Friday, December 12, 2014

Peter Joseph on the ‘market parados' & "Ephemeralization"

Systems Context: resource based economy 
Globalization is Colonialism in Disguise. 

Global Abundance: 
Technology Solution: Ephermeralization (word coined by Buckminster Fuller) 

Imbalances: USA consumes 30% of world's resources

Hundreds of Millions of Jobs are tied to oil (fossil-fuels). 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mayor Faulconer responds to Climate Change

Aired 10/27/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer's Monthly Update
Kevin Faulconer, City of San Diego mayor
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined KPBS Monday for his monthly update on the business of the city.

Since his last visit, the mayor unveiled his Climate Action Plan. He said the plan puts San Diego on track to meet state goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and sets a 100 percent renewable energy target by 2035 — all while generating jobs in the region.

KPBS calls out Mayor Faulconer on his home's 120% over use of water, and he talks about why they watered-down (no pun intended) the energy efficiency auditing requirement for building sales in the new Climate Action Plan. Reading between the lines, business pressure (i.e. real-estate) forced a concession about energy audits before sale of property within the city.

The requirement to disclose the utility bills for the property is still in the plan, and if it passes as it is, this will be a step toward energy efficiency, but we could have taken a leadership position and created thousands of jobs while greatly reducing energy waste in this city, if we had that Energy Audit requirement. When people make millions of dollars in un-earned equity simply by owning a building for decades, they must use some of those capital-gains to upgrade the energy footprint of that building before putting the burden upon the new buyer.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and the move against distributed power

"The Waltons claim to have a deep commitment to sustainability, but their support for anti-solar initiatives tells a different story," said Stacy Mitchell, a senior researcher at ILSR and author of How the Walton Family is Threatening America's Clean Energy Future(pdf). "The Waltons are investing in efforts that both undercut clean energy and prevent average Americans from benefiting economically from solar power."
The report reveals that since 2010, the Waltons have donated $4.5 million to more than 20 organizations, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans for Prosperity, and the American Enterprise Institute, which are leading state campaigns against clean energy polices such as those that encourage utilities to source a share of their electricity from renewables or allow customers with rooftop solar systems to feed any excess electricity they produce back into the grid and be paid the going retail rate for it.
One such organization, the Goldwater Institute for Public Policy in Arizona, has received half a million in Walton Family Foundation grants and insists "there is no such thing as clean energy." The Goldwater Institute has sued to overturn the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard policy, which mandates that utilities rely on renewable energy for some of their power and also says that a portion of this power must come from small-scale local sources, such as rooftop solar.
What's more, the Waltons are also the largest stockholders of First Solar, an Arizona-based company that builds solar arrays to supply power to utilities. While ILSR acknowledges that "utility-scale solar as a replacement for fossil fuels has significant environmental benefits," First Solar's "Walmart-style approach to energy" runs counter to any attempts to expanddecentralized renewable energy, the report states.
"In contrast to the U.S. solar industry at large, as well as environmental and consumer groups, First Solar views rooftop solar as a threat to its profits and is actively engaged in campaigns in states like Arizona and Nevada to maintain a stronghold over solar electricity, at the expense of local environmental and economic benefits," the Institute says.
In response to the report, Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth and an expert on clean energy-supporting tax and budget policies, said: "Rooftop solar in the U.S. is growing exponentially and more and more Americans have access to affordable solar power that cuts their energy bills and builds a more sustainable energy future. Yet, the Waltons’ money is instead limiting average Americans’ ability to go solar and control their own energy future."
In a separate report released last year, ILSR found that since the Waltons and their flagship enterprise, Walmart, "publicly embraced environmentalism" in 2005, Walmart’s self-reported greenhouse gas emissions have grown by 14 percent. The same study found that the company was generating only 4 percent of its power from wind and solar, despite pledging to go 100 percent renewable. That share has since dropped to 3 percent.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dadla Ponizil, Climate Crusader and Energy Efficiency Expert

Encinitas Resident Conserves Every Drop To Combat Climate Change

This is the first in a two-part series on local homes designed to minimize environmental impact. Tomorrow, we visit a couple living completely off the grid.
Evening Edition
Above: As government leaders debate new laws to combat climate change, it can be easy to feel little responsibility for your own carbon footprint. But not everyone sees it that way.
Aired 10/2/14 on KPBS News.
As government leaders debate new laws to combat climate change, it can be easy to feel little responsibility for your own carbon footprint. But not everyone sees it that way.

It's been hot in San Diego. Record temperature hot.
Our utility grid is taxed, and water is in short supply. Scientists predict all of this will continue thanks to climate change.
Many people are doing what they can to reduce their impact on the environment, but some take it much further than others.
Take Dadla Ponizil. In the past 10 years, the Encinitas resident has transformed his home into a green building wonderland.
"My motivation is primarily to stop climate change," he said. "I'm very concerned."
But Ponizil, 56, doesn't let this concern weigh him down. He calls himself an Energizer Bunny, and he seems to move even faster as he excitedly shows off his home. It's clean, comfortable and tastefully decorated. The many, many green building innovations he's added aren't immediately obvious, but if you look closely you'll see them.
A switch next to the shower in Dadla Ponizil's Encinitas home lets water flow down the drain or be stored for use in his garden.
A switch next to the shower in Dadla Ponizil's Encinitas home lets water flow down the drain or be stored for use in his garden.
In the bathroom, next to the shower, a small switch is labeled "garden" and "drain."
"We have gray water from this shower," Ponizil said. "So when I put this button down, now the water in the shower is going to the backyard."
All shower water can be used on the garden as long as he and his wife use biocompatible soap. And each shower uses about 30 gallons of water, he said.
Dadla Ponizil shows the solar water heater on the roof of his Encinitas home.
Dadla Ponizil shows the solar water heater on the roof of his Encinitas home.

See More at 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

1st Net-Zero Energy Laboratory in the World: The J. Craig Venter Institute, San Diego

In fall 2013, the J. Craig Venter Institute, a well funded Genomic Research Lab, opened its new 45,000 sq. ft. LEED Platinum, Net-ZERO+ energy lab at the UCSD campus. This is important milestone because Science Labs tend to be heavy energy users, and the design needed to fit into an environment like La Jolla. With this type of building as a 'proof of concept', we can now say, with definitive proof, that it is possible to build Net-Energy-POSITIVE industrial laboratories using reclaimed and recycled, sustainable materials. As we move forward in the NEW-Building space, we must incorporate these techniques and build a mass market for the materials, even as we teach building contractors to innovate and adapt, training their workforce to the new standards.

Overview - see the info-graphic at the link
The scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) are engaged in basic science research that has the potential to change society. One of our quests is to help solve two troubling issues — global climate change and our dependence on hydrocarbons. While doing all we can to find solutions to these issues through our science, we are now building what we believe will be the first carbon-neutral laboratory facility in the world, located on the campus of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

The building massing and envelope have been designed to maximize the use of daylight to improve indoor comfort while further reducing overall building energy use. The building is proposed to be "net-zero" for electrical energy, which means that it will produce as much electricity on-site as it consumes annually. This is possible by integrating numerous energy efficiency measures throughout the building systems, incorporating operable windows, efficient lighting, and by reducing internal plug loads wherever possible. On-site electricity is generated through the sizeable photovoltaic roof.

The team has also pursued strategies to minimize water consumption, as appropriate for the semi-arid environment of San Diego. Rainwater will be collected and stored in a cistern, filtered, and then reused for non-potable uses such as PV washing, cooling tower make-up, and site irrigation. High-efficiency plumbing fixtures will be used and the site will be landscaped with native plants that require minimal irrigation.

Labs, and in particular genomic-focused ones, traditionally consume large quantities of energy to both run energy intensive scientific equipment and for heating and cooling. The new JCVI building will feature all of the latest design and construction elements to ensure that it will exceed the requirements for LEED Platinum certification. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cassandra Complex

Many environmentalists have predicted looming environmental catastrophes including climate change, rise in sea levels, irreversible pollution, and an impending collapse of ecosystems, including those of rainforests and ocean reefs.[13] Such individuals sometimes acquire the label of 'Cassandras', whose warnings of impending environmental disaster are disbelieved or mocked.[13] Environmentalist Alan Atkisson states that to understand that humanity is on a collision course with the laws of nature is to be stuck in what he calls the 'Cassandra dilemma' in which one can see the most likely outcome of current trends and can warn people about what is happening, but the vast majority can not, or will not respond, and later if catastrophe occurs, they may even blame you, as if your prediction set the disaster in motion.[14]

Monday, July 7, 2014

Report Iraq War Card - The Lies That Lead to War

As the exploding crisis in Iraq spotlights once again the tragic record of American policy in the Middle East, Bill speaks with investigative journalist Charles Lewis, whose new book, “935 Lies” details the many government falsehoods that have led us into the current nightmare. A complicit partner, he says, is a media intent on preserving the status quo and never offending the ruling elite.
investigative journalist Charles Lewis, whose new book, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity

Thursday, June 12, 2014

SimCenter LIVE - Resilient Cities Program, Thursdays, Summer 2014

Tonight at 6:30 we UStream from the SimCenter 
2014 Summer Series - GENI World Resources SimCenter
Resilient Cities: How Global Climate Trends Affect Local Communities
1088 Third St., San Diego, CA 92101

Watch the Archives

The new SimCenter Interns are working hard to create a 'Resilient Cities' Curriculum. I'd like to invite those from out of town to join in on our Summer 3Rs-Tours with the Council of Divers and get some experiential learning along the cost of La Jolla.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Resilient Cities - Summer Program at SimCenter

The San Diego SimCenter, a project of the Global Energy Network Institute, is holding its annual summer conference series. The subject for the 2014 season is "Resilient Cities", and every Thursday evening, June 12 - August 28th, we will explore and analyze subjects & solutions to our urban planning environments.

Topics in Each Week:
  • Resilience vs. Sustainability
  • Systems Stressors within the region and from the outside
  • Interconnected sub-systems: (Economic, Social, Environmental, and the built environment)
  • Innovation as solution: food and water security, transportation and transit, energy and efficiency, network technology, social inclusion, waste streams, buildings and urban design and technology
  • Policies to prepare and Leadership that fosters change
Thursdays, 6-8Weekly Schedule: June 12 - August 28, 2014
June 12
June 19
June 26
July 3
July 10
July 17
July 24
July 31Designing Resilient Waste Systems
August 7
August 14
August 21
August 28

The Archimedes windmill

A quiet, powerful, and visually stunning solution to urban wind power. The Archimedes Windmill.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

San Diego Fracking Forum - County Supervisor, Dave Roberts

Billed as a "frank, honest, and balanced forum", today, in the old City Council chamber of County Administration building on San Diego Bay, County Supervisor, Dave Roberts held a Forum on Fracking in California.

Other than the few dozen gray haired environmentalists from the press and a few county employees, there were few in attendance.

Although, there were no representatives from the Fracking Industry on the panel, the forum began with a video produced by Marathon Oil Company, an industry leader. The film claimed that fracking was 'safe' and uses secure pipe casing technology, to keep groundwater from contamination.

Among other experts on the Fracking, Geology, and the Energy Industry, were;
* Damon Nagami, Senior Attorney and Director of the Southern California Ecosystems Project for the Natural Resources Defense Council, serves as lead on Fracking in California
* Ken Weinberg, Director of Water Resources for the San Diego County Water Authority
They each commented on the Fracking industry, giving their perspectives of the facts with special attention to the reality that we are a carbon-energy economy, and that of existing fuels, natural gas is both domestically abundant & cheap, and pollutes less than coal, oil, and perhaps even nuclear.
All those in attendance were in agreement that we would prefer a renewable energy economy, and the questions were one sided when it came to the Fracking industry. Although none on the panel would make claim to being carbon fuel suppliers, none would rule out the use of Fracking Technology as a mining technique, either. 

The consensus on the day was that we should be circumspect with regard to Fracking in California, as all the current information about the Fracking in other states leads us think that there are potential long-term public health and environmental costs that are beyond our current understanding. Plus, there are some unknown variables that need to be taken care of by public policy and state legal regulations before the people of our state can be secure in the use of such Fracking technologies, so that we know the potential for groundwater pollution. Among them are:
  1. What exactly are the secret proprietary fracking chemicals being injected into our environment? 
  2. What is the state of our ground water and aquifers prior to fracking mining in each local? 
  3. What the permeability of the rock just beneath our ground water-tables? 
Some Counties, like San Bonito, are now banning fracking exploration, and the National Resources Defense Council has called for a moratorium upon fracking in California until the appropriate studies can be done and regulations are in place.

Among the issues that need to be defined before fracking for hydrocarbons, include:
  • Public Human and Animal Health Risks and Costs
  • Environmental Justice effects and costs
  • Effect of using up our domestic energy stores 
  • The carbon pollution effects
  • Potential for Earth Quake effects (especially who will pay for the repairs to private property and infrastructure if a connection to fracking is proven)
  • Potential direct and indirect effects upon water supplies, groundwater, and pollution of aquifers
  • The potential effects on property values around fracking wells
  • The disposal of fracking waste products, toxins (especially in the ocean)
  • The use of injected acid into fracking wells, and it's potential environmental effects

According to the energy industries, 18% of new wells have casing failures within the first 18-months and the chemicals used in fracking have known endocrine and cancer effects. As I left the building and entered our new county building park, I was struck with all the children playing in the water fountain. 
During the discussion, it was revealed that any existing oil well has the potential to use fracking techniques, and that there are currently 30 such wells active in San Diego County. This seems insignificant compared to the literally tens-of-thousands of Fracking wells in Kern and Los Angeles Counties, but since San Diego county is dependent upon our water supplies from other areas, any potential risk to their watershed is an indirect risk to ours. With the potential for OFF SHORE DRILLING and Fracking using HORIZONTAL drilling techniques, San Diego could still be in some risk of groundwater or ocean contamination. Ever surf on a contaminated beach?

Other issues that came up included the economic effects of reducing our natural gas exploration. There is the potential for a spiraling feedback loop if our least expensive energy increases, effecting all our energy intensive industries from industry to water transportation. However, I believe that these increased costs would motivate and inspire not only new energy sources like renewables, but education and research into efficiency and conservation techniques.
California State Bill 1132, the Fracking Moratorium Bill, comes up for a vote on Friday, May 30th, so contact your state representatives.
Apparently there is also a San Diego - Science Advisory Board - and I'm trying to identify, if you have any information please use the comments section to inform us. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Michael Tellinger - UBUNTU A World Without Money

What we in America call "MONEY" is actually a set of tools: a medium of exchange that makes trade efficient (i.e. currency), a store of value that saves the wealth generated by our work over time (i.e. savings), a measure of debt based upon the credit or potential value of future work (i.e. debt/credit), and probably a few other tools depending upon which currency of which nation you are trading upon. Redistributing the power to create these tools to the people, either individually or in small groups is a good idea to democratize control, but we already have a system for that, it's called the stock market. Every corporation, weather owned by one person or a million, can print and trade in stock, which is nothing less than printing it's own money. The value of that money depends directly upon the productivity of the business and the value it creates. The owners of that stock benefit directly. 

He seems to blame the tool, instead of the concept of ownership of natural resources and the artificial scarcity that concept creates. Defining natural resources such as air, water, land, energy as 'CAPITAL' is the problem, not the concept of currency or savings or credit or debt. Wealth is a measure of the value of our work, it is infinite, but the resources of this planet are not. There is no way to create 'absolute abundance' on a finite planet. You need an infinite number of planets, and we can't get interstellar without working together. "Money" creates a just system of trade to help us work together efficiently, without ceding control, power, autonomy to dictators. Consensus of judgement and true liberty can only happen if each person has the ability to control the value of their work. The merit of your choices is defined by the benefit to others, but the choices must be made by individuals, else we are not free. 
My contribution would be to sire children to create abundance of children, 3 hrs./week. I'll create my own society by following my passion and start the domino effect. Ubuntu Vegas!