CURRENTS: Spring 2014

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”

By Joseph Oldham and Kif Scheuer

The late comedian Milton Berle’s witty observation certainly seems fitting today.  Although we are seeing more and more evidence of a changing climate having direct impacts, we are simultaneously seeing people at every level taking action to create opportunities for change.

Read more…

California Residential Retrofits; Ten Important Lessons Learned

Article by Mark Berman and Vicki Mongan
Intro by Joseph Oldham

When I first read the article, California Residential Retrofits; Ten Important Lessons Learned, written by Mark Berman and Vicki Mongan of Davis Energy Group, I was impressed by the similarity of the conclusions they reached in Stockton with what I had learned working on residential retrofits in the southern San Joaquin Valley. It did not seem to matter what community we were working in, the challenges of convincing homeowners to invest in energy efficiency upgrades were the same.

Read more…

Energy Project Lease Financing

By Joseph Oldham

Energy Project Lease Financing, a program authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission and offered exclusively through The Energy Network, addresses many of the common challenges public agencies face when financing energy projects. Financing is not contingent on whether the project qualifies for utility rebates and incentives, but can be combined with utility or public financing.

Read more…

Honey I Shrunk the Lawn

Article by Bob Riding
Intro by Joseph Oldham

Water is arguably the most critical resource in California and with severe and extreme drought conditions gripping the State, water conservation is the hot topic discussed in every community this year. With that backdrop, the article, “Honey I Shrunk The Lawn”, about one family’s experience replacing their water-thirsty, lawn-dominated landscaping with drought tolerant native plants is very timely.

Read more…

LGC Secures Funding to Launch New Local Government Climate-Change Program

By Kif Scheuer

The LGC is always working to identify local needs and bring resources to local governments. We’re proud to announce the launch of an exciting new program that has been in development for the last two years.

CivicSpark, a new statewide Governor’s Initiative of AmeriCorps, is being led by the Local Government Commission in partnership with the State of California – through the Office of Planning and Research, and CaliforniaVolunteers – and a network of regional organizations. The partnership will receive nearly $2 million over three years from the Corporation for National and Community Service to underwrite a high quality technical support program so LGC can bring needed services to local and regional partners at a greatly reduced cost.

Read more…

Third National Climate Assessment

By Kif Scheuer

The biggest recent climate change news is the release of the third U.S. National Climate Assessment. This report is the definitive account of how climate change is affecting the U.S., by region and by sector, both now and in the future. The overwhelming conclusion is that climate change is no longer a distant threat, but is firmly in the present, with clear impacts in our daily lives and in every corner of the country.  For the first time, the report findings are presented in an interactive, user-friendly website, highlighting the importance of clear communications. The report is getting a lot of press and attention nationally, and hopefully galvanizes a greater level of awareness and action everywhere.

In this issue of Currents we provide selected highlights from the Overview and key messages from the regional chapters on the SouthWest and Coasts which cover California.

Read more…

Study Links California Drought to Climate Change

By Kif Scheuer

Although many are hesitant to link any particular weather event to climate change, new research in the Journal Geophysical Research Letters points to a measurable “footprint” of climate change in the 2013-14 drought. Linking this specific drought to climate change is important for at least 2 reasons. First, as the authors point out such linkage can help with prediction of future weather events so we might better plan for them. Second, linking climate change to such a dramatic present day occurrence, provides yet more reason to take action now to reduce future impacts.

Read more…

 EPA Unveils  “Clean Power Plan” to lay out GHG Cap and Trade Rules

By Kif Scheuer

On Monday June 2nd, the EPA at long-last released the draft rules for their cap and trade program for existing power plants. Called the “Clean Power Plan” this set of rules lays out guidelines for how to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants – which are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States.

Read more…

Menu