Environment

Post image for A week of Global Climate Action Summit events – and how Menlo Park can make climate goals a reality here

Last week thousands of people who care about climate progress converged at events around the Bay Area for the Global Climate Action Summit.

We at Menlo Spark were fortunate to have Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and internationally recognized leader on human rights, come to Kepler’s Books on September 13 to talk about how climate change has impacted people all around the world.

Special guest, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, joined the conversation with Angie Coiro to tell the story of how her native village in the Republic of Chad has struggled in recent years with climate impacts of drought and extreme weather.

Both speakers radiated hope that we can create a resilient, clean energy future for everyone from nomadic peoples of the Republic of Chad to coastal communities in North Carolina.


Climate change is affecting all of us, from hurricanes deluging coastal communities with twice as much flooding, to the gradual creep of sea level rise, intense heat waves, more destructive wildfires, and failing crops. The Global Climate Summit showcased how everyone can come together to transition away from polluting fossil fuels and create a clean energy economy.

Governor Jerry Brown started the Summit with a surprise announcement that California would aim to be fully carbon neutral by 2045. And we’re not alone. Over 400 companies, cities, states and regions made big commitments to advance climate progress though electric vehicles, zero carbon buildings, reducing food waste, restoring forests, and investing $13 trillion in assets.

Here in Menlo Park we’re off to a great start, leading the way to a clean energy economy. Shortly before the Climate Summit, Facebook announced a big commitment to cut its carbon emissions 75% and use 100% renewable power by 2020.

The City of Menlo Park made a similar commitment to renewable power last year and is on track to meet one of the most ambitious local climate targets for 2020.

Over the next year, the City of Menlo Park could take bold action with new climate targets for 2025 that include commitments to zero carbon buildings (which 22 cities have pledged) and transition to green and healthy streets (25 cities signed pledged).

There’s so much that each of us can do to be a part of the solution to global climate change right here in Menlo Park. We hope you’re inspired to act! You can find ideas for personal actions online.

Author Diane Bailey is Executive Director of Menlo Spark

Pictured top is Mary Robinson (center) with (L to R) Diane Bailey, Susan Bell (Advisory Board, Menlo Spark), Mitch Slomiak and Chris DeCardy (co-founders of Menlo Spark and Chair of Vice Chair of the non-profit); Mary Robinson and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim In Deep with Coiro

{ Be the first to comment }

Menlo Spark releases results of mobility survey

Thumbnail image for Menlo Spark releases results of mobility survey

Mobility and transportation issues have become top priorities in Menlo Park. This summer, Menlo Spark interviewed residents of Menlo Park with an emphasis on the Belle Haven neighborhood, as well as residents of East Palo Alto and North Fair Oaks, with a mobility survey in English and Spanish. The survey, taken by 95 community members […]

Click to read more →

Battery and cell phone recycling starts Sept. 3

Thumbnail image for Battery and cell phone recycling starts Sept. 3

Starting Monday, September 3, 2018, Menlo Park residents in single-family homes can place household batteries and cell phones in a clear zip lock bag and place it on top of their black garbage cart for pickup on your regular collection day. Due to fire risks, residents are asked to tape lithium-ion batteries and wrap cell […]

Click to read more →

Upcoming USGS evening lecture looks at what’s happening with the Kilauea Volcano

Thumbnail image for Upcoming USGS evening lecture looks at what’s happening with the Kilauea Volcano

“What on Earth is going on at Kilauea Volcano?” is the title of a talk by USGS Research Geophysicist Kyle Anderson on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7:00 pm. It will take place in USGS’s Rambo Auditorium/Bldg. 3, 345 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park.

Click to read more →

Menlo Park startup, Dropwater, introduces new way to distribute and sell bottled drinks

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park startup, Dropwater, introduces new way to distribute and sell bottled drinks

Four Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grads are currently ensconced in a Menlo Park garage working on a solution to up-end the plastic bottled water industry. Scott Edwards, CEO (pictured top in the garage) of the startup Dropwater, cites some sobering statistics about the need to replace plastic water bottles with sustainable, eco-friendly alternative: “In […]

Click to read more →

“Cetaceans of the Coast” is topic at Menlo Park Library on June 25

Thumbnail image for “Cetaceans of the Coast” is topic at Menlo Park Library on June 25

Meet the whales off our coast and in our bay, with research biologist Izzy Szczepaniak of Golden Gate Cetacean Research (GGCR) on Monday, June 25, at 6:30 pm at the Menlo Park Library. Did you know that harbor porpoises only recently returned to San Francisco Bay, after an absence of approximately 65 years? Learn more […]

Click to read more →

Chris DeCardy reflects on his eight years on Menlo Park’s Environment Quality Commission

Thumbnail image for Chris DeCardy reflects on his eight years on Menlo Park’s Environment Quality Commission

Recently, I ended two terms on Menlo Park’s Environmental Quality Commission. I wanted to serve to ensure the environmental amenities of our town — trees and clean air and water — are respected and enhanced, and that our inevitable growth and development are managed thoughtfully. What I didn’t expect has been the opportunity to see, […]

Click to read more →

City of Menlo Park is recruiting volunteers to review & update the heritage tree ordinance

Thumbnail image for City of Menlo Park is recruiting volunteers to review & update the heritage tree ordinance

A new advisory task force is being formed to review and recommend updates to Menlo Park’s heritage tree ordinance. The new group of at least seven volunteer members is expected to make recommendations in several areas including the definition of heritage trees, development-related heritage tree appeals, permit fees, unpermitted removals and enforcement of tree replacements. […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Spark recognizes students, teachers and residents who support sustainability in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Menlo Spark recognizes students, teachers and residents who support sustainability in Menlo Park

Last month, Menlo Spark honored environmental leaders in schools with Menlo Green Challenge Awards. Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki recognized the outstanding achievements of students, teachers, and residents who took initiative to support sustainability in Menlo Park. Jerry Griffith, for winning the Menlo Green Challenge, with the Climate Actions taken to reduce his household carbon […]

Click to read more →

Hillview Environmental Club works to stabilize banks of San Francisquito Creek

Thumbnail image for Hillview Environmental Club works to stabilize banks of San Francisquito Creek

Hillview Middle School’s  Environmental Club was out in force last month bioengineering the banks of San Francisquito Creek, building structures out of natural materials. They used willow tree stakes to stabilize the Creek banks. Willows grow well in creeks, making them the perfect plant to prevent erosion. They are also an important food source for […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Park celebrates Earth Day in numerous ways and places, thanks to Menlo Spark

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park celebrates Earth Day in numerous ways and places, thanks to Menlo Spark

Menlo Spark is doing some fun events this week in Menlo Park for earth day. Last Tuesday, we helped students at Oak Knoll Elementary School make pledges for one thing they’ll do for Earth Day this year, posting those pledges, making a paper tree (below left).  Oak Knoll faculty and parent volunteers have done an […]

Click to read more →