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Nature_and_Environment.24

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SUSTAINABILITY-GREEN ENERGY

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.1}: LINDA SAFLEY {earthling2} Sat, 28 Aug 2004 11:15:29 CDT (7 lines)

IT SEEMS WE COULD HAVE MORE GREEN ELECTRICITY ON THE URBAN BUILDINGS,
IF COMPANIES COULD HELP MORE, AND NOT WANT MONEY. THIS IS A SAD
SITUATION. THE INNER CITY DWELLINGS NEED HELP IN THIS AREA. ANY
IDEAS. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THIS FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW. WE NEED
MORE ROOF TOP GARDENS, WHICH THEN WOULD CUT DOWN ON ENERGY COST OF
BUILDINGS, AND GROWING MORE OF OUR OWN FOOD. THIS IS THE WAY TO SOLVE
PROBLEMS IN THE CITIES, AND PUT THE ELECTRIC COMPANIES TO SHAME.

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.2}: Richard Witty {gisland} Sat, 28 Aug 2004 21:36:20 CDT (29 lines)

Its unrealistic to expect that companies won't want money.

There are for-profit vehicles called ESCO's (energy service
companies) that exchange capital for energy infrastructure
improvement for an audited share of energy $ savings resulting from
the improvements.

Sometimes a transaction is possible, other times not.

Another approach is to form limited-equity cooperatives, with a mix
of outside for-profit owners (50%), and a trust in which ownership of
the trust gradually transfers to the tenants (originally controlled
by a not-for-profit board, or appointed).

The entity can purchase the buildings and charge rent that includes
energy costs in the total. If the buildings are energy leaky or
unsafe ecologically (indoor air quality), with a dependable rent
stream, the entity can finance energy improvements without increasing
the rents. If you realize financial savings from the energy
improvements, the rents may be reduced slightly, or the equity shares
may be distributed to tenants.

Many banks have energy based financing that is partially subsidized
by states (I don't know about Maryland).

I would also consider creating a local currency, to develop intra-
regional trade. Its not easy to pull off. More have failed than
succeeded. Call the EF Schumacher Society in Great Barrington, MA for
info.

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.3}: James River Martin {rivertree} Wed, 08 Sep 2004 13:36:43 CDT (5 lines)

EF Schumacher Society in Great Barrington

http://www.schumachersociety.org

http://www.schumachersociety.org/currencypiece.html

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.4}: ... {wren1111} Sat, 11 Sep 2004 16:12:58 CDT (35 lines)

I'd like to promote a concept known as "emobodied energy" and
suggest we take a broader view of energy consumption. Yes, energy
efficient buildings are part of the puzzle, but it seems at time
that people think that's all there is.

Everything we build, create, buy, use has "embodied energy". That
is, it took energy to: extract the materials, transport them, shape
them into a product, transport them again, market them, package
them, and then to maintain them. At the end of the life cycle of the
product, it requires energy to dispose of them.

If you take just a building for example, one should compare the
embodied energy in each material in such a way as to evaluate if it
is "green". All this in addition to whether or not it helps support
an energy efficient whole.

Consupmtive products like food can similarly be evaluated. How much
energy does it take just to get the food to your table? (The book
Diet for a Small Planet explores this aspect.)

It's a bit overwhelming, I know, but until we take a broader view
of "energy" use, we'll keep hacking away at the fringes of the
problem.

There is also "embodied energy" in each one of us. For example, when
we chose a product, are we supporting people's inherent
time/talent/ability (used to make or create a product).

To my mind at least, something "green" might mean choosing a
material made by local workers or artisans using locally available
materials that didn't have to be transported very far ... as an
example.

There are many ways to look at "green". It's not all high-tech PV
panels on roofs and composting toilets.

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.5}: Richard Witty {gisland} Sat, 11 Sep 2004 19:19:31 CDT (23 lines)

Great concept.

Its similar to the Marxist view of accumulated labor in a product or
process, or in other words the "value added".

If you attempted to systemically minimize the social consumption of
energy, you'd have to look at it that way.

I submitted a proposal to a local conference that I attended a few
years ago, of identifying the locus (center) and deviation (degree of
average distance from the center) to get some reference of how close
to home a product/service was made.

It was a fairly simple computation, and could be incorporated into
product disclosure, with enough support for the concept.

Its relevant where it is desirable to manufacture close to home for
social reasons, but where transportation costs are so cheap that they
don't figure highly in the cost of products.

That's changing. Transportation costs are going up, and in more and
more industries, it will make sense to manufacture close to home,
rather than in large central remote sites.

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.6}: {bshmr} Sat, 11 Sep 2004 19:30:33 CDT (3 lines)

Yep, and around the world the WB and IMF are still pushing de facto
colonies providing foodstuffs to the crown-states. Includes the  Free
Trade in the Americas stuff for certain.

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.7}: Richard Witty {gisland} Sun, 12 Sep 2004 08:18:03 CDT (9 lines)

I'd question that. Free trade is not the same as fostering colonies
for example, which are by definition exclusive relationships.

Free trade mostly effects the features that were formerly national.

While it seems to foster monopoly and centralization, I believe that
decentralization and regional cooperative enterprise may be more
possible in a global free trade environment (ocean) than say in the
US free trade (lake).

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.8}: {bshmr} Sun, 12 Sep 2004 11:50:31 CDT (3 lines)

{gisland}, I in a hurry. Briefly, the dependency setups are
incongruent with responsiblities -- reminds me of colonies. [ Remind
me to clarify if desired later. ]

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.9}: Presby Concerns {bshmr} Sat, 20 Nov 2004 15:24:38 CST (13 lines)

Attended the last 90 minutes of a 180 minute Presby presentation on
the environment and sustainability.  They have had significant member
involvement since 1986, etc.

Hearing evangelics (in a Calvinistic order) pitch sustainability,
conservation, interdependence of species, limits to growth (*G*), and
so on from gospel was unusual for me.

Apparently the lay and grassroots Presby community supports numerous
environ movements.

[ I practice Thera-ish Buddhism with some Native American Pantheism
stirred in. ]

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.10}: Richard Witty {gisland} Sat, 20 Nov 2004 18:02:38 CST (14 lines)

It makes perfect sense to me, and good sense.

I don't know the specific precepts of Presbyterianism. But, if people
actually believe the Bible, or any spirituality with a deity, the
experienced world is "created" and either a one-time unique and only
declining original (requiring care to retain), or a permanently
intimate relationship with the Creator.

In any case, the concept of killing a species (from the finite list
surviving the "flood") is horrendous.

Only a non-thinking "superior" species would accept the
interpretation of humans as sovereignty over the earth, but without
responsibility or constant appreciation.

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.11}: {redleader} Tue, 23 Nov 2004 13:22:38 CST (8 lines)
{name removed by chiles Mon, 21 Jan 2008 11:52:51 CST}

   I'm skeptical of blaming religion for environmental problems. It
is true that modern fundamentalists will usually oppose
environmentalism. But that's solely in a context when environmental
notions are seen as part of the "modernism" that fundamentalists
reject.

   It's a myth that fundamentalism is really based on "traditional"
practices.

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{Nature_and_Environment.24.12}: ... {wren1111} Wed, 11 Jan 2006 17:46:47 CST (HTML)

Whole Foods commits to green power

Deal for wind power credits makes the Austin-based grocer the biggest corporate user of wind power in the U.S.

"http://www.statesman.com/business/content/business/stories/other/01/1 1WHOLEFOODS.html"

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