The Loma Prietan - October 2015

All New Environmental Stewardship Program 2.0 Starts Oct 5th

There is still time to join us

By Brian Haberly and Sue Chow

Join ESP 2.0 to learn what you can do to help our environment
Join ESP 2.0 to learn what you can do to help our environment

Learn, Discuss, and Take Action!

The 2015-2016 Environmental Stewardship program kicks off Monday, October 5th! Sign up today!

 If you would like to spend one evening a month learning about critical environmental issues through award-winning documentaries/presentations and taking action to combat climate change, preserve wild places, protect endangered wildlife, and advocate for safer and more sustainable ways of living, this is your opportunity to make a difference.  If you have more time, you can also participate in an environmental project—one organized by the Sierra Club, another organization, or a project you have initiated yourself. 

Our 2015 to 2016 Environmental Stewardship Program features:

  1. Environmental film screenings (most are award-winning documentaries)
  2. Seminars on environmental issues, environmental  law, public policy, and case studies.
  3. “Take Action” events such as sending emails/letters, letters to the editor, and phone banks (for urgent matters). 
  4. Opportunity to participate in an existing Sierra Club environmental project or to create your own project with support provided by Sierra Club leaders.

To enroll, click on this link.

  • (Optional):  “Spread the Word”  house parties:  A video-lending library for participants to check out videos for issues-oriented house parties.
  • (Optional):  Environmental book club that will explore key environmental topics in a more in-depth way by providing a venue for group reading and discussion of important works (books and articles).  One idea is to combine  fun with our monthly book club discussions by meeting at different restaurants known for their sustainability orientation.

Sierra Club Certificates:  At the end of the seminar series, participants who have attended at least 7 of the sessions and have engaged in an environmental project for at least six months will receive a Level 1 certificate.  Previous ESP 1.0 certificate participants who have already completed level 1, will receive a Level 2 Environmental Advocate certificate.  


All seminars are held at the Redwood City Downtown Library at 1044 Middlefield Rd., Redwood City (3 blocks from the Redwood City Caltrain Station). 

6:00 to 6:45 p.m. ---Dinner              6:45 to 9:00 p.m.—Program


The dates/topics are: 

  1.  October 5  2015, Monday  Climate Change:  Disruption and Hope

                    A Grassroots Energy Revolution

Film:  Disruption 

Topic:   We will talk about the science and politics of climate change,  give updates on key developments, and discuss an exciting revolution led by grassroots environmentalists, one that is happening right now—the transition from an energy procurement system controlled by monopolistic for-profit utilities like PG & E to one managed and owned by local communities that focuses on accelerated adoption of renewable energy.  It is happening all over California.  Join the revolution!

Action:     Write/Send emails to your local city council members urging them to vote to approve  your city’s participation in a community-controlled (Joint Powers Authority) Community  Choice Energy entity.


  1. November 2, 2015, Monday   The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:  The Ecstasy and the Agony

FilmAmerica's Wildest Refuge: Discovering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:  Stunning documentary of the awesome landscapes and wildlife in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge-- the last of the greatest wild places in North America. 

Topic:  Updates on the drilling that is occurring in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge right now.  Is this current act of ecological degradation the swan song of this last great wild place in North America?   Discussion of recent changes in our state and federal Endangered Species Act and case studies of successes.

Action: We will write letters and postcards to send to our congressional reps, urging them to stop the drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge..


  1. December  7, 2015, Monday:     Saving San Francisco Bay:  Grassroots Advocacy To the Rescue

Film:    Saving the Bay:  The Story of San Francisco Bay

Topic:  Overview and updates on our effort to stop further development on the baylands in Redwood City and the continuing threat posed by Cargill, a corporate conglomerate.  Also discussed will be the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and various federal agencies in the context of how they are used to protect our environment. 

Action: Write Redwood City officials to remind them that the Cargill project must not be revived.


  1.   January  11, 2016, Monday:  Protecting Nature, and The Power of Advocacy

FILM:  1)  “John Muir, The Naturalists: Earth-Planet, Universe " (28 min.) 

         2).  Spirit of Yosemite  interweaves the beauty of Yosemite with the historical influences that helped to create it. The film includes stunning vistas of              Yosemite Valley, the giant sequoias, Tuolumne Meadows, and the High Sierra, often notable for amazing time-lapse photography.(23 mint).

Topic:    Led by our Sierra Club Forest Protection Committee , we will discuss the politics of forest destruction in the U.S. today and the importance of  banning clear cutting.  Updates on the cities that have already passed a clear-cutting ban. 

Action:     Write your local city council and state legislators to ban clear cutting in California.


5. February 1, 2016, Monday:  Running  Dry:  California’s Devastating Drought

Film:  Eyes on the Sky

Topic:  The California drought crisis and the politics of water in California and elsewhere.  We will introduce a sustainable water policy for our state.

Action:   Write your state reps to ask them to support our sustainable water policy.


6. March 7 2016, Monday:   Toxins in Our Environment

FilmThe Human Experiment

Topic:  The ubiquitous spread of environmental toxins.  Key toxins in our environment and what we can do to protect ourselves through both individual action and advocacy.  The inadequacy of federal, state and local laws governing toxins.

Action:  Write your reps to ask them to ban toxins such as Roundup.


7. April 4, 2016, Monday:  Natural Gas:  Dirty, Risky, and Unsustainable

Film:  Fractured Earth

Topic:  The main topic will be the unsustainable boom in natural gas drilling, production, and transport  in the U.S. and how this development threatens ecosystems, wildlife, people’s health as well as the future of renewable energy. We will discuss the politics of fracking and case studies of successful attempts to stop fracking. 

Action:   Write our reps to ban fracking and the transporting of dangerous fuels.


8. May 2, 2016, Monday:   Pressing Environmental Issues in California:  What’s in Sierra Club California’s Legal Pipeline?

Topic::  We will give an overview of the structure of the Sierra Club. A representative from the Sierra Club’s Legislation group will talk about the key lawsuits/legislation that we are lobbying for or against. 

Action:  Write your reps and Sierra Club California regarding the issues you care the most about.


9. June 1, 2016, Wednesday:  Grand Finale

Film:  David Brower’s Fight for Wild America

Topic:   David Brower’s inspiring legacy.   Taking steps toward becoming an environmental activist for the  long haul. 

Action:  A phone bank urging Californians to vote for our endorsed candidates with the highest environmental ratings.  Bring your phones and chargers!