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Political Actions vs. Campaign Promises April 9, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Sustainable Living.
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Grumpy gusActions speak louder than words and political actions speak louder than campaign promises.

From my vantage point,  Obama’s campaign promises are turning out to be just like those of other politicians:


While Obama certainly is not responsible for the state of the world as it exists today, he is responsible and should be held accountable for his own actions and inactions.

He cannot continue to support the status quo and politics as usual if he wants to honor his promise to bring real change to Washington.

When we observe the “what is” as it unfolds in DC, we see Obama making choices that clearly are not in the long-term best interest of this country ~ e.g.,  giving a key agriculture post to a Monsanto Man.

* Why not appoint someone who advocates eating locally grown food?
* Why not appoint someone who supports organic, sustainably grown food?
* Why not appoint someone who advocates against the use of pesticides?
* Why not appoint someone who isn’t in favor of genetically modified food?

Why not climb out of Monsanto’s back pocket and represent the interests of the citizens who voted him into office??

Obama’s support of off-shore drilling in previously protected areas is another example of an egregious and perhaps irreparable mistake he has made ~ putting politics first and the good of this country and the world second.

How can Obama continue to support off-shore drilling, “clean” coal, and nuclear power instead of clean, renewable, economical, and sustainable energy sources such as eSolar’s SunTower in CA???

According to the Los Angeles Times article above:  “the White House sees its new drilling plan as a way to curry favor with Republicans and moderate Democrats.” 

To curry favor . . . if that’s not politics as usual, I don’t know what is.


* We have sustainable technology available to us right now which would reduce our reliance on foreign oil and preserve the planet for future generations to enjoy.

* We could power the entire state of California in an area 5 miles wide by 5 miles long.

* We could create green jobs instead of running the risk of devastating oil spills off the coast of Florida.

Sadly, solar technology and other sustainable energy sources are largely ignored because powerful lobbyists exert control over the political process.

If we want to realize real change in DC, we need to educate ourselves on issues of lasting import to the nation and the world.

We need to look behind empty campaign promises and examine each politician’s actual track record whenever they are up for re-election.  We need to vote against politicians who are in DC to get an ego boost from the power and prestige, and vote for candidates who are advocates for the planet as a whole.

When we rid DC of politicians (and lobbyists) who put self-interest and political preservation ahead of the common good . . . real change will emerge at last.

For a great debate on the issue of Off-Shore drilling:  National Journal Expert Blogs ~ Energy and Environment.

No Impact Man: Pedal Power April 9, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Life Balance, Sustainable Living.
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In No Impact Man: The Documentary, we addressed the family’s efforts to   reduce, reuse, and recycle to lessen their carbon footprint on the planet.

Goofy-Riding-A-BikeOther thought-provoking aspects to the documentary are worthy of further comment as we get ready to celebrate Earth Day 2010.

The first has to do with the family’s use of bicycles to get around New York City, a hair-raising ordeal, to say the least.

In order to transport their daughter, they borrowed a large tricycle from someone they met at the farmer’s market.  Since it didn’t fit in a standard bike rack, they parked it on the sidewalk in front of their apartment building ~ until the neighbors complained, and insisted that they find some other place to park the bike.

Hmm . . .

* Interestingly enough, the neighbors did NOT complain about the enormous dumpster sitting directly behind the bike.

* The neighbors did NOT complain about the motorcycle parked next to the dumpster.

* The neighbors did NOT complain about the multitude of cars parked on the street on both sides of the dumpster.

Well, maybe the bike was in their way?

Nope ~ the sidewalk was wide enough that the bike did not block ingress or egress to the building.

Well, maybe the bike was an eyesore?

Again, nope.  The tricycle was well-maintained, in good working condition, and quite attractive ~ way more attractive than the enormous, rusted-out dumpster.

So why did the neighbors complain about the tricycle?  Why did they want this environmentally friendly family to park it somewhere other than in direct sight of the front door?

Although this question went unanswered during the 90 minute film, I suspect that seeing that tricycle sitting there every day reminded their not-so-earth-friendly neighbors that No Impact Man and his family were lowering their impact on the planet, at great personal sacrifice, in order to make the world a better place for everyone.

Every time the neighbors saw the tricycle sitting there, doing nothing wrong, it reminded them that they could be doing so much more ~ they could shop less, eat more locally grown food, reduce their consumption of disposable products, lessen their reliance on non-sustainable energy sources, etc..

Since having those kind of thoughts made them feel guilty about their daily choices (and perhaps even their very existence on the planet), they wanted to sweep that tricycle out of their field of vision.

Rather than carefully examining their own carbon footprint, and coming up with a plan to start making small changes (which collectively might make a real difference to future generations), they just complained to the super:


Fortunately for the family, the superintendent of the building believed in promoting the use of pedal power to move about the city and refused to do anything about the bike.

So the neighbors just had to deal with their feelings of guilt in some other way ~ shooting the messenger was no longer an option.

Many people watching the documentary will be inspired to make changes in their own lives.  Others, like the not-so-earth-friendly neighbors, will get annoyed at the underlying message that we should all do more with less.

Which side of that fence will you be on?

For more Green Tips and Posts in honor or Earth Day 2010 . . . stay tuned!

Go Solar with . . . eSolar! April 9, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Sustainable Living.
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Here’s a stellar topic for Earth Day 2010 . . . an update on America’s first solar energy plant!!!


Last August, energy giant eSolar unveiled the opening of the first solar thermal energy plant in the U.S.  To view the launch video commemorating this milestone: click here.

Located in southern California, the Sierra SunTower powers 4,000 homes in the Antelope Valley near Los Angeles.   With eSolar’s innovative technology, 25 square miles (5 miles x 5 miles) of mirrors and towers could power the entire state of California!

Not only is this energy clean ~ the plant will offset more than 7,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year ~ but it’s also affordable.  Nearly every home buying energy from the plant will see their energy bills decrease.

An added bonus: the project created 300 constructions jobs and 21 permanent jobs at the plant.

Talk about a win-win-win situation!

In December, Power Engineering named eSolar’s Sierra SunTower the winner of “Best Renewable and Sustainable Project” at the 2009 Awards Ceremony:

“The Sierra SunTower project from eSolar exemplifies the kind of creative thinking and innovation that Power Engineering magazine’s editors hope to foster through our annual Projects of the Year awards program,” said David Wagman, chief editor of Power Engineering magazine. “The eSolar team is to be congratulated for this outstanding project, which was our hands-down choice as the best renewable energy project of the year.”

This is exactly what we need to do ~ shift away from electricity that is not sustainably produced to electricity that comes solely from sustainable sources (e.g., wind, solar, waves) ~ moving workers from current energy production to greener and cleaner energy production.

Go Green . . . Go Solar . . . Go eSolar!

For more info:  CleanTechnica.com * Solar Daily * Earth Times * NewEnergyWorldNetwork.com * Green Energy News * eSolar.com * RenewableEnergyWorld.com

Happy Earth Day 2010!