Earth Day with Joy Sterling at Iron Horse Vineyards

Today is Earth Day and I got an early start on it last Sunday, when Jose and I went to Sebastopol, invited by Joy Sterling. Joy is Iron Horse’s Chief Executive Officer.

We celebrated at the Sonoma County Green Valley annual Earth Day celebration at Iron Horse Vineyards. For the celebrations, Joy brought in CNN founder Ted Turner, as the guest speaker. She first met Turner in 1979, when she was a news editor at KPIX Radio in San Francisco, a CBS affiliate. She later went to work for him at TBS evening news. This year, the profits from ticket sales are going toward Ted Turner’s Captain Planet Foundation, which supports youth environmental education programs. (Special $300.00 tickets bought visitors to a private tasting event with the guest of honor.)

MORE PEOPLE identified in the image above: FROM JIM CAUDILL of Hess Collection: “So I’m having coffee this morning and click thru to your blog, only to recognize the very comely shoulder of a friend of mine (Hermine Baker) in your photo (on the left); and, oh yeah, her husband in the middle, Brad Baker, CEO of Codding Enterprises.”

Joy told me that it would be a very exciting day, and she was right. In the spirit of Earth Day, there were no paper tickets. We were all given a clever string wrist band, with a tiny jade bead that connected the wrist band.  Joy was at the “door” to personally welcome everyone. The one-hour VIP reception started at 12:00 noon. We all received a Riedel flute of Iron Horse bubbly, served with sustainably farmed caviar from California Caviar. We all had the chance to meet and greet Ted Turner at Joy’s parents’ home in the garden.

Steve Heimoff was there, and he made me aware that we were among billionaires… pointing out Gordon Getty, who was talking with Ted Turner and Joy Sterling. (All are pictured above.) Bubbly, caviar, and Earth Day… God save the planet. I recycle plastic, while Ted Turner is helping to restore the American Serengeti to the pristine state that Lewis and Clark found during their expeditions… We all do what we can, and that’s a good thing.

At 1:00 p.m., we walked the short distance to the Corral, to join the Main Event for a wonderful selection of Green Valley wines, while guests feasted on grilled bison steaks. Ted spoke at 2:00 p.m., while about 300 of us listened to him discuss his hopes and dreams for Planet Earth, as National Geographic adventurer Boyd Matson conducted the question and answer session.

The best way that Ted could describe the environmental crisis facing humanity, as he understands it, was with a baseball analogy: “It’s the seventh inning and we’re down by two runs. We have to hold them where they are and put three runs on the board in the last two innings.”

He believes that we have to convince people to have fewer children. We have to somehow convince coal and oil industry leaders to shift toward wind, solar power, and other alternative energy sources. We have to convince the world’s leaders to abandon nuclear weapons. The crowd roared… It made me feel better to know that I’m not alone in my quest to leave the planet in good shape for my children, their children, and so on.

As he discussed war, Turner pulled a copy of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty from his wallet and began to read.

It took me back to the day when I interviewed Jack Kidd, Major General, US Air Force, when he was retired and wrote “The Strategic Cooperation Initiative (Or the ‘Star Light’ Strategy).” Once he left the Air Force, he couldn’t help but tell the story of what he realized to be true. Cruise missiles were being tested over the state of Maine at the time (the 80’s). The US was preparing for war with Russia, if that were to happen, by testing non-nuclear head missiles in the rugged terrain of Maine’s mountains (but, that’s another story).

What really brought it home for me was this… It only takes about seven or eight nuclear missiles to blow up Earth entirely as we know it. Major General Jack Kidd was questioning why we needed thousands upon thousands of them. He said that it was akin to sitting in a lake of gasoline with a book of matches. (“Okay,” I thought, “We can do away with a lot of those things…”)

I don’t need convincing, but a lot of other people do, it seems… still.

Meanwhile, Ted left us with a final thought… “Failure is not an option.”

“How true,” I pondered.

[Pictured: Marimar Torres pouring wine for Gordon Getty]

This was the Sterling Vineyard’s fifth annual Earth Day event. Guests paid $65.00 to hear Turner’s talk, and to enjoy wines from Green Valley wineries. The day had bison steaks from Turner’s purveyor. (I decided to let the bison run free, and enjoyed a lovely slaw salad.)

The event had an art exhibit entitled “Vintage Future,” curated by Santa Rosa artist Spring Maxfield. Spring is one of the organizers of the Great Handcar Regatta.

The Thennagin Bomber, a vehicle powered by pedaling was created by a Santa Rosa group of inventors, anchored the show. Their piece called WhiskeyDrunk Cycles is truly amazing.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat, as reported by Julie Johnson:

Three of the Bomber’s creators, Joshua Thwaites, Klaus Rappensperger and Joey Castor, said Turner’s message that anything is possible resonated with them.

“That’s 100 percent what we’ve experienced,” Thwaites said.

The creators combined the motor of a Honda XR100, a Toyota Corolla’s steering box and a 1917 Ford Model T’s front axle, among other parts, to create the zero-emmissions machine.

“We’ve had some failures, mainly with brakes,” said Rappensperger.

“But that’s how it gets started,” Thwaites said.

“It starts with the ember of an idea,” said Castor, their colleague.

May we all do our part, each in our small, medium, or large way. How will you celebrate Earth Day today?


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One Response to “Earth Day with Joy Sterling at Iron Horse Vineyards”

  1. […] remember the first time I saw Audrey Sterling, at last year’s Earth Day gathering at Iron Horse. I didn’t know who Audrey was at the time, but when I spotted her in the crowd […]

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