Author Archives: Sarah Terry-Cobo

Governor’s Climate Conference: Renewed Pledges But No New Initiatives

The one-day conference reinforced the need to prepare for coming climate impacts

Governor Jerry Brown.

Governor Jerry Brown says he wants to “intensify California’s leadership” on the climate front, but his climate conference at the California Academy of Sciences on Thursday offered no new initiatives toward that end.

The one-day event was a series of panel discussions emphasizing the importance of science and how it can reinforce policy decisions on climate change.

The invitation-only event included several noteworthy speakers, including Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, business mogul and biofuels-for-planes evangelist Sir Richard Branson, and White House environmental advisor Nancy Sutley. Continue reading

Six Books that Shed Light on Our Water Future

Festive reading? Water fears are fueling a publishing frenzy

Blue is the new black. It’s not the latest fashion marketing campaign, but a realization about natural resources: water is the new oil.

It’s essential to life, it’s becoming ever more scarce and people are already fighting to control its access. In case you had any doubt, just check out’s cascade of books, reports and studies published this year. (When you sort out the ones on Fukushima, there are about 70.)

Here’s a brief look at just a few that have drifted through our offices of late. Continue reading

A Climate Convergence in San Francisco

Organizers call San Francisco “flagship” event for worldwide campaign

Moving Planet rally crowd

More than a thousand people marched down Market Street in San Francisco for the Moving Planet rally.

About a thousand people marched in San Francisco on Saturday, chanting slogans, carrying signs and wearing costumes. But unlike many demonstrations that frequent the City by the Bay, the Moving Planet rally was one of hundreds around the world, calling for action and awareness to halt global climate change.

Organized by, the non-profit founded by author and activist Bill McKibben, the San Francisco rally brought together some predictable allies, such as the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and the Berkeley-based Ecology Center, but it also included groups with broader aims, such as the National Organization for Women, Food Not Bombs and 100,000 Poets for Peace. McKibben’s group is devoted to reducing carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere to 350 parts per million (from the current 390 ppm), a number that some scientists estimate could stave off catastrophic effects of climate change. Continue reading

Sierra Club Challenges Governor on Cap & Trade

Letter implores Brown to “re-evaluate” regulation

(Photo: Craig Miller)

There’s a new sheriff in town, and environmentalists hope they can use that to their advantage. This week, the state chapter of the Sierra Club urged Governor Jerry Brown to reshape portions of the cap-and-trade rule, part of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, widely known as AB 32.

In particular, the group is calling for tougher restrictions on polluters and stricter standards on carbon offsets.

“We’re asking him to put his own stamp on global warming reduction policy,” said Bill Magavern, director of Sierra Club California. He said the current cap-and-trade rule is too soft on oil companies and other big polluters and does not achieve greenhouse gas reductions in the best way possible. The law is currently in legal limbo, due to an unrelated legal challenge by environmental justice groups.
Continue reading