choose in-person or virtual conference
Due to continuing concerns about COVID-19, Ecologistics is offering everyone a choice this year on how they wish to attend the conference, either in-person or virtually, via Zoom. Vaccination will be a requirement to attend the conference and proof of vaccination must be shown. Ecologistics assures you that all staff, exhibitors, and vendors will also be vaccinated for your peace of mind. Masks will be optional, depending on your personal comfort level.
Friday, February 25
The SLO Beaver Brigade is hosting a guided walk to a beaver complex in Atascadero. The walk will be led by Dr. Emily Fairfax, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management at CSU Channel Islands. Supporting the beaver populations to expand their range within our County will not only filter stream water, improve water quality, raise the water table, increase in-stream water storage capacity, and repair eroded riparian areas, it may also help minimize the risk of wildfire in our riverbeds. Come hear how beavers make that possible from a research scientist who has studied these effects first-hand. The start time is 10:00 am. Limited to 30 participants. The cost is $25 per person, to be donated to the SLO Beaver Brigade. People who sign up for the walk will be provided with directions and a meet-up location one week prior to the event.
Dr. Fairfax recently completed a four-year study showing that beaver-dammed riparian areas are unaffected by wildfires and is currently studying the beaver complex in Atascadero on the Salinas River. Here’s a short video of a recent KEYT news story about Dr. Fairfax and her study:
We have a lot on our minds. Front-page issues like omicron, voter suppression, and systemic discrimination are urgent and hit us personally. Biodiversity loss and climate warming regularly slip to the back of the paper if they are covered at all. How can we make global change more personal, more relevant to every individual? How can we help create a groundswell of intention and action to save this beautiful Earth?
Each of us has a global change super-power and it resides in the word “I.” In this talk I will review some neuroscience research into the central power of storytelling in human life. I’ll talk about common global change narratives, including the apocalypse, and discern what is useful in them from what is not helpful at all. I’ll share some of what I’ve been uncovering while writing my current book, which is about butterflies, Vladmir Nabokov, and the Anthropocene. I will also explore some of the many ways each of us can find to testify both on behalf of nature and to find personal agency to help confront – and transform – the story we are all living today.
Nalleli Cobo, now 20, has acted as an extraordinarily effective Environmental Justice activist since she was 9 (years before Greta Thunberg began her school strike). She lived in South Los Angeles across the street from an oil drilling site. Her mother and many neighbors suffered from a range of illnesses, and Cobo herself had heart palpitations, headaches and nosebleeds so severe that she had to sleep sitting up lest she choke on her own blood. Nalleli became one of the leading voices demanding the site be shuttered, and she has become an internationally renowned, award-winning Environmental Justice activist. She will share the story of her trajectory and challenges, the importance of the ongoing struggles in which she’s engaged, the very high price she and many people in disenfranchised communities continue to pay, and how local struggles relate to the larger global fight for Climate Justice.
Alongside Indigenous and frontline communities, young people have been at the forefront of the global climate fight. In this talk, Bill McKibben will explain why older activists not only need to have their backs, but how we can harness the power of the fastest-growing population on earth—people over the age of 60—and move them towards progressive political involvement, foster intergenerational collaboration, and deepen the fight for a fairer, more stable planet.
The perspectives and experiences of Indigenous peoples are especially critical in the fight against climate change and environmental devastation. First, it is estimated that 80% of the planet’s remaining biodiversity is found in the lands of Indigenous communities, who have historically proven to be the best protectors of their ecosystems. These lands are also often some of the Earth’s most important carbon sinks, so the health of those regions is crucial to our collective survival, and supporting these frontlines groups in defending their rights and territories has to be central to any credible global climate strategy. On top of that, the rest of humanity has a great deal to learn about how to live in balance with the natural world from the traditional ecological wisdom of many Indigenous peoples. Finally, no one has more experience surviving apocalypses and providing models of resilience in the face of dire crises. Julian Brave NoiseCat, an activist and one of this era’s most brilliant emerging progressive journalists and thinkers, will lay out the case for the moral imperative to assure that Indigenous voices have a central role in humanity’s struggle to address the existential climate crisis.
Architect Deanna Van Buren will illustrate her lifelong commitment to ending mass incarceration by building infrastructure that addresses its root causes. She will share how her studio works to counter the traditional adversarial and punitive architecture that characterizes our legal system by creating spaces and buildings that enable Restorative Justice, community building, and housing for people coming out of incarceration. She is co-founder, Executive Director and Design Director of the Oakland-based architecture and real estate development non-profit Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS).
Suzanne Simard is one of the planet’s most influential, groundbreaking researchers on plant communication and intelligence. As Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia and the author of the bestselling book, Finding the Mother Tree, she has revealed the highly complex ways trees interact and communicate, including using below-ground fungal networks that contribute to forests’ resiliency, adaptability and recovery. Her research has far-reaching implications for how to manage and heal forests from human impacts, including climate change. In this dynamic presentation, she will discuss the dire global consequences of logging old-growth rainforests, and nature-based solutions that combine Western science and Indigenous knowledge for preserving and caring for these invaluable forest ecosystems for future generations.
In a world wracked by income inequality, social divisions, and ecological destruction, can we build an alternative economics based on mutual cooperation and respect for our environmental commons? Among the nation’s most influential progressive thought leaders, activists and scholars, Manuel Pastor taps his new book, written with his long-time colleague Chris Benner, to propose that drawing on our instincts for connection and community can actually help create a more robust, sustainable, and equitable economy. But while most of us would benefit from centering mutuality and equity, some people do benefit from the current stark inequalities. As a result, seizing this moment for change will require brave conversations about racism and social fragmentation, a deep commitment to intersectional social movements, and a clear strategic vision for building people power.
The Future of Diablo Canyon
Kara A. Woodruff, Sr. Policy Advisor, San Luis Obispo County, Office of Senator John Laird (SD 17)
With Diablo Canyon Power Plant’s closing by 2025, the community will face the decommissioning of the plant and all that comes with that process, including the removal of debris from the site. In this presentation, we’ll address the decommissioning process, the future possible uses of the industrial site, as well as the fate of the 12,000 acres known as the Diablo Canyon Lands. Over the last twenty years, the community has been very vocal in its support of conservation of and sustainable public access to those lands, including by the 2000 “Dream Initiative” and in the Conservation Framework by the Friends of the Diablo Canyon Lands (found at www.diablocanyonlands.org). We’ll discuss these efforts and let you know how to get involved.
Beavers and Why They Matter
Audrey Taub and Cooper Lienhart
of the SLO Beaver Brigade
Beavers can have profound effects in our arid climate, from providing refugia and fire breaks from large-scale wildfires to replenishing our struggling aquifers by SLOWing, SPREADing, SINKing the flow of our rivers. They were native to this area and have historically shaped our landscapes. There are ways we can support them, and in turn support the health of our waterways. We are excited to share about these benefits the beavers provide along with what we’ve been up to in SLO County.
Micro-Community Collaborative: Making Change at the Grassroots Level
The Micro-Community Collaborative (MCC) is a grassroots people’s movement that educates and empowers San Luis Obispo county locals to meet the challenges of climate change. The goal of the movement is to create and foster collaboration in building a sense of belonging, resiliency, and environmental conservation. MCC’s bottom up approach will create sustainable neighborhoods – one Micro-Community at a time – through community building programs, resource and education sharing, and advocacy. In a just and sustainable society no community can be sidelined from climate change adaptation. This inspiring and solutions-oriented closing program will inspire you to roll up your sleeves and get involved in protecting this beautiful area we call home.
Run On Climate
How did a group of recent college graduates concerned their local government was doing nothing to address climate change run for office and flip a city council? And now, galvanized by their success, they are starting an organization to support climate champions in mobilizing their communities, running grassroots campaigns for local office, and passing policies that are in line with the stark reality of climate science. Sarah, Carter and Jack from Run On Climate will discuss their experience in Burlington, VT building the climate movement locally and why focusing on the local level is critical for the climate movement.
Offshore Wind is Coming – What Should We Know?
We are all agreed the time has come to divest from fossil fuels as our main source of energy. Solar energy is experiencing a huge boom as prices come down. The idea of wave energy has been floated (no pun intended) off our coast. Recently, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has designated close to 376 square miles off the coast of Morro Bay as a Wind Energy Area. What does this mean? What is the permitting process that will be followed? How will this affect our economy? What impact will it have on migratory whales and birds? Will it harm the fishing industry? Who will benefit from the power generated? Come get your questions answered during this informative panel discussion.
Attendees who wish to participate may bring their own drum or percussion toys or borrow from the extra instruments provided. A few minutes of instruction from Francesca, our facilitator, will precede playing. The rhythm will be spontaneous, improvised and appropriate for experienced musicians and total beginners as alike. We will set an intention that our Circle will be sending our collective energy towards the healing of our Community and our Earth and implementation of the many constructive solutions we have learned and shared during the event. Dancing is also highly encouraged.
Food provided by Haute Skillet – Chef Anna Andriese’s innovative compilations of high-quality ingredients and made-from-scratch breads emphasize her ideology when it comes to serving natural, healthy and organic products.
Thanks to TableShare Ware, Central Coast Bioneers will be a zero waste event. Fore more information, visit their booth at the conference or check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Table-Ware-Share-Free-Lending-361191904645797/