Fight climate change, go to jail?

Tim DeChristopher goes to prison after climate-change protest; California coastline endangered by rising sea level

Tim DeChristopher: Bidder No. 70

Tim DeChristopher: Bidder No. 70

Climate-change activist jailed
29-year-old Tim DeChristopher—known to many as “Bidder No. 70”—was sentenced on July 26 to two years in federal prison for his December 2008 act of civil disobedience when he disrupted an oil-and-gas-lease auction by bidding on 14 parcels of public land, much of it near national parks in Utah, to keep them from being developed by the fossil-fuel biz. DeChristopher (pictured) did not have the necessary $1.8 million to pay for them. The Bush-era auction was later declared improper by both the Obama administration and a federal judge.

As actor and eco-activist Robert Redford put it in Huffpost Green, “Major financial institutions in this country brought the nation’s economy to its knees yet not one person associated with the debacle is in jail. The human consequence of their actions is indescribably profound and not one person responsible for any of it went to jail. And yet the federal government prosecuted this young activist’s act of civil disobedience and he now faces jail time.”

Go to for more info and to donate to DeChristopher’s defense fund for an appeal.

More on climate change
Boston-based photographer David Arnold’s ongoing exhibit at the Gateway Science Museum (and recent Chico State talk: See Greenways lead story, “Melting glaciers, warming seas,” page 16) really hits home when it comes to the reality of global warming.

The same goes for the words of local climate-change expert Scott McNall. In a recent conversation I had with McNall, he gave me a lot of information to chew on, which I have been dishing out nugget by nugget in this space.

Santa Monica, 2100?

“There are real consequences to whether or not one believes that climate change is real,” offered McNall. “Its result will be seen by most people in our lifetime, and California is certainly planning that we will. The California Coastal Commission demanded any developments along the California coast take into account a one-meter rise in sea level.”

“State-of-the-art climate models are predicting that global temperature may rise by 2 to 9 degrees F … over the next 100 years,” according to the Coastal Commission’s 58-page report, which has been around since 2001 and may be viewed at “There is strong certainty that a future rise in global temperature …will be accompanied by a rise in sea level. … [I]t is very likely that, by 2050, much of the California coast will experience coastal water levels that are 1 foot (0.3 meters) higher than they are currently. By 2100, it is very likely that water levels will be 3 feet (0.9 meters) higher than they are currently.

“Careful review, siting and permitting of new projects on the coast can increase the likelihood that these projects will be able to adapt and change to accommodate future coastal hazards.”

Keep your old TV out of the landfill
Chico’s Fleet Feet Sports is teaming up with Tustin-based All Green Electronics Recycling to host a free Electronics Recycling Drive on Aug. 7 at Cedar Grove in Bidwell Park, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 345-1000 for more info.