The Climate Solutions Advocacy Institute (CSAI) is an educational and advocacy program that researches transformative climate solutions and legislation in university law and environmental science schools, and then builds widespread public awareness and grassroots support for these solutions.

We meet these challenges by using what we call evolutionary media advocacy – using the digital media revolution to transform the way people receive and share information, pivoting from a hierarchical, profit driven corporate media model to a decentralized people-powered system that facilitates transparency, accountability and integrity.

CSAI is a project of the educational 501(c)3 non-profit Informing to Empower, a non-partisan organization committed to building a stronger democracy.

CSAI’s first advocacy effort is focused on promoting the benefits of solar farms that are not connected to the transmission grid and their applicability in the electrification of transportation. The limited capacity of California’s electrical transmission grid is the primary reason that the rapid buildout of solar in the state is being stymied. Currently, so many solar projects have lined up for permission to access transmission lines that a backlog for approvals of up to eight years has formed. 

It will take decades, and hundreds of billions of dollars, for utility companies to upgrade and expand the transmission grid, but the climate crisis can’t wait. 

The straightforward solution to this problem, which we are advocating for, is to build solar farms which are not connected to the grid. These solar farms could be dedicated to charging electric vehicles. Although not the only solution, this is an important market-financed solution that can be scaled up quickly and widely, starting tomorrow.

By 2045, as much as one half of the hundreds of gigawatts of solar capacity that will be required by electrifying transportation could come from off-grid solar farms, leapfrogging years of delays while saving ratepayers billions in transmission grid expansion costs.

This unique “bypass the grid” solution means that California would be able to electrify our polluting transportation sector within the next few decades without taxing an already overburdened transmission grid.

In August, 2022, the University of California, Davis School of Law offered Law 285J – Drafting a Solar Farm Bill Practicum, to develop a white paper for a new Solar Farm Expansion Program.

In September, 2022, a concurrent practicum course, open to all UC Davis grad students, called “Revolutionary Organizing for Climate Solution Implementation” (ECO 290/CRN: 29643), was taught by CSAI’s co-founders Jonathan Greenberg and Anthony Wexler, as well as Colin Murphy, Deputy Director of UC Davis’ Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy.

Both classes researched and conducted direct outreach to numerous stakeholders, experts and organizations, to identify the challenges that have resulted in the deployment of only one-third the number of solar farms needed for the state’s carbon-free 2045 goals, as well as the most effective solutions to overcome these challenges.

CSAI’s collaborative law and environmental graduate practicum program will be followed by an evolutionary media advocacy campaign to build support around a proposed transformative climate solution program focused on grid bypassing solar farms for EV charging.

University of California Law School Dean Kevin R. Johnson explains why “climate change, environmental justice and protection of the environment are the civil rights issues of the 21st century.”

UC Davis Distinguished Professor Anthony Wexler explains how building massive solar farms on abandoned agricultural land in California’s Central Valley can prevent a dust bowl, while simultaneously meeting California’s clean energy needs.

Professor Wexler is co-founder of the Climate Solutions Advocacy Institute and a UC Davis Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Land Air, and Water Resources. He is also the Director of the Air Quality Research Center.