My dad’s family came from the small mediterranean island of Malta. In my recent visit, I was happy to see the progress being made on introducing public electric vehicle infrastructure to the Island. In several locations I found a charging station you pay for with an RFID (radio frequency ID) card, and an accompanying dedicated parking spot, sponsored by several agencies including the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure. One was in the hip town of Sliema, one was near the Gozo ferry terminal, and one was next to the old church of Mellieha, a nice combination of old and new. I know several Long Island towns are waiting for funding to make similar installations here.
In both Italy and Malta, I saw small, economical car models made by companies including Chevrolet and Toyota that they do not offer for sale in the U.S. Hmm. I wonder why?…. I recently read that SUV sales went up in the U.S. due to short term low oil prices. I hope the U.S. market eventually catches on that oil prices are on a general trend upward. Electric, though currently produced mostly with fossil fuels, is also being produced by renewables feeding into the grid and directly at carports which will help save money and the environment in the long run.
My Top 15 Countdown of Favorite Signs at the Climate March
No blogpost could do it justice–the Climate March in NYC (9/21/14) was absolutely fantastic beyond words! I was so happy to be a part of it along with 310,000+ others from all walks of life—many races, many religions, all ages, and multiple points of view from across the states and Canada, with marches taking place in other countries as well. It was inspiring to have such a diverse group come out and share their creative messaging, so I thought I’d give my top15 favorite signs:
15) Disrupt fossil fuels
14) The Climate Changes, Can we?
13) Windmills not Weapons
12) Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground
11) I don’t believe in climate silence
10) Your carbon is stressing me out
9) “Cool It” on a picture of a burning globe
8) Save spiders—stop cutting down trees (hand-made by a 7 year old)
7) Stop the war on mother earth (carried by veterans)
6) New Orleans: The seas are rising… and so are we!
5) Cook Organic, not the Planet
4) Change the System, not the Climate
3) There is no Planet B
2) It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your coals
1) I can’t believe I’m having to protest… is it not obvious?
And a special shout out to the vegans carrying the cow float saying “Do you have a steak in it?,” reminding us of the impact of our food choices. Let’s hope all this effort impacts UN & government decision-makers. For more on the March and what you can do, see 350.org. For more pictures, “like” the Green Inside and Out Facebook page.
Canadian Tar Sands + Peace Poets Make for an Interesting Day
This weekend’s event for Homecoming Farm in Amityville, NY (http://homecomingearth.org/), a CSA on the land of the Dominican sisters, focused on our inter-connectivity with nature and the debate of oil mining for our immediate needs versus awareness of its broader impacts. Speaker Margaret Swedish, author of “Living Beyond the End of the World: A Spirituality of Hope” and the blog http://www.ecologicalhope.org/category/blog/ showed profoundly moving photos and videos from her travels to Alberta Canada where boreal forests are being clear-cut for the mining of sand containing bentonite that can be converted into fuel oil. In her interviews of locals, she discovered that people are generally split on whether or not they support the mining since it has been a large boon to the economy but they, including some native tribes, also see beautiful areas of their homeland being destroyed and the work itself is dismal.
The mood was lifted to a more hopeful one by an incredible performance by the Peace Poets, a group of young Bronx men that “spits” positive messages about peace, caring for family, and personal responsibility, in an artistic form of rap. See https://www.facebook.com/ThePeacePoets.
I Love New York – for Going Green
The Empire State Building is my favorite building in the world, and now I have even more reason to love it. During a recent visit, I learned that over the last few years, the owners partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative, NYSERDA, Johnson Controls and The Rocky Mountain Institute to do some major green renovations.
They made numerous improvements to the building’s outer shell and interior lighting and equipment to become more energy efficient. They also updated the chiller plants, and installed new air handlers (fans) that only run when needed.
This alone will reduce CO2 emissions by 50,000 metrics tons over the next 15 years. This, matched with tenant education and energy management systems, is saving the building $6,000 per day.
To learn more, visit the educational display gallery on the bottom floor of the Empire State Building next time you’re in NYC, and see http://www.esbnyc.com/sustainability_energy_efficiency.asp
Solar Impulse at JFK
Incredible- got to visit the Solar Impulse at Kennedy Airport – the fuel-free, solar powered plane that just finished crossing the U.S. Breaking new barriers, it is the first solar plane to be able to fly both day and night (due to battery storage), only stopping so the pilots could rest. The innovative and pioneering effort was undertaken by 2 Swiss innovators, who took turns piloting the plane through its various stops across the U.S., from San Francisco to New York. Made of a light carbon fiber, its average speed was 45 mph, wing span was that of a jumbo jet (208 feet), and it was powered by 2000 solar cells. The Wright brothers’ first flight was in 1903, so here 110 years later, we reach another milestone. The next plan for the team is to fly around the globe. Just the beginning for this exciting technological possibility!
Repost from Climate Reality Blog: 100% Renewables Now!!
Happy to have contributed to the Climate Reality Blog, on a report released by the organization I work for, Renewable Energy Long Island.
100% Renewable — 100% Doable
09/10/2012 // 2:00 PM //
Source: Renewable Energy Long Island
This is a guest post by Beth Fiteni, Program Manager at Renewable Energy Long Island.When Al Gore challenged the nation in his famous 2008 speech to achieve 100% renewable electricity within 10 years, Gordian Raacke listened. As a Climate Reality Leader and executive director of the advocacy groupRenewable Energy Long Island (reLI), Gordian was already powering 100% of his home with solar energy. But he didn’t want to stop there.
He picked up on Mr. Gore’s challenge and wondered whether Long Island could meet the electricity needs of its 3 million people with renewable energy technologies available today. With funding from two foundations and supported by a coalition of organizations including national groups like 350.org, reLI hired Synapse Energy Economics to get some expert answers.
The result is the Long Island Clean Electricity Vision, which found that by 2020 it is possible to meet 100% of Long Island’s residential electricity needs from renewables, and by 2030 to have a 100% renewable, zero-carbon electricity supply. The study finds the cost to be modest: Average customer bills are estimated to increase by roughly 8-12%. On a typical household’s monthly utility bill, this amounts to between $12 and $18, or the price of a pizza. [Read more…] about Repost from Climate Reality Blog: 100% Renewables Now!!