Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Energy Upgrade California

Energy Upgrade California is a program designed to help jump-start the home energy efficiency remodels in California. The program mirrors a Federally proposed program called HomeSTAR, which was supposed to provide energy efficiency ratings for single family homes similar to the way EnergySTAR ratings work for appliances.

As a certified Building Performance Institute Home Energy and Safety Auditor, Michael Russell is available to inspect your home and consult with homeowners about the Energy Upgrade programs.

If you would like to know more about what options you have for retrofits and upgrades, see the interactive online home tour. You can find San Diego Contractors who are certified to apply for Energy Upgrade funds on the website. Below is a video provided by Energy Upgrade California.


5-minute Program Video (English) from Energy Upgrade California on Vimeo.

This program is intended as a state wide marketing push to put construction contractors back to work. The average building upgrade costs about $12,000-$14,000, and you can expect a $1,000-$5,000 in rebates, incentives, and/or tax credits. These upgrades do not include plug-load appliances or renewable energy solutions such as solar-panels and solar-thermal water-heating, but these can be added to any project, and there are similar tax incentives, rebates, and credits available.

For a whole home energy audit, safety inspection, and efficiency plan, please consult with a BPI Certified home energy & safety analyst, like MICHAEL RUSSELL.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

King Corn

Why is it that every documentary I watch scares me more than the last? Damn Liberals*.

King Corn is the 2007 story of how American Commercial Agriculture is killing the family farm and killing people in the process, and why the Depression Generation, terrified of hunger and hard work, has insured a land of plenty that is out of balance with nature. But the solution, the end of farm subsidies for quantity and their redirection for quality and sustainability, would destroy the fortunes of the federally socialized agriculture monopolies, the food finance and insurance industries, the grocery store chains, tractor makers, and the chemical fertilizer, genetically modified seed mono-crops, and pesticide companies.

We have paid farmers to fallow land, and we have paid them for overproduction. These manipulations of the food market have a perverse effect upon both our land use, and our diet. Perhaps, by subsidizing farmers into extinction, we have starved the world with cheap food, making farming in other countries unprofitable.
How many farmers can no longer feed themselves with the "food" they grow? I watched King Corn, and I can't buy food in the stores anymore. Corn-feed Beef is off my diet, nothing with corn syrup, or ethanol. Any food industry that will not let you film their factory production should not be trusted.
What if we guarantee commercial farms a buyout over the next decade at double their investment, and distribute the land to all the homeless and hungry people in America. Wouldn't that solve hunger, homelessness, unemployment, and cost no more than the farm subsidies we already pay? We are headed for a major correction, and as a nation we will can either switch to a resource based economy, or we will suffer the consequences. Watch King Corn, and see if you don't agree.

(* note: the use of satire is not sanctioned by the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

End of the Line

As I've shown in this blog, there is an extinction event happening on our planet, and the leading indicator is the death of the mega-fauna in our oceans. By 2050 we can expect an end to coral reefs, and bottom trawlers are destroying our costal habitats. Documenting the end of fishing as we have known it, "The End of the Line" exposes our failure to stop commercial fishing corporations from raping the seas and destroying the species we used to eat.

From TruthOut:
Charles Clover: The picture is that about a third of the world's wild fish stocks have collapsed - defined as being fished to below 10 per cent of their abundance in 1950 - and for the rest the trend is down with only one or two places in the world managing their fish sustainability. This has huge implications for food security in a world with more human beings in it and for the functioning of whole ecosystems.

MK: There is an amazing shot in the documentary of an enormous seabed trawler that smashes coral reefs and lower ocean level sea life to bits as it speeds along. So, the threat is not just to fish, but to the actual seabed, is that right?

CC: That is actually the first image in my book and shook me when I discovered about it: the image of a beam trawler smashing its way across the seabed. I transposed it to the plains of Africa and it became a shocking image. Towed gear does alter the habitat and kills animals on the bottom as well as catching fish and that image explains that. It was worked out that a beam trawler killed 16 pounds of marine creatures to produce one pound of marketable sole.

Watch the Question and Answer videos. Official 'End of the Line' Website.