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San Luis Obispites, your neighbors to the south need your help! Oil and gas interests are planning to exploit the Monterey Shale deposits in Santa Barbara county. Dubbed the “Santa Maria Energy Project”, the scheme would create 136 drilling wells. If passed, the industry estimates that they will be able to extract 15.4 million barrels of oil, as much as would be pumped through the Keystone XL Pipeline over a 40 year period. In addition to wreaking havoc on the climate by pumping 88,000 tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere each year, the extraction processes would waste and pollute already stressed water supplies. The Santa Maria Energy Project would inject 300,000 gallons of water into the earth each day, taking resources away from farmers and infrastructure.

Take the time to sign a petition through to be presented to the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission and County Supervisors this month!

Forget the national debt, don’t worry about the next election cycle, no big deal if you can’t drop those extra couple of pounds before swimsuit season. As a species, climate change is the largest challenge we face. So why then are our elected officials doing almost nothing to address a phenomenon that could make the planet uninhabitable for human beings? Scientist Anthony Leiserowitz from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication recently sat down with Bill Moyers to discuss the public’s understanding and reactions to global warming.

Lesierowitz has identified six groups of American by levels of knowledge about and  engagement with the issue of climate change. As a specialist in the psychology of risk and perception, he explains how climate change is almost the perfect challenge for human beings. While we are wired to deal with immediate physical survival, global warming and its causes are practically invisible. For the most part, we cannot see the greenhouse gasses spewing into the atmosphere, and the gradual changes we have made since the Industrial Revolution tend to escape our notice. Only by amassing large amounts of data taken from a variety of sources across the world can we begin to understand our effects on the planet.

Part of the difficulties climate activists face is working amidst a very vocal and well connected association of deniers and special interests that dominate the political discourse. In addition to clarifying the science for those who still do not believe in the myriad of reports and drastic weather conditions affecting the country, each of the six groups requires a completely different type of social engagement. The best way to connect with each demographic is to identify their core values, and meet their concerns on terms that are familiar.

The stakes are high, the problems that we are causing are getting worse, and are on track to escalate in intensity. At the heart of the dilemma is how human being see themselves in relationship to the natural world. What are our responsibilities to nature and one another? How do we organize to tackle such a huge problem? What is the best way to sound the alarm and put climate change at the top of the agenda?

The first step is come together. Check out and other movements that are working towards shifting our political system and economy to take action!


Across the US, hydraulic fracturing has been the source of a raging debate over domestic energy policy. While some tout “fracking” as a way to generate local power and provide jobs and money in a time of economic hardship, the act of  shattering shale to extract gas and petroleum have many worried. From exploding wells and flammable tap water to toxic chemicals contaminating aquifers and earthquakes, fracking has major consequences for the environment. California stands as the 4th largest gas and oil producing state, and even though new existing wells are already being exploited by fracking technology, the process is almost completely unregulated.

In response to the exploitation of land and natural resources, the Global Exchange has organized California Communities Rising Against Fracking, a speaking tour of the Golden State that exposes the realities of the extraction technology. The tour will largely target those areas that would most strongly impacted and stops include Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Culver City, and Los Angeles. Each stop will host a day of action preceded by a local media plan and outreach groups. Former Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania councilman Dough Shields will be scheduled to speak as one of the first to enact a “rights-based” ban on fracking in the nation.

The Global Exchange launched the Community Rights Program challenging corporate power five years ago to confront the unjust laws that value big business over the rights of citizens. The have partnered with organizations such as, Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Clean Water Action, EarthWorks, and Transition Towns to fight for the health and well-being of Americans through grassroots efforts. Currently, they are working towards banning fracking in San Luis Obispo county, following the examples of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Mexico who have outlawed the process.

For more information on the tour, contact Shannon Biggs, Community Rights Program Director for the Global Exchange at (415) 575-5540 and

In recent years, you may have found yourself noting strange weather phenomena, debating with friends over the issue of climate change, or wondering how truly guilty you ought to feel about leaving your air conditioner on all day during the summer.  For an informed, timely, and relevant discussion, there are few better writers or public figures to reference than Bill McKibben.

The Central Coast Clergy and Laity for Justice will be hosting famed environmentalist Bill McKibben at the Fremont Theater (1025 Monterey St., SLO) on October 30, from 6:30-9:30pm.  Author of over a dozen books and founder of the global grassroots climate campaign, McKibben will be discussing his new book, Earth- Making a life on a tough new planet.  He asserts that by burning fossil fuels, human beings have raised the temperature of the Earth one degree Celsius, a feat that holds major implications for the future of our climate and survival on this planet.

For example, already NASA has documented a 45 percent increase in heavy storm “supercell” activity, allowing global rainfall to climb around 1.5 percent per decade and higher incidents of lightening and ensuing wildfires.  In addition to more intense and frequent storms, the melting of the ice sheets occurring at both poles and expanded tropical zones are combining to create new environmental conditions to which human beings are going to have to adapt quickly.

McKibben, the driving force between the international activist group, has long maintained that the number 350, which stands for the parts per million of carbon dioxide, is the safest upper limit of which we can allow the gas into our atmosphere.  This threshold should be the standard by which governments and industries regulate their emissions and the target goal for a planet already situated at 39o parts per million and rising.

Among his accolades and many honorary degrees, McKibben is a Distinguished Middlebury Scholar, frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine.  He also holds both a Guggenheim Fellowship and Lyndhurst Fellowship as well as a Lannan Prize for best nonfiction writing.

Being a popular and  prolific author numerous of articles and books, campaign organizer, and lecturer, McKibben’s talk is sure to be a major attraction here in a town where caring for the environment is of major concern. Seating will be limited, so interested parties are encouraged to purchase tickets early.  Admission is $10.00.  For more information, call the CCCLJ at (805) 704-3356 or visit

The Bamboo Bottle Company has got eco-friendly style figured out.  Their attractive bamboo, glass and plastic reusable drink container is durable and perfect for both hot and cold liquids.  Functional as well as fashionable, the materials used in the bottle’s construction are sustainable, easy to clean, and non-toxic.  The company has put an enormous amount of thought into creating a great-looking and environmentally conscious product, and Bambu Batu is proud to have these beauties gracing our shelves!

Some cool features:

The bamboo: The exterior is made from Mao Tzu, or Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens), a fast-growing species that can reach 90ft in 9 months.  The plants are hand-harvested to allow the flowering strands to keep growing and to minimize the impact on the soil from heavy machinery.  After cutting and boiling out the sugars using equipment powered by bamboo sawdust, the sticks are dried, shaped, and pressed together to form the outside of the bottle!

As a material, bamboo is renewable, produces 35% more oxygen than most trees, and can trap 12 tons of CO2 per hectare.  Topsoil is not depleted by harvesting, and removal has little impact on wildlife.  Possessing a higher tensile strength than many steel alloys, bamboo is enormously strong.  What a great choice for durability and insulation!

The glass and plastic: The little plastic included in the construction of the bottle is BPA-free, made from food-grade materials, and dishwasher safe.  The company plans to keep improving its design so that plastic can be eliminated or replaced altogether.  The glass interior allows for a clean, fresh taste that does not leech or contaminate liquids.  Best of all, the glass cylinder can be removed and washed with ease and can be reused time after time.   Each of the components is recyclable, and ultimately they cut down on plastic and Styrofoam waste by eliminating your need for disposable beverage containers.

Conscious business practices: The Bamboo Bottle Company has partnered with several sustainable organizations that donate to charities, offset their CO2 emissions, fund biomethane projects and family farms, and use a green credit card processing company that contributes to Their blog regularly advocates for social justice, responsible commerce, and environmental causes.

Swing by Bambu Batu and pick up your Bamboo Bottle today. Drinking never felt so good!