Monday, November 30, 2015

Notes from Indigethanx

Introduction and Welcome
Dr. Rosser introduced the first guest, who cleansed the air with smoke and honored the Four Directions and the ancestors who lived on this Ohlone land. I did not catch her name. 

“My mother said, ‘When ceremony ends, so does the Earth.’ I too believe this.”

A student performed a Chumash song honoring our grandmothers and their grandmothers in turn.

Dr. Rosser explained the Mutsun word noson, as breath as it is in spirit, and introduced Professor Melissa Nelson, an activist for Native American rights who works with the Cultural Conservancy.

Professor Melissa Nelson
Revitalizing Native Foodways/Renewing America’s Food Traditions
  • Thanksgiving is a complex holiday both protested and celebrated
  • “There’s really a global renaissance going on” regarding the revitalization of Native foodways
  • Mentioned ceremonies regarding food and religious and cultural importance of strawberries- one of the first foods to be grown on Turtle Island in First Nations’ creation stories.
  • A Chippewa prophecy made about 500 years before Columbus’s arrival foretold that danger would come from the east; it foretold “we will know where our new home is when we find the food that grows upon the water,” referring to the staple food of wild rice.
  • Food sources are affected by pesticides, damming, climate change, and diseases such as Sudden Oak Death.
    • Climate change and damming lead to lower numbers of salmon and less access to them, affecting culture, nutrition, and ceremony.
  • Identifying foodsheds and the “first foods” of American lands is a way to reclaim identity.
  • Seven key foods eaten globally as staples originate from North America
    • Corn, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, squash, chocolate (cacao), sunflowers
    • Many more important foods come from North America, but these are considered the 7 most important
Food Sovereignty
  • Regarding food sovereignty, “you have the right to be self-defining.”
  • Food sovereignty as “the production of traditional and sacred foods by Tribal Nations with the objective of feeding the local community, and only after the community is sustained, to provide these foods to the larger community.”
  • Workers are highly involved; sovereignty includes protection from dangers such as pesticides.
  • Native foodways are cultural, spiritual, physical, and ecological, a web of life.
Columbian Devastation
  • “What happened to the Native world . . . was a total apocalypse” regarding colonial settlement.
  • Fried bread became a survival food, a creation of “Indigenuity,” but lead in part to the Type II Diabetes epidemic in Native communities.
    • Over half of tribal community members in the United States live with Type II Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, or heart disease.
      • “100%” of the community is affected; family and community is affected through healthcare and transporting those who need healthcare.
  • Sacred buffalo were overkilled to remove the primary food source of tribes of the Northern Plains; damming cut off access to salmon and other fish.
  • "The value of food is weighed in dollars . . . not in its ability to nourish." —John Mohawk.
  • The slow food movement focuses on slowing down to take time to cook and eat our food.
Current Food Movements and Actions
  • Tsyunhehkwa
  • Muskoke
  • Taos Food Center
  • Traditional North American Farmers Association
  • Slow Food Terra Madre
  • Parque de la Papa (Potato Park)
    • Protects heirloom seeds; relates to food sovereignty and social connections
  • Biocultural Heritage Territories
  • Bay Area intertribal urban youth education programs
  • Tribal intergenerational CSA pilot programs partner with local communities and create food distribution systems
    • Youth interns glean and distribute crops not up to market standards
    • Some use traditional three-sisters planting or mound-style cultivation
  • The Tohono O'odham Nation grows easy to grow, extremely drought resistant beans
  • “There’s an incredible culinary revolution happening.”
    • e.g. the Native American Culinary Association
Misc. Quotes
  • “Food is good for the body, but also good for the soul.”
  • “We’re all kernels of the same cob.”
  • “Seed to seed, soul to soul”; regarding to the restoration of international treaties
Resources/References
  • Seeds of our Ancestors film
  • The Cultural Conservancy
  • Linda Hogan’s Ceremony for the Seeds poem
  • Activist Patricia Gualinga


Enrique Salmón
  • “Environmentalists and [people involved in sustainability] want to keep us in one place.”
  • Before 1492, over 400 bean species existed in North America.
  • “Stop using ‘how it used to be’ and ‘was’[ . . .]” there are and always will be maintaining cultural practices
  • “A lot of my students don’t realize that corn was created by human beings…”; “We are children of the corn”
  • Biodiversity is linked to cultural diversity
    • “Native people are a keystone species”
  • “Indigenous knowledge is local knowledge,” unique to each area
    • Formed over vast amounts of time, much longer than Western scientists have studied North America
  • “Small ancestral fields are the refugia of resilience”
    • Small fields are microhabitats
  • The Hopi Tribe of the Colorado Plateau has followed the same planting method for over a thousand years: 5 to 6 seeds are planted 18 inches underground. The deep earth provides the plants with moisture and the multiple stalks protect each other from topping in the wind. Nitrogen is fixed in the soil by beans that grow there.
Resilience and Connections to Food
  • “One has to find the time to [learn about] long term memory”
    • Long term memory is cultural history
    • Short term history is a driving force of new ideas guided by advice from elders
  • Resilience relates to cultural capital, primarily elders and farmers
  • On his family asking for farming help from neighbors: “It was a way of creating community”
  • “Every now and then you need to revolt… without forgetting the traditions.”
  • “We don’t spend enough time directly connected to the environment”
  • [As Native people,] “We’ve had a very direct relationship with our food”
  • There is a loss of ancestral diets; pre-Columbian diets had relatively lower fat content and more fiber, insoluble fibers, amylose, and chromium. Ancestral diets slowed down the digestive systems.
  • “We are that landscape… we’ve been eating our landscape.”
  • “Choosing to eat our Ancestral foods in a political/decolonizing act”
    • Quote from PowerPoint
  • “We need to decolonize our food as much as possible.”
  • “When we eat our Ancestral foods… we reject [harmful] agricultural practices.”
  • “This is more than being political, this is embracing our identity.”
  • “Our identity is only as strong as our actions.”
What’s Being Done
  • Natwani Coalition works with Native CSAs
  • Navajo farmers have identified and have revitalized ancient Puebloan fields that had lain dormant


Wrap-Up/End
  • Enrique Salmon: “[Native people] are the juniper tree… with the next big gust that comes along, we’re still going to be standing.”
  • Dr. Rosser: “We have always been here and we will always be here.”
  • Survivance: survival and resilience
    • “Remember, it’s not just about survival, it’s about resistance too,” -Professor Nelson
  • “Food is more than just something we eat… You relearn the ceremonies… before long you revitalize your entire culture.”
Q&A
  • GMOs:
    • Both agreed that GMOs are a spiritual question
      • Enrique: “We rely on the High Priest of Western science”
        • We need to relate more to the world and our food
  • Prof. Nelson: “Water is our first food;” water sovereignty is a part of food sovereignty.
    • Regarding to the drought and purification of water, “we can use nature to heal nature.”
Favorite Recipes

  • Prof. Nelson: an Ojibwe meal of wild rice with pecans and cranberries and braised buffalo
  • Enrique: a Hopi bean sprout stew with herbs and mutton, a favorite food of the kachina- rain spirits, but more; “when we pass we become the rain.”
  • Dr. Rosser: green chili stew

Indigethanx reflection

Jay L. Nelson, the Sustainability Office CUIP Events Coordinator, attended Indigethanx and reported their experience. 

On November 19th, I had the opportunity to attend Indigethanx, an annual event put on by the American Indian Resource Center to teach about and celebrate Native foodways and the reclamation of food sovereignty by Indigenous communities. After a welcome honoring the Four Directions and a song for generations of grandmothers, UCSC alumna and San Francisco State University professor Melissa Nelson and California State University professor Dr. Enrique Salmón each gave a presentation regarding Native food justice issues as well as connection to food.

Main themes included the epidemic of nutrition-based health afflictions in Native communities, particularly Type II Diabetes caused by lack of access to fresh and traditional foods due to food deserts; the cultural role of food such as strawberries and corns in creation stories, ceremonies, nutrition and culture in general; eating traditional food as a way to reclaim an identity and oppose harmful agricultural practices; and the inherent connection between biodiversity and cultural diversity.

The event was an amazing experience full of opportunities to get educated and get involved with Native food sovereignty movements. I appreciate all of the resources (books, movies, quotes, opportunities, and more) provided through each presentation and hope to learn more and stay updated on ways to get involved. There are a number of tribes and nations using traditional growing techniques in community supported agriculture to provide food to children and other community members, which I particularly wish to continue to research.

Here are notes from the event.

UCSC Alumni Panel at Inter-Org Retreat

The Planning Committee for the 6th Annual UCSC Inter-Organizational Sustainability Retreat is in the midst of preparing for our 2016 retreat, which will take place Friday, January 8 - Sunday, January 10. We are currently seeking alumni who were active with campus sustainability, social justice, equity, and/or inclusion efforts as a student who have continued to do this kind of work in the "real world" beyond UCSC. We have space for five panelists to participate in a discussion about the opportunities, challenges, and experiences that they have faced in their chosen fields that might be interesting, helpful, or valuable to current students doing this kind of work at UCSC. This panel will take place Friday, January 8, between 5-8 PM on the UCSC campus.

If you are interested in being considered for the panel, please reply to sustain.education [at] ucsc [dot] edu by December 7 and include the following information:

  • Graduation year
  • What you were involved with as a student at UCSC (organizations, college affiliation, major of study, etc.)
  • What you currently do (either professionally or as a volunteer)
  • One story or experience you might share with students about your work after UCSC
  • The Planning Committee will review all emails and notify those who have been selected by mid-December.

Alumni are also invited to attend the Friday night event, even if you are not selected for the panel. Please RSVP by December 7th to guarantee your spot.

We are also seeking alumni proposals for workshops to lead on Saturday, January 9th at Camp Campbell in Boulder Creek. There is limited space for alumni-led workshops, so please let us know soon if you are interested, and we can send you detailed information about workshop criteria.


What is Inter-Org Retreat?

This annual retreat brings together students, staff, and faculty from many campus sustainability organizations for a weekend of team building, skills sharing, collaboration, and fun. This year, we are hoping to reimagine what "sustainability" means to our campus, and the planning committee--made up of students and staff from a number of organizations--is working to bring topics like social justice, equity, and inclusion into the forefront of the retreat. Learn more on the website.

Why You Should Care About the Cool Campus Challenge

By: Jamison Czarneki, UC Santa Cruz Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellow 

October 6th, 2015 marked the beginning of the first ever UC wide Cool Campus Challenge. C3, as it is being called now, is a 10 week UC inter campus competition that encourages students, staff, and faculty to lower their carbon footprint. This challenge is designed to get people talking about UCOP’s Carbon Neutrality Goal by 2025 where we hope to be the first US university system to do so! Some people say this competition distracts us from the real issues around neutrality, but I believe this has allowed for the opposite. Instead of distracting us, it is enthralling us to talk about carbon neutrality. It’s getting people excited about this initiative and allows a space to take a tiny step to help the campus work to achieve this goal. If people really took the time to look into the actions they can pledge, they would learn so much about their carbon impact! Ever heard of vampire loads? They suck the energy (and money) right out from you.  There are a ton of ways you can learn to lower your footprint as you pledge actions. By doing so, there are even prizes to win for everyone who participates!

So how does the competition work? Participants sign up and make a quick account on the Cool Campus Challenge website.  After signing up, there are a list of actions to pledge and a space for non-listed actions (for the more creative minded person). Every action you pledge, you verify with a picture or story to get points, and those points add up for you and the campus! The more points you earn, the more chances you have to win prizes such as solar chargers, Itunes gift cards, or a brand new Momemtum Bicycle! The competition goes until December 10th and UCSC needs your help! Currently, we’re in 4th place. Every point that you earn shows the UC Regents that we care about Carbon Neutrality and we’re excited for it. So log in, pledge actions, and let’s own this competition!

Tamara Ball Recognized as United Way Community Hero for IDEASS program

Dr. Tamara Ball has worked relentlessly to train undergraduate students at UC Santa Cruz in real- world, high tech sustainability projects through her Impact Designs: Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service program (IDEASS) at UC Santa Cruz. Launched by Dr. Ball and co-directed by James Barsimantov in 2010, IDEASS provides a unique educational experience in a 3 quarter program where each year approximately two- dozen students, from a wide-range of majors, gain skills in project planning and management, and technical expertise through their work with an industry, non-profit or civic mentor. Dr. Ball has been resourceful in obtaining quality staff, advisers, mentors, and funding for her program during difficult recessionary and post-recessionary periods, leveraging relationships internal and external to the university.

Learn more about the IDEASS program here.

Students & Staff Share Takeaways from Fall Conferences

There were many sustainability conferences all over the country this quarter! Students and staff in the Sustainability Office were able to attend many of them and wanted to share what they learned. Here are some key takeaways and stories from the conferences they attended this fall. If you ever attend a sustainability related conference and want to share a report-back in a future newsletter, please email sustain.education@ucsc.edu

South by Southwest Eco Conference
"Biomimicry, the idea of innovation inspired by nature, is a relatively new field of science focusing what we can learn from nature rather than what we can extract from nature. After facilitating an Education for Sustainable Living Program class on the topic of Biomimicry last quarter, I have been constantly curious about the world around me. When I heard about this conference, I saw it as a way to learn more about the field and meet the people with big ideas for Biomimicry..." Click here to continue reading this report from Lily Urmann, Green Labs Facilitator.

The Post-Landfill Action Network's Zero Waste Youth Conference 
"This conference was a great experience. We met a ton of hardworking and dedicated students from all across the country who were making positive impacts at their respective campuses. The conference theme was zero waste and we learned how to overcome challenges to get a zero waste program started, how to build a strong initiative, and how to network to leverage your goals. We were also inspired by some amazing speakers! To top it off, we had beautiful farm to table food and all of it was a 100% zero waste event!" - Jamison Czarnecki, Carbon Neutrality Fellow

National Bioneers Conference 
"Bioneers, for me, brought the many threads of 'sustainability' - environment, people, ecology, biodiversity, diversity, justice, equity, celebration of difference, purpose, conservation, conversation, art, climate, water, community, etc. - into a beautifully, vibrantly, amazingly woven cloth that held all of the attendees in its embrace for a weekend, bringing us in contact with new ideas and new people, encouraging us to sink into the realities of our world in their fullness..." Click here to continue reading this report from Melissa Ott, Office Manager/Events Coordinator.

Why I Love Bioneers 
"Even though this was my third time attending Bioneers, I was constantly blown away by the influx of new experiences and inspirations. I was grateful this year to be part of the Youth Leadership program, where I was surrounded by motivated young adults out to change the world. The dire state of our planet is often scary and overwhelming to think about, but the capacity of humans and our ability to collaborate on solutions keeps me hopeful. That is why I love Bioneers..." Click here to continue reading this report from Lily Urmann, Green Labs Facilitator.

Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 
"I had the honor of representing our campus at the national annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Sustainability professionals from all around the world converged on Minneapolis, MN for the occasion. The session that struck me the most was an all-day workshop focused on incorporating sustainability and diversity issues..." Click here to continue reading this report from Elida Erickson, Interim Sustainability Director.

UC Carbon Neutrality Summit - Bending the Curve
"It's not often that UC President Napolitano, Governor Jerry Brown, 50+ faculty and researchers, Nobel laureates, and business leaders get together in one place to focus on a topic.  But on October 26 & 27, these movers and shakers got together at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego to focus on one of the most critical issues facing society; climate change..." Click here to continue reading this report from Chrissy Thomure, Climate Action Manager.

UC Office of the President (UCOP) Fellowship Orientation
"On Saturday, November 14th, the UC Santa Cruz Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows and Global Food Initiative Fellows attended the UC Office of the President’s fellowship orientation.  During this daylong event, the UCSC fellows were able to meet all of the other UC-wide fellows and get to know which exciting projects they were working on.  The UCSC fellows were able to share our efforts with the Cool Campus Challenge and which projects they will be undertaking as the academic year continues.  They also learned about new strategies from different workshops on how to maximize student, staff and faculty engagement.  Completing this orientation provided the UCSC fellows with a network of like-minded UC fellows and new strategies that will help UCSC complete the UCOP sustainability initiatives.  The fellows look forward to the future projects and opportunities that will secure UCSC’s carbon neutrality and food security goals." - Jordi Vasquez, Carbon Neutrality Fellow

National Bioneers Conference Report-Back

Melissa Ott, the Office Manager and Events Coordinator in the Sustainability Office, shares her experience at the National Bioneers Conference.

For 25 years, the National Bioneers Conference has connected thousands of people with practical, visionary solutions for humanity's most pressing environmental and social challenges." This year was my first time attending the National Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, CA, and it was a powerful experience that was made possible through a scholarship from UCSC's Common Ground Center. Bioneers, for me, brought the many threads of "sustainability" - environment, people, ecology, biodiversity, diversity, justice, equity, celebration of difference, purpose, conservation, conversation, art, climate, water, community, etc. - into a beautifully, vibrantly, amazingly woven cloth that held all of the attendees in its embrace for a weekend, bringing us in contact with new ideas and new people, encouraging us to sink into the realities of our world in their fullness. It was challenging to face some of those realities in their fullness--such as injustices, racism, and lack of inclusion within the sustainability movement and throughout society--but it was also necessary and important and motivating to participate in being the change. And of course many of those realities that I faced at Bioneers were beautiful examples of ways humans have brought justice and love and compassion for people and planet into the world and into their work. 

Throughout the weekend, I witnessed inspiring speakers such as Paul HawkenRinku Sen of Race Forward, author Kim Stanley RobinsonBen Knight of Loomio, storyteller Michael MeadeSaru Jayarama of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, and many others. I learned about work taking place to identify the most worthwhile approaches to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, such as reducing food waste, adding compost to soil, and capturing energy from tides and waves in our oceans. I heard about experiences individuals and organizations have had in illuminating race disparities and inequities in sectors like the labor, media, and food industries. There was even a dance party on the agenda for Saturday night, and it was a unique way to process the weekend's teachings, experiences, and ideas through movement. The conference was an amazing experience! I have brought back to UCSC with me a renewed inspiration to be the change I wish to see in the world and support my fellow banana slugs in the exciting, necessary, and oftentimes challenging work that we face in making the world more just and thriving.


Eight year old Lorelei Browman hangs her wish "of black and white together" for the Singing Tree Mural Collective Project at Bioneers 2015. Photo via: Susanna Frohman Photography
"The deepest part of the human soul is imagination." - Michael Meade performs with John Densmore at Bioneers 2015 during one of my favorite presentations. Photo via Josué Rivas Fotographer
Rinku Sen spoke about inclusion and social justice as a keynote speaker and as moderator of the "Racing Up Your Movement" session at Bioneers 2015. Photo: Josué Rivas Fotographer

South by Southwest Eco conference

Lily Urmann, the Green Labs Facilitator at the Sustainability Office shares her experience at the South by Southwest Eco Conference.

The South by Southwest Eco conference took place in Austin, Texas from October 4th-7th, 2015. I heard about this conference in an email from the Biomimicry Institute, because they were offering an entire Biomimicry track at SXSW. I applied for funding through the Sustainability Office to cover my student registration fee, and got a plane ticket to Texas with extra miles from a very generous colleague.

Biomimicry, the idea of innovation inspired by nature, is a relatively new field of science focusing what we can learn from nature rather than what we can extract from nature. After facilitating an Education for Sustainable Living Program class on the topic of Biomimicry last quarter, I have been constantly curious about the world around me. When I heard about this conference, I saw it as a way to learn more about the field and meet the people with big ideas for Biomimicry. I was most excited about being immersed in Biomimicry in a way that I have never been before; in workshops that brought new ideas to light, and keynotes that would inspire me.

All of the Biomimicry Institute founders were there, including Janine Benyus herself, the author of “Biomimicry”- and I got to meet her! Her keynote on the first day of the conference was one of my favorite events. The way in which she talks about Biomimicry is so passionate and beautiful, it would make anyone interested.

SXSW Eco was my first really professional conference- and it was so exciting to be in that environment. Every day there were incredible workshops including: “Beyond Biophilic Cities: Solutions Rooted in Place”, “From Metaphor to Metrics:Net Positive Business”, “Tools to Bridge Science, Design, and Discovery”, “Biomimicry Success Stories”, “Nature as the Epicenter of Innovation”, “Microbes and the Future of Agriculture”, and many more! Besides just attending workshops, I met and mingled with researchers, consulting firm professionals from the Biomimicry 3.8 company, and other motivated students working on projects nationwide.

The ideas and insight that I brought back after SXSW will continue to inspire me throughout this year and onward. I am currently writing a senior thesis on the case for and design of a Biomimicry minor at UCSC, and hope to create an online open-source model that other universities can use as a resource when implementing these ideas in education. After I graduate, I can’t wait to join the Biomimicry community, whose dedication and curiosity will continue to encourage me to grow and learn from my surroundings.

3D model of a insect model for a gear



Janine Benyus signing my Biomimicry Book 


Why I Love Bioneers

Lily Urmann, the Green Labs Facilitator at the Sustainability Office shares her experience at the National Bioneers Conference.

Even though this was my third time attending Bioneers, I was constantly blown away by the influx of new experiences and inspirations.  I was grateful this year to be part of the Youth Leadership program, where I was surrounded by motivated young adults out to change the world.  The dire state of our planet is often scary and overwhelming to think about, but the capacity of humans and our ability to collaborate on solutions keeps me hopeful.  That is why I love Bioneers.  Not only are there incredible speakers who bless the stage in the morning and awesome workshop panelists who blow my mind, but there is an entire community of attendees that create change all over the world.

This year, I was especially excited about exploring the topic of Green Chemistry, Biomimicry, and education. I am involved in the Green Labs at UCSC, a student-run program where we encourage labs to become more sustainable through behavior change - including waste reduction, energy efficiency, and procurement. I am passionate about Biomimicry and using nature's designs to solve human-problems, and Green Chemistry is the basis of this model.  The workshop at Bioneers called Green Chemistry and Biomimicry in Education provided more information and inspiration to take back to UCSC and implement into Green Labs.  From this workshop, and discussion with the speakers afterword, I am planning a Green Chemistry lecture series at UCSC for lab directors, student researchers, and anyone else to come and learn about this new model for sustainable chemistry and the science of Biomimicry!

Artwork and homemade solar cell from blackberries (Green Chemistry from Beyond Benign)





National Annual Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

Elida Erickson, the Sustainability Programs Manager and Interim Director of the Sustainability Office, shares her experience at the national annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

I had the honor of representing our campus at the national annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Sustainability professionals from all around the world converged on Minneapolis, MN for the occasion. The session that struck me the most was an all-day workshop focused on incorporating sustainability and diversity issues. 

The workshop facilitators represented several different institutions across Minnesota, and focused their work on expanding the traditional environmental movement's definitions of sustainability to be more inclusive of diverse viewpoints and cultural experiences. Several small group activities helped workshop participants think outside of the box regarding sustainability, and a student panel shared stories that helped put some faces to the issues. What I was most impressed with overall was the level of trust both the facilitators and students have built with each other, and are willing to share with others to spread their work. I am excited that we are starting a similar movement on our own campus with the AIRC’s #POC Sustainability Collective, and look forward to working closely with them in the coming years on this very important work.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

UC Carbon Neutrality Summit- Bending the Curve

Chrissy Thomure, the Climate Action Manager at the Sustainability Office shares her experience at the UC Carbon Neutrality Summit.
 
It's not often that UC President Napolitano, Governor Jerry Brown, 50+ faculty and researchers, Nobel laureates, and business leaders get together in one place to focus on a topic.  But on October 26 & 27, these movers and shakers got together at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego to focus on one of the most critical issues facing society; climate change.

The latest science presented at the conference revealed that under the current “business as usual” practices, the planet is on target to exceed a 2 degrees Celsius increase relative to the pre-industrial average by 2050 and a 4 degrees Celsius increase by 2100, triggering serious large-scale problems including droughts, forest fires and sea level rise from 1.5–2 meters by the end of the century. Catastrophic climatic events are becoming more and more common, and are disproportionately affecting the world’s most vulnerable people.

Despite the stark facts that were presented, there was a sense of excitement and optimism in the air as we heard from the leaders of a committee of 50 academics and researchers from across UC’s 10 campuses who worked over the summer to develop a report recommending a set of actionable solutions for curbing climate change using existing technologies.  The report, called Bending the Curve, pulled together experts from a broad spectrum of fields ranging from climate science to ethics, economics, ecology, energy, environmental justice, political science and religion.  The Chair of the Committee, Veerabhadran "Ram" Ramanathan- who in 1975 discovered the greenhouse effect of chlorofluorocarbons in the Earth’s atmosphere- insists, “there is still time to mitigate the most disastrous of the predicted changes.”  Governor Brown iterated this point by saying, “The challenge for us is to imagine the likely extreme outcomes of climate change and take actions now to prevent it.”

Yes, this is a monumental challenge.  The encouraging thing is that it was apparent at this Summit that these leaders are not just “talking the talk” but are also “walking the walk.”  With the Carbon Neutrality Initiative announced by President Napolitano in 2013, the University of California pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025.  The state of California has its own ambitious climate targets: Reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels, shift California’s electricity production to at least 50 percent renewable sources, and increase building energy efficiency by 50 percent – all by 2030.  To learn more about UCSC’s commitment to climate action, click here