I’m Dreaming of A Green Holiday

P1080447Thanksgiving is this Thursday and the blur that is the holiday season is now officially upon us.  But before the calendar gets all filled up with shopping dates and the usual ho ho ho, allow me to suggest that you join me, my friends and many members of the Southern California green community – along with everyone curious about solar energy, alternative energy vehicles and living sustainable lifestyles – at the blowout eco-fest of the year, Renewable L.A. on Saturday December 8, 2007 in Van Nuys.

It might even be worth a trip from out of town, because if you’re there we can get a rooftop tour of a brand new, state of the art solar panel panel system and learn all about it.  It’s a 100kW system.

We can test drive electric cars, hybrid cars, plug-in hybrid cars, biodiesel cars, and electric scooters.  

We’ll get the chance to get up close and personal with electric conversion vehicles like:

The eBox from AC Propulsion…

The electric Vectrix Maxi Scooter the world’s first high-performance electric two-wheel vehicle to offer all the benefits of a traditional gasoline-powered scooter but without the noise, pollution, expensive maintenance, frequent oil changes, and regular trips to the gas station. 

The company turning already extraordinary Prius hybrid cars into beyond extraordinary PLUG-IN Prius hybrid cars, Plug-In Conversions Corporation, will have cars there for us to test ride and find out about.

I’m talking about stuff like the breakthrough Nilar NiMh batteries they’re using today while the big auto companies are still keeping us waiting for our Plug-Ins…

And we can test ride the electric car you can buy right now, the Zenn from Zenn Motor Company

We can also watch a special, digital screening of “Who Killed the Electric Car” in a luxury screening room and participate in a live, in-person Q&A with the director, Chris Paine and former GM EV-1 employee, Chelsea Sexton.  

Chelsea Sexton, Executive Director of Plug-In America.

 We’re also going to be able to attend expert seminars on how to finance our home’s solar system, how to purchase green power from our electric utility, the basics of biodiesel and much more.

 We’ve all got questions, and Renewable L.A. promises to have answers from the people who know best, all in one very convenient location.

And you’re going to want to bring the kids and their friends too for the safest, most sustainable and greenest Kids Fun Zone ever with the Armory Center for the Arts Solar Print Making Using the Sun…

An innovative and irresistible Toy-Making from Recyclables workshop with Cy Tymony, author of “Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things”… 

There’s going to be face painting with non-toxic paints and plenty of other non adult good times to be had as well. 

This promises to be one of the greenest, safest, most creative events for both kids and their favorite adults.

 And just in time for holidays a Green Holiday Gift Fest will feature eco-friendly gifts from green vendors as well as the easy opportunity to fuflill your holiday gift needs by donating in your recipients’ names to a long list of environmental and animal rescue organizations.

Renewable L.A. is the brainchild of Zan Dubin Scott, a remarkable member of the Southern California environmental movement.  After 15 years as a staff writer with the Los Angeles Times, Zan struck out on her own and has run a very successful and highly effective public relations, marketing and writing agency ever since.  

 She has leveraged her media and marketing skills and expertise to promote clean transportation and alternative energy use.  Her best known efforts include the documentary film, “Who Killed the Electric Car.” Zan not only helped to organize and execute some of the hit film’s key media events and other activities, but is also one of many grassroots activists featured in the movie.

 Now Zan is calling attention to one of the largest and newest solar installations in the San Fernando Valley – that  100kW system I mentioned.  It’s at a facility housing  entertainment industry leaders American Hi Definition and Sweetwater Digital Productions.

 Both companies are not only leading the way as they walk the green walk, they’re also co-hosting Renewable L.A. to help get the word out and give the green community a place and event to come together and build our momentum.

 The third sponsor of the event, Energy Efficiency Solar is the company who installed the 100kW solar panel system for American Hi Def and Sweetwater and they’ve been installing commercial and residential solar systems since 1989.  I’m looking forward to talking with them about what’s possible for my own home.

 I’d like to talk to them about doing what Zan Dubin Scott already does – charging an electric car exclusively from solar.  For anyone concerned about using coal fired power plant energy to charge their electric car or plug-in, solar charging is the answer that quiets any and all critics.

 But more than anything else I’m looking forward to being there with all of you and so many other kindred spirits and like-minded green people.

 If ever there were a time for the gathering of this clan, it’s this holiday season and it’s here in Southern California, the world capitol of both conspicuous consumption and conservation consciousness. 

 The time is especially opportune in light of last week’s news from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global  warming is “unequivocal”  

 That’s right, no more wiggle room for even the looniest of right wing fruitcakes or Fox News personalities.  The UN report says climate change will bring “abrupt and irreversible changes.”  That’s “will” not “might.”  It’s no longer just an Inconvenient Truth it’s now an Inescapable Truth. 

The report, a plain spoken, high-level message for the world’s politicians distilled from three other IPCC panels convened throughout the year, read like what Time Magazine will call it next week: “A Last Warning to Humanity. 

“Today the world’s scientists have spoken clearly, and with one voice,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. Climate change “is the defining challenge of our age.”

One thing is certain – that challenge is not going to be met by anyone in Washington DC, it’s going to be met by people like you and me and the other kinds of people who will be attending Renewable L.A. on Saturday, December 8.  We all need to meet and get to know each other.  We need to be talking, sharing experiences and working together even more closely.  People like me have got to do more.

Because we’re the people who ARE going to change this world, the same way we changed ourselves, and our families and our friends.  The same way so many of you have already made a difference.

The same way citizen volunteers in the Bay Area didn’t wait for the “authorities” to take the necessary clean up action from the oil spill last week. They got out there and did it themselves. Read about the Kill the Spill efforts if you haven’t already.

I’ve never found my own friends more responsive, more engaged or more passionate about any other issue we’ve had in common.  And it’s not because of me – that fire is already burning inside them and I’m just discovering it now.

I know it’s burning in you too.  And as in nature, when the winds of change bring all those individual fires together they combine to conflagrate into an unstoppable wildfire that cannot be contained.

I know it’s dangerous and maybe even crazy to be making fire analogies during these drought dry, red flag warning, Santa Ana blowing days – especially for this greenest of holiday events – but the heat is on, and I’m just saying how cool it would be if you were there.

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