‘Bigfoot’ initiative begins with kickoff Oct. 24

University of Washington carbon specialist David Montgomery to speak
By Brian Soergel | Oct 19, 2017
David Montgomery will speak at the “Taming Bigfoot” kickoff Tuesday, Oct. 24.

Taming Bigfoot: Climate Change and You

Where: Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers St., Edmonds
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24
Admission: Free
Information: www.tamingbigfoot.edmondswa,gov, 425-610-6414


Carbon is everywhere. We’re all carbon-based life forms. Life on earth would be impossible without it.

So why is everyone talking about shrinking it? Or, in Edmonds’ case, “taming” it?

Answers will be available Tuesday, Oct. 24, when the city of Edmonds kicks off its Taming Bigfoot initiative. “Bigfoot,” in this case, means helping citizens reduce their so-called “carbon footprint.”

“It’s all about where it is and how much is where,” said David Montgomery, a MacArthur fellow and University of Washington professor who is an internationally recognized geologist, author and a specialist in carbon sequestration, or the storing of carbon dioxide to help mitigate global warming.

He will speak in Edmonds.

As an example, he turns to water. A glass full of the stuff with a twist of lemon on a hot day is good. If you’re drowning in it, not so good.

Montgomery’s latest book, “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life,” cuts through standard debates about conventional and organic farming to show why regenerative agriculture can benefit farmers and the land.

“The book focuses on restoring fertility to land, and it turns out the key to that is putting carbon into ground,” he said. “And that’s the climate connection. If you have carbon in the ground, it feeds the microbes that drive soil fertility. It’s food for the underground economy. Rebuilding the land involves building up soil and organic matter, another word for which is carbon.”

Montgomery’s presentation and more will be explored at Taming Bigfoot Edmonds, a team-based carbon footprint reduction competition designed to engage Edmonds residents in supporting the city’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The kickoff, titled “Climate Change and You,” brings together a panel presentation of scientists and climate leaders. Rep. Strom Peterson of Edmonds will be the moderator.

The goal of the friendly competition is to increase awareness of the impact that lifestyles have on carbon emissions. The program is based upon a successful Taming Bigfoot competition held last year in Jefferson County.

A steering committee leads the effort, with guidance of the city of Edmonds Climate Protection Committee and the Interfaith Climate Action Group.

Joining Montgomery will be Shallin Busch, a research ecologist at NOAA and a specialist in ocean acidification and how climate change may impact the North Pacific ecosystems.

Also speaking will be Laura Tucker, a science educator and member of the Climate Reality Project, who will round out the panel with a perspective on how communities can work together to begin the transition away from fossil fuels.

“It is our pleasure to bring this panel of experts to Edmonds,” said Gayla Shoemake, a Taming Bigfoot steering committee member. “With the refusal of the current national administration to recognize the increasingly obvious negative effects of climate change, it is up to state and local groups and individuals to provide leadership in this crisis by supporting projects like Taming Bigfoot Edmonds, which brings current information and hope to their citizens.”

In addition to the panel discussion, attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about Taming Bigfoot. In the game, individuals have an opportunity to measure their own carbon footprint using a phone app (or forms) especially tailored for Edmonds, then work with their teams to strategize and try different ways to shrink their carbon footprint.

The participants will have an opportunity to get together several times during the competition to share and learn from each other. These gatherings also will give participants a chance to hear from and be inspired by several groups of young people who are actively working on climate issues.


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