July 2023 Newsletter

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Local Action for a Better World

Keep Cool with 350 Contra Costa’s Movie Night!

A free screening of the inspiring documentary The Scale of Hope and Q&A with Molly Kawahata, the film’s subject

Thursday, August 10, 7pm, at the Orinda Theatre

The scale of climate change can make an individual feel hopelessly small, and Molly Kawahata knows this feeling well. As a former climate advisor to the Obama White House and an alpine climber with dreams of big summits, Molly has dedicated her life to taking on seemingly insurmountable challenges. But it’s her personal struggle with mental health that gives her a profound understanding of how to harness the power of the mind to create change.

The Scale of Hope follows Molly as she prepares for an expedition in the Alaska Range while working to create a new climate narrative that centers her favorite question—What can I do to help?—with a surprising answer. It’s a story about struggle, hope, and what it will take to solve the greatest issue of our time.

350 Contra Costa is delighted to host this free screening of The Scale of Hope on Thursday, August 10, at 7pm. Meet us at the Orinda Theatre, 4 Orinda Theatre Square, Orinda 94563.

The Orinda Theatre is a 5-minute walk from the Orinda BART station. It’s close to several restaurants.

Please join us! This is a free event—please register here to let us know you’re coming.

The heat is on. We must act now.

July 3, 2023, was the hottest day for Planet Earth in about 125,000 years—until July 4, when the average global air temperature climbed even higher.

Global climate change is unfolding just as scientists have predicted. All around the world, extreme heat, drought, fires, and floods are devastating communities. We know that these calamities will become more and more severe and widespread—and happen more and more often—if we continue on our current path. If we don’t change our ways, humanity’s future looks grim indeed.

We know what we need to do, but we’re not doing it. Short-sighted people who are benefitting from the status quo—oil company executives, for example—have distracted us with false solutions like carbon-capture technology while greenhouse-gas emissions continue to rise. They’ve controlled the public discourse and obscured the plain truth about the climate crisis: we must rapidly and radically reduce the amount of oil and gas we’re burning.

This is totally doable. We can accelerate the transition from coal, oil, and fossil gas to renewable energy sources like solar and wind. We can make our homes and offices all-electric. We can make public transport fast, cheap, and easy to use. And by doing these things, we can create good jobs and bring in a more equitable future.

But we as individuals can’t make any of this happen on our own. There’s only one way forward—our governments must enact new laws and policies that put us on the right track. And that’s not going to happen unless we, the people, insist on it.

For the sake of all our futures, many more of us must advocate now for sane climate policies; Reducing our personal carbon footprints is important, but it’s not enough. We need to join with friends, family, and neighbors to make sure our city councilmembers and state lawmakers do the right thing despite pressure from oil interests.

Climate advocacy takes time and energy. But when our house is on fire, we do whatever it takes to quell the flames. Let’s work together today so our children can have a livable home tomorrow.

Making corporations disclose climate impacts and risks

The state legislature is taking a break until August 14. In the meantime, here’s a look ahead at two key bills that, if passed, will give Californians vastly more information about corporations’ role in the climate crisis. SB 253 (Wiener) and SB 261 (Stern) are closely related; it’s critical to get them both passed into law this fall.

SB 253, the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act, requires very large corporations to report all greenhouse gas emissions they’re responsible for. In the past, companies could get away with reporting only the emissions caused by their manufacturing and operations; if this bill becomes law, they will have to report their Scope 3 emissions—that is, the emissions from the use of their products once they’re sold. For example, oil companies will have to report emissions from the gasoline they’ve sold to gas stations. Data from the Carbon Disclosure Project has shown that Scope 3 emissions are more than 11 times higher than company operational (Scopes 1 and 2) emissions.

SB 261, Greenhouse Gases: Climate-Related Financial Risk, requires very large companies to disclose the financial risks they’re taking that are due to climate change issues. With this information, investors will be able to evaluate the wisdom of investing in banks and other companies that are worsening the climate crisis.

Both these bills have already passed the Senate; in the Assembly, they’ve both passed the Natural Resources Committee and have been referred to the Appropriations Committee. We need both bills to pass through Appropriations; then they’ll be up for a vote by the full Assembly in late August or early September. We’ll definitely let you know when it’s time to telephone your Assemblymember!

Web Volunteers Needed!

350 Contra Costa Action is looking for a skilled, volunteer backend web person who’d be willing to step in and solve the problems that are beyond the ability of our volunteer webmaster. This person would be skilled in PHP, JavaScript, WordPress, Elementor, and Elementor Pro.

We’re also seeking a volunteer to assist our webmaster with updating pages and posting content to our blog. Enthusiasm, attention to detail, and willingness to learn as you go are welcome in lieu of experience—though experience is welcome as well!

To find out more about either opportunity, please email info@350contracostaaction.org.

The time for climate action is NOW!

Thank you.

Emily and Lisa

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The time for climate action is now!

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This message has not been expressly authorized, requested, or approved by any federal, state, or local candidate, candidate’s committee or their agents, or by any ballot issue committee.

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