Earth Day 2020

FPCPA held our annual Earth Day celebration on Sunday, April 26. Geoff Browning led the worship service and we were inspired to care for our Mother Earth through music, poetry, prayer, and prophetic preaching. Following the service, Janet Cox moderated a Zoom panel about different kinds of actions that our friends and neighbors are taking to fight climate change.

Julia Zeitlin and Henry Shane, of the Palo Alto Sunrise Hub came to us from a few weeks of intensive organizing for Earth Day and several online events during Earth Day Live. These teenagers informed about the youth movement supporting the Green New Deal.

Scott Mellberg from City of Palo Alto Utilities educated us about heat pumps and building electrification otherideas about making our homes much greener.

Edie Irons, Communications Director for TransForm, a non-profit in Oakland that advocates for public transit and equity in the Bay Area, described prospects for a less congested South Bay with more housing available for people who work here. 

The panel was followed by a lively question and answer period. Following are links to the audio and the video recordings. Unfortunately they don’t start until after introductions were made, but they capture almost all of the panel, beginning with Henry’s description of Sunrise’s Earth Day events.\


Since this was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and we couldn’t take to the streets and parks, many of us listened to webinars last week. Here are some links to those that Cool Planet people especially recommend:

Pat recommends, which is the Teach-in on the Green New Deal put on by Palo Alto youth in the Sunrise Movement and which was mentioned several times as our panel. Note that the actual teach-in starts at about 8:20 minutes into the recording.

Evan recommends, which is a recording of Peninsula Peace and Justice’s virtual climate rally. You will love the passionate voices of youthful climate activists, led off by 13-year-old Julia Zeitlin, who also participated in the Cool Planet panel. Don’t miss the appearance of the always youthful Craig and Derrick at minute 20.

Christine Boles says that this is a great article about the impact of heat pumps and electification (Scott’s topic at our panel and one near and dear to our HVAC task force).

Janet likes Green Faith’s Interfaith Call for Care and Resilience.

Shirley recommends: This webinar presented by Earthjustice (motto: “because the earth needs a good lawyer) is called “Under the Cover of Covid: How the Tump administration and industry are using the pandemic to further attack the environment and public health.” It is a fine reminder that, while we are all preoccupied with the pandemic, we cannot lose sight of that other crisis: climate. Environmental protections continue to be rolled back, native tribes are especially hard hit now with both health and environmental threats, and dirty industries that should be phased out may well be bailed out. Through the pandemic, the courts are open. Earthjustice continues to represent some of the neediest communities and to defend bedrock environmental protections.  These folks are impressive. Have a listen.

Gail recommends: from the Drive Electric Earth Day live stream. It opens with a song entitled “Gasoline, Gasoline”, which is sung by mostly young people and includes a brief segment sung by Bill McKibben who sings we “got to leave you in the ground”.  The panelists’ backgrounds include what you might expect, such as people from the Sierra Club, but also a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a female professional race car driver which you might not expect.