When it comes to the holiday season I’m a Thanksgiving kind of guy.
I love everything about T-Day: the focus on gratitude and appreciation, the gathering of family and friends, the sharing of a feast we’ve all contributed to, and best of all, its non-denominational inclusiveness.
In a year when there was hardly anything on the national environmental scene to be thankful for (and frankly plenty to flat out freak out over) it’s been the right time to think globally and act locally, especially if that locality happens to be Hermosa Beach where you have green champions such as:
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After eight months of working directly with Mayor Michael DiVirgilio to introduce and launch the Carbon Neutral City initiative, I stepped aside two weeks ago to focus more on the surrounding South Bay communities and to play a different role in Hermosa.
It’s been a rewarding and exhilarating 34 weeks since I first sat down with DiVirgilio, Dency Nelson and Robert Fortunato at the Planet Earth Café to propose that Hermosa Beach become the first municipality in Southern California to go carbon neutral and rebrand itself as the “Green Idea City.”
I’ve learned a lot over that period.
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Diane Moss, the Environmental Deputy to Congresswoman Harman, Creative Greenius, and Brad Bartz, President of ABC Solar at last Saturday's Torrance Environmental Fair at Madrona Marsh
I spent last Saturday right here in Torrance at my favorite place in town, the Madrona Marsh – even if I did spend it in the parking lot standing behind a table for the South Bay Environmental Services Center. But I got to walk across the Marsh on my way in and I got to see Tracy Drake, the Nature Center Manager and dynamo – and a woman who I adore.
I’ve got more photos (in the Greenius blog’s new slideshow app) and additional coverage for you after the jump….
On Monday I wrote about how some of my friends on the Hermosa Beach City Council had ignored citizen requests that they stop using disposable Arrowhead plastic water bottles as their source of drinking water at City Council meetings. We had told them they were not only wasting money, water and resources – they were also setting a bad public example on television and on the web where their meetings are broadcast.
Courtesy of YouTube and the Hermosa Beach City website, and converted and enlarged through the magic of Greenius, we bring you this exclusive look at the Carbon Neutral ClueTrain leaving the Hermosa Beach station this week. Local mainstream media missed this story completely but fortunately for them this on-line record will exist for them to use as research. So will the reporting that the new Patch.com news group will be providing.
The story actually began last week during Hermosa Beach Mayor’s State of the City address where Mayor Michael DiVirgilio spoke about the Carbon Neutral City concept:
Mayor DiVirgilio was right back at it Monday night at the Hermosa Beach Green Task Force meeting, speaking enthusiastically on behalf of the idea:
Join us after the jump to see your friendly neighborhood Greenius and my Fratelli Verde, Robert Fortunato, following the Mayor with our own remarks.
Ever since the Copenhagen climate treaty talks ended in impotence two months ago there hasn’t been a single ounce of positive news on the international scene about our chances of cutting the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and getting CO2 levels back down to the safe 350 ppm zone. Here in the United States our President and Congress haven’t shown the leadership or sense of urgency necessary to prevent a climate catastrophe and they’ve given the people no hope for their children’s future at the national level. Many in Congress have acted unethically and immorally with the responsibility they have been trusted with.
As the Creative Greenius and organizer of the South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group that’s just unacceptable to me. If they can’t get the job done in Washington, DC or at the UN – and it’s obvious to me that they cannot – then we will take the reins of responsibility from them right now and we will get the job done here locally.
That’s exactly what is happening now.
Last night at the Hermosa Beach, California City Council meeting, Mayor Michael DiVirgilo, confirmed that he and the City Council are committed to making their iconic beach town a Carbon Neutral City at the earliest possible date. Hermosa Beach’s Green Task Force was directed to come up with the plan and a special joint session of the Council and the Task Force was scheduled for March 30 to get the carbon neutral ball rolling. This makes Hermosa Beach the first city in the South Bay of Los Angeles County, and the first city in all of Los Angeles County to declare their intent to become carbon neutral and sustainable. And that makes them the leadership model we will replicate in all of the other 87 cities that make up this County of 10 million people.
None of this is happening by accident.
Your Creative Greenius was there on the scene to witness the historic action and to add my remarks to note the occasion. Check out the video excerpt courtesy of Hermosa Beach’s website after the jump, and discover, in classic Paul Harvey tradition, the rest of the story… Continue reading
When our South Bay 350 Climate Action Group asked for Congresswoman Jane Harman’s help with our October 24, International Day of Climate Action we got it. Her Environmental Deputy, Diane Moss, has been not just accessible but also terrifically responsive in a straight forward, no bullshit way the Greenius really loves.
And what I also love is the obvious way the Congresswoman studies the issues and isn’t afraid to say and do the right things – despite opposition from the far right as well as the far left of her own party.
If you’re a regular Creative Greenius reader you know that I’ve been writing for quite a while about California’s leadership on climate, renewable energy, environmental legislation and energy efficiency issues.
I’ve also been pounding away about the climate fate of the vulnerable small island states and sea level rise for many months now.
So you know how much I love seeing Congresswoman Harman call these very issues out in the powerful statement she released today with her reaction to the just concluded Copenhagen climate talks. Continue reading
That’s my friend, Dency Nelson, with his EV RAV4 at last year’s EPN Energy Fair. Dency charges his plug-in electric car using the clean, renewable energy he produces from the solar panels on the roof of his Hermosa Beach house.
Dency’s house is just one of 7 houses you can tour on tomorrow’s EPN Solar Homes Tour which you can check out on the EPN’s fabulous new web site.
They’re each great examples of how well solar works here in the South Bay, but only Dency’s house will feature your Creative Greenius as a volunteer docent. I’m just saying… Continue reading
Answering the President’s Call To Serve A Higher Purpose
April 14, 2009 GRID Alternative solar install for Habitat for Humanity
That’s your Creative Greenius in the orange hardhat, and my buddy the Reverend Ron giving the Hang Loose salute, atop the roof of a Habitat for Humanity home we successfully installed a Solar PV system on. And when I say “we” I mean GRID Alternatives the non-profit whose mission is to empower communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training.
That’s Steve from GRID on the far left. He’s a great guy, working for the modest Americorps paycheck he and the other GRID staff folks make. It was an honor to work with them and I can’t wait to do my next install with GRID.
If you want to have your finger on the pulse of what’s happening on the South Bay green scene being on Dency Nelson’s Friends for A Green Hermosa Beach e-mail list is a pretty damn good place to start.
The green story of Dency Nelson is worth an entire blog onto itself, but he’s far too busy and actively involved to ever have time for that. His green roots go back to the 1970s along with those of his friend, Ed Begley Jr.
Ed became a star in front of the camera, Dency became a superstar on the other side of the camera. Today they both drive electric cars powered from the charge generated via their rooftop solar panels.
Today, I think a new TV series called “Living With Dency” has the potential to be an even bigger hit than “Living With Ed” has been. After all, Dency lives in the far more telegenic South Bay and his solar panels have an ocean view…