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Infinite Earth Radio – weekly conversations with leaders building smarter, more sustainable, and equitable communities

Infinite Earth Radio is a weekly podcast produced by Skeo and the Local Government Commission and hosted by Mike Hancox and Vernice Miller-Travis. Each week they interview visionary leaders, dedicated government officials, savvy businesses and forward thinking individuals who are working to build smarter, more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous communities through social and economic inclusion that values the contribution of all citizens and seeks meaningful lives for everyone. You will discover new leading edge strategies for lifting up and building great 21st century communities, along with cutting edge strategies for revitalizing under resourced communities and empowering excluded populations. Smart Growth, Prosperity and Sustainability are not possible without social, civic, and economic inclusion for people of all economic, social, and racial backgrounds.
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Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 29, 2016

Topic:

Building Support and Communication

In This Episode:

01:57 Steve answers the question of how to build support and communications for the cap and trade program and other programs to fight climate change.
05:30 Kate describes if the environmental justice community is a group that needs to be brought on board to continue support for cap and trade.
06:52 Jonathan speaks to the involvement of the environmental justice community to support cap and trade.
08:08 Steve talks about the reduction of emissions in markets.
09:49 Steve discusses communities that are exposed to pollution and have low life expectancies.
11:02 Jonathan weighs in on the discussion of pollution.
16:07 Steve joins in on the topic of pollution.
17:26 Jonathan talks about the image of the climate movement and the largest factor of pollution.
19:17 Steve adds to the topic of pollution.
19:33 Jonathan speaks to getting a new brand.
19:56 Kate mentions a branding campaign to communicate the need for change.
21:28 Mike mentions the need for rethinking how communities and cities are built.
22:05 Jonathan identifies the biggest leverage point that would make a difference in climate impacts.
23:21 Steve identifies the biggest leverage point that would make a difference in climate impacts.

Guests:

Kate Meis is the Executive Director of the Local Government Commission (LGC). Kate is a champion for local governments, a recognized leader in local climate change adaptation, mitigation and clean energy efforts, and an ardent coalition builder. She obtained a Masters of Science degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis, and has a Sociology Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sonoma.

Jonathan Parfrey is the Executive Director and Founder of Climate Resolve, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while making Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.

Steve Frisch is President of Sierra Business Council and one of its founding members. Over the last 20 years, Sierra Business Council has leveraged more than $100 million of investment in the Sierra Nevada and its communities through community and public-private partnerships. Sierra Business Council also manages the Sierra Small Business Development Center focusing on advancing sustainable business practices and linking new and expanding businesses to climate mitigation and adaptation funding.

Organizations:

For over 35 years LGC has connected cutting-edge leaders from across the nation. Together they are advancing transformative policies and implementing innovative solutions for sustainable communities. LGC works to build livable communities and local leadership by connecting leaders via innovative programs and network opportunities, advancing policies through participation at the local and state level, and implementing solutions as a technical assistance provider and advisor to local jurisdictions. With roots in California and a national reputation, LGC offers inspiration, information, and partnership for local and regional champions dedicated to building thriving communities that integrate civic engagement with environmental, social and economic priorities.

Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating real, practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while building a better city for Angelenos. Their mission is to make Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.

Sierra Business Council pioneers and demonstrates innovative approaches and solutions to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada. In the Sierra Nevada, change and challenge create opportunities. Through innovation, integrity, and respect, Sierra Business Council harnesses these opportunities by implementing projects that model proactive change. Their goal is a diverse, inventive, and sustainable region where the economy is vibrant, the land is thriving, and the communities offer opportunity for all. They act as steward leaders of the region, taking responsibility for the care and responsible management of our place, guided by the triple bottom line that considers the economy, environment, and community simultaneously.

Take Away Quotes:

“Of course we need metrics. Of course we need data. We need to be demonstrating what the job-creating benefits are, what the ecosystem benefits are, what the water-yield benefits are, what carbon-sequestration benefits are of implementing all of these programs. But we need a really smart communication strategy that hits people in where their values really are.”

“Some people respond to the data. Some people respond to the story. Some people respond to the risk, the threat. But we have to be smart enough to put all of that together and deliver all of those messages and do it in a way that we tell people we can make a difference, we can make a change, we can solve this problem for the seventh generation.”

“I think one of the really interesting stories behind the cap and trade program so far is that it has been so remarkably successful. I mean, we really are on track to reduce our emissions by 20% by 2020, probably more than that. And it’s pretty clear that we can do 40% by 2030, and that benefits everyone, including disadvantaged communities.”

“There is a way to transition to an almost-zero carbon economy, but it really is going to take fifty years to really get there, to decarbonize industrial processes and all of the transportation networks and products and everything else. We’re really, at this point, dealing with the low-hanging fruit, which is switch to renewable energy and begin to create lower carbon fuels.”

Resources:

2016 Climate Adaptation Forum

Local Government Commission (LCG)

Climate Resolve

Sierra Business Council

Sep 22, 2016

Topic:

Finding Equity Around Funding and Financing

In This Episode:

02:15 Jonathan tells about the dynamic in Maryland, where the worst impacts are being felt by people who are not politically powerful.
05:43 Steve tells how he’s bringing the vulnerable populations into addressing climate-change resilience.
10:50 Steve describes if he’s been able to utilize funding in a way that addresses resiliency at the community level.
14:14 Jonathan weighs in on the subject of cool roofs.

Guests:

Kate Meis is the Executive Director of the Local Government Commission (LGC). Kate is a champion for local governments, a recognized leader in local climate change adaptation, mitigation and clean energy efforts, and an ardent coalition builder. She obtained a Masters of Science degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis, and has a Sociology Bachelor’ s degree from California State University, Sonoma.

Jonathan Parfrey is the Executive Director and Founder of Climate Resolve, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while making Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.

Steve Frisch is President of Sierra Business Council and one of its founding members. Over the last 20 years, Sierra Business Council has leveraged more than $100 million of investment in the Sierra Nevada and its communities through community and public-private partnerships. Sierra Business Council also manages the Sierra Small Business Development Center focusing on advancing sustainable business practices and linking new and expanding businesses to climate mitigation and adaptation funding.

Organizations:

For over 35 years LGC has connected cutting-edge leaders from across the nation. Together they are advancing transformative policies and implementing innovative solutions for sustainable communities. LGC works to build livable communities and local leadership by connecting leaders via innovative programs and network opportunities, advancing policies through participation at the local and state level, and implementing solutions as a technical assistance provider and advisor to local jurisdictions. With roots in California and a national reputation, LGC offers inspiration, information, and partnership for local and regional champions dedicated to building thriving communities that integrate civic engagement with environmental, social and economic priorities.

Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating real, practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while building a better city for Angelenos. Their mission is to make Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.

Sierra Business Council pioneers and demonstrates innovative approaches and solutions to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada. In the Sierra Nevada, change and challenge create opportunities. Through innovation, integrity, and respect, Sierra Business Council harnesses these opportunities by implementing projects that model proactive change. Their goal is a diverse, inventive, and sustainable region where the economy is vibrant, the land is thriving, and the communities offer opportunity for all. They act as steward leaders of the region, taking responsibility for the care and responsible management of our place, guided by the triple bottom line that considers the economy, environment, and community simultaneously.

Take Away Quotes:

“Los Angeles is a county of about 10 million people, and a recent study found that over 50 percent of the population was at moderate or high vulnerability to climate impacts. So, in this one county, that’s over 5 million people that are at risk to climate impacts, and the vast majority of those people come from disadvantaged communities or low-income communities.”

“I do think that we need a more focused look at what constitutes a disadvantaged community or a disadvantaged person in California, and we need think about how we come up with a better way to take regional and geographic and different disparities into consideration.”

“All of these programs really should be focused at addressing an incredibly important problem in California, which is the raising gap between the rich and the poor, and poverty in California, which has increased dramatically in the last decade. If we can’t link poverty reduction and climate adaptation and mitigation, then I think we’re going to have some real problems implementing a policy in this state.”

Resources:

2016 Climate Adaptation Forum

Local Government Commission (LCG)

Climate Resolve

Sierra Business Council

Sep 15, 2016

Topic:

Effectively Communicate Climate-Change Issues to Diverse Audiences

In This Episode:

02:32 Jonathan explains the messages he uses that resonate with community members.
04:02 Steve describes the messages that resonate with his community members.
06:59 Steve speaks of the impacts of years-long drought, millions of dead trees, and wildfires are changing the conversation in the Sierra Nevada.
08:21 Jonathan shares his viewpoint of the climate impacts in his region.
10:35 Steve speaks about a communication strategy to make a difference.
11:57 Steve discusses how to communicate climate change in a way that people can understand how it impacts them.

Guests:

Kate Meis is the Executive Director of the Local Government Commission (LGC). Kate is a champion for local governments, a recognized leader in local climate change adaptation, mitigation and clean energy efforts, and an ardent coalition builder. She obtained a Masters of Science degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis, and has a Sociology Bachelor’ s degree from California State University, Sonoma.

Jonathan Parfrey is the Executive Director and Founder of Climate Resolve, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while making Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.

Steve Frisch is President of Sierra Business Council and one of its founding members. Over the last 20 years, Sierra Business Council has leveraged more than $100 million of investment in the Sierra Nevada and its communities through community and public-private partnerships. Sierra Business Council also manages the Sierra Small Business Development Center focusing on advancing sustainable business practices and linking new and expanding businesses to climate mitigation and adaptation funding.

Organizations:

For over 35 years LGC has connected cutting-edge leaders from across the nation. Together they are advancing transformative policies and implementing innovative solutions for sustainable communities. LGC works to build livable communities and local leadership by connecting leaders via innovative programs and network opportunities, advancing policies through participation at the local and state level, and implementing solutions as a technical assistance provider and advisor to local jurisdictions. With roots in California and a national reputation, LGC offers inspiration, information, and partnership for local and regional champions dedicated to building thriving communities that integrate civic engagement with environmental, social and economic priorities.

Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating real, practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while building a better city for Angelenos. Their mission is to make Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.

Sierra Business Council pioneers and demonstrates innovative approaches and solutions to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada. In the Sierra Nevada, change and challenge create opportunities. Through innovation, integrity, and respect, Sierra Business Council harnesses these opportunities by implementing projects that model proactive change. Their goal is a diverse, inventive, and sustainable region where the economy is vibrant, the land is thriving, and the communities offer opportunity for all. They act as steward leaders of the region, taking responsibility for the care and responsible management of our place, guided by the triple bottom line that considers the economy, environment, and community simultaneously.

Take Away Quotes:

“One of the things that we’ve done that has been most successful is tying all of our program implementation, really, to trying to build local employment, local jobs, measuring the job creation from it.”

“I am noticing a dramatic culture shift, not just from that kind of relatively negative driver but also the positive driver of younger people coming up in the system, becoming decision makers and community leaders, even in rural communities, who want to make a change. It’s very, very encouraging.”

“Climate, by its nature, is an abstraction. It is an average of twenty or thirty years of weather. By its nature, weather is very direct, it’s experienced, it’s understood. But climate is something a little bit more vague. There is a former president of the American Meteorological Society had the following metaphor to distinguish between weather and climate. He said that weather is your mood—you’re sometimes up, you’re sometimes down, you’re sometimes a little misty—but climate is your personality; it’s kind of the way that you are all the time.”

Resources:

Path to Positive

Path to Positive Success Stories –Climate Resolve Brings Unique Voices to Build Climate Awareness

2016 Climate Adaptation Forum

Local Government Commission (LCG)

Climate Resolve

Sierra Business Council

Sep 8, 2016

Topic:
The Local Impacts of Climate Change


In This Episode:
02:05 Introduction of co-host Kate Meis.
03:17 Introduction of Steve Frisch.
03:53 Introduction of Jonathan Parfrey.
04:30 Steve describes his organization, Sierra Business Council.
05:56 Jonathan describes his organization, Climate Resolve.
08:53 Jonathan explains the governance of jurisdictional-boundary issues.
10:47 Steve and Jonathan discuss how he brings people together to think about issues of governance and building resiliency.
15:55 Steve and Jonathan speak about the opportunities to bring regions together to mobilize a unified voice around change.
21:21 Jonathan relates how he’s been able to locally engage people, as well as some of the efforts of The Path to Positive.


Guests:
Kate Meis is the Executive Director of the Local Government Commission (LGC). Kate is a champion for local governments; a recognized leader in local climate change adaptation, mitigation and clean energy efforts; and an ardent coalition builder. She obtained a Masters of Science degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis, and has a Sociology Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sonoma.

Jonathan Parfrey is the Executive Director and Founder of Climate Resolve, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while making Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.

Steve Frisch is President of Sierra Business Council and one of its founding members. Over the last 20 years, Sierra Business Council has leveraged more than $100 million of investment in the Sierra Nevada and its communities through community and public-private partnerships. Sierra Business Council also manages the Sierra Small Business Development Center focusing on advancing sustainable business practices and linking new and expanding businesses to climate mitigation and adaptation funding.


Organizations:
For over 35 years LGC has connected cutting-edge leaders from across the nation. Together they are advancing transformative policies and implementing innovative solutions for sustainable communities. LGC works to build livable communities and local leadership by connecting leaders via innovative programs and network opportunities, advancing policies through participation at the local and state level, and implementing solutions as a technical assistance provider and advisor to local jurisdictions. With roots in California and a national reputation, LGC offers inspiration, information, and partnership for local and regional champions dedicated to building thriving communities that integrate civic engagement with environmental, social and economic priorities.

Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating real, practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while building a better city for Angelenos. Their mission is to make Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.

Sierra Business Council pioneers and demonstrates innovative approaches and solutions to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada. In the Sierra Nevada, change and challenge create opportunities. Through innovation, integrity, and respect, Sierra Business Council harnesses these opportunities by implementing projects that model proactive change. Their goal is a diverse, inventive, and sustainable region where the economy is vibrant, the land is thriving, and the communities offer opportunity for all. They act as steward leaders of the region, taking responsibility for the care and responsible management of our place, guided by the triple bottom line that considers the economy, environment, and community simultaneously.


Take Away Quotes:
“It was very clear from the first minute I was in business in the Sierra Nevada that we weren’t really properly valuing ecosystem function, the natural environment, people’s connection to nature as part of the system. Sierra Business Council was really founded around this idea that natural, social, and financial capital should be equally valued and that economies should serve nature and the community at the same time.”

“If you just tell people that there’re going to be these huge impacts from climate on a local region, people turn off, they don’t pay attention. You have to provide some tangible, real ways that are commensurate with the problem that they can help meet that climate challenge. And so even though climate change is global in nature, it really does come down to where people live, and so our organization decided to focus in on how Southern California can meet the climate challenge and also what can be done locally, what we can do to tangibly make things better within our own region.”

“We believe it’s essential to take this global issue and make it felt in a very tangible way at the local level, basically neighborhood by neighborhood and household by household.”

“I think one of our great challenges and great opportunities is really strengthening the connection between urban climate adaptation planning and rural climate adaptation planning, because we share the same ecosystem and we’re often working in the same ecosystem. And I think that’s an incredibly important part of what something like the climate adaptation forum can do is provide an opportunity to work across the boundaries that have traditionally divided us.”


Resources:
Climate Adaptation Forum
http://www.californiaadaptationforum.org/

Local Government Commission (LCG)
https://www.lgc.org/

Climate Resolve
http://climateresolve.org/

Sierra Business Council
http://sierrabusiness.org/

Sep 1, 2016

Topic:

Water Conservation with Inland Empire Utilities Agency and Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority

In This Episode: 

01:39 Introduction of Arya Moalemi.
02:25 Arya describes the CivicSpark program.
02:47 Arya tells about working on water issues in Southern California.
03:24 How much acreage is within the Inland Empire?
03:54 Arya elaborates on his work addressing water issues in Southern California.
05:35 Arya explains the challenge of Southern California drying out.
06:17 Arya shares the goal of the agencies he’s working with.
06:39 What does the future of water in Southern California look like?
07:40 Arya describes the impact of his work.
09:52 Arya shares when he decided he wanted to become a CivicSpark fellow.
11:21 Arya tells if he anticipates having an ongoing, networking relationship with the other CivicSpark fellows.
12:39 Arya explains what he’ll be doing after his CivicSpark fellowship ends.
13:11 Arya describes if his CivicSpark skills will make him a stronger job candidate and better professional.
14:01 Arya describes if his CivicSpark experience will make him a stronger job candidate?
14:36 Arya shares the advice he would give to someone who is interested in becoming a CivicSpark fellow.
15:12 Arya comments on the focus group of CivicSpark fellows looking at water issues and water infrastructure.
15:43 Arya shares where people can learn more about the CivicSpark program.
16:12 Arya shares one change that would lead to smarter, more sustainable, and more equitable communities.
16:24 Arya states the action that listeners can take to help build a more equitable and sustainable future.
17:11 Arya comments on the fact that there’s a demand and not enough supply of walkable places where people can live.
18:16 Arya says what the water-system resilience in Southern California looks like 30 years from now.

Guest: 

Before earning his masters' degree in City Planning and Regeneration at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, Arya Moalemi went to the University of California, Irvine and received his degree in International Studies. He has lived in Le Mans and Lyon, France and has since lived in Montreal, Canada. He is passionate about the field of urban planning.

Organization:

CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address climate change and water management issues in California, administered by the Local Government Commission in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. The mission of CivicSpark is to build capacity for local governments to address climate change and water management needs.

Each year, CivicSpark recruits 68 fellows—48 Climate Action Fellows, and 20 Water Action Fellows—who contribute over 65,000 hours to help California communities respond to climate change and water management needs. In collaboration with local government staff, CivicSpark fellows implement a needed climate or water-focused project, while also building long-term capacity to ensure the work is sustained after their service year is completed. Local governments get dedicated project support from a focused team of enthusiastic emerging professionals who receive specialized professional development and sector training.

Take Away Quotes:

“With IEUA [Inland Empire Utilities Agency], for example, I really appreciate how they have a really strong goal—and it’s the same as SAWPA [Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority] as well—of trying to be as self-sufficient as possible. And so that is putting a huge emphasis on groundwater storage and groundwater management as much as they possibly can because ground water doesn’t evaporate, it comes from us, it comes from the rain, and so that seems to be a big push, at least in the Inland Empire.”

“One of the hugest things that I have learned in the few months that I have been with these agencies is how closely tied water and energy are together and how one affects the other.”

“We have this notion that we need it—a car—and we really don’t in many respects. To be fair, it does depend on where you live, but if you can find a way to avoid that, I think that’s such a better and healthier way to live.”

Resources:

CivicSpark

Find CivicSpark on Facebook

Learn More about the Fellowship and Check out the 2016-2017 Fellowship Application!

Local Government Commission (LCG)

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