Greenius Gets Groove On with Greenpeace & GRID Alternatives

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Backstage at the 2009 Warped Tour, Home Depot Stadium, Carson Calif

This is the summer I totally got my groove on.  And I have never been more all now or totally happening.

While lots of folks took the month of August off, or participated in the greatest display ever of America’s mental health crisis – by aggressively acting out in public Town Halls enraged over their own painful ignorance – your Creative Greenius has devoted 100% of my time to pro bono volunteer work that makes a difference.

I’ve never made less money or had a more rewarding time.

I’ve been up on roofs installing solar… among other things.  In this case for GRID Alternatives at a low income home in my old neighborhood in Long Beach, California.

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GRID Alternatives is my absolutely favorite group to work hands-on with because we do so much more than just inform and build awareness.  We actually change people’s lives and the lives of those around them.

MB_08.09_solar_installation-7And my fellow volunteers are some of the best people I’ve met in  adult life.  Like these guys above securing the solar panels to the rack of the Long Beach house we worked on.  That’s James on the far left, he’s a skilled electrician and he’s pretty good on the roof too.  Ralph is in the middle and Jose is on the far right.  Thanks to them, a family’s electricity is now solar-powered.  And thanks to my new pal, Michelle Belacic who took these photos in between her own installing efforts for GRID.

Volunteering for GRID Alternatives is so popular and so fulfilling that not surprisingly there’s a long waiting list to get on an install crew and you’ve got to be patient to get on the next gig.  Fortunately there’s plenty of other work to be done out there.

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That’s why I was so happy to join the Los Angeles Greenpeace team and start working with them too.  There I am last Sunday backstage at the Warped Tour doing outreach and canvasing.  And that laptop in front of me was powered by those PV panels behind me.

P1050588I was working with Greenpeace’s Kyle Van Auker who was with the tour from June till August 23, the end of the road, where I met him at the Home Depot Stadium in Carson, California.

That’s Kyle on the left wearing the porkpie hat.  He’s a very cool guy and very, very good at what he does.  I had a blast working with him and I was very proud to be representing Greenpeace and helping him make sure the final Warped Tour stop was one of their best.

Kyle and his fellow Greenpeace road crew took their Rolling Solar truck with them to every single one of those Warped Tour stops.

solar truckAnd everywhere the Rolling Solar truck went, people plugged in and it was good because they had power.  2.4 kilowatts of power in fact, enough to power up all the other non-profit tents on the tour and in some places an entire solar stage to boot.  If it was on my roof it would be enough to power my whole house year round.P1050591

That’s what the rolling solar looked like in the extended power generating position.  One of the great things about this display was how people all day long were touching the panels.  It’s rare for the average person to ever get a good up close and personal look at panels, especially so close to the ground.  They attracted constant positive attention all day long from the mostly 14-22 year old crowd.

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I was there to help Greenpeace collect petition cards urging President Obama to take a stronger leadership role on climate change and to go to Copenhagen and take personal responsibility for the USA’s role in the talks. Hundreds and hundreds of people signed these cards all day long.

Unlike their parents and their grandparents, these kids aren’t in denial or trying to fool anyone about what’s coming with climate change. They know their generation is getting screwed worse than any generation in history.  The Great Depression ain’t got nothin’ on global warming and hell and high water (as Joe Romm so aptly calls it) coming their way.

And of course I talked to all those same people all day long about joining us on the beach in Manhattan Beach on October 24. I even made and passed out a special flier just for the occasion:

SB 350 WARPED FLYER v1If you live anywhere near L.A. County then you need to be there too, because it’s not just the teenagers of today who are going to have the Global Warming hammer come crashing down upon them like a mountain of lava from a volcano.

And if YOU are planning on being alive over the next 20 years – you will not escape.

It’s not just someone else’s future that will be toast.

It’s yours.

And mine.

That’s why I’m doing the work I do.

How are you spending YOUR time?

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