Step It Up Campaign, April 14, 2007:
Lake Group Takes Part in Day of Climate Action

Some rally participants gather under the big tent before the event begins: at center,
Mayor Judy Thein and Supervisors Denise Rushing and Ed Robey


On Saturday April 14 the Lake Group conducted a very successful rally against global warming at Austin Park in Clearlake despite notably inclement weather. Since this has been such a dry winter and many localities will face serious water shortages during the summer, we were trying hard not to lament the rain that started falling at dawn, and continued through much of the morning.

Fortunately, we were able to stage the show from the park's roofed gazebo, and also to recruit several shade shelters including Denise Rushing's magnificent portable marquee (see above). Putting these structures hastily together in the rain and wind was something of a challenge, but we made it in time to offer a dry venue to several extremely grateful tablers. Of course the rain reduced attendance, but it was somewhat surprising and extremely heartening to see how many individuals -- about forty altogether -- in our community refused to let rain, wind, and cold keep them from demonstrating their concern for the fate of our planet.

Thanks to these hardy souls, the voices of Lake County joined the nationwide chorus coming from more than 1400 events in the Step It Up campaign's National Day of Climate Action. Together, we sent a powerful message to our elected leaders: we need to fend off the threat of catastrophic climate change, and in order to do so we must all work together to cut global warming emissions enough to culminate in an 80 percent reduction by the year 2050, which sounds like a large number, but actually only amounts to a two percent reduction annually.

The speakers, under the deft baton of Supervisor Ed Robey, were excellent. After a warm welcome from Mayor Judy Thein on behalf of the City of Clearlake, Special Districts head Mark Dellinger described the county's remarkable ongoing efforts to trim its own carbon footprint, including the construction of 13 acres (sic!) of photovoltaic panels. Barbara Christwitz (who might qualify as the Queen of Green in this community) gave a persuasive discussion of the virtues of solar ovens and the ease of constructing them (plans on request) -- because of the weather, the original idea of baking and distributing solar cookies had to be scrapped. Supervisor Denise Rushing's inspiring presentation, "Global Warming and You: what individuals can do to make a difference" was the keynote of the event.

While all this was going on, Peter Senkowski's electric vehicle, Eileen Irving's information about Lake Transit, and Glenneth Lambert's green building display all engaged the interest of participants.

Janis Paris and Paul Frindt provided a truckload of sound gear and the professional expertise needed to make it function, and with the assistance of bass player David Gilmore also treated us to several rousing sets of songs that were as musicially adept as they were spiritually invigorating.

Thanks also to Hiram Dukes, who videotaped the event; to Denise Rushing, Shirley Howland, and Juliana Vidich for providing shelter from the elements; to Jack Arnold, Ryan Callen, Fred Cork, Lars Crail, Denise Rushing, and Juliana Vidich for erecting the gear; and to Bill and Barbara Christwitz, Paul Kolb, Jack Arnold, and Juliana Vidich for taking it all apart again two hours later: your dedication, your commitment, and your hard work are precisely what this planet needs, and this community too.

Victoria Brandon
Chair, Sierra Club Lake Group

Mark Dellinger describes Lake County's solarizing plans

". . . local electric car manufacturer Peter Senkowsky, third from left, explains the benefits of the "Hennings" model to onlookers District 3 Supervisor Denise Rushing, County Administrator Kelly Cox and Clearlake resident Dante DeAmicis."

(Cynthia Parkhill, ©Clear Lake Observer*American, April 18, 2007; used by permission)