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Feb 04
2010

Post Carbon Institute

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , Santa Rosa , resources , politics , policy , planning , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , international , Ideas , Green , government , food , environment , economy , climate change , carbon , business , alternative energy , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

When the Post Carbon Institute was started in 2003, the idea behind its name was a philosophical ideal. Seven years later, it’s become a imminent necessity—one with an accelerating deadline.

Moving into a post-carbon world will require all kinds of changes in the way people live, especially in our high-consumption culture. But Asher Miller (left), Executive Director of the Post Carbon Institute, believes that the necessary adjustments may not prove to be as difficult or disruptive as they may appear at this point in time.

This is Miller's Open Letter to President Obama, in response to his 2010 State of the Union Speech.

Dear President Obama,

Your State of the Union speech last week laudably referenced clean tech and renewable energy several times. We ask that you follow your words with action, by leading the transition to a post-carbon economy and a healthier world.

You also spoke of our need to face hard truths.

Hard truth: Our continued, willful reliance on fossil fuels is making our planet uninhabitable. We are evicting ourselves from the only paradise we’ve ever known.

Hard truth: No combination of current and anticipated renewable sources can maintain our profligate energy usage as the global supply of fossil fuels heads for terminal decline.

For the recently released Searching for a Miracle, Post Carbon Institute Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg conducted a “net energy” analysis of 18 different energy sources (including nuclear and “clean coal”). He concluded that the amount of energy available after accounting for the energy used in extraction and production of those sources is—at our current and anticipated rates of consumption—insufficient to get us “over the hump” to a post-carbon world.

Our 29 Post Carbon Institute Fellows—experts in the leading economic, energy, and environmental issues of the day—all agree that this "net energy" deficit is just one of many interrelated crises shaping the 21st century. Each crisis alone creates formidable challenges; in combination, their complexity admits no simple solution. But given their direness, inaction risks tragedy.

Mr. President, we respect you and your advisors and appreciate the enormity of the dilemmas you and all of us confront. When a great leader frames a great challenge, a resilient people will rise to meet the opportunity. And so we ask, Mr. President, that you tell the American people that we must:

1. Face reality. In a carbon-constrained world, true prosperity comes not from heedless growth, but from shared security, community, and liberty.

2. Prepare for the future. Conservation, with an emphasis on building a green economy and revitalizing struggling communities, offers cost-effective “found” energy, and the most immediate and long-term return on investment.

3. Lead the way. A substantial investment in renewable energy, with an emphasis on distributed solar and wind, offers the best hope for moving to a sustainable economy and environment.

Mr. President, lead us in creating a future worth inheriting. Post Carbon Institute and our Fellows will support you and your team in whatever capacity we can. We believe that the American people, and the world’s people, will support you as well.

With hope,
Asher Miller
Executive Director
Post Carbon Institute

Click here to comment on the letter to President Obama. You can also see the complete list of fellows on the Post Carbon Institute website.

 

 

 

 

Jan 18
2010

Tool Library

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , Sonoma County , Santa Rosa , resources , planning , nonprofit orgs , Ideas , community engagement , California , budget

Bruce Robinson

Obeying the old admonition to “find an need and fill it,” Dustin Zuckerman has created the Santa Rosa Tool Library.

The introduction of the Santa Rosa Tool Library started slowly, reports founder Dustin Zuckerman, but it gradually gathered support and users.

The Santa Rosa Tool Library lends hand and power tools, but only those powered by electricity. Zuckerman explains he has two reasons for that policy.

The full list of available tools is posted here. Go to this page for details on the tool library's lending policies.

 

 

 

Dec 11
2009

Memorial Hospital Union Vote

Posted by Bruce Robinson in unions , Santa Rosa , rights , religion , policy , nonprofit orgs , jobs , healthcare , Health , employment , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

Charges and countercharges are mounting in the run-up to next week’s union representation election at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Father Ray Decker (right) , who is active with the Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice group, says that while he and other clergy are pressing Memorial Hospital to take a more Christian stance toward the union organizing efforts of their workforce, they have no illusions about who they are actually speaking to.

Katy Hillenmeyer, spokeswoman for St. Joseph Health Care of Sonoma County, which operates Memorial Hospital, says the impartiality of the new Fair Election Oversight Commission is open to question, as some members have clear ties to one of the competing unions.

Wages and workplace issues are part of the debate in the union representation vote, says telemetry technician Nancy Timberlake, a 24-year Memorial Hospital employee. But the biggest single issue for her is job security.

Nov 13
2009

Peace and Justice

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , Sonoma County , Santa Rosa , rights , protest , politics , peace , nonprofit orgs , news , media , legislation , justice , history , government , families , environment , community , activism

Bruce Robinson

The Sonoma County Peace and Justice Center is celebrating 25 years of activism this weekend, while also preparing to carry on their efforts as long as they are needed.

While much of the energy of the peace center activists was directed toward national concerns, founding member Shirley McGovern recalls that they were also able to respond to local situations in their immediate community, which she found especially gratifying.

As the Peace And Justice Center moves into its next quarter century, Susan Lamont is looking forward to the convergence of activism between environmentalists and social justice advocates.

The Peace and Justice Center will celebrate its first 25 years on Saturday, November 14th at the. Sebastopol Veterans Memorial Building, 282 High Street in Sebastopol. The event begins at 4:30 with wine, appetizers and music during a silent auction featuring art, services, jewelry, food, wine and more. Dinner will take place around 6:15.

The evening will include featured speaker, Medea Benjamin founder of Global Exchange and CodePink The cost with reservations is $35 ; $40 at the door, if room is available.

It is our time as a community to celebrate all the work we have engaged in for 25 years: the journey we have walked with the poor, the wars we have opposed, the solidarity with the marginalized, and the support for the immigrants. It is an opportunity for our peace and justice community to come together to celebrate all our years of growing together and making a difference in our county, our nation and our world.

 

 

 

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