The work of building a more resilient and less dangerous world post pandemic will focus on, among other things, the “environment” a singe word that encompasses an enormous number and range of areas of policy and programs. Many hands, one might even say “all hands on deck,” will be needed from organizations across the board currently working, both locally and globally, to reduce fossil-fuel use, protect plants and animals and otherwise make our planet livable.

Many of these hands are, of course, already hard at work. We won’t need to invent new organizations or campaigns — that is, if we protect those people and organizations currently hard at work.

We are lucky in Davis to have a committed citizenry already engaged. However, this is a tough time for many nonprofit organizations, many of which depend on activities and/or events to raise the money to support their work. This is hard in normal times, and triple times more difficult during a pandemic when gatherings and events are not possible.

This article is about a few of the organizations we have in town, all of which need our support to make it through this difficult time. It’s near the end of the year, and a good time to make donations. Please consider the organizations listed below. If you already donate to these or other groups, great. Please consider donating more.

Let’s start with Cool Davis. This organization was established a decade ago to implement, through the engagement of the community, the city’s Climate Action Plan. It’s easy to take this organization for granted. But it’s not the norm; few cities have such an organization made up of citizens actually devoted to promoting and implementing local actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Take a look at its website,, and you’ll get a picture of how thoroughly this organization goes about its mission.

It has programs to encourage solar PV on our rooftops, to promote electric vehicles, a virtual library of ways our homes can be made more energy efficient, and a wide range of resources available for people looking for information on these and other topics. It’s monthly newsletter is very worth subscribing to.

Weaning ourselves from fossil fuels is critical to reducing exposure to the most serious adverse effects of the climate crisis. The Davis Electric Vehicle Association, a program of Cool Davis, advocates for electric vehicles and supports development of electric vehicle infrastructure, such as charging stations, in our region.

It also (in non-Covid times) offers opportunities to view or test drive a wide range of models of electric vehicles and can provide information on tax credits. Contact Sandra Hall at or Tim Tutt at

Davis is famed as a bike-friendly city for good reason. Residents use bikes instead of cars for getting kids to school, shopping for groceries and just plain fun. Contact Bike Davis at or at

Bikes and electric vehicles are one big part of reducing fossil fuels. Another, and perhaps even bigger part, is how we build our community to be walkable and bikeable. What policies should we as citizens push our city council to enact? It’s not rocket science. In many ways making cities more livable is just common sense if one is designing a city from the ground up.

But the process of transforming a city that’s already built from a car-centric to a bike/walk centric emphasis often times collides with the momentum of existing infrastructure, and it takes some very bright people to imagine and propose policies that get us there.

For more information, contact Davis Futures Forum, also a project of Cool Davis, through Judy Corbett ( who, in partnership with her husband Michael Corbett, built Village Homes. Both continue to be leading figures in reimagining our urban environment.

There’s been much talk recently about the emerging importance of carbon capture; somehow taking carbon out of the atmosphere to offset what we are emitting into the atmosphere. Much of what is talked about involves technology, but there’s recently been recognition of the potentially important role cities can play in planting trees; the urban forest.

Davis has a very active, and very professional organization promoting not just the planting of trees, but the planting of the right tree for the location. Contact Tree Davis at For that matter, if you have a question about trees, about what to plant or how to care for them, it is an excellent resource.

I’m running out of space here so I’ll just list some more options. There’s Cool Cuisine, “a coalition of individuals and organizations seeking more plant-based, planet-friendly, and health-conscious dining and shopping options in Davis” ( or by emailing There are also many organizations protecting nature and open space, such as the Yolo Basin Foundation (, Putah Creek Council ( and Tuleyome (

Giving Tuesday this year is Dec.1, which may be after you read this, but if so there’s no reason to confine giving to that one day. All of the organizations listed above have information about how to learn more and most have information on how to donate.

— John Mott-Smith is a resident of Davis. This column appears in the print edition of The Davis Enterprise the first and third Wednesday of each month. Please send comments to

Crossposted from the Davis Enterprise

Published online on Novemeber 30, 2020 | PRINTED in the December 02, 2020 edition on page A3