for Speed & Scale Climate Action

 

Today, Earth Day 2030, we celebrate the deep systemic changes we have collectively made for a healthy, equitable, and climate-safe future. We reflect back on an exceptional ten years of climate action. The decade began with a nightmare, COVID-19, which woke us up to the deadly consequences of ignoring science. We quickly realized that we must heed the warning of climate experts and take immediate, bold action to avert climate catastrophe. It took an exponentially growing body of diverse advocates putting pressure on policymakers to create bold change in line with the science. COVID-19 showed us how quickly and dramatically we could change government policies, unleash market forces, and create opportunities for everyone to participate in a climate-safe economy.

 

Today we look back on our many achievements, including:

  • California accelerated the phase-out of fossil fuel development, production, and use. Legislation enacted in the early 2020s is showing enormous benefits for health, the environment and the economy as the state halted all new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure and began rapidly phasing-out fossil fuel-powered cars, trucks, buses, trains, and equipment. We dramatically increased investments in public transportation, housing near jobs, and innovative programs that reduced toxic air pollution, especially for frontline communities. The state also enacted zero-emissions building codes and began phasing out methane gas. We are grateful to the workers whose livelihoods were dependent on fossil fuel industries for making this rapid transition to a 100% GHG-free, clean energy economy possible.

  • We are rapidly drawing down carbon from the atmosphere through sequestration on natural and working lands for net-negative emissions, making sequestration greater than emissions. Ranchers, farmers, and public resource managers were incentivized to implement climate-friendly habitat and soil protection and restoration programs on millions of acres from the Sierras to the sea. Farmers led the way in reducing emissions while supporting food and water security with climate-friendly, regenerative production.

  • Unavoidable damage from extreme climate events meant that California became heavily invested in community resilience and protecting the most vulnerable, lower-income communities. Legislation enacted in the early 2020s funded and supported California's counties and cities to develop and implement clean, local, decentralized, resilient energy and storage, building independent capacity to address climate and other emergencies. Major new state programs funded and supported local climate emergency response and preparedness measures, including early warning systems, resilience centers, and public education programs that are now benefitting all Californians.

  • California created new financing mechanisms, from frequent flyer fees and carbon taxes to private sector investments that generated the billions of dollars needed annually for speed and scale climate solutions.

 

Millions of people took action to bring about the changes in policy that accelerated our transition. On this Earth Day 2030, we commit to continuing our efforts to secure a healthy, vibrant, and equitable future for all.

Summer camp forestry walk and talk

Current NC-CAN Actions

NC-CAN WASTE NOT Committee

CLIMATE CONNECTIONS NOVEMBER 2020

Deborah Gibbs

 

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down. What is better than lots of good food and great company? This is a uniquely USA event, and for the most part, we are fortunate by accident of birth to land in a country with resources which most other countries envy.  This includes the bountiful agricultural industry that brings us the ingredients for our annual feast. 

 

But perhaps we take this abundance and good fortune for granted.  I t makes sense to buy and prepare what can realistically be consumed without overstuffing guests, and the landfill. The food that ends up in the garbage will decay and produce methane, an emission that is much more powerful than CO2.  According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 30 percent of food is wasted globally across the supply chain, contributing 8 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste were a country, its emissions would come in third after the U.S. and China.

 

California takes organic waste pollution seriously and in 2016 enacted SB1383 to control of organic waste. This law requires a 50 percent reduction in organic waste disposal from 2014 levels by 2020, and a 75 percent reduction by 2025. That will require the diversion of up to 27 million tons of organic waste by 2025. 

 

Additionally, SB 1383 requires that by 2025 not less than 20 percent of edible food that is currently disposed be recovered for human consumption. According to BioCycle, “No other government in the world has created SB 1383’s legal mandate to recover edible food previously sent to landfills to give to people in need. …Many “Californians are food insecure, including 1 in 5 children. At the same time, more than 5.5 million tons of food waste are disposed in California landfills each year, according to CalRecycle’s 2014 waste characterization study.”

 

Frankly, organic waste is a problem that each individual can most easily resolve.  And doing so will keep our waste disposal costs down as we work toward a healthier environment. Much of the organic waste no longer suitable for human consumption could be diverted to feed livestock, or make compost and fuel.

 

So, starting at home, please compost if you can. Keep your food waste in a bin and use it for your plants.  It’s terrific, it costs you nothing, and composting is relatively easy.  The local Nevada County Master Gardeners (http://ncmg.ucanr.org/Composting_Resources/) have lots of great video and written information on composting.

 

But for some, composting at home is just not possible.  Here is where the county and the community must step up. Nevada County has embarked on redesigning the McCourtney Road Transfer Station (MRTS).  Part of that redesign is to better accommodate the transfer of organic waste, but the main objective is reducing congestion.  Although our county population has not increased much since 2016, traffic at the transfer station is up 75% and green waste has increased by 100%.

 

Sustainable disposal of organic waste is a new frontier.  Facilities that process green waste exist, although the county must haul this waste many miles. But facilities to handle food waste are limited.  And food waste can be valuable if handled properly (compost), or a major problem if not (methane release).

 

To explore the many options, the Nevada County Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission has formed a community subcommittee.  In addition to Commissioner Sue Hoek, representatives from Public Works, Waste Management and representatives from local organizations and businesses are researching and discussing possibilities.  Ideally, keeping waste from entering the MRTS is a major goal. But this will likely require land, finances and some science, while possibly offering some business opportunities.

 

Historically, humans have not done a great job at cycling their waste into a useful product unlike other participants in biological systems. We nonchalantly toss our waste into a trash can or recycle bin and assume the trash collectors can dispose of our debris somewhere else. But there is no “away” and today mankind has a global challenge to keep toxic waste out of the soil,  air, water and unfortunately, our bodies. 

 

So, yes, there is much to celebrate on this Thanksgiving. But at the same time, let’s be mindful of our blessings and responsibilities to keep our world healthy for ourselves, future generations and a flourishing planet.

 

Debbie Gibbs has lived in Nevada County for 20 years and is active in the Nevada County Climate Action Now and other groups working on food and agriculture issues

Citizen's Climate Lobby

Bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act reintroduced in House WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 24, 2019 – A group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives has reintroduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, the groundbreaking bipartisan climate solution to price carbon, give revenue to households and bring greenhouse gas emissions down 90 percent by 2050.

Sponsored by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL), Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), the bill will create over 2 million new jobs, lower health care costs and promote energy innovation.

“Polling shows that more and more Americans are making the connection between climate change and disasters that claim lives and property,” said Mark Reynolds, executive director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. “As public pressure increases for Congress to take action, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act provides a solution that is both effective and family friendly.

This policy puts a fee on fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. It starts low, at $15 per ton, and grows $10 per ton each year. The money collected from the carbon fee is allocated in equal shares every month to the American people to spend as they see fit. Click here to learn how this climate change legislation works and access the official legislative text of the bill.

The Energy Innovation Act is gaining support among Republicans because of its emphasis on a market-based, revenue-neutral approach. Expert economists who served Presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43, including Alan Greenspan, Gregory Mankiw, and Ben Bernanke, recently signed a letter in the Wall Street Journal calling for a national carbon fee and dividend policy.

“Climate change is an urgent threat that demands urgent bipartisan action. With this legislation, we are making clear to our colleagues that bipartisanship is possible – even necessary – to address climate change in this Congress,” said Congressman Deutch. “Our plan, to put a price on carbon and return the net revenue back to the American people, offers our Democratic and Republican colleagues an effective approach to significantly reduce carbon emissions without shifting the burden to the American people.

At the time the Energy Innovation Act was introduced late last year, media outlets across the country wrote news articles and editorials in support of the legislation:

The Hill: “The bill will likely be a major marker of where lawmakers from both parties can agree on tackling climate change.” The San Diego Union Tribune: “[This bill] merits careful consideration as a huge and decisive step toward a healthier planet. It’s time for all elected leaders to rise to the occasion and act.” The Florida Sun Sentinel: “We can do something to slow the acceleration of carbon emissions and keep the impact of climate change from growing worse. Deutch’s bipartisan bill is a good place to start.” The bill has also garnered endorsements from former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, actor Don Cheadle, Olympic Gold Medal skier Jessie Diggins, as well as mayors and local legislators in cities across the country. See support for Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

        Update on Nevada County Renewable Energy plans 

 

Currently major cities in Nevada County and the County itself are all in various stages of having completed Greenhouse Gas inventories.

Nevada City has an Energy Action Plan from 2015 and passed a resolution for 100% renewable energy.

Grass Valley has completed an Energy Action Plan, but at this time has no resolution for 100% renewable energy.

Nevada County has completed an Energy Action Plan for its facilities and all of the unincorporated areas of the County. It has no 100% renewable resolution.

Truckee will not be preparing an Energy Action Plan but has a GHG emissions inventory and will be updating its general plan with policies that will support its resolution for 100% renewable energy.     

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Chemistry

Our leaders thought fracking would save our climate. They were wrong. Very wrong.

By Bill McKibben

Carol Kuzsora at Peoples's climate march

An earlier study was drafted to assess the potential for a midsized utility scale renewable energy project at the site of the Nevada City-owned Old Airport property with a specific focus on solar photovoltaic (PV) generation.  Click here to read the proposal

Facts about oil trains in North America - Click to read more

     Other News

Latest news on Climate Science

The political hurdles facing a carbon tax - and how to overcome them

The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here

Nevada County Climate Action Now