If you’ve been curious about Solar One’s Here Comes Solar program, thanks to the awesome folks at BRIC TV, you can learn all about it in this informative video. Professional futurist Garry Golden will show you his own rooftop solar array in South Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Here Comes Solar program director Noah Ginsburg explains how the program works and its goal to help solarize Brooklyn…and beyond.
“We’re very committed to creating jobs,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito declared to 26 green job trainees at Solar One’s Workforce Training Lab on Monday. She was joined by the City Council Majority Leader, Jimmy Van Bramer, and Council Member Donovan Richards, Chair, Committee on Environmental Protection.
“We must all do our part to make New York a more sustainable City. The Solar One Workforce training program provides needed green job training skills to New Yorkers, and I’m proud to support this important initiative,” the Speaker told our trainees as she toured our lab in Long Island City.
Back in March 2014, the NY City Council began considering the ramifications of ending the long-standing practice of giving shoppers free carrier bags. The bags have a dismal recycling rate, tend to blow everywhere (I mean, who hasn’t seen trees with bags stuck in the branches?) and create problems when they clog storm drains and get into waterways. Some people seem to take the bags- and stores hand them out- without even thinking, so many get used for an even shorter time than disposable coffee cups. Other cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and even Washington DC have either banned single-use plastic bags or imposed a small fee, usually 5 or 10 cents per bag.
The reason the bill hasn’t passed, though, is that some Council members worry that the new fee would place an undue hardship on low- and fixed-income households. Proponents argue that this will not happen, because WIC and SNAP recipients won’t have to pay, and the city will work hard to distribute free, reusable bags in lower income neighborhoods.
However, this may not be enough.
For absolute proof that solar power is the future, check out this graph from the Earth Policy Institute, which shows the trajectory of solar world-wide over the past 40 years.
As the price of panels has plummeted, the capacity of solar installations has grown exponentially. In fact, solar power use has increased 53 times since 2006.
How many other industries have grown 53 times larger in 9 years?
If you’ve never seen Repo Man, Alex Cox’s 1984 sci-fi dystopian comedy tale of a kid who gets caught up in the repo business, starring a very young Emilio Estevez, it’s highly entertaining, and highly recommended. But the repo model also has some interesting value for the future of solar power.
So what does repossessing cars have to do with solar panels?
Population growth and overconsumption are two of the major factors driving environmental degradation and climate change. Growing populations enjoying ever more material comforts has been the hallmark of human progress for more than 100 years.
While we have a certain amount of control over some decisions, like how many children to have, how much stuff to buy and other personal decisions that have a lot of impact, a lot of the costs of consumption are hidden far away. How can we develop a better understanding of how our modern Western lifestyles, now spreading across the globe, affect the places that have to supply the resources that make those lifestyles possible?