Thursday, April 25, 2013

Support CA AB 1014 - Renewable Energy for ALL!

Below is an example letter to CA Assembly Speaker Perez, in support of AB 1014 (2013) which will make Solar Renewable Energy available to people who do not own a home, but pay property taxes and utility bills in California. Please read, copy, and send this letter to your representatives. Here is a link to make it easy: Vote Solar

Dear Assembly Speaker Perez, 

As a renter, who owns no real-property, in the state of CA, but still pays property taxes indirectly via my lease, and uses energy, and pays utility bills, I want a choice. 

I write to express my strong support for passing AB 1014, the Shared Renewable Energy Self-Generation Program. AB 1014 expands consumer access to renewable energy, providing all customers of SCE, SDG&E and PG&E with the opportunity to invest in an offsite renewable energy system and receive a utlity bill credit in return.

It extends the economic benefits of renewable energy to the large percentage of Californians who currently have no access: renters, people whose homes or businesses are shaded or poorly oriented, space limited public entities, and consumers who lack sufficient credit. It also ensures new clean energy over and above what is required by the state's other clean energy programs.

I support shared renewables as a way to expand the availability of renewable energy to thousands more Californians.

Please support AB 1014.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Heading for a Resource-Shock World

From "The Coming Global Explosion"
 ENVIRONMENT  Tom Dispatch / By Michael T. Klare

Entering a Resource-Shock World 
How Resource Scarcity and Climate Change Could Produce a Global Explosion 
By Michael T. Klare
Brace yourself. You may not be able to tell yet, but according to global experts and the U.S. intelligence community, the earth is already shifting under you.  Whether you know it or not, you’re on a new planet, a resource-shock world of a sort humanity has never before experienced.
Two nightmare scenarios -- a global scarcity of vital resources and the onset of extreme climate change -- are already beginning to converge and in the coming decades are likely to produce a tidal wave of unrest, rebellion, competition, and conflict.  Just what this tsunami of disaster will look like may, as yet, be hard to discern, but experts warn of “water wars” over contested river systems, global food riots sparked by soaring prices for life’s basics, mass migrations of climate refugees (with resulting anti-migrant violence), and the breakdown of social order or the collapse of states.  At first, such mayhem is likely to arise largely in Africa, Central Asia, and other areas of the underdeveloped South, but in timeall regions of the planet will be affected.
To appreciate the power of this encroaching catastrophe, it’s necessary to examine each of the forces that are combining to produce this future cataclysm.

Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically Modified Seeds

Bill Moyers talks to scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva, who’s become a rock star in the global battle over genetically modified seeds. These seeds — considered “intellectual property” by the big companies who own the patents — are globally marketed to monopolize food production and profits. Opponents challenge the safety of genetically modified seeds, claiming they also harm the environment, are more costly, and leave local farmers deep in debt as well as dependent on suppliers. Shiva, who founded a movement in India to promote native seeds, links genetic tinkering to problems in our ecology, economy, and humanity, and sees this as the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.

There is a revolution brewing in the hearts and minds of the world's women. Seed Future is an example of success agains the corporations which seek to take over our global resources.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A New Challenge from Al Gore, in honor of Earth Day 2013

(This video is Time Traveled from 2008! A message from Al Gore to our future, on Earth Day)
To solve the Climate Crisis, we must first accept the challenge of solving the Political Crisis that is attacking our Democracy. This is a challenge, a call for heroes in a global conflict to save the future. Gore founded the Alliance for Climate Protection, and speaks of the Energy Supergrid, an idea of Buckminster Fuller that inspired our local San Diego institute, the Global Energy Network Initiative.   

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why Top Predators Matter

From the Environmental Defense Fund comes a warning of imbalance in our global oceans: 

The dire straits facing sharks around the world is a major theme in many gloom and doom predictions about the fate of the oceans. And there is plenty of reason for worry. Many shark populations are estimated to be at less than 10% of original levels, with some species possibly in danger of extinction. This is bad news not only for sharks, but for the many cultures that rely on them for protein in their diets.
Ecologists, too, warn of the effects of the decline in shark species and other top predators on ocean ecosystems. Eliminating sharks may induce what scientists call “ecological cascades,” where one effect induces another, and so on through the living world. 
One example of that process is the rise in populations of certain rays –  key shark prey – in regions where shark populations have declined. If there are too many bottom feeding rays, that may threaten seagrass beds and the shellfish that inhabit them. Those seagrass beds also serve as nurseries for many other species. So losing sharks may seriously degrade marine ecosystems, which could threaten the human fisheries tied to them. In addition, sharks can help control populations of invasive and exotic species – a growing problem as ocean ecosystems change.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Story of STUFF

If we look closely at the systems from which we profit, we realize that everyone over 30 is part of the problem. The Story of Stuff defines the system and shows us where the solutions may lead to a sustainable future.

"Our enormously productive economy ... demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption ... we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate." - Victor Le Beau, Retailing Analyst 

Planned Obsolesce - how long a product can last and still inspire consumer trust
Perceived Obsolesce - fashion, improvement  
Tip: Wealth = Leisure Time

Bottled Water - EPA drinking water contaminants
This is how to manufacture demand, create fear.