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.

M

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 350.org 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:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/skypictures/sets/72157648135607652/

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.