The Peace and Justice Ministry of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Poway recently launched an Environmental Stewardship Team (EST) with a focus on the Climate Crisis. Bob Leiter, who is on the STAY COOL Advisory Council and is also a member of St. Bart’s Church, offered to help the EST to develop an overall strategy for organizing activities that would be interesting to church members and to the community as a whole. Following a couple of well-attended video presentations on climate issues, on February 4 St. Bart’s EST and STAY COOL co-sponsored a public forum on “Planning for Climate Resilience: Wildfires and Flooding.”
The STAY COOL Events Team, led by Peg Engel and Laura Schumacher, worked with St. Bart’s EST members to organize and publicize the event. During the public forum Dr. Jim Randerson, a climate scientist at UC Irvine, provided an excellent overview of the scientific research that demonstrates the impacts of climate change on wildfires and flooding in Southern California. Following Dr. Randerson’s presentation, Bob Leiter, a retired urban planner, provided a “planning and public policy” perspective on climate resilience issues in San Diego County. Bob then introduced Terri Sorenson, coordinator for the Poway Neighborhood Emergency Corps, who talked about the PNEC and its role in helping the community to prepare for local emergencies such as wildfires and floods.
According to Parth Domke, the coordinator of St. Bart’s EST, the speakers “were extremely skillful and engaging in sharing their knowledge of the science analyzing the climate crisis and the ways in which San Diego communities can – and should – manage the necessary adaptations for climate resilience. The presentations themselves spoke volumes about the existential threat of climate change. The work that we are all doing in terms of education and action is so critically relevant and necessary.
We had a good crowd, probably around 40 people attending. The question and answer period was engaging with many thoughtful questions and perspectives. People came from several different organizations, all committed to the issue and its resolution. People’s energy and focus were evident, and many stayed past the time to talk and network with others. It was very successful in so many ways!!”
STAY COOL is continuing to work with the St. Bart’s EST steering committee to help organize future programs and activities. We would like to continue with these kinds of partnerships and we welcome your inquiries or suggestions!