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How Climate Change will Impact Residents at Home & Work in the Bay Area

Larry Goldzband, a Lafayette local, is an environmental expert whose experience runs from Capitol Hill to Sacramento to the San Francisco Bay. At Sustainable Sunday, you’ll get a chance to hear him talk on climate change and how it will impact your daily life. This post will introduce you to Larry, his background, how he was introduced to Sustainable Lafayette, and a synopsis of his TED talk, which you may find fascinating.

Who is Larry Goldzband

Larry got involved with Sustainable Lafayette while he was managing PG&E’s charitable contributions. That’s when he met Erika Pringsheim-Moore, one of the early founders of Sustainable Lafayette, who was working with the California State Parks Foundation at the time. After working together on some major programs, they discovered they were essentially neighbors and have stayed in touch and continue to collaborate on projects through the years.

Working with Senator Pete Wilson

Larry got into the business of environmental sustainability while working on Capitol Hill for a number of the House of Representatives; he then moved to the Senate side and worked with Senator Pete Wilson as a mayoral staffer. When Larry moved to Sacramento, he managed Senator Wilson’s cabinet, including CalEPA, the California Environmental Protection Agency, where Larry was the staff leader of the water team in the late 80s and early 90s when California was experiencing severe droughts.

TED talk on how climate change will impact the Bay Area

Larry’s TED talk at Sustainable Sunday will focus on the San Francisco Bay Area and how we need to start dealing with the real world effect of climate change. Most people in the area might think in terms of wildfires when wondering how climate change might affect them, especially with Briones right in our own backyard. But there’s another major area that will impact the Bay Area perhaps more so than wildfires, and that is the very real threat of rising sea levels. Larry’s position at the BCDC (San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission), along with his team and partners, are leading the regional effort to figure out shorelines, rising sea levels, and how to adapt.

Rising sea levels and a heavily developed shoreline

Along the Bay shoreline, there is a huge variety of wildlife and conservation areas, everything from wetlands to airports, from seaports to bridges and highways. It is the most heavily developed shoreline west of the Mississippi; and we need to figure out how we are going to adapt over the next 30 to 50 years as sea levels rise 3 to 5 feet. To help illustrate how much land could potentially be lost due to rising sea levels, at Sustainable Sunday Larry will provide attendees a visual demonstration of what will happen to the topography of the Bay Area under various scenarios of sea level rises.

The Bay Area can prosper during climate change

Attendees of Larry’s TED talk at Sustainable Sunday should come away with two take-aways: 1. The science is very clear that sea levels will rise, the big question is how much and when; 2. Despite rising sea levels, the Bay Area will continue to prosper even under an uncertain future. The key to success is being smart about how we adapt to those changes.

Adapting to change

As with all things in life, when circumstances change, you must adapt. Climate change and rising sea levels is all about adaptation, which is very different than mitigation. So far, for the past 10 years, much of California’s efforts have been to mitigate climate change through the Cap-and-Trade program, electric vehicle programs, and so on. But you have to do more than try and mitigate the effects of future climate change, you have to adapt to what you know is coming at you.

You won’t want to miss the end...

Larry’s talk will end with a story on how climate change will directly affect you at home. You won’t want to miss this insight as it will leave you thinking about climate change in a whole new, real way.


To hear Mr. Goldzband’s expert insights on how climate change will affect you at home, you’ll need to attend Sustainable Sunday. There, you’ll also hear from Erica Welton (founder of The Organic Coup - America’s 1st USDA Certified Organic Fast Food Restaurant) and Jim Coyle (expert in residential sustainability). There will also be food, drinks and a silent auction. All donations to Sustainable Lafayette enable us to enhance and expand our community outreach activities, reaching thousands of Lamorinda residents. Read more on Sustainable Sunday.


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