December’s Happy Hour’s addressed the important topic of how to get to clean energy 24/7 – a must if we want to successfully address climate change. Our guest speakers were Senator Josh Becker, representing California Senate District 13 covering San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County and Jan Pepper, CEO of Peninsula Clean Energy. Senator Becker kicked off the evening sharing highlights and implications from COP26 (the 26th Conference of Parties, for signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) which he attended in Glasgow, Scotland in November. One of the goals of the conference was to [...]
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So far Don Donoughe has created 21 blog entries.
For the October Sustainability Happy Hour, we looked at biodiversity (the variety of life found within a particular ecosystem or habitat) in the Bay Area. We were joined by two knowledgeable experts, Sophie Christel from Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and Annie Burke from TOGETHER Bay Area. They shared strategies being employed by groups across the region to address the many challenges to biodiversity, exacerbated by climate change. Sophie Christel kicked off the evening explaining that the Bay Area is one of only 34 biodiversity hotspots on Earth. The region’s diverse geology and topography, combined with the coastal influence, creates [...]
Sustainable San Mateo County’s Indicators Report Launch on October 19 focused on the need for affordable, sustainable housing and highlighted strategies that can make affordable housing for all a reality. It was the 25th year Sustainable San Mateo County (SSMC) has presented in-depth research on one aspect of sustainability in San Mateo County. This year’s report, “Equitable Housing,” includes comprehensive data, the historical context, driving forces, an analysis of the impact of climate change on housing, case studies, policy initiatives and recommendations. Click here to read the full report, the Executive Summary and the brochure. Click here to view a [...]
Our Happy Hour on April 15 explored sustainable transportation in San Mateo County. We were excited to have Carlos Moreno from Peninsula Clean Energy, Mary Thomasmeyer from Commute.org and Emma Shales from Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) as guest speakers. Carlos, the Community Outreach Specialist for Peninsula Clean Energy, explained that since Peninsula Clean Energy launched in 2016, it has been providing electricity to the area from clean energy sources. Customers can choose between going with 50 percent or 100 percent of their electricity coming from renewables. Both options are 100% carbon-free. So far, Peninsula Clean Energy has had a [...]
On March 23, for our third Happy Hour of the year, we welcomed sustainability managers from the Cities of Brisbane, Burlingame and Half Moon Bay, as well as a representative from the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability, to discuss sustainability efforts in our county. Adrienne Etherton, sustainability manager for Brisbane, explained how the city adopted a strong reach code ordinance for new buildings in 2019, addressing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, building electrification and on-site solar generation. Brisbane also passed an ordinance requiring most owners of commercial, industrial and residential buildings that are 10,000 square feet or larger to [...]
Our Happy Hour on February 22 drew our community closer as we dove deeply into the topic of “White Privilege and Allyship.” Our guest speaker was Sydney Richardson-Gorski, a California native turned DC transplant who is an advocate for: Youth in the juvenile justice system Lower pharmaceutical drug prices Repeal of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Sydney is also a member of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Election Protection Team. Perhaps the reason many were drawn to participate was that the precursor to the Happy Hour was something that everyone could agree with: White Privilege [...]
For our first Happy Hour of 2021, we welcomed Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, cofounder of the Ecological Footprint and President of the Global Footprint Network. He explained different ways to view how humans have impacted the planet and we discussed how we can all tread more lightly on our planet. As we add up all the demands we make on our planet, Mathis and his colleagues estimate that we are using more than the earth can renew. In fact, we are using about 1.56 earths when we should actually use half an earth in order to maintain a stable climate and [...]
Those attending Sustainable San Mateo County’s online Key Indicators Launch on October 6 came away with many reasons for hope. We were given the gift of a very doable list of effective actions to take in response to the climate crisis. If you did not have an opportunity to log in, we encourage you to view a recording of it here. SSMC’s2020 Key Indicators Report focuses on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency as these apply to buildings, water use and waste management, land use and transportation, financing and community outreach. Keynote speaker Josh Becker, public policy innovator and social entrepreneur, [...]
Centralized or decentralized? Purple pipes or potable reuse? Five weeks ago, this would have sounded like the oddest game of “Would You Rather” I’d ever played. But learning about the conversations Bay Area cities, organizations and engineers are having about the future of our water supply has felt like being introduced to a new world! This summer I’ve been conducting water sustainability research for Sustainable San Mateo County (SSMC), a nonprofit partnering with local cities and businesses to further environmental, economic and social sustainability. I’m one of four interns working to expand SSMC’s Sustainability Ideas Bank, a database of sustainability [...]
Holding Oil Companies Accountable: Takeaways from Stanford Law School’s panel on “The Case for Climate Liability”Don Donoughe2020-09-02T13:58:14-05:00
By Calista Triantis Local cities and counties are leading the way in holding fossil fuel companies legally responsible for climate change. San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Santa Cruz County, San Mateo County and Marin County have all joined multi-billion-dollar lawsuits across the U.S. against major oil companies for the impacts of climate change on their communities. This spring the 9th Circuit allowed these lawsuits to continue in state court rather than federal court, where oil companies are usually favored. A ruling in favor of the cities and counties would not only financially mitigate the infrastructure these communities need to adapt but [...]