Monday, October 27, 2014

Solar Rec's - Selling Your Soul to the Devil?

I placed a deposit on an array of solar panels sponsored by company in Colorado who is putting up a project in Whiting Vermont. I am a firm believer in renewable energy and am looking to do everything that I can to reduce my footprint. I took money out of my retirement fund to support this project and in return I would get offsets on my electric bill. I was told I would get a 7% annual return on my investment and that the panels would last 30-50 years and the payback would be a little over 10 years. Sounded pretty good. Unfortunately, it was not good enough.

While on a bus to the People's Climate March, I ran into a couple of folks that educated me on the REC's- Solar Renewable Energy Credits. Seems that they are credits that are bundled with solar energy created by solar panels. The recs can be bought and sold in the energy markets. Companies sell these credits to companies who most often need them to comply with pollution standards without actually making the necessary changes to reduce their carbon footprint. I have read that the REC's are beneficial as people who do not have the resource of renewable energy available to them can purchase these offsets so that they can sleep at night. The problem is that companies who may purchase these REC's should be putting some of their resources into helping solve the problem of climate change.

So, I got my deposit back, and they tried to convince me that the REC's were a good thing. I'm not thinking they are. With the price of solar coming down in price by double digits for the past two years, I think the time to lock in is not today as hard as it is for me to say that. I work for a non-profit and need to examine all of my purchases carefully. I will be putting some of my assets into renewable energy, but not right now.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

People's Climate March - New York City

I attended the Peoples Climate March in New York City on September 21, 2014 travelling with over 2000 people from Vermont on more than 17 buses. There were more than 400,000 people at the March and as you can see from the photos, the marchers were  very diverse bunch of folks. The Vermont contingent was slotted to start the march at the end of the parade which formed along Central Park. It took over 3 hours for them to cross the starting point, that how huge this march was. Please check out for more information, plus check out vimeo for a great pre-march video.
Could this be the turning point that we all need? Check out the rest of my photos here:

Here is the video from Vimeo:

Into the Streets (People’s Climate March + Flood Wall Street) from meerkatmedia on Vimeo.

Elections 2014 - "What's At Stake?" - US Senator Bernie Sanders and Candidates

Bernie Sanders was at the Vermont Marble Museum in Proctor, Vermont over the weekend. He spoke with a number of candidates who are running for various state offices such as govenor, Lt. Govenor, Senator and Congresswoman, all from Vermont. Bernie reports that 80% of young people will not be voting in November. This is at a time when some of the greatest challenges we have faced as Americans will be decided in the coming years. Checking out by not voting is paramount to surrending and this is just not acceptable. You can view the video below, sorry for the booming sound, next time I will try and get a remote mic for the sound.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Environmental Photographer Exhibit

Nature Transformed: Edward Burtynsky's Vermont Quarry Photography in Context it currently showing at the Middlebury College Museum of Art until April 22.
"In this exhibition of Burtynsky's iconic photographs of the quarries of Vermont are explored within the context of the geological and social history of the area including in particular the Italian immigrant stoneworkers in the granite quarries near Barre. "

This rather stunning display of large frame photography in Vermont quarries is jaw dropping.
The large panels of photographs have a mixture of texture, shapes and color that pull the viewer in and won't let go. This free display is not to be missed by lovers of Vermont history and photography. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Climate Commitment Needed at the White House

Epic Rally Advances Climate Change Action

The buses converged on Washington DC with what was the largest rally demanding action to mitigate Climate Change. I was fortunate to be able to join 3 bus loads of fellow Vermonters on what turn out to be quite chilly and blustery even by Vermont standards.

It really didn't matter that almost no one was downtown when we marched, it really didn't matter that Barak was golfing with Tiger Woods as we chanted at the White House. We were there to show the world that complacency is not sustainable. And, if you tried to ignore the issue on this day and the days that followed, you had better not watch NBC, CBS, CNN, CSPAN, Univision, Telemondo, The freakin Weather Channel, or just about any other media.

We, the voice of sanity, clearly are not going away. You could feel that in the commitment and emotion from the speakers as well as the chanting and signs of the marchers. A serious commitment was made by 50,000 people, many who travelled long distances to march in the cold.

 It became clearly obvious from Robert Kennedy Jr. in the days before the rally that this problem will not be solved clearly by litigation, it is going to take civil disobedience. Van Jones proclaimed that civil disobedience was a fight for civil rights, fighting climate change is much bigger, we are fighting for all of humanity.

You can find the rest of my photos from the rally here

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Forward On Climate

Bus loads of Vermonters will be driving 10 hours on Saturday to get to Washington DC to partake in a protest to get us on track with limiting the destruction caused by excessive carbon in our atmosphere. For anyone who has been reading this blog since 2004 will know, that it is real, and business as usual presents a bleak future. This blog is not going to change anyones mind about climate change, however, the collective we must change habits and change them quickly. 

It is scary to think that even if we release 0 carbon, there will still be a lag time when carbon will continue to be released. Anyone with any interest can search this information on the web. It becomes quite plain and simple. We need a massive redirection and will power is the only thing standing in the way. Individual and political will power to make change our approach to using energy and moving people from one place to another. 

Join us won't you?