You friendly neighborhood Creative Greenius is one of the keynote speakers at next Tuesday night’s California Crossroads to talk about his work with South Bay 350 Climate Action Group and South Bay Clean Power to help the 15 cities of the South Bay and their neighboring communities 100% renewable energy by 2025 and why they need to get there that quickly.
While the rest of America has been transfixed by the spiraling, ever-worsening economic crisis, the auto industry bailout and the Obama transition team leaks about Hillary Clinton and John McCain’s new roles in the Administration, I’ve been in Chicago engrossed in meetings with people I promised I’d never admit having met with. So lets just say I went for the blues and the BBQ.
Along with the pulled pork I enjoyed finding out that these Chicago guys are smart enough to know what’s really going on out there and sharp enough to know they’ve got to get the rest of the country up to speed before January 20th rolls around.
It’s not like they gave me any secret briefing information or anything. And it’s not like they told me what to write – not in so many words anyway. But if you’d like to help the President hit the ground running – and be able to keep up with him along the way – here’s what you need to know.
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” — Hunter S. Thompson
Times have never been weirder here in the land of your Creative Greenius where even the 99 Cent Stores cannot buck the psychological impacts of this virtual recession being experienced by avatars everywhere. Earthquakes, fires, budget deficits and Real Estate that isn’t quite so “real” anymore and no longer feels like any kind of “estate” has harshed our mellow here in the Golden State.
It’s times like these when I invite The Man Who Knows over for a visit. I don’t really want to see him when everything is copacetic because part of what makes the good times so good is not having The Man Who Knows around telling you what you don’t want to hear.
But today’s weirdness calls for some simple truths and The Man Who Knows wasted no time in laying them on me as he lay on my couch.
Yeah, that’s me riding a very zippy battery powered Roth Motorboard at Saturday’s first annual Renewable L.A. in Van Nuys. That personal transportation device has a range of 20 miles and goes 15 mph. Apparently I was quite photogenic.
What a great event and I had a terrific time getting hands-on with all the renewable energy vehicles, the 100kw solar panel rooftop tour, the ecogift fest and especially the highly-charged people who turned out for this gathering of the mostly already enlightened green masses.
It takes a certain kind of person to get up on Saturday morning and then get on the San Diego Freeway to make the drive over the Sepulveda Pass into the San Fernando Valley during the holiday shopping season for the sole purpose of attending a renewable energy event – and those were exactly the kind of people i wanted to spend my day with. I got to meet and talk with plenty of them and I’m glad I did
I’m talking about the kind of people who filled the parking lot with hybrid cars and more electric cars then I’ve ever seen in one place (outside of a bumper car ride). The kind of people who couldn’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful fall day.
Besides getting to ride in a ridiculously fast eBox electric car built by AC Propulsions – which took off from the line faster than anything I’ve ever ridden in, including Maserati and Lotus vehicles – and getting to check out the Zenn electric cars,
and the very cool Vectrix Maxi Scooter, I also enjoyed the seminars on Biodiesel, and “Why Population is an Environmental Matter.” I didn’t realize how green i’ve been by not having children. Turns out that had even more impact than those CFL bulbs we installed… who knew?!
I especially dug the presentation by Van Nuys Assemblymember Lloyd A. Levine on how to improve the California Solar Initiative. Levine is a young environmental mover and shaker in the California Assembly who’d like to move up to the California Senate.
He really knew his stuff and I appreciate his understanding and opposition to coal fired electric plants.
He was quick on his feet during the Q&A session following his presentation and I came away from his session feeling like there was at least one guy in the California legislature who gets it and is trying to do the right thing. We’ll keep an eye on Lloyd and let you know what he’s up to in the future.
It was a real treat getting to meet event organizers Zan Dubin Scott and her husband Paul Scott, especially after watching “Who Killed The Electric Car” that same day. I also had a great conversation with Ben Zuckerman of Californians for Population Stabilization on some of our favorite things about children.
Ady Gil, the host of the event who generously donated his state-of-the-art American Hi Definition facility as the venue, and allowed all of us to walk around his new rooftop solar installation, seemed to be everywhere at once. I introduced myself to him during a moment when I saw him catching his breath.
I was very happy to see Moira Lerner Nelson there as well. I’m a big admirer of hers and hope to someday live as green a life as she and her husband Dency. Debra and I hadn’t seen her in years and we were thrilled to be reunited after so long.
The South Bay green community was especially well represented at Reneweable L.A. Al Sattler of the South Bay/PV Sierra Club was there helping to explain some of the more challenging scientific concepts to me and Michael Warren, long of Mattel and now one of the forces behind Greener Impact was there with his two kids.
Greener Impact is promoting their Million Lights Project, which sounds like a noble and worthy cause to me. They’re looking to distribute 1 million free CFL bulbs by Earth Day 2008 – April 22. It’s ambitious, but that’s exactly what we need right now. I’ll be talking to Michael and his partners about how I can help.
Debra and I and our friend Wendy left energized and full of green ideas and projects that we happily yapped about during the bumper-to-bumper drive home on the 405. I kept thinking about how much better that ridiculous Saturday afternoon traffic jam would be if all of us were in electric or hybrid cars. At least we wouldn’t be pumping tons more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Deb told me later that she was thinking that if she had one of those battery powered Roth Motorboards in the back of the car she could have hopped right out and zipped on home.