Trailblazing Program at UC Davis Law & Enviro Science Brings Climate Solutions from Classroom to Legislature Fall 2022 Ecology 290 participatory seminar will train students in organizing & outreach to support the largest solar farm climate mitigation bill in history

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Earlier this year, in response to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes’ urgent call to “implement changes now in terms of how we organize our societies,” to avert global climate catastrophe, we formed the Climate Solutions Advocacy Institute (CSAI).

Our non-profit educational mission is to help students and faculty in environmental science departments and law schools to dream innovative, scientifically-vetted transformative climate solutions into legislative being. Then to use evolutionary media, in the form of short web videos and petitions, to build and focus the massive public awareness politically required to assist state governments to implement these solutions.

Our third class, a participatory seminar called “Revolutionary Organizing for Climate Solution Implementation” (ECO 290/CRN: 29643) is still open to climate solution motivated UC Davis grad students from all disciplines. Beginning on Wednesday, September 21 at 2 pm, it will be  taught by CSAI’s co-founders Jonathan Greenberg and Anthony Wexler, as well as Colin Murphy, Deputy Director of UC Davis’ Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy.

The class will research and conduct direct outreach to build support for the historic California Solar Farm Green Bond bill (described here), while gathering feedback from numerous stakeholders and grassroots organizations about our plan to meet the state’s 2045 goal of carbon-free electricity generation while preventing dust bowl on aquifer depleted Central Valley farmland.

The ECO 290 course will run concurrently with an experimental new practicum class for law students which started in early August called, “Drafting a Solar Farm Bill.” The unique law school course’s objective is to create a white paper that can advise CSAI in its development of a transformative solar farm green bond financed bill. In this video, UC Davis Law School Dean Kevin Johnson explains why he sees climate justice as an essential civil rights issue of our times. 

Faculty experts at UC Davis are helping to advise students as they investigate, evaluate and recommend strategies related to green bond financing, regulatory oversight, power purchase agreements and land leasing.

The class is consulting with key experts from the California Treasurer and iBank offices, as well as experts and representatives in the state legislature, solar farm operators, agricultural, environmental and climate justice organizations, to facilitate the drafting of a public interest bill.

The solution and the easy to understand narrative that describes it was created in CSAI’s first university graduate practicum called “Climate Solutions Advocacy: Be the Media,” in spring, 2022, at the University of California Davis’ top ranked College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Renowned climate scientist and CSAI co-founder Anthony Wexler observed, “I have worked for nearly my entire career on air quality and climate using my scientific and engineering knowledge, but science and engineering can only do so much if the media and internet have distorted the value of scientific facts.”

“My interest in the course” Wexler said, “stems from my frustration with the importance of elevating science and scientific facts to a level where policy and action will be motivated by them.”

Advisory Board member and co-instructor of the first class, Distinguished Professor Thomas Tomich, summed up CSAI’s efforts this way: “We need to step up and confront the vested interests that block the policies and innovations needed to avert disaster. Time is growing short to turn this around.”

 

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Jonathan Greenberg

Jonathan Greenberg is editor and owner of the award winning Sonoma Independent website, which serves the public interest with insight, solutions and advocacy. Jonathan is an investigative financial journalist with 40 years of experience with national publications, including Forbes, The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York, Town & Country. Mother Jones and The New Republic. During the past few years, Jonathan wrote four of the most widely-read exposes about Donald Trump’s career published in the Washington Post. Jonathan was the notorious Forbes 400 reporter who taped two long calls in 1984 in which Trump pretended to be John Barron. Jonathan’s Washington Post expose about this was the subject of monologues on Colbert, the Daily Show and Seth Meyers. Jonathan has appeared live on a dozen major news shows, including on CNN with Chris Cuomo, Erin Burnett and Don Lemon, on MSNBC with Ari Berber and Ali Velshi, and NPR's On the Media. A fuller bio and links to Jonathan's work can be found at JonathanGreenberg.com. Jonathan is a new media entrepreneur and was the founder of Gist.com, an acclaimed Web 1.0 company that won the first annual Webby Awards in 1997. In 2006, Jonathan founded Progressive Source Communications, the parent company of The Sonoma Independent. Progressive Source is a public interest communications company that creates multimedia websites, videos and digital advocacy campaigns that build public awareness of solutions that serve the common good.

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