California’s New $15B Climate Change Package, SONY Publishes E-Book on Food Sustainability! EarthShot Prize Finalists “Living Seawalls” & the Nation of Costa Rica

by | Sep 28, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

CA Gov. Newsom beats back recall, now he sets sights on beating back Climate Change, Plus Sony Group Publishes An  E-Book On Food Sustainability?! And Earthshot Finalists, Living Seawalls and the entire country of Costa Rica!




 CALIFORNIA Governor GAVIN Newsom Signs Governor signs 24 bills focused on climate and clean energy efforts, drought and wildfire preparedness. It’s an Historic $15 Billion Package to Tackle the Climate Crisis and Protect Vulnerable Communities.

The largest climate package in state history, Governor Newsom highlights over $15 billion in funding to tackle wildfire and drought challenges, build climate resilience in communities, promote sustainable agriculture and advance nation-leading climate agenda. The package includes: 

  • $1.5 Billion Wildfire and Forest Resilience Package
  • $5.2 Billion Water and Drought Resilience Package
  • $3.9 Billion Zero-Emission Vehicle Package
  • $3.7 Billion Climate Resilience Package
  •       The package also supports community-based investments to build resilience, such as grants to support environmental justice-focused initiatives and funding for the California Climate Action Corps, which supports local climate action projects in disadvantaged communities.
  • $1.1 Billion to Support Climate Smart Agriculture: over two years the money will support sustainable agriculture practices and create a resilient and equitable food system.  The package also supports programs to expand healthy food access for seniors and in schools, other public institutions and non-profit organizations.

The package also includes $270 million to support a circular economy that advances sustainability and helps reduce short-lived climate pollutants from the waste sector, and $150 million that will support urban waterfront parks, with a focus on underserved communities.

For more information about this historic package of California Climate Change action, check out the Deeper Dive section at the end of this story at

DEEPER DIVE: Public News Service, Budget Addendum, Reuters



In the 1990s, the vast forests of Costa Rica were devastated, half their former size. But the people of that country and their Ministry for Environment had a plan to save them. Its programs paid citizens to protect forests, plant trees, and restore ecosystems.

The results were extraordinary. Costa Rica’s forests doubled in size. Flora and fauna thrived which led to a boom in ecotourism, contributing $4 billion to the economy. As a result, Costa Rica is a 2021 finalist for one of the first five inaugural EarthShot Prizes, and 1-million pounds!

Already, more than 98 per cent of Costa Rica’s energy is renewable and forest cover stands at more than 53 per cent, after painstaking work to reverse decades of deforestation. In 2017, the country ran for a record 300 days solely on renewable power. The aim is to achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030. Seventy per cent of all buses and taxis are expected to be electric by 2030, with full electrification projected for 2050.

This isn’t the first time the entire nation of Costa Rica won a major environmental/climate change prize. In 2019, for the actions mentioned above, and because Costa Rica drafted a detailed plan to decarbonize its economy by 2050, it received the prestigious United Nations Champions of the Earth Award.

This takes Costa Rica’s motto “pura vida” or “pure life” to a whole other level.




Climate Change and sea level rise are forcing humans to create mitigation, adaptation and resilience strategies to protect life, property and livelihood. Some of those efforts include a boom in seawall, pilings, pontoons and marinas.

In fact, over 50% of the natural shorelines in America have been replaced by seawalls, breakers and other hard structures. In fact, if you take all the sea walls, pontoons, pilings and marinas built around the world, there are more of them than there are mangrove forests and seagrass beds–so called “blue carbon ecosystems” combined!

These methods are designed to protect diverse purposes–shorelines, recreational activities, even energy generation. The problem is they tend to kill biodiversity. You see smooth concrete seawalls are not conducive to harboring marine life.

That’s where a group called Living Seawalls comes in.  The “rough up” the sea walls combining cutting edge industrial design techniques with ecological research, and then attaching them to existing structures, creating bespoke habitat units that are both aesthetically pleasing and ecologically valuable.

Every marine habitat has its own unique features. Their team of ecologists has over 15 years of experience conducting ecological research in a variety of marine habitats ranging from estuarine rivers, harbors to coastal seas. What they do is establish baseline surveys of environmental conditions and biodiversity necessary for customization of eco-engineering designs or for planning and permitting purposes of individual marine locations.

It’s heady stuff. The idea is to create biodiversity from the microorganism level up to the largest fish and marine life available per area. Said Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney, Australia Jess Scully, when asked about the Living Seawalls project installed in Sydney Harbor, “What we’re trying to do here is bring back these micro habitats. Give Nature little nooks and crannies, so it can get a foothold again. “

Did we mention that Living Seawalls is one of the 15 inaugural finalists of The Earth Shot Prize?

DEEPER DIVE: Living Seawalls, Landscape Australia, Earth Shot Prize



Here’s a weird one. We were researching positive action, climate change stories—as we are wont to do—and up from the soil came a bubblin’ pool! Oil that is, texas tea.


No, not really. But almost as random. An e-book, published by Sony’s Environment Section, in its Sustainability Department titled, Food for the Future: Make Sustainable Food a Part of Daily Life. Is this the real SONY? And if so, is it some cooked up greenwashing scheme, or is it legit? The only way to find out was to look ‘em up. So I did.

Turns out SONY is trying. For instance just this past August, Sony Electronics Inc. was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a distinguished Gold Tier Award Winner, in the annual Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge. The award actually marks the third consecutive year Sony electronics earned this distinction for its commitment to, and innovations in, sustainable materials management and responsible electronics recycling.

How’d SONY do it? All of the used SONY electronics collected were recycled by third party certified recyclers with auditable protocols to meet the standards for responsible recycling.

So why does it matter that SONY competes in the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Challenge?

Because the award was based on collecting and recycling 11,117 tons of used electronics through certified recyclers in 2019, which as a result avoided the emissions of 28,500 tons of CO2 equivalent. That’s equal to taking 5,623 cars off the road, or not burning 2.9 million gallons of gas, or even more dramatically, not burning almost 28.6 million pounds of coal.

DEEPER DIVE: EPA Calculator, SONY Green, SONY e-Book