Bernie Sanders talks climate change in Chico The Democratic presidential candidate holds town hall, tours Paradise

photo by Karen Laslo
Steve Marquadt, Chico Sunrise Movement (left) and Sen. Bernie Sanders open town hall in Chico.

by Leslie Layton

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought his ambitious and sweeping plan to combat climate change to Paradise and Chico Thursday, touring fire-ravaged neighborhoods and holding a town hall in a packed auditorium.

Speaking at Chico’s Masonic Lodge to an audience of some 700 people – most of whom had probably been affected directly or indirectly by the Nov. 8 climate-driven Camp Fire — Sanders was passionate in defending a plan that he had put forth just a day earlier. Sanders’ version of the Green New Deal is now viewed as the most ambitious plan to combat climate change that the Democrats have touted. read more

Camp Fire Town Hall draws several hundred Protesters line the entrance to the Chico Elks Lodge

photo by Karen Laslo
Steve Marquadt from Chico’s Sunrise Movement (left) and Mary Kay Benson from 350 Butte County, protesting Congressional inaction on climate change at today’s Town Hall, call for a Green New Deal.

by Leslie Layton

The appearance of Congressman Doug LaMalfa and state lawmakers at today’s Camp Fire recovery Town Hall meeting drew anxious survivors and evacuees, as well as protesters who lined the entrance to the Chico Elks Lodge.

Several hundred people filled the lodge auditorium, as well as officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the California Office of Emergency Services. After presentations by lawmakers and officials, audience members concerned about the need for tree clearing and road widening to provide safe evacuation routes from fire-prone communities, about water quality and services for survivors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, lined up to ask questions. An Oroville resident asked about the toxicity of the heaps of concrete and metal being trucked out of Paradise and whether it’s being handled in the safest possible way. read more

Broken Waters: an additional perspective on climate change emerges Water cycle disruption plays huge role in the climate emergency, scientist explains

photo by CSUC Center for Regenerative Agriculture
Christine Jones, who earned a doctorate in soil science, is the renowned Australian scientist who dropped a “bombshell” in Chico.

by Richard Roth

A few weeks ago, about 60 people, including farmers, ranchers, and backyard gardeners like myself, were gathered for a two-day workshop on soil health hosted by the Center for Regenerative Agriculture at CSU, Chico.

Christine Jones, known as the “Pearl” of soil microbiology, was half way through her fascinating presentation on soil research and practices she was involved with in Australia when she seemed to suddenly change course. She appeared to break away from her prepared presentation to drop what felt to some of us like a bombshell. read more

Chico State takes the reins in regenerative agriculture Tiny microbes can help addresses climate change - if we stop killing them

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Thomas Jefferson’s improved mouldboard plow.

by Richard Roth

When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they applied their mouldboard plows to the prairies, to soils that were rich, dark and black. That soil was steaming with mineral and organic carbon — with soil life so small it was invisible to the human naked (unmicroscoped) eye and, hence, to our consciousness. So we ripped into them with gusto, mining this flesh of earth.

The settler-farmers killed the microbes by exposing them to sunlight, erosion, heat and dryness, and they planted monocrops – a single crop like wheat. Or corn. Or walnuts. read more

Protesters hold rally at PG&E forum Utility giant seeks rate increase in wake of Camp Fire

photo by Karen Laslo
“This meeting should be about breaking up PG&E and taking local control,” said protester Susan Sullivan.

by Karen Laslo

Chico area residents spoke at two forums held July 18 on PG&E’s request for a rate increase, and some participated in a rally to protest the utility, which owns the electrical transmission lines that Cal Fire says caused the Camp Fire.

The forums were sponsored by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to take public comment on the request for a rate increase on gas and electricity that would take effect in January 2020. Several people spoke at the second forum at 6 p.m., including Camp Fire survivors, PG&E customers, and environmental and social justice advocates. All spoke against the rate increase. read more

Camp Fire housing bill to face final committee hearing AB 430 doesn't address need for affordable housing or housing in Paradise

photo by Karen Laslo
AB 430 author James Gallagher, 3rd District assemblyman, at July 3 Senate committee hearing. Gallagher said the bill will create a “narrowly-applied, streamlined” approval process – but whether that streamlining will produce affordable housing is the topic of debate.

by Leslie Layton and Karen Laslo

Chico-area residents and Butte County leaders spoke at last week’s Senate committee hearing in Sacramento, some in support and some in opposition to Assemblyman James Gallagher’s Camp Fire housing bill that will encourage large-scale development.

Gallagher’s bill, AB 430, was passed July 3 on a 5-1 vote by the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee and will be the subject of a final committee hearing on July 10. The bill will facilitate housing construction in eight communities by letting builders, in many cases, circumvent review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and by reducing requirements for public hearings for new development. read more