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

2213 0

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.”


Leave A Comment

Jonathan Greenberg

Jonathan Greenberg is the editor and publisher of the award winning Sonoma Independent, which he founded in 2015 to serve the public interest with insight, solutions and advocacy.

In January, 2024, Jonathan launched the Project to create and market compelling YouTube ads, as well as the Progressive Source PAC to fund them. The effort’s first project was the Dems Vote Haley in SC video, which was viewed 400,000 times in blue counties, contributing to Haley outperforming polls by 10 points.

Jonathan has been an investigative legal and financial journalist with 40 years of experience contributing to national publications. During the past six years, Jonathan wrote four of the most widely-read exposes in the Washington Post about Donald Trump. Jonathan has known Trump longer than any journalist writing today. He was head of research for the first Forbes 400 when Trump conned him into putting him on the list. The notorious phone calls Trump taped pretending to be John Barron was the subject of monologues on Colbert, the Daily Show and Seth Meyers. Jonathan has appeared live on more than a dozen major news shows, including on CNN with Erin Burnett, Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo, on MSNBC with Ari Berber and Ali Velshi, and NPR's On the Media.

Jonathan was a Web 1.0 pioneer. In 1996 he started Gist Communications, a disruptive new media company that competed successfully with News Corp’s TV Guide Online. In 1997, Gist was one of just 14 websites in the world to be named a winner of the First Annual Webby Awards in San Francisco. Following Gist and the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Jonathan served, in 2002 and 2003, as Policy Director for the New York City Council’s Select Committee on Lower Manhattan Redevelopment, where he directed media and public policy campaigns and was the city council’s lead analyst for federal relief programs.

In 2007, Jonathan founded Progressive Source Communications, a public interest digital advocacy company that has created scores of impactful videos and campaigns to build awareness of solutions that serve the common good. Progressive Source owns the Sonoma Independent.

Jonathan is a graduate of Yale Law School's Masters Degree in Law fellowship program. A fuller bio and links to Jonathan's work can be found at

Related Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *