Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Enhancing energy independence and providing savings to Vermonters.

Mary Powell, CEO, will be on with us tomorrow.  Join us.

Vermont is a national leader in creating a model for our energy future. And here at Green Mountain Power we work day in and day out to find new innovative ways to help our customers save money and move to renewable energy sources, while also being an exemplary leader for the rest of the country by investing in a 21st century energy eco-system.
Through a new partnership with NRG Energy, we are able to offer a series of new clean energy products and services for Vermonters, helping customers manage energy use and save money. This partnership is part of our efforts to establish Rutland as the Energy City of the Future and helps position the state as a leader in the movement toward cost-effective sustainable energy solutions.

"Through this partnership, we hope to demonstrate that investing in a 21st century energy eco-system that is more sustainable, resilient, affordable and individually empowering for the people of Vermont is more sensible than pouring more investment into the creaky old grid infrastructure from the 20th century. In the course of doing so, we will also prove that the concepts of 'electric utility', 'renewables' and 'personal choice' are not mutually exclusive," said NGR President and CEO David Crane speaking alongside Green Mountain Power President and CEO Mary Powell announcing the new partnership. 

Beginning in 2015, Green Mountain Power will begin offering the following products and service offerings from the new project.

Personal Energy Management: GMP will offer Vermont customers a comprehensive personal energy management solution — a multilevel home control and convenience offering. Subscribing customers may be able to remotely manage energy consumption in their homes to increase comfort and save money. GMP may also offer NRG's web-based customer technology to provide Vermonters clear insight into electricity use, allowing them to make smarter choices.  Customers may also be able to participate in demand response, in which they voluntarily reduce their use of electricity for specific periods in return for payments or credits on their bill.   
NRG Portable Power: GMP will offer NRG’s Portable Power solution allowing customers to break free from the outlet and charge their smartphones with an NRG Power Pack. 

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: GMP will work with NRG’s eVgo division to develop and roll out an expanded, interconnected network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state, including several charging package options.  Both “Level 2” and DC Fast Chargers will be installed in commercial and workplace locations.  

Community Solar: In 2013, NRG Home Solar (formerly Residential Solar Solutions) built one of the first third party financed community solar arrays in the country. This array, in Rutland, VT, provides 50 residents and businesses a credit on their GMP bill for their portion of the solar energy produced by the array.  Customers pay a small monthly fee and are covered by a power production guarantee. NRG is currently working on additional projects in Vermont as part of the partnership with GMP.

Micro-power: GMP is working with NRG to offer micro generation solutions to Vermonters, including NRG’s Beacon 10. These units generate up to 10 kilowatts of electricity, provide heat for water and space heating, and offer battery storage and solar integration capability with onsite solar systems.

Microgrid: GMP has an ambitious vision for an energy future that takes Rutland and ultimately Vermont beyond the legacy grid system, supported by solar energy and new technology systems that ensure reliable power. Leveraging NRG’s microgrid capabilities, the two companies intend to transform the distribution grid system to a market-based platform designed to create efficiencies and distributed energy solutions.
"This partnership is a really big deal for our customers and for Vermont," said GMP President and CEO, Mary Powell. "Our partner NRG Energy is a cutting edge leader in green energy solutions, and they see in Vermont the same potential that we at GMP have recognized for years. Our customers consistently tell us they want tools to save money and move to renewable energy sources, and we can show the rest of the country how to get there. This is what our energy future looks like."

Friday, September 26, 2014

What small cities can do to fight climate change

Really good piece   One of the things mentioned here--and we'll give you the link below to GIST as it is a long article, but very worthwhile--is the possible adoption of the cap and trade here in the US.   We had a guest on this week pushing for such an initiative.   We agree it could bring financial clout to reducing emissions.

Get in touch if you work for a city that has pushed ahead with some of these much needed steps.


"Apple's Investment in Renewable Energy, Is It Justified?"

This radio show posted this week and has garnered lots of attention.   Please go to our main site to enjoy a great show and send us your comments:

Apple's Investment in Renewable Energy, 
Is It Justified?"

We love, as we know you do, democracy.  We love the right to disagree.  That is why we welcomed Justin Danhof and the National Center for Public Policy Research to this very different segment. 

Justin and his group garnered significant attention, including ours on a front page story and blog, when he challenged Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, on the merits of their extraordinary investments in clean energy.  Justin and his group demanded the data to support and demonstrate a reasonable ROI for shareholders.  Nothing wrong with that, in our view. 

How did Mr. Cook handle the exchange?  Has he provided the data? What other companies feel the sting and scrutiny of Mr. Danhof and his conservative group? 

Listen as our skilled co-host, Jack Greg, and I get deep into the role of CEO in guiding a company towards sustainability and whether that CEO can show shareholders the merits of that conviction

Jessica Alba opens a medical facility in LA

We strive to bring you positive stories as we profile leaders in every industry--including entertainment--doing great things.  Congratulations to Jessica and the team at MT. Sinai.

Send us your positive stories as well.

Jessica Alba is putting her money where her mouth is. The eco-friendly actress, who launched her clean-living brand, The Honest Company, in 2012, opened a new Los Angeles medical facility aimed at researching environmental chemicals on children’s health.
Dubbed The Honest Company Ultra Clean Room, the facility is located in L.A.’s Mount Sinai Hospital. The “Sin City” star was on hand to launch the facility at its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 10.
The “room” (which is really a medical lab) will allow researchers to use state-of-the-art technology to learn more about how toxins in the environment affect children’s health.
Speaking at the launch, Alba, a mother of two daughters, said, “To be part of the next phase of research is a dream come true.”
Alba also shared an Instagram of the momentous occasion, adding, “We’re so honored to be part of the future of chemical research at #mtsinai #honestultraclean.” (Funnily enough, Alba’s daughter is named Honor).

Jessica Alba opens new Los Angeles medical facility.

Hospital boss, Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, said in statement, “The new clean room will be an integral part of our Laboratory for Molecular Environment Chemistry and further establishes Mount Sinai as the leader in the field of children’s environmental health.”
Congratulations, Jessica! And thanks for keeping us ‘honest.’
Photo: DFree / Shutterstock.com

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rockefellers to sell oil assets as part of $50B global warming fight

WOW, did you ever think you'd see this day come?   What a monumental shift for a behemoth industry player....one of the early giants of fossil fuel production.  

We've done many shows on ESG investing and major funds divesting of their holdings in fossil fuel related companies.  We've covered protest on campuses in which students are demanding that colleges, through their endowments, divest of their holdings as well.  One of our early co-host and partners on the radio side was Calvert Funds, the mother of ESG investing.   And today, we culminate this story with a world-changing announcement by The Rockefeller Fund that is staggering but filled with incredible potential to start the shift of fossil fuel money into clean energy.

Let us know what you think.   We will follow up on the radio side with a terrific show.  Go to renewablenow.biz for more information and to follow the story:

Our thanks to the CBC, a wonderful network out of Canada, for their great story.

 Rockefellers sell off part of oil fortune to fight global warming

Heirs of Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller say he would agree with moving out of fossil fuels

The Rockefellers, who made their vast fortune on oil, will on Monday join and other philanthropies and high-wealth individuals in a pledge to sell and get out of a total of $50 billion US worth of fossil fuel assets
The Global Divest-Invest coalition will announce Monday that the Rockefeller family and others have joined the global movement to divest fossil fuel investments, a day before 120 heads of state address the United Nations to discuss what efforts their countries are making to address a marked long-term increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Stephen Heintz, president of Rockefeller Brothers Fund, says of John D. Rockefeller: "We are quite convinced that if he were alive today … he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy." (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Since the movement began in 2011, some 650 individuals and 180 institutions which together own $50 billion in assets have pledged to divest from fossil fuels over five years using a variety of approaches.
One of the signatories is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stephen Heintz, an heir of Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, said the move to divest away from fossil fuels would be in line with his wishes.
"We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy," Heintz said in a statement.
At the end of July, the fund had $860 million in assets, although it is not known how much of that is specifically invested in fossil fuels.
The fund has committed to invest 10 per cent of its assets in what it deems sustainable development since 2010. Monday's announcement takes that commitment one step further.
Since January 2014, commitments by campuses, churches, cities, states, hospitals, pension funds, and others in the United States and abroad doubled, from 74 to 180, according to philanthropic giving consultancy Arabella Advisors.
One of the higher profile education institution divestments came in May, when Stanford University said it will no longer use any of its $18.7 billion endowment to invest in coal mining companies.
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu will call for a freeze on all new fossil fuel exploration. (CBC)
While some smaller liberal colleges have made divestment announcements, some larger institutions have been reluctant.
The University of California voted last week to maintain its investments in fossil fuels, frustrating a student-led effort to divest its portfolio in oil, natural gas and coal.
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an anti-Apartheid figure who has been a strong voice on the need for economic divestments, will add to Monday's announcements in a recorded video announcement in which he will call for a freeze on all new fossil fuel exploration.
"We can no longer continue feeding our addiction to fossil fuels as if there is no tomorrow, for there will be no tomorrow," he said.

Earth's ozone layer on track to recovery, scientists report/Part 2

This is great news.  Let's enjoy and celebrate this milestone this week.  Good work

We'll post this over two days

September 10, 2014
United Nations Environment Programme
Earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades thanks to concerted international action against ozone depleting substances, according to a new assessment by 300 scientists

...CO2, Nitrous Oxide and Methane will have an increasing influence on the ozone layer
  • What happens to the ozone layer in the second half of the 21st century will largely depend on concentrations of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide -- the three main long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Overall, CO2 and methane tend to increase global ozone levels. By contrast, nitrous oxide, a by-product of food production, is both a powerful greenhouse gas and an ozone depleting gas, and is likely to become more important in future ozone depletion.
The Scientific Assessment Panel is expected to present the key findings of the new report at the annual Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, to be held in Paris in November 2014. The full body of the report will be issued in early 2015.
Notes :
The Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014 was prepared and reviewed by 282 scientists from 36 countries (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, People's Republic of China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Togo, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zimbabwe.)
Co-Chairs of the ozone assessment are: Prof. Ayité Lô Nohende Ajavon, Université de Lomé, Togo; Prof. John Pyle, University of Cambridge and National Centre for Atmospheric Science, UK; Dr. Paul Newman, NASA/ Goddard Space Flight Center, USA; Prof. A.R. (Ravi) Ravishankara, Colorado State University, USA.

Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by United Nations Environment ProgrammeNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:
United Nations Environment Programme. "Earth's ozone layer on track to recovery, scientists report." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140910162324.htm>.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Earth's ozone layer on track to recovery, scientists report/Part 1

This is great news.  Let's enjoy and celebrate this milestone this week.  Good work

We'll post this over two days

September 10, 2014
United Nations Environment Programme
Earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades thanks to concerted international action against ozone depleting substances, according to a new assessment by 300 scientists

The images above show the Antarctic ozone hole on September 16 (the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer) in the years 1979, 1987, 2006, and 2011. The first two maps are based on data from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) on the Nimbus-7 satellite. The other two maps are made with data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on the Aura satellite. Though taken by different instruments, the data sets have all been cross-calibrated and reanalyzed by scientific models.

rth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades thanks to concerted international action against ozone depleting substances, according to a new assessment by 300 scientists.
The Assessment for Decision-Makers, a summary document of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014, is being published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and is the first comprehensive update in four years.
The stratospheric ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Without the Montreal Protocol and associated agreements, atmospheric levels of ozone depleting substances could have increased tenfold by 2050. According to global models, the Protocol will have prevented 2 million cases of skin cancer annually by 2030, averted damage to human eyes and immune systems, and protected wildlife and agriculture, according to UNEP.
The phase-out of ozone depleting substances has had a positive spin-off for the global climate because many of these substances are also potent greenhouse gases. However, the assessment report cautions that the rapid increase in certain substitutes, which are themselves also potent greenhouse gases, has the potential to undermine these gains. The assessment also notes that there are possible approaches to avoiding the harmful climate effects of these substitutes.
"There are positive indications that the ozone layer is on track to recovery towards the middle of the century. The Montreal Protocol -- one of the world's most successful environmental treaties -- has protected the stratospheric ozone layer and avoided enhanced UV radiation reaching the earth's surface," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
"However, the challenges that we face are still huge. The success of the Montreal Protocol should encourage further action not only on the protection and recovery of the ozone layer but also on climate. On September 23, the UN Secretary General will host Heads of State in New York in an effort to catalyse global action on climate. The Montreal Protocol community, with its tangible achievements, is in a position to provide strong evidence that global cooperation and concerted action are the key ingredients to secure the protection of our global commons," he added.
"International action on the ozone layer is a major environmental success story," said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. "This should encourage us to display the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the even greater challenge of climate change. This latest assessment provides solid science to policy-makers about the intricate relationship between ozone and climate and the need for mutually-supportive measures to protect life on earth for future generations."
"Human activities will continue to change the composition of the atmosphere. WMO's Global Atmosphere Watch programme will therefore continue its crucial monitoring, research and assessment activities to provide scientific data needed to understand and ultimately predict environmental changes, as it has done for the past 25 years" said Mr Jarraud.
Key findings:
Actions taken under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are enabling the return of the ozone layer to benchmark 1980 levels.
  • Under full compliance with the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is expected to recover to 1980 benchmark levels- the time before significant ozone layer depletion- before the middle of the century in mid-latitudes and the Arctic, and somewhat later in the Antarctic.
  • The Montreal Protocol and associated agreements have led to decreases in the atmospheric abundance of gases, such as CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and halons, once used in products such as refrigerators, spray cans, insulation foam and fire suppression.
  • Total column ozone declined over most of the globe during the 1980s and early 1990s. It has remained relatively unchanged since 2000, but there are recent indications of its future recovery.
  • The Antarctic ozone hole continues to occur each spring and it is expected to continue occurring for the better part of this century given that ozone depleting substances persist in the atmosphere, even though their emissions have ceased.
  • The Arctic stratosphere in winter/spring 2011 was particularly cold, which led to large ozone depletion as expected under these conditions.
The climate benefits of the Montreal Protocol could be significantly offset by projected emissions of HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) used to replace ozone depleting substances.
  • The Montreal Protocol has made large contributions toward reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. In 1987, ozone-depleting substances contributed about 10 gigatonnes CO2-equivalent emissions per year. The Montreal Protocol has now reduced these emissions by more than 90 per cent. This decrease is about five times larger than the annual emissions reduction target for the first commitment period (2008-2012) of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) do not harm the ozone layer but many of them are potent greenhouse gases. They currently contribute about 0.5 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions per year. These emissions are growing at a rate of about 7 per cent per year. Left unabated, they can be expected to contribute very significantly to climate change in the next decades.
  • Replacements of the current mix of high-GWP HFCs with alternative compounds with low GWPs or not-in-kind technologies would limit this potential problem.
The annual Antarctic ozone hole has caused significant changes in Southern Hemisphere surface climate in the summer.
  • Ozone depletion has contributed to cooling of the lower stratosphere and this is very likely the dominant cause of observed changes in Southern Hemisphere summertime circulation over recent decades, with associated impacts on surface temperature, precipitation, and the oceans.
  • In the Northern Hemisphere, where the ozone depletion is smaller, there is no strong link between stratospheric ozone depletion and tropospheric climate...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Block Island wind farm gets final approvals

Good follow up to the many stories we've run on slow-developing wind projects in the Northeast.  This story appears to have a happy ending, as does Cape Wind as it gains its final approvals and starts a construction schedule so it can soon come on line and produce energy.  In our opinion, about time the courts and regulators got out of the  way and brought this clean energy into our supply mix.

"Deepwater Wind has received the final federal approval needed to build the Block Island Wind Farm - a project that remains on-track to be the nation's first offshore wind farm.
The project's lead federal permitting agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, granted its approval Sept. 5. With the Corps’ permit, the Block Island Wind Farm has now been completely reviewed, and approved, by nine state and federal agencies: Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island State Historic Preservation Office.
Deepwater Wind has begun the initial stages of construction on the 30-megawatt wind farm, which will be about 3 miles off the coast of Block Island. Earlier this year, Deepwater Wind selected Alstom as its turbine supplier and long-term maintenance and service provider. Deepwater Wind recently received delivery of its 15 wind turbine blades from Alstom in Denmark.
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is reviewing Deepwater Wind's application for a right-of-way in federal waters for the Block Island transmission system, the transmission cable associated with the Block Island Wind Farm. Deepwater Wind said anticipates receiving BOEM’s approval in the coming weeks.
Offshore construction is expected to begin next summer, with the wind farm operational in 2016, according to Deepwater Wind."
Offshore wind farm image via Shutterstock.

Monday, September 22, 2014

History, and More, Being Made with Formula E in Beijing, China

Renewable Now is proud to provide coverage of this historic, amazing first Formula E race in Beijing through our corresponded, Mike Pereira.  Go to renewablenow.biz to view the reports.

History was made this past weekend as the world’s first ever fully-electric single-seater race took place in Beijing, marking the successful season opener of the FIA Formula E Championship. And Renewable Now was part of history as our team was there live covering this historical moment as our own Michael Pieirra provided commentary from track-side, and got to speak with Formula E, CEO Alejandro Agag.

But before you read Michael's article, we want you to know why wehere at Renewable

Now are so excited and focused on Formula E, and why Formula E is extremely important for all of us. If you're familiar with the the sport of racing, you're probably already aware that the sport as a whole dwarfs all others sports, including World Cup Soccer.

 At the top of this hi-octane food chain is FORMULA 1, the most prestigious and most technologically advanced racing in the world. For any singular Grand Prix race within a Formula 1 season, the economic impact is in the billions when you look at the commerce that surrounds the teams, manufacturers, sponsors, venues, tourism, etc. 

This translates into creating jobs and careers, and more importantly, new technology that eventually makes it way into the cars consumers drive everyday on normal roads. If Formula 1's new cousin, Formula E, grows, we will see experiential growth in consumer electric cars, as major auto manufacturers such asRenault, BMW, Mercedes will be investing  major R & D dollars behind these electric Formula E cars in efforts to win. This all means that this competition will advance the consumer electric car market ten fold. 

From performance to battery life and distance, consumer electric cars are going to get a lot better, a lot quicker. This is similar to the technology that evolved from NASA. Eventually what NASA created, tested, and applied has benefited the general public, and gave birth to many new companies that took that science and technology into other applications which we all use and take for granted today.
Beyond the economic potential and technology we can enjoy from Formula E, maybe one of the best attributes that comes from the sport is its environmentally friendly impact, NO FOSSIL FUELS, NO CARBON, NO OIL SLICKS, and limited noise. 

We know the hard core Formula 1 aficionados love the sound of those engines- we love it also, but we really get excited with technology and science, and hopefully that will be what brings the Formula 1 fans over to sports' younger cousin, Formula E, to enjoy some great racing and great drivers. 

So we've shared with you why we're excited about Formula E, and why we feel it is important. We hope you'll become a fan and find something special about the sport that encourages us towards a more sustainable world, while enjoying a fun sport.

Beyond the economic potential and technology we can enjoy from Formula E, maybe one of the best attributes that comes from the sport is its environmentally friendly impact, NO FOSSIL FUELS, NO CARBON, NO OIL SLICKS, and limited noise. We know the hard core Formula 1 aficionados love the sound of those engines- we love it also, but we really get excited with technology and science, and hopefully that will be what brings the Formula 1 fans over to sports' younger cousin, Formula E, to enjoy some great racing and great drivers.

How can we make lawns more environmentally friendly?

Back off the road.  Great trip out to Nova Scotia.  Lots to report this week.

Great, positive changes to think about in lawn care as we enter a very busy landscape season:

Many homeowners strive to have the picture-perfect green lawn. But how can that be achieved in an environment where water in parts of the country is becoming scarce and the use of pesticides and fertilizer is being discouraged?

Researchers from two Big Ten universities hope that they will be able to find an answer. Scientists from Rutgers University and the University of Minnesota, both members of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation — an academic consortium of Big Ten universities — will be working together over the next five years to develop an environmentally friendly grass that is more resistant to disease and drought and a better economical choice for homeowners.
The scientists have received a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find a way to make fine fescue, a highly drought-tolerant grass native to Europe and used throughout the world in grazing pastures, ornamental landscaping and home lawns less susceptible to disease and wear.
"We're trying to make the low-maintenance grass less vulnerable to disease and more wear-tolerant for homeowners' lawns," said Austin Grimshaw, a research technician at the Center for Turfgrass Science in Rutgers' New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, who is working with colleagues Stacy Bonos and William Meyer on researching fine fescue.
"Tall fescue is very common on lawns," said Bonos, an associate professor of plant biology and pathology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. "Tall fescue uses more water than fine fescue, and it requires more fertilizer to maintain green color. Fine fescues maintain density and stay green with almost no water or fertilizer."
Besides making fine fescue tougher and less dependent on fungicides and fertilizers, better for the environment and more economical for homeowners, Bonos said researchers also need to gain a better understanding of what homeowners and groundskeepers want in a lawn and how best to market the grass.
Teenage boy mowing grass image via Shutterstock.
Read more at Rutgers University.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Florida Makes Off-Grid Living Illegal – Mandates All Homes Must Be Connected To An Electricity Grid

Thanks to Barbara Seely for sending this story which we find very disconcerting.  Why would a state mandate a grid connection?  Whose interest (not the consumer, obviously) are they protecting?  Is the grid buying security through campaign contributions? 

We will do a radio show on this, but look forward to your comments and any insight you may offer us.

"It’s no secret that an opposition to sustainable living exists. Earlier this year, Texas state brought several SWAT teams to a sustainable community and threatened to shut it down. Each one of the community members were initially handcuffed at gunpoint. It was called “The Garden of Eden Community,” and was totally self sustainable. You can read more about that here.
This time, it’s Robin Speronis that’s come under fire. She lives off the grid in Florida, completely independent of the city’s water and electric system. A few weeks ago, officials ruled her off-grid home illegal. Officials cited the International Property Maintenance Code, which mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source. That’s just like saying our dependency on corporations isn’t even a choice. The battle to live without most utilities has been ongoing for Robin, the self-sufficient woman has lived for more than a year and a half using solar energy, a propane camping stove and rain water.
In the end, she was found not guilty of not having a proper sewer or electrical system; but was guilty of not being hooked up to an approved water supply.
So what exactly is off grid living?
“It means living independently, mainly living independently of the utility companies. Providing your own power. It does not mean living in the stone age, it’s not about bush craft. It’s about generating your own power, your own water, dealing with your own waste. Probably as part of a community, not living on your own like a hermit. It’s also about being more self-reliant and being less dependent on the system. Perhaps realizing that the system isn’t really protecting us anymore and we have to look after ourselves.” - George Noory
Our potential as a human race is quite extraordinary, we just don’t realize it. Sustainable living is not about giving up a certain lifestyle, can still have all the modern amenities, design and beyond. Living off the grid wouldn’t be a problem, we have technologies that can generate over-unity power, we have technologies that can provide unlimited amounts of clean energy. I’m talking about free energy, which goes far beyond solar energy. We can have neighborhoods exactly like we do today, even better. They would be totally green, off the grid and self-sufficient.
The only problem with off the grid living is that corporations lose their ability to control others. With a completely self-sustaining life style, no body would ever have to work. What would happen then? Think about that for a moment. We would be free to expand and create, to discover our full potential as a race and move forward into the world of exploration and discovery, all the while living in harmony with nature, not against it.
We’ve accepted the monetary system, and deem it necessary for the proper function of society. Money doesn’t ever have to come in the way of necessity, we’ve just been made to believe that it does. It’s time for the human race to move past the concepts of competition and greed into one that benefits the whole.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozled has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” - Carl Sagan
 The human race does not need to be dependent on these corporations. While we continue to feed this dependency, the planet continues to suffer. In order to move forward, we must start cooperating with each other, and realize just how much potential we have to create something magical and amazing. Bottom line, anybody who has the desire to live off-grid should not be hassled for it, it should be a free choice."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

From our friends, Mrs. Green's World.

In addition to Renewable Now, of course, this is a very good show to listen to weekly.   Here's their latest update.

I've been interviewed there before and look forward to going back.   Let us know what you think:

Foodies for Thought
Would it immediately grab your interest if I started this newsletter with a fun YouTube video of me doing cartwheels and jumping up and down and clicking my heels together AND looking you straight in the eye to get your attention? And if I looked you straight in the eye and said, "You have got to listen to these super inspiring food shows. The guests and the content are that great. You will learn such amazing stuff and have fun learning. Pinky swear." Let me know your thoughts about a video like that, but in the meantime...
First case in point - Meet Paul Novak, General Manager, WholeVine. This cutting edge company is taking POMACE (skins and seeds remaining after grapes are pressed for wine production) and making an entire line of FINE culinary products from them. Such as? Delicious, kids-want-to-eat-them whole grain, gluten free cookies; cold-pressed culinary grape seed oils with names like Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc; and - drum roll please - SIXTEEN Chef-tested natural flours made from world class sustainably grown California fine wine grapes. The gluten-free flour is made from antioxidant-rich fine wine grape skins and seeds - both of which used to go to the compost pile. How did this all get started by one of the owners of Kendall-Jackson? To support a charity event maybe? This show will air this Saturday at noon and yes, I do believe you want to join us.
Second case in point - Can you imagine 81 fruit trees on a third of an acre of land in the middle of one of the largest cities in America? Do you know what a food mile is and how many miles your tomato probably traveled from farm to your plate? Do you want to know? Are you interested in a free webinar that will teach you how to grow your own food with limited time and space? Do you want to meet and learn about Greg Peterson - the Über Urban Gardener? Probably.
Trust me when I say you want to listen to our shows because of the great guests, the great things you will learn from them and the fun you will have learning!
Here are the links to our great past shows!

Laurie Davies Adams - 8/16
Time to Bee Smart
What are pollinators and why do they matter? 
What are the facts around the seriousness of the disappearing bees? What is colony collapse disorder and and why does it happen? 
Bee smart and click here to listen.
Frank Sesno - 8/23
Masterminding a Green Revolution
Want to engage young people to help move the planet forward? Did you know that 880 million people are already food insecure? Ever hear of mushroom packing instead of Styrofoam peanuts?
 Join the movement & join the show.
Alex Fried - 8/30
Trash Talk
What's the plan for college campus waste? What does a zero waste campus look like? What is planned obsolescence & why should we REALLY care? What is the fundamentally broken pattern of consumption? Listen & learn what you can do.

Greg Peterson - 9/6
Über Urban Gardener 
What does 81 fruit trees on a third of an acre look like? Do you know what a food mile is and how many miles your tomato probably traveled from farm to your plate? Do you want to know? If you've thought about gardening, click here. 

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September 13
Ingenuity is Ripe in the Vineyards
Paul Novak, WholeVine General Manager
Cold-pressed oils, gluten-free cookies, 16 flours and whole grain cookies made from grapes "scraps" once tossed in the landfill?  Yes. WholeVine offers an entire line of culinary products produced solely from pomace (skins and seeds remaining after grapes are pressed for wine production), a delicious example of full cycle sustainability I discovered at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Cooking for Solutions Institute this past spring.  I knew I had to share this incredible story with the Mrs. Green's World tribe and so I shall. Please join us.  This show sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona
September 20
Taking Care of Business, People and the Planet
Yalmaz Siddiqui, Senior Director of Environmental Strategy, Office Depot
Office Depot's three environmental aspirations are to "Buy Green," "Be Green" and "Sell Green." How are they doing? They have achieved the widest green product assortment in the office products industry. They have reduced their electricity use by over 20% and have saved at least 21,000 tons of waste from landfills. And they have helped thousands of customers reduce the environmental impact of their businesses. After I heard Mr. Siddiqui present at a higher education sustainability conference, I concluded Office Depot is taking big steps and making a big impact. Join us to decide what you think.  This show sponsored by Chapman Tucson.
September 27
From Boat Deck to Dinner Table
Tj Tate, Director of Sustainability, Gulf Wild
Is that genuine American Red Snapper you just ordered? Do you know where your Grouper is from? Do you know who harvested your fish and from where in the Gulf of Mexico, and at what port your fish landed? Trust me when I say Tj Tate does. And she knows her fishermen - she believes Gulf Wild is making an impact in conservation efforts from the boat deck to the dinner table. Be prepared to be informed and entertained. This show is sponsored by The Fairfax Companies.
October 4
Paying it Forward
Olivia and Carter Ries, One More Generation
Kids do care about the future. Here's proof. One More Generation (OMG) was founded by two elementary students in Fayetteville, GA.  Carter (now 13) and his sister Olivia (now 11.5) are extremely passionate about animals and conservation and vowed to do something about it.  Their pet project?  They have been adopting Cheetahs in South Africa over the past few years - ever since they heard that Cheetahs, along with so many other species were close to extinction, they knew they had to act.  So, of course, they started a totally independent nonprofit, and started educating other kids in every way you can imagine. Carter and Olivia have received a prestigious award from Captain Planet. And yes, I repeat, neither is old enough to drive. Don't you want to join me? This show sponsored by Chapman Tucson.
October 11
Yum! Learning to Love Weeds
Jerome Fressinier
Jerome is an Executive Chef, a thought leader and a game changer when it comes to what we will be eating in the future. I am not sure if I even understand Jerome's vision and his passion but somehow it involves eating weeds - Eco-bioflora. Jerome will talk about getting beyond food security. He is full of hope about our food future and believes it will be satisfying and fulfilling. He will share with us about concepts like "Vertical Rural Urbanization", biodiversity abundance and social plant welfare. Jerome wants to inspire and educate us about our ever-changing food service DEEDS and about putting them ahead of our desperate needs. Yikes. This show sponsored by The Fairfax Companies.
October 18
Health is a Family Affair
Stacey Antine, the HealthBarn USA
HealthBarn's mission is to ensure that ALL family members eat and live healthier lives. They teach children (and the grown-ups who love them) about delicious, nutritious food and the healthy lifestyle that goes with it. Kids learn how to grow their own fruits and vegetables and how to make the best choices at the supermarket or in a restaurant and how to have fun doing just that.  They have reached over 40,000 children and their numbers are growing. Stacey is the force behind all of this and she will share with us her passion and her success in getting families to raise their nutrition literacy through hands-on learning.  Listen to hear why HealthBarn has emerged as a major force for positive change in the lives of children and their families. Given our national healthcare crises and its unquestionable relationship to our diets, I am ready to listen.  This show sponsored by Chapman Tucson.
October 25
Save them All
Gregory Castle, Best Friends Animal Society
Their mission is simple and incredibly powerful: "Together, we will end the killing in America's shelters. Save them all." Millions of pets end up in shelters each year for a myriad of reasons - divorce, foreclosure, death in the family, economic problems and sometimes even problems with the pets and their behavior. Tragically, over 4 million of these homeless pets are killed in shelters each year. The research done by the Best Friends Animal Society supports that 90% of the animals that enter shelters are adoptable, or could be, with care and treatment. Best Friends believe it's possible to make this senseless killing a thing of the past and they intend to do just that.  Join me to learn how. This show in memory of Pamela Hodges.   
Mrs. Green's World
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