Posts Tagged With: sustainability

GREENBURG, KANSAS

Since I’ve been complaining how radicalized the word sustainability has become, I was glad to receive a message from Marchmont discussing the skewed language of the green movement, positing it as overly misanthropic, the misunderstanding of climate change as the same thing as global warming, the basic insecurity about fuel, shoddy science, and so on. You’ve heard it all.
In fact, yesterday I read where the new electric cars will take hours at a “gas” station to recharge;  that people will have to make a reservation to charge their vehicles, and other such bullpuckey!
Filling stations will make their money on the new electrics, as they do in other countries, by pulling into a station, drive up on a platform that opens your bottom battery compartment, and in 2 minutes, the old batteries are removed and new ones inserted. You don’t even have to get out of your car. Just like a toll road, you will be charged on your credit or debit card. Batteries will be rented instead of owned. Its all about cost effectiveness and the loss of oil. If you consider the cost of the wars we’ve gotten into over oil, oil is extremely expensive and running on low.
Now lets talk about Greenburg, Kansas. A small town that was literally wiped out by a hurricane. Everyone had to move out of town. Business was depleted. What to do? The citizens got together and polled, how many people wanted to stay and rebuild?  How many businesses wanted to rebuild? When they got the numbers they built the greenest city in America which has been proudly featured and promoted by then  Governor Kathleen Sebelius as a tourist destination.
Its about money. As they were building and choosing materials, and energy sources, they considered the costs and went with foam, and steel, and solar and wind and heat pumps, recycled aluminum, the new glass… in short, the proven benefits of green technology. Not only are they proud of their town, but they enjoy the great benefits of cheaper energy to sustain them.
Why do you think huge multinational companies like the Ford Plant near Detroit rebuilt with a roof covered by sedum, a small succulent plant that keeps the roof cool and requires little water. They have a solar power station on the grounds. Not because they are looking to be good citizens, though it doesn’t hurt their image, its because they are looking at their bottom line. Its about money. And, for us, its about jobs.
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HATE TO HARP, BUT…

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors is at it again. Two teenage high school girls appeared before the board to ask that April 15th through the 22nd be declared Earth Week. I guess they didn’t do their homework on the word sustainability, as it got maligned at an earlier board meeting. (See my blog of April 1st.) The text of the resolution, drafted by the student organization, explaining the goals of Earth Week, had the line “…a peaceful, just and sustainable world…” According to Supervisor Tom Tryon, a libertarian, in his opinon, using the word “just” means environmental justice. Which, according to him, has a whole agenda around it. Tryon said, “Sustainability, what it has become a term for, in my opinion, is economic stagnation. Sustainability is not about change. Its about having no change.” And, on and on and on about free market capitalism, socialism, the climate change is natural, and bad government. Sometimes I think we vote in idiots.
The rest of the board voted FOR the resolution. And, our tea party guy, Spellman, much to his credit, pointed out that this high school club goes around recycling cans and earning money for their school activities. Thank you Spellman for common sense.
These girls are not exactly opposing capitalism and promoting Marxist socialism. The girls think its about preserving a quality way of life. Spellman recognized these girls and their organization as working together for positive outcomes.
Tom and I have been friendly adversaries for years. I’ll have to ask Tom if he was ever a boy scout.
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MC CARTHYISM IS BACK ONLY ITS CALLED TEA PARTYISM

I recently talked about survival and my friend Allan Willard sent me an absolutely amazing video about urban sustainability, actually raising your own food, fish, and using digested gases for some fuel needs. Astounding. It may come to this for all of us as the planet struggles to support its demanding population.Check it out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyRMvXZIKaw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

But, disturbing to me, since sustainability seems to be a positive thing in our society, how that word could be so misused.
Check this out:
Calaveras is a small county. Citizens here are very supportive of business.  At a recent board of supervisors meeting, during a discussion over hiring of a consultant firm to design bridge upgrades, a member of the audience Tonja Dausend of Burson told the board that the company under consideration, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., claims the firm has touted itself as a world-class leader and innovator in the delivery of sustainable solutions on its website. Here is the cruncher.  Dausend claims that in her opinion, “sustainable development” is anti-American. Wha???
She believes sustainable development is part of a United Nations effort to impose control over local governments like ours.
If that isn’t kooky enough for you, Darren Spellman, the newly elected “Tea Party”supervisor agreed with Dausend. He wants to avoid hiring firms with anti-American principles. What anti-American principles? He’d like firms to have some kind of “litmus test” to pass before being hired.
If it looks like McCarthyism and sounds like McCarthyism, its close enough to call. American firms judged by a claim to something as proper as sustainability on a website instead of  whether they are qualified to do the job? Since when is it the Board of Supervisors duty to not consider a bid on the opinon of someone from the audience that sustainability is part of some United Nations conspiracy? We are surely the laughing stock of the mountain counties. We have a republican and a libertarian who voted with Spellman to reconsider. Remember that the next time you are in a voting booth. If it can happen here, it can happen where you live to.
In my opinion the well funded Tea Party is anti-American. Its all about power and money instead of people.

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ON BECOMING A BLOGAMATIC

At one time I worked as a feature writer/journalist, took decent pictures of people and events of interest and enjoyed it very much, plus,  I got paid for it. Now I call myself a “blogamatic”. I photograph everything I do as though the whole world might be interested in my road trip from Mendocino County to Alameda County, the sculpture I saw at the Solar Living Center in Hopland, or that I had lunch at Mimi’s in Dublin. I blame and thank my partner, Jimmy the Rat,  for my addiction to blogging. Life is more fun this way, and I tend to keep in touch with people more than I used to.

I’ve visited the Solar Living Center several times in the past though I didn’t stop this time.  Finding an artistic use for rusty metal  makes an eye-catching attraction on Highway 101 at Hopland. . If you’ve never gone, the center has fascinating features, including prescription bottle bathroom doors, trees growing through cars, a solar fountain that kids can operate, a straw bale building which uses no air conditioning or heating to keep the temperature comfortable. Its all about sustainability, positioning, the sun and breezes. A solar power plant, electric vehicle recharging stations, sewage treatment, natural fertilizers, all organic fruits and vegetables… the whole place is fascinating. Classes in solar installation and other sustainable practices are available. Visitors are always welcome, just drive in. You will never look at the earth in quite the same way.

My friends are a core part of my life. Joan Dailey is just a face to you but to me she is a great mother, grandmother, teacher, and friend. We trade book titles so fast and furiously, I’ll probably never get to read them all.  We fondly share memories of raising kids together. Joan is a cancer survivor and taught me about her appreciation and changed perspective on life after cancer. I hadn’t seen Joan in five years when we went off to see a male strip show in Tahoe, totally out of character for Joan. I guess I was always the wild one.

Faye Gebo, my high school buddy and her wonderful partner, Dave Goodwin,  always welcome me for a nights stay when I’m in the Bay Area. Faye and I lived in the same apartment complex after marriage; we bought houses in the same neighborhood until the military caused our paths to diverge. Dave and I discuss how to make the world a better place as we harangue the banks that borrow money from the Federal Reserve at one-half a percent then buy treasury bonds at 3 percent with OUR money, instead of providing loans to consumers with it.  We learn from each other about dealing with aging parents and the task of becoming the older generation.  Can we reduce lifes inconsequentials, our addiction to materialism  and make our time count? Friends are stimulating.

I left the archive to have lunch with my cousin, Terri Cardoza who is a best friend as well as a cousin. She is, always helping others, neighbors, former in-laws, me, you name it. She volunteers for animal rescue and has taken in, surgically altered, and fed innumerable strays. She taught me that stray cats are territorial. You can’t adopt them all but you can alter them;  they keep and defend their territory preventing new strays from coming in. It provides a more stable population with less disease and less litters in your own neighborhood.

Life is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings. .

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