SFCC Presents Sustainability Series | Evolving Energy Policy for a Sustainable Santa Fe

I attended this panel discussion on September 12th, part of a series.

Santa Fe Community College, Sustainability Seminar Series 2016, Evolving Energy Policy, Sustainablie Santa Fe

Santa Fe Community College Sustainability Seminar Series 2016 Evolving Energy Policy for a Sustainablie Santa Fe

It was put together by Christian Casillas together with the Santa Fe Community College. This first one on September 12th was on the Evolving Energy Policy for a Sustainable Santa Fe

SFCC Presents Sustainability Series on Mondays in September

Christian Casillas, Renewable, Appropriate Energy Laboratory

Christian Casillas-Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory

The moderator, Beth Beloff has been involved in the development of sustainability strategies at corporate and municipal levels. She’s the founder and principal of Beth Beloff a business towards Inciting Sustainability.

Beth Beloff & Associates. Incite Sustainability

Beth Beloff & Associates Incite Sustainability

The panelists were

Alexandra Ladd
Asian studies degree
housing planner in Santa Fe
acting interim director of economic development

Craig O’Hare
green building
special assistant for clean energy for the governor of New Mexico
water conservation, long range planning and watershed management

Erick J. Aune (ahn né)
transportation planning
planning director for Aztec, New Mexico

Daniel House Werwath
affordable housing,
co-founder mix santa fe
interfaith housing
creation of affordable housing projects

Adam Cohen
lead faculty of green house technologies and operations at SFCC
mathematics, marine
taught public High School
green farms; high quality foods with minimal
dvlopment os sustainable agriculture programs at SFCC

The site will have each of the panelists’ presentations digitally.

I took notes of each of the panelists’ presentations, which I’m sharing here.

Alexandra Ladd does census tracking according to the demographics of age, income, the local hispanic population, etc. She points out that the current trends are to displace the younger and darker skinned populations to the south of the city with the point that we want to preserve the city as a mixture of diverse groups living together. The trend has been for youth and the hispanic population being shut out from center of town.

Ladd mentioned that on any given night in Santa Fe, 100 young people don’t have a safe place to sleep or eat. As is the trend around the world, this leads to prostitution.

Ironically, an article from the Guardian came out this same day, on September 12th, “US teens often forced to trade sex work for food study finds.”

Alexandria Ladd also mentions that 1 out of 5 kids are in poverty and that in the center of town, 1 in 4 are over 65 in age. In fact, 50% of the residents are cost-burdened by housing costs. Only 1/3 of people living in SF work here, therefore the that commute to other places to work are spending money in these other communities.

Improving public transportation is an obvious way to help with people in poverty. The demographic projection for 2020 is that 50% of people living in downtown Santa Fe will be over 65 years of age. She implores that we need to ensure that our decision making is empowering the leadership of young people.

Craig O’Hare, talks of the efficacy of renewable energy efficiency. He mentions that promoting a green economy is important, specifically with respect to his concern about global climate disruption. Stating that the global climate change statistics have become more dire than predicted,
we need to get onto renewable a.s.a.p. He talks about Home Energy Efficiency. Specifically efficiency technologies.

• Renewable Energy: solar > solar electric
• the building envelop: walls, ceiling, attic, doors windows: with the goal to reduce air leaks & increase insulation. With respect to this he mentioned that within your own home, you can get out a lighter and check electrical plugs, windows, doors and seal for leaks. Areas with leaks will cause the lighter to flicker.

The Santa Fe Community college has an excellent ‘building performance certification program’ to insulate one’s home. He mentions that even with the best technology, windows let heat out. The best are triple panes, filled with argon gas…yet if you don’t have capability to invest in these, duct tape is also great for insulating. However, as you make the home tighter with less leakage, there are concerns about CO poisoning. NG & Propane Furnaces and Water Heaters can send carbon monoxide into the air. Fortunately, HVAC & major appliances have better technology. He points out that ceiling and portable fans are effectivee at cooling, in addition to shading your windows with trees, awnings, portals, etc.

LED lights have warm and cool light quality; warm = 2700 Kelvin.

The Santa Fe, NM County government site has a Residential Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Forum with incentives for common sense energy.

craig O'Hare, Renewable Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Forum

craig O’Hare Renewable Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Forum

New Mexico has the 2nd best solar resource. The new design of solar electric photovoltaic cells convert the sun’s light (not heat) into electricity. Yet, the utility companies are fighting this. Solar thermal produces water and space heating. He runs ads all over the county offering free solar power with a 30% federal income tax credit and 10% state income tax credit, that would be exempt from paying etstate sales tax.

• wind energy is naturally site specific

 

 

 

The next panelist Erick J. Aune speciality is public transportation.

The quest is personal mobility, which equates to freedom, which comes down to the vehicle of choice. His talk induced a wider philosophical perspective into questioning why we do what we do. Humans want access to experiences, asking why we do things, where are we going? For the most part is it for convening in addition to the economic element, going to work.

He pointed out the history of transportation in this area,the ancient roads and pathways. Pointing out that transportation surpasses coal-fired power plants for most CO2 emissions in the United States.
There is a significant production of greenhouse gas emissions from transport, because ‘in America, we love to drive’.

He speaks of the importance to recognize the value we put neurologicaly, socially and emotionally on driving, mentioning that it is extremely difficult to compete with the automobile. He mentions,
Jarrett Walker’s ‘Human Transit’ book.

Jarrett Walker, Human Transit

Jarrett Walker Human Transit

Erick Aune asks What If environmental sustainability was the goal, and all other things became subordinate to a commitment to reduce greenhouse gases?

All sorts of technologies and organizations can help towards this cause; smart phone data, bike shares, Zagster, meters, ride-shares, Über etc.

Daniel House Werwath is the affordable housing and community development guy. He talks of real community sustainability as it relates to housing. Buildings produce 39% of our greenhouse gases. New construction is needed; talking about zoning with respect to ‘infill’, social fabric and cultural diversity. He’s a community developer who wants to create energy efficient buildings. Presently he’s involved in developing a local Arts & Creativity center and affordable live-work rental properties.

He reiterates the point made by Alexandra Ladd, the zoning panelist, that “we are segregating low-income, people of color and younger people to far outside of town. Therefore he’s an advocate of zoning for higher density housing, investigating ways to broaden public participation in land use and policy making, and using technology so that everyone has a voice.

Adam Cohen is on the Greenhouse faculty for the Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) on hydroponics (a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil) and aquaponics, “a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water.”

SFCC, Greenhouse Management, School of Trades, Technology, Sustainability

SFCC Greenhouse Management School of Trades, Technology, Sustainability

He’s talking about food; not just the energy/water nexus, but agriculture.

Food is how we store energy as a whole. There will be over 9 Billion people on planet by 2040. Over-fishing has lead to an 80% depletion of fish; almost every species we eat are either critically over-fished or will be gone, cratered to irreversible levels. Agriculture amounts to 70% of the usage of water and 40% of the land goes to agriculture. The present day agricultural systems account for 14% of global greenhouse gases. In New Mexico, 97% of the food is imported – less than a weeks worth of food in the grocery stores. Therefore fossil foods are involved in the transport chain; ie. 250 to 1,000 miles.

He claims that two generations have been brought up on processed foods. They are low in cost, yet also low in nutritional value. These habits are a strong contributing factor to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Just as the blog I posted previously about “Food Sovereignty” in which the Gangsta Gardener Ron Finely talks of his guerrilla gardening in Los Angeles.

Adam Cohen mentions that any economy that only produces raw materials is tied to poverty. He speaks of the
Omnivore’s Dilemma” book, and the cost for transporting the ingredients of a single salad my involve 3,000 to 35,000 miles.

Regarding food security, Cohen states that New Mexico is first in the nation for childhood hunger, at 18.6%. All of this pointing to the fact that we need to grow our own food ~ it is one of the easiest things we can do. Fortunately, there has been an increase in farm to table efoorts, farm to schools and farm to restaurant operations. For example, in the last 5 yrs in Dallas, Texas, he saw 14 farmer’s markets start up in addition to food co-ops, CSA’s farmer’s markets. Even the big box supermarkets are showing marked increase in preference for ‘locally grown’ food, because they save money with respect to transportation.

The bottom line, we need to produce more food > controlled environment agriculture (greenhouses). For example in northern New Mexico there are 7 months of growing, whereas greenhouses will provide 12 months a year; to grow a much larger portion of food will increase food sovereignty and community development.

In Europe 90% of agriculture is done in controlled environment spaces – greenhouses. Once again the point is made in this discussion that we have a society addicted to fossil fuels.

We need food and Ag education, and it’s best to start with children with the food education.

We need to change our food culture: We are addicted to fossil fuels and maintaining the status quo.

Currently they are putting up a teaching facility at SFCC to teach people in NM how to grow food for New Mexicans; 12,000 footage of greenhouse space. With these hydroponic and aquaponic techniques, for the same quantity of harvest, they use 95% less water. With aquaponics, there is zero waste. In aquaponics, one feeds the fish, and then the waste of the fish is converted to fertilizer, which fertilzes the plants.

These systems are simple. 1. they can be done on the counter top 2. this can involve marrying the traditional heritage of agriculture with new techniques.

The rest, is up to educating ourselves and taking the steps towards making positive changes wherever we can.

CASSE, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

CASSE, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

On this note, here’s a site I happened upon that can be another guide to the same principles brought up towards allowing sustainability to evolve. CASSE, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

As George Monbiot elegantly states in his blog “The Purse is Mightier than the Pen” the biggest pitfall is money.

 

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Carol Keiter, the blogger, PA

Carol the blogger back in Pennsylvania

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On Positive Transformation to Health and Sustainability through Food Sovereignty | Ron Kinley’s TED talk: Guerrilla Gardening in South Central LA | Vandana Shiva Soil not Oil | Dahlia Wasfi MD on Monsanto’s Seed Terrorism in Iraq | Joe Brewer Working for Billionaires

Okay, well, my preceding blog featuring the over-the-top frightening and provocative wake-up call about human actions on the planet, needs to be answered and redirected to subjects spelling out hope, again and again. I have the tendency to veer towards economic issues and casting the blame towards the culprits, the 1% of course. Why do I feel that enough is enough? Because there’s a tendency among all of us to just feel powerless and sort of heading towards a crash, so that we become even more reckless. Say you are becoming late for an event, and there can become a point where you teeter towards not going at all, because of whatever story you’re telling yourself in your head. Or better analogy, since many people are weight conscious and become obsessed with what they shouldn’t be eating, and then wind up over-indulging big time, because once they’ve ‘broken their rule’ they say, what the hell and now after putting that diet off another day…the downward spiral may set in and feeling upset with oneself and powerless, now feeds a cycle of rationalization.

I often gravitate to talking about economics, bringing up the corpocrisy of capitalism. That’s why the article about “Making money for Billionaires” by Joe Brewer reverberates. Brewer’s punch line, “Will we honor the sacredness of life on Earth and evolve our global economy so that is in service of life? Or will we desecrate all that is sacred in this world so that a handful of families can have a few more yachts, a few more marble bath tubs, and bragging rights that they are the ones who died with the most toys?”

I don’t meant to scare people, though I may.

global, land,  sea, temperatures, 1.11C warmer, April 2016

global land and sea temperatures 1.11C warmer in April 2016


Fact: Last month, April was the warmest on record. The Guardian features this article. “April breaks global temperature record, marking seven months of new highs”

Fact: Michael Slezak writes for the Guardian, “World’s carbon dioxide concentration teetering on the point of no return

Fact: The economics of the fossil fuel industry fuels climate change which disrupts peoples lives and impoverishing their connection to nature, as does the economic political system of capitalism which has effectively taken away peoples’ rights to sustainable living.

That’s why dozens of ecological and environmental awareness groups coordinated a world-wide two-week global wave of escalated action to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground. Break Free from Fossil Fuels – through investing physically in ways to avoid these fuels and replace them with others, as well as through divestment from schools, institutions and companies that use these.

-.-.-.-.–
WHAT WE CAN DO! Anyone who is conscious, is aware of the gist of our current reality. Yet perhaps not everyone realizes just how interconnected things are; the earth’s atmosphere and climate, the various species flickering out of existence, the state of human affairs, wellness and disease connected to diet and food growth, resources and how much is leveraged by economics and greed. Yes, you all have heard of the 1% and the 99%. You see on the news the ravages of war and greed.

I couldn’t get this blog out quickly enough for my own taste, except that it has left the exposé on the lies we live there resting further on my top page. Having attended the alternative climate talks coinciding with those among dignitaries in Paris during the same two weeks December 2015, one of the main themes among the various presentations by ecological evangelists, activists, journalists and environmental entrepreneurs, was the need to create a new story to portray the radically changing climate and the radically shifting needs and solutions, so that the message for change will not be disregarded through hopelessness or gloom, but presented as palpable alternatives that can be embraced; with refreshing new ways to approach the subject – in positive ways – that people can grasp and feel inspired by and inclined to act on. Sort of like presenting things in chewable bites that are savory and delicious rather than presenting something so ferociously unwieldy and ugly that the easiest reaction is simply to turn one’s back and pretend it isn’t there, like that homeless person you step around on your way to work in a metropolitan area from the car door to the office entrance.

On this note, I am going to be treating a number of alternative change measures that we all can embrace, over the next blogs.

This one is about the easiest and perhaps most overlooked means of creating change and controlling this through one’s own actions: the food you put in your mouth. As the founders of Collective Evolution state, change happens from within.

No better place to start, than what you put into your mouth, and how this food is grown.

Ron Finley: A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA TED talks about Los Angeles's vacant lots

Ron Finley: A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA TED talks about Los Angeles’s vacant lots

Ron Finley, Guerrilla Gardener, artist's palette, plants, trees

Ron Finley Guerrila Gardener where the artist’s palette are plants and trees

Guerrilla gardening is actually an established concept; according to an entry in wikipedia: guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to utilize, such as an abandoned site, an area that is not being cared for, or private property.

You can contact Ron Finley, the Gangsta Gardener at http://ronfinley.com to help the Ron Finley Project grow in more communities.

The 7 Spiritual Laws of Gardening,

Deepak Chopra Center 7 Spiritual Laws of Gardening by Leo Carver

As the author Leo Carver mentions in his article for the Chopra Center The 7 Spiritual Laws of Gardening “The wisdom traditions of the world often refer to the oneness and transcendence one feels when interacting with nature.”

There’s been an ongoing obstructionism of peoples’ food and farmers’ seeds going on in India, as witnessed through articles like this one, The Seeds Of Suicide: How Monsanto Destroys Farming

Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmental activist and anti-globalization author who has written more than 20 books. She’s a ferociously intelligent woman who brings her economic and political insights into her speeches, in which she eloquently articulates why things are the way they are, as dictated by the economic trends of the last half of the century in capitalism and corporate greed and globalization. I witnessed her speaking this last December in Paris as a panelist during the climate talks, orchestrated by the Place to B. She has worked to promote biodiversity in agriculture. “Central to Shiva’s work is the idea of seed freedom, or the rejection of corporate patents on seeds.” Much of her work has been on educating the public about food and agriculture, as in Vandana Shiva’s Speech on Food and Agriculture Systems
In it she mentions that “fertilizers, which are toxic and poisonous, were originally designed as weapons of war…and that 6,000 chemicals are unleashed every year by these companies. She casually points out as she’s describing the terrorism of Monsanto and it’s hijacking of the seeds of Indian farmers, that “this was earlier, this was before these companies controlled governments, research at universities and before they controlled the media.” Hearing her words reminded me of what I learned viewing multiple documentaries after the Wall Street financial collapse, where it was elucidated clearly how the world’s financial systems have infiltrated educational institutions, to be proponents and perpetuators of their own system.

She talks about Monsanto ‘We Must End Monsanto’s Colonization, Its Enslavement of Farmers

and food sovereignty as does Dahlia Wasfi MD, a physician, peace and environmental activist. Waif talks about Iraq, its occupation and the experiment of Monsanto with their own chemicals and the farmers of Iraq. Wasfi talks in this video about Iraq’s seed industry and its destruction by Monsanto, who forbid them (Iraqi farmers) after 2003 to maintain their seed bank and share their seeds. What happened in India is happening currently in Iraq, with respect to Monsanto’s occupation of farmer’s seeds.

I just discovered the site Salud America, reading that the Las Cruces, New Mexico city council members were meeting on May 23, 2016, to discuss plans for expanding the local agriculture and food environment through a comprehensive Urban Agriculture and Food Policy plan developed by local non-profit La Semilla Food Center (semilla=seed). That’s good news! I presume more of this awareness and activities around urban gardening are springing up in various states.

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In my carolkeiter blog I talk about the Sovereignty of Consciousness.

“The Future of Food” & Halliburton’s Globalization Chess Game

I just saw this informative film “The Future of Food”, with attention raising inferences to genetic engineering. But even more disturbing were the scary insights into the company Halliburton, this time playing under the guise of an agricultural giant. In this role, they have been involved in not only manufacturing pesticides, but also the genetic engineering of seeds and a reign of terror over small farmers’, accusing them of stealing their patented seeds and trying to force them to destroy their own generationally cultured seed banks – a blatant attempt to monopolize the agriculture industry.
http://www.thefutureoffood.com/

“Halliburton’s major business segment is the Energy Services Group (ESG). ESG provides technical products and services for petroleum and natural gas exploration and production.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halliburton
This role is probably why, with Iraq’s oil reserves, they had big interest in nudging the American public into getting involved in a war with Iraq in the first place. However, they also managed to profit from America’s involvement in the destruction which has taken place there, performing in their role as ‘private military contractors’. “In the latest in the long line of corporate scandals involving the Bush Administration, Halliburton, the energy giant formerly run and still largely influenced and controlled by Vice-President Dick Cheney (the former Chairman and CEO), has announced that it will repay the US government over $27.4 million after it was discovered that it had grossly overcharged for the meals it supplies to the US military in Iraq.” The overcharging discovery involves Kellog, Brown & Root, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Halliburton. In a controversial “no-bid” contract, KBR was awarded a total of $8 billion to provide laundry, food supply, and build bases for the US military in Iraq. ”
http://www.socialistappeal.org/usa/halliburton_scandal.html

“In one of the many examples of abuse, Greenhouse said that military auditors caught Halliburton overcharging the Pentagon for fuel deliveries into Iraq. She also complained that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s office took control of every aspect of Halliburton’s $7 billion Iraqi oil/infrastructure contract.” “Cheney retired from the company during the 2000 U.S. presidential election campaign with a severance package worth $36 million. ”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halliburton#Involvement_in_the_Iraq_war

“In the early 1990s Halliburton was found to be in violation of federal trade barriers in Iraq and Libya, having sold these countries dual-use oil drilling equipment and, through its former subsidiary, Halliburton Logging Services, sending six pulse neutron generators to Libya. After having pleaded guilty, the company was fined $1.2 million, with another $2.61 million in penalties.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halliburton#Involvement_in_the_Iraq_warAfter

“Halliburton has its headquarters in the North Belt office in Houston, Texas, and in offices in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (opened March, 2007) where Chairman and CEO David J. Lesar works and resides.” http://www.socialistappeal.org/usa/halliburton_scandal.html

One can’t help thinking that perhaps it was yet another business deal gone awry or more ethical misconduct by Halliburton that lead to the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the United States. “The hijackers responsible for 9/11 were not illiterate, bearded fanatics from Afghanistan. They were all educated, highly skilled, middle-class professionals. Of the 19 men involved, 13 were citizens of Saudi Arabia.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4582.htm

“Osama bin Laden is believed to be the 17th child of Mohammed bin Laden (1908 – September 3, 1967), a Yemeni immigrant to Saudi Arabia who was a wealthy investor, businessman and patriarch of the bin Laden family.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_bin_Awad_bin_Laden

“The involvement between Halliburton and the Saudi Arabian company, owned by the father of Osama bin Laden, “The Bin-Laden Group”, has existed for years. “What should make us all feel insecure about our newfound homeland security is that Dick Cheney’s old company, Halliburton, bought H.C. Price Company (now called Bredero-Shaw http://www.bredero-shaw), a Texas-based oil company that supplies anti-corrosion coatings for oil pipelines and is a joint partner of the Saudi Bin-Laden Group http://www.sbg.com.sa, a construction company that is owned by the
Bin-Laden family and builds crude-oil pipelines.”

“Logic would indicate that the Bin-Laden Group has the heavy equipment in the region near Afghanistan that would facilitate the building of the pipeline through Afghanistan. And, Halliburton–Cheney’s old oil-drilling company–can drill for the oil that is to be fed through the pipeline.”….”Bush had appointed a former advisor to Unocal (an oil company that builds oil and gas pipelines) as the U.S. envoy to Afghanistan.”
http://elandslide.org/view.cfm?id=6458

“Halliburton is the only company mentioned by Osama bin Laden in an April 2004 tape in which he claims that “this is a war [in Afghanistan] that is benefiting major companies with billions of dollars.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halliburton

“The Future of Food” reveals Halliburtons’ slimy corporate practices and proposes questions concerning the implications of the practice of genetically modifying food. My subsequent mini investigation of the big H, reveals the lack of transparency of Halliburton’s intentions; strategically playing an international chess game with board-room inbreeding practices and calls for war, in the name of profit. Various members of its’ board have bounced back and forth to seats in various US government regulatory agencies such as the EPA and US Dept of Agriculture…to ‘police’/watch-dog the same companies with whom they had been imbedded!!

For more information of Halliburton and their corporate practices visit http://www.halliburtonwatch.org.