Reposted from Daily Kos by A Siegel
Mary Anne Hitt helping with the solar-panel
ribbon-cutting at Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church in West Virginia.
Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don't attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Wednesday Spotlight can be seen here
. So far, more than 19,140 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
Labor of Love: How My Small WV Town Launched a Game-Changing New Model to Go Solar
—by Mary Anne Hitt
: "This week, my small town in West Virginia cut the ribbon on a solar project that isn't just the largest crowd-funded solar project in the state, but also launches a new model making it possible for any WV community organization to go solar. On a perfect sunny day, 100 elementary school students and dozens of community members joined my husband, Than Hitt, and my daughter Hazel, who cut the ribbon for a 60-panel solar system at the historic Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. It was an unforgettable day that crystalized all our hopes for the future of West Virginia, and exemplified the power of regular people to change the world. The genius of this project was that the church went solar for just $1, thanks to over 100 community members who contributed - but they donated their water heaters, not their dollars. Maryland-based Mosaic Power pays homeowners $100 per year to have smart meters installed on their home water heaters that save energy and, in the aggregate, operate as a safe, efficient mini-power plant. These community members are each donating their $100 per year to the church solar project, collectively raising enough money to pay for the solar system. The financing model was developed by our brilliant friend Dan Conant and his company Solar Holler, and now that we have proof of concept in Shepherdstown, he's taking it statewide. The church is going to generate nearly half of its electricity from the sun, reducing pollution, saving money, and living out the congregation's commitment to caring for the Earth."
Huge Dam Removed, Fish and Critters Happy, Union Jobs Saved
: "They're done demolishing the 108-feet-tall Elwah Dam in northwest Washington State. It's the largest dam ever removed. The formerly huge runs of huge salmon are beginning to recover. The fish are reaching some river areas from the first time in over 100 years. The restored river is creating restored habitat for many critters besides the fish. The River's new estuary will allow crabs and other shoreline sea critters to get established there. Birds of every size and shape will feed on the restored aquatic life. Land mammals will nibble on the revegetated former reservoir areas. Another thing I like about this dam removal project was the preservation of an endangered species, the Pacific Northwest Unionized Paperworker."
Solar voltaic energy production nearly doubles in U.S. in 2014
: "Here's some good news that may brighten up your day: US electrical generation from renewables hits 14.3%. Dennis Schroeder of NREL reports that U.S. solar power generation more than doubled in the first half of 2014 according to a new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Data from the EIA’s latest Electric Power Monthly report indicates non-hydro renewables, including solar, wind, geothermal and biomass, made up a 7.3% share of electrical generation, while conventional hydropower accounted for 7%. ... Solar-generated electricity more than doubled, growing by 115.7%, while wind power increased by 9% compared to last year, accounting for 5% of the nation's electrical generation during the first six months of the year. Biomass also grew by 4%. Geothermal power, however, dipped by 1.5% and conventional hydropower declined by 4.2%. ... 'Not long ago, EIA was forecasting that renewables would not reach 14% of U.S. electrical generation until the year 2040,' noted Ken Bossong, executive director of the Sun Day Campaign. 'And even the current 14.3% figure undoubtedly understates the real contribution from renewables inasmuch as EIA's data does not fully reflect distributed and off-grid generation.'"
Why We March... Against Extinction
: "We March for Elephants. We March for Rhinos. We March for Lions. People have asked us—“Why do you march? What good is marching? You should be making direct contact with people in power, with people who can ‘make a difference.’ Every day 96 elephants are killed. That’s one every 15 minutes. A march does not stop this. You need to raise money and lobby politicians. And you should be writing: writing legislation.' Other people have told us, 'Why do you march? What good is marching? You can do nothing. Those with the power to make a difference, in China, overseeing the 37 ivory carving factories and 145 licensed shops, will do nothing because you march. Elephants will continue to die. No elephant will be saved because of the protest actions in the United States.' Regarding rhino horn, they say 'you cannot lessen its fashion or influence those in Vietnam who consume it.' The people who question us say that marches seem “nice” and make those who march 'feel good,' but are ultimately useless—a futile gesture good for nothing other than the egos of those who take part, far away from the halls of power, far away from the carving factories, far away from the scenes of injustice, death, and wholesale destruction of the elephant, rhinoceros, and lion populations that have been under relentless attack by poaching, wildlife trade, corruption, and consumption. They say we are too far away and our activities are merely a waste of time and resources. They are wrong to say this."
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