It is a sign of the times and the unrelenting, high-octane protests that 1,000 people showed up April 29, created a massive human formation of a sun and the words “100% clean power” from top to bottom of SBCC’s La Playa Stadium for the People’s Climate March, handed over thousands of hand-written postcards to local City Council members calling for a 100 percent renewable energy goal and thousands postcards more to County Supervisors opposing oil expansion in Santa Barbara County, and it merited only the briefest of mentions in The Independent. Ho hum, it’s another day, another massive protest for climate action on a scale that would have been unheard of a year ago (or ever before for that matter).
This grassroots momentum is good news. Under the radar of the Trump-focused national news, local action is growing. Twenty-nine cities around the nation have set 100 percent renewable energy goals, including Republican-controlled cities like San Diego and big southern cities like Atlanta with more joining nearly every week. Santa Barbara is voting on setting a 100 percent goal on June 6, and the county is voting on Community Choice Energy, a mechanism for achieving cleaner energy, on June 20. It seems the clean energy economy of the future is being built right now, right under Trump’s nose, from the ground up. As the signs at lo these many protests explain, “The oceans are rising and so are we!”
Katie Davis chairs the Santa Barbara Sierra Club.