Tag Archives: generations

Rooftop solar: the most direct route to clean energy industries

Austin vs. San Antonio in solar power Around here I hear local leaders say “we’ll never be Austin.” Well, Austin may be letting San Antonio pass Austin as far as rooftop solar and the jobs that generates. It’s not a matter of size or pre-existing advantages. It’s a matter of political will. Do we have that will here?

TexasVox wrote a white paper in February 2012, Solar Austin: Rooftop Solar & Job Creation,

…the most direct route to attracting and encouraging the development of clean energy industries is through the

the scale of future development will be orders of magnitude greater than what has occurred to date.
mass deployment of local rooftop solar, which is probably why solar has by far the most significant presence of any clean energy generation technology in Austin.

But the paper’s point is that Austin is falling short. Look at the graph: Austin seems to have settled for linear growth in solar power, while San Antonio gets it about compound growth. As San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said in 2011, solar power is in

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Industrial Authority goes solar, broadband, and conversational!

The Industrial Authority apparently listened to its focus groups, and discovered that broadband and solar energy are important to attract industry. Andrea Schruijer even recommends conversation, which has been sorely lacking in recent years. Congratulations, Industrial Authority!

Jason Schaefer wrote for the VDT today, Authority analyzes Valdosta business: Broadband, solar power, professional services targeted for growth,

The Authority also plans to work toward the availability of more broadband Internet service and solar power in Valdosta and surrounding communities. These amenities would help support local industries as well as draw new ones to the greater Valdosta area for the creation of new jobs.

That’s a good start. Although it’s not clear from the writeup that VLCIA quite got it about Internet access.

As part of presenting Valdosta as an attractive package for prospective industries, the Authority attempts to ready the land set aside for development before beginning the recruitment process. This means investing in infrastructure, including broadband internet.

“It’s not that we don’t have broadband,” Schruijer said. “What we’re looking at is the technology behind the broadband. We have it in certain areas, but in order for us to grow some of these core targets, such as professional services, we need that infrastructure.”

Well, actually, no, we don’t have broadband. 6Mbps is the fastest most people can get around here, and 30Mbps is the slowest you can even buy in many countries. Plus, it’s not just fast Internet to industrial sites that’s needed: it’s fast Internet access everywhere knowledge-based employees may want to live.

But they’re on the right track:

Because the Authority can’t “buy” industries into coming to Valdosta—though it can offer tax abatements—it is necessary to make sure that new businesses have what they will need before ground is even broken, Schruijer said. To this effect, the Authority will “stimulate the conversation” to actively attract more broadband companies to the area.

A conversation! Now there’s something we’ve been needing around here. And it’s a refreshing change from only a year ago when all we heard was

“Debate is not allowed.”

Maybe the Industrial Authority will be the organization that will show the rest of us how to hold civil discussions about things that affect all of us!

The VDT’s writeup skips quickly over another big change:

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This is what a mayor with vision sounds like

Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio speaks at 44:25 about
…the nexus between sustainability and job creation. Every now and then, perhaps once in a generation, there presents itself a moment, an opportunity, for those cities that are willing to seize it, to truly benefit the region for generations to come.
Here’s the video: Continue reading

Neither wind nor solar power “need to be purchased by Halliburton”

Continuing to see what “the indigenous” think about solar power:
Today, a number of Native tribes, from the Lakota in the Dakotas to the Iroquois Confederacy in New York to the Anishinaabeg in Wisconsin, battle to preserve the environment for those who are yet to come. The next seven generations, the Lakota say, depend upon it.

“Traditionally, we’re told that as we live in this world, we have to be careful for the next seven generations,” says Loretta Cook. “I don’t want my grandkids to be glowing and say, ‘We have all these bad things happening to us because you didn’t say something about it.’

Part of this family and spiritual obligation to preserve

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Valdostans protest biomass –VSU Spectator

Molly Duet writes in the VSU newspaper today:
Protestors wearing respirator masks held signs reading “Biomass? No!” in front of the Valdosta City Hall building on Thursday. Members of the Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy, the VSU student organization Students Against Violating the Environment, and other concerned Valdosta citizens showed up to protest the construction of the Wiregrass Power: Biomass Electric Generating Plant.

“We already have solar power resources in place that we could be using and I feel like money should be directed towards that,” Ivey Roubique, vice-president of the Student Geological Society, said. “It wouldn’t be good for the community and even though I’m in college here it still matters.”

The Spectator article quotes from two speakers for whom LAKE happens to have video, linked below. Continue reading

Why? There’s speculation about money — Stewart Emmett (?) @ VCC 24 March 2011

When public officials ignore objections for long enough, eventually people start speculating as to their motives, in this case about the proposed biomass plant. Here’s the video:

Regular meeting of the Valdosta City Council, 24 February 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


The right of students to breathe clean air –Erin Hurley of SAVE @ VCC 24 March 2011

Erin Hurley provided the very model of how to give a speech:
I’m the president of Students Against Violating the Environment at VSU. I’m here representing 200+ members of SAVE, that consists of students, faculty, community members. We are deeply concerned with environmental issues and we are networking together to make this city a more humane and sustainable community for future generations.

As a student, I feel I have the right to be able to breathe clean air at the college I attend. With this biomass plant possibly being built here, the future for generations to come are in jeopardy, and we want to protect our fellow and future students’ health.

Please take into consideration the future health of this university and its community, and don’t sell grey water to the proposed biomass plant.

Here’s the video:

Erin Hurley, President of SAVE, Students Against Violating the Environment, speaking at
Regular meeting of the Valdosta City Council, 24 March 2011,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.

Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

She said who she was, who she represented, how many, what they were for, what they wanted, quickly enough that attention didn’t waver, slowly and loudly enough to be heard, and briefly enough to transcribe, with pathos, logic, and politic. Even the mayor looked up at “As a student….”