2019 Earth Day Festival Highlights
By Robert Bernstein
Earth Day drew a crowd of many thousands over three days at Alameda Park.
Here are my photos, videos and more.
A highlight of the event was the Environmental Hero Awards ceremony, hosted by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. Filmmaker James Cameron was on hand to deliver an Environmental Hero Award to his wife. Suzy Amis Cameron had written and published a book called OMD: Change the World by Changing One Meal a Day.
She advocated eliminating meat from one meal each day. She claimed that this has the same greenhouse gas effect over the course of a year as eliminating a round trip drive from coast to coast.
She said that James Cameron's films were more about a future of gloom and doom than of a better, hopeful future. She said his world view has become more positive since adopting this OMD plan.
Here is my video of the complete presentation and her explanation of this idea
After the presentation they kindly posed with World Dance for Humanity dancer Caroline Follosco Barnett
Student Rose Strauss also received an Environmental Hero award. She had been doing climate change activism before heading to college. In college she felt she was betraying her commitment to the urgency of climate change. She wore a shirt proclaiming "12 years" which is how much time we have to avert the tipping point for climate change. She has continued her activism while continuing her college studies now. Here is her complete presentation
Hundreds of booths offered information about climate change and many other vital environmental issues. Here was our own Sierra Club booth which was very popular. People were invited to spin the wheel to answer an environmental question. Correct answers won a small treat: Organic fig, chocolate peanut butter cup, carrot or orange.
We also handed out a Sierra Club fact sheet based on the site "America's Autos on Welfare". It documents over $500 billion/year in subsidies for private motor vehicle use in the US.
Here is a PDF of that fact sheet.
There was a "Green Car Show" offering electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell cars
But these all have the same environmental land use and environmental justice problems of fossil fuel cars. It was good to see an exhibit of electric assisted bicycles which greatly reduce those impacts
And Traffic Solutions was promoting CycleMAYnia: A whole month of fun activities to promote bicycling
And SBBIKE offered a free bike repair clinic
Paul Cronshaw drew a crowd to learn about the wonders and challenges of beekeeping at a time that bees are threatened with die-offs
The UCSB Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) talked about their ambitious plans at the North Campus Open Space to plant over a million native plants. One plant at a time to restore a native ecosystem where a golf course once stood.
Citizens Climate Lobby works at a big scale to change policies to head off climate change. Individual action can only go so far. Big scale policy changes are essential
Long time environmental activist Marc McGinnes is well known in the Solstice Parade as a colorful stilt walker. He even wrote a book called Rise Up that combined his activism and stilt walking. His latest book is "In Love With Earth: Testimonies and heartsongs from an environmental elder". McGinnes was a lawyer sent to Santa Barbara by former Senator Pete McCloskey to use his legal skills on behalf of the environment.
It was 1969 and the oil spill had just happened. It was a whole new world of law to battle these massive oil companies. Up until then they had gotten away with environmental damage with little or no public review or penalties.
McGinnes went on to be a founding president of the Community Environmental Council which was part of the very first Earth Day. He was a founding attorney at the Environmental Defense Center. And he was a former environmental lecturer at UCSB. He has much to share with us!
"Get Hooked" is a program with the local fishing people to get local seafood on a regular basis
Junior Crew was the second of six Santa Barbara Dance Arts performance groups at Earth Day
Please click here to see all six performances of these skilled and talented young dancers
There were also plenty of other fun activities at Earth Day provided by UCSB Adventure Programs and others