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Tom Cotter

Fresno, CA, US
Trained on August 23rd, 2012
18 lifetime presentations


Tom Cotter is a clean energy advocate, green product innovator, habit coach, social entrepreneur, public speaker, climate educator, activist and ordained minister.

He has spoken to over 2,000 groups. He is in the top 10% of all influencers on social media. He is a media adviser on solar, sustainability and green jobs.

Tom serves on the board of directors for the International Green Industry Hall of Fame, the Solar Living Institute and Restore Hetch Hetchy.

His philanthropic work includes producing the short documentary film Forest Man. The film chronicles the incredible story of Jadav Payeng, an Indian man who single handedly planted nearly 1,400 acres of forest to save his island, Majuli. It was awarded the Best Documentary prize at the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase in the American Pavilion at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

Tom sees the end of the era of cheap fossil fuels and key materials, coupled with rising population and anxieties around water resources, food production and harmful wastes, as clearly demonstrating the need to re-imagine our model of production and consumption. He shares an optimism that a choice to actively live as a part of the solution will bring a better quality of life and increased opportunities as natural and social capital are restored.

• Founder of Citizens Climate Lobby Fresno
• Climate Leader & Mentor with Climate Reality Project
• Creation Care Champion with Evangelical Environmental Network
• Co-Founder of Green Central Valley
• Founder of Fresno Green Drinks
• Organizer and Curator of Fresno Solar Tour
• Green Energy Advisory Board & Student Mentor at Edison High School
• President and Chairman at International Green Industry Hall of Fame (past)
• Adjunct professor of environmental ethics at Fresno Pacific University (past)
• Revived and Co-Chaired Fresno Earth Day (past)

Watch the Symphony of Science - http://youtu.be/FtZUxzOcDu8

Upcoming Presentations

No upcoming presentations.

Acts of Leadership

Participated in Day of Action (edit) (delete)
as part of the People's Climate March campaign
Date: September 23rd, 2014
Details: Covered People's Climate March on social media (Facebook and Twitter).
Organized Event (edit) (delete)
Date: April 17th, 2010
Details: Relaunched and revived Fresno Earth Day with fellow community organizer Connie Young.
Mentored/Assisted other Climate Reality Leaders (edit) (delete)
Date: July 30th, 2013
Details: Began serving as mentor in Climate Reality Leadership Corps at the Chicago USA Training Event.
Organized Event (edit) (delete)
Date: April 28th, 2013
Details: Organized a "Caring for God's Creation" event at North Fresno MB Church. Pastor James Bergen and I preached on creation care using the parable of the Good Samaritan. We had local non-profits and businesses host booths to talk to church members about their work in the community. We also had a high MPG cars, electric cars and biodiesel cars with owners to explain their experience of driving them.
News Article (edit) (delete)
Date: January 26th, 2012
Details: Op Ed in Fresno Bee on how much fun it is to drive an electric car, along with financial and environmental benefits.
Media Appearance (edit) (delete)
Date: March 27th, 2012
Details: Valley Public Radio Interview - "With abundant sunshine most of the year, the Central Valley is quickly becoming one of the top spots for solar installations in the state. And on some sunny days, owners of solar systems can even see their electric meters spin backwards, as they send excess power back into the grid. That's thanks to a 15 year old state law called "net metering" which requires utilities to credit users when they generate more power than they consume. But a new effort is underway by some California utilities to change this, as they say all customers should bear the cost of maintaining the electrical grid. Solar expert Tom Cotter of Real Goods Solar, and Adam Browning of VoteSolar.org join host Juanita Stevenson to talk about what this change could mean for solar owners." http://kvpr.org/post/valley-edition-city-fresno-finances-solar-front
Media Appearance (edit) (delete)
Date: April 9th, 2012
Details: Interview: Solar industry flourishes in the Central Valley http://abclocal.go.com/story?section=news/business&id=8614793
Media Appearance (edit) (delete)
Date: November 2nd, 2012
Details: Press Conference: Officials from Fresno’s business, labor, faith and public health communities joined Assemblyman Henry T. Perea today to support Proposition 39, which will close a corporate tax loophole that is costing California tens of thousands of jobs and $1 billion each year. http://www.cleanenergyjobsact.com/central-valley-leaders-stand-in-support-of-proposition-39/
Media Appearance (edit) (delete)
Date: April 13th, 2012
Details: Podcast interview about the 2012 Fresno Earth Day that I was an organizer for. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/living-tree-company/2012/04/13/sustainable-living-with-jo-keirns-and-john-skinner
Organized Event (edit) (delete)
Date: February 3rd, 2010
Details: Founded Fresno Green Drinks, an informal monthly gathering of environmental field professionals, educators, public servants, activists, and locals wanting to learn and inspire each other towards broader ecological stewardship in the Fresno region. http://www.meetup.com/FresnoGreenDrinks/events/60093552
Organized Event (edit) (delete)
Date: January 11th, 2014
Details: Founded the Fresno chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby. We are a group of ordinary people creating the political will for a stable climate. We empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. Our Facebook group is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/cclfresno. National group site is http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org.
Media Appearance (edit) (delete)
Date: June 2nd, 2015
Details: Produced the short documentary film Forest Man. The film chronicles the incredible story of Jadav Payeng, an Indian man who single handedly planted nearly 1,400 acres of forest to save his island, Majuli to fight the impact of climate change. It was awarded the Best Documentary prize at the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase in the American Pavilion at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. A goal of the film is to see the island listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.
Organized Event (edit) (delete)
Date: July 17th, 2013
Details: Paulette Aniskoff, the White House Director of the Office of Public Engagement, thanked me on-air during their "White House Public Health and Climate Change Champions of Change" 2013 broadcast for live tweeting the event. At the end of the broadcast one question was answered off Twitter, which was mine.
News Article (edit) (delete)
Date: October 14th, 2010
Details: Quoted in article titled, "Study: San Joaquin Valley Has Potential for 100,000 Local Clean Energy Jobs."
Media Appearance (edit) (delete)
Date: January 25th, 2010
Details: Great Valley TV Series (PBS): David Hosley talks with Tom Cotter about Solar in California on the set of Great Valley, the KVPT-TV public affairs program produced by the Great Valley Center.
Meeting w/ Influencer (edit) (delete)
Date: August 13th, 2013
Details: On Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 volunteers held an event in Clovis, California to hold Rep. Devin Nunes accountable for being a climate change denier. The debate about whether climate change is real has been over for a long time —a majority of Americans, 97% of climate scientists, NASA, NOAA and the National Academy of Sciences all agree. But Rep. Nunes is standing strong against the overwhelming judgment of science, so OFA will be handing out a "Congressional Climate Denier Award" to recognize Rep. Nunes perseverance in resisting the facts. Event and meeting organized by Tom Cotter.
News Article (edit) (delete)
Date: August 18th, 2013
Details: The debate about whether climate change is real has been over for a long time -- a majority of Americans, 97% of climate scientists, NASA, NOAA and the National Academy of Sciences all agree. But Devin Nunes, the U.S. representative for California's 22nd Congressional District, is standing strong against the overwhelming judgment of science. On Aug. 13, concerned citizens held an event at Rep. Nunes' office in Clovis, to hold him accountable for being a climate change denier. Business professionals, educators, attorneys, community advocates and moms gathered at Rep. Nunes' office to hand out an "award" to recognize his perseverance in resisting the facts. Americans' experiences with increasingly extreme weather, and the nation's economic interests are all in line with the moral obligation to act on climate change to protect our health, our children and future generations. It is time for Rep. Nunes to face reality and for Congress to take action to address the serious threats posed by climate change.
Blog Post (edit) (delete)
Date: October 4th, 2012
URL: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1079579_why-i-drive-a-nissan-leaf-electric-car-one-owners-story
Details: Every day I get in my car and drive to work, I'm saving money. That's because last summer I bought an all-electric 2011 Nissan Leaf, and my gas station stops are a thing of the past. I figure I'm saving about $3,300 in annual gas and oil change bills, compared to the average Ford Expedition driver. The average electricity cost to power my Leaf is about $870 less than what my Prius-driving friends spend at the pump. That's hard-earned money I can use to take my wife and three kids out to dinner once in a while. I'm glad I no longer depend on oil to drive, but I didn't make this decision lightly. As a minister in my previous life, I know that I have a biblical and moral responsibility to take better care of the earth. It was especially heartbreaking for me to learn that much of the pollution in our air and contamination of other natural resources result in severe consequences that disproprtionately affect the poorest among us. (read more at above link)
Blog Post (edit) (delete)
Date: June 17th, 2013
URL: http://www.examiner.com/article/expanding-natural-gas-exports-would-encourage-natural-gas-fracking-california
Readership: 7569000
Details: Increasing America's natural gas exports to other nations may sound like benign economic policy, but it is anything but. In reality, oil and gas giants and others with a track record of savaging our natural resources for the sake of economic gain are pushing the Obama Administration to expand exports of liquid natural gas (LNG). Those pushing to grease the path to profits for Big Oil claim that allowing unlimited exportation of LNG is good for the economy and will help the United State compete globally. But studies have shown that exporting LNG could increase the price of gas domestically by as much as 300 percent. That is the last thing our economy needs. Plus, there are some grave negative environmental and health consequences associated with the methods used to drill for natural gas: hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." Fracking has been shown to contaminate air and groundwater, lead to local water shortages, and impact human health, ecosystems, and the global climate. Acting on the behalf of oil and gas drilling lobbyists, Congress has excluded fracking from coverage under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, or the Clean Water Act, three of America's vital health and environmental protections. With federal regulation failing to provide adequate public protection, we should do everything in our power to prevent additional market demand for fracking - and expanded unlimited exports would create precisely that demand. Expanding LNG exportation would translate to Big Oil and gas companies raking in profits overseas (while simultaneously fueling our economic competitors), and Americans here at home suffering increased rates of cancer, child asthma, and respiratory conditions as a result. These are costs that California cannot afford. The costs of boosting fracking is one that my family and my community cannot bear. I am a resident of...(read more at link above)

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