Tags >> alternative energy
May 06
2009

Green-Collar Jobs

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , technology , speaker , solar , resources , policy , planning , nonprofit orgs , literacy , jobs , Ideas , government , environment , employment , economy , construction , community , climate change , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

 As the US economy struggles to climb out of the current downturn, there's a new emphasis on creating "green-collar" jobs which could be especially beneficial to California.

 

 Ian Kim (left) works at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights as Director of the Green-Collar Jobs Campaign. He advocates for policies in the city of Oakland and statewide in California to create "green-collar" jobs (quality, career-track, manual labor jobs in industries like renewable energy, water and energy efficiency, and green building), especially for low-income young adults and those with barriers to employment.  Ian holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management. He will be one of the keynote speakers at this year's Sustainable Enterprise Conference May 8 at Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park. 

 

Tickets are still available for event, using this  downloadable registration form.

The availability of funding for green jobs is a tremendous opportunity, says Ian Kim, but with that comes a new set of challenges.

 


 The Oakland-based  Ella Baker Center for Human Rights runs cutting-edge, solutions-driven campaigns for justice, peace and opportunity in our cities. The nationally-renowned Green-Collar Jobs Campaign works to leverage the explosive growth of the new green economy to create meaningful career opportunities for poor people and people of color.  Statewide, the Campaign advocates for green-collar policy solutions for California, in partnership with major labor, environmental, business, and education institutions, that can create many thousands of good jobs as well as a strong infrastructure for green workforce development.

Nationally, the Campaign played a central role in the passage of the federal Green Jobs Act of 2007, which authorizes 5 million annually for green job training, with million specifically allocated to "pathways out of poverty" programs.

 

Apr 19
2009

Sun Train

Posted by Bruce Robinson in transportation , technology , Science , Santa Rosa , policy , planning , news , Marin , jobs , Ideas , government , environment , economy , design , construction , climate change , carbon , business , author , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

 The North Bay is finally on its way to getting passenger rail service rolling again. But what if it used solar and hydrogen fuel cell technology to be non-polluting and carbon-free?

 

This artist's conception of a future Sun Train was drawn by David Vasquez, who used it as the cover illustration for his book, Mr. Swan's Big Idea, which details and sets out a case for this forward-looking  update of passeger rail travel. He notes that building a new rail system is an expensive undertaking, but Vasquez urges putting the costs into perspective by comparing them highway construction.

America has a proud history of rail service reaching back more than a century, notes David Vasquez (right), but much of that has been forgotten as other modes of transportation took precedence.

 

Mr. Swan's Big Idea  is built on the concepts developed by architect and rail advocate Christopher Swann (left) , whose on recent book, Electric Water, concentrates on his vision of a future hydrogen-based economy.

   David Vasquez will present a multi-media slideshow about the Sun Train concept at Aqus Cafe in Petaluma , on Wednesday, April 22, 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

 

 

Apr 16
2009

Wave Power

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , Sonoma , Science , resources , planning , ocean , Ideas , government , fish , environment , design , coast , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

 The Sonoma County Water Agency is taking a close look at the energy-producing potential of wave power off the Sonoma County coast.

 The first step in the process of determining the potential for wave power energy off the Sonoma County coast is conducting a series of baseline studies of the possible locations for such facilities. That, explains Cordell Stillman, SCWA's Capital Projects Manager, is what these federal permits will enable.

The "sea snake" seen at left  is one type of wave power generator already installed and operating off the northern coast of Portugal. Several others are also in development, including the "aquabouy" shown below.

 

Preliminary estimates suggest that wave power off the Sonoma coast could generate as much as 200 megawatts of electricity. Stillman says that represents a sizable portion of the county's current energy consumption.




The map below shows (in orange) the three offshore areas where the potential, and potential impacts, of wave power generation will be studied.

 You can post comments regarding the study permits for each of the three locations shown above at the website of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

 

 

Mar 30
2009

The Landfill's Future

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , toxic , technology , speaker , Sonoma , Sebastopol , Santa Rosa , resources , public safety , policy , planning , Petaluma , nonprofit orgs , news , Health , government , events , environment , economy , design , conservation , community , climate change , chemicals , carbon , business , alternative energy , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

 Sonoma County's main dump, seen from the air at left,  has been closed since 2005, but its future continues to be hotly debated.

 

           

Operating a landfill anywhere in northern California is a difficult prospect in today's regulatory climate, observes Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, and even a well-funded private company must surmount those obstacles.

A proposed Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for Sonoma County could eventually be able to sort out and reuse as much as 90% of the region's waste stream. Alan Strachan, one of the backers of that project, suggests that through composting or other processes, even most of the remaining 10% could someday be reused.

Longtime recycling advocate Mike Anderson is one of many voices taking up the call for setting a goal of zero waste.

 

 The March 30th forum on the future of the Sonoma County landfill was co-hosted by the Climate Protection Campaign and the  Leadership Institute on Ecology nd the Economy.

The entire public forum was recorded and will be broadcast at the following times on Community Media Channel 26 in Santa Rosa:

Monday, March 30 (LIVE) 8am
Wednesday, April 1st  5pm
Thursday, April 2nd 12pm
Friday, April 3rd  5pm
Saturday, April 4th  6am
Sunday, April 5th 5pm
Monday, April 6th  8am
Wednesday, April 8th 5pm
Thursday, April 9th  12pm
Friday, April 10th 5pm
Saturday, April 11th 6am
Sunday, April 12th 5pm

 More information and background about Ecoleader .

To learn more about the Landfill.

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