a few public service announcements

one :: the SB1 bill

Here in the state of California, there is something called the SB1 bill.

Here’s yesterday’s L.A. Times article for reference:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solar27jun27,0,3248023.story?track=tottext

And here’s the Environment California page on the subject:
http://environmentcalifornia.org/envirocalifenergy.asp?id2=13512&id3=CEenergy

And here’s the actual bill:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/sb_1_bill_20050623_amended_asm.html

And here’s a summary, cut and pasted from the bill:

    This bill would establish the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, administered by the Energy Commission, with the goals of placing 1,000,000 solar energy systems, as defined, on new and existing residential and commercial customer sites, or its generation capacity equivalent of 3,000 megawatts, establishing a self-sufficient solar industry in 10 years, and placing solar energy systems on 50% of new home developments in 13 years. The bill would establish the Million Solar Roofs Initiative Trust Fund and would provide that, upon appropriation by the Legislature, moneys deposited into the fund may be expended by the Energy Commission for purposes of carrying out the Million Solar Roofs Initiative.

I read a Wired article on “hygrid” homes a couple months ago. Basically, they’re homes that are hooked up to renewable power, like solar or wind, but also on the main power grid. They store power when they can, sell the excess back to the power company when they’re at full capacity, and buy it from the power provider, if necessary, after they exhaust their supply (and the sun isn’t out). I thought it was a fantastic idea. THAT could do a lot to save the world.

So when Environment California came knocking last month, as soon as they said “solar panels on low-income housing”, I gave them a $15 recurring monthly donation. Getting solar in as an option in tract housing? Giving low-income Californians a break (power is expensive!) by installing solar panels at the state cost? Getting this whole state hooked up as hygrid? That’s as wonderful and hopeful a dream as Los Angeles’s public transit.

And yeah, it could jack my power bill a bit. So what? So I pay a few more dollars a month in exchange for helping make a renewable, non-polluting resource a more viable option NOW instead of when the situation is desperate. And maybe if I air-dry more laundry, take shorter showers and turn off all lights more often, then I’ll make up that few extra dollars in conservation.

two :: the one campaign
There is something out there called ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. I’ve already signed the petition. I will probably start wearing one of their bracelets once I get a chance to research and make sure they’re not spending the money on celebrity endorsements. THAT is something I can believe in, so I encourage everyone to go sign the petition.

I also encourage you all to write to our President and Vice President (remember, it’s whitehouse.gov, not whitehouse.com!) and ask them to represent America as a generous nation at the G8 conference. That is, if you’re American. Canadians should write Paul Martin. And please, UBC students – try not to get pepper sprayed this time, OK? I know it isn’t exactly Kent State, but it was the closest you can get in a non-violent country.

three :: eminent domain? screw you america!

Eminent domain might make a comeback yet, only with someone making more money off it somewhere along the way.

THAT ALREADY HAPPENED IN LOS ANGELES!! (click here for the non-propaganda version)

This is not good, but I can’t figure out a course of action right now. I’ll have to wait until it happens and THEN protest it.

And finally, unrelated:

For those of you needing vision correction – like I do – Vision Direct is having a sale on Acuvue 2’s. They’re $14.95 for a box of six, and then if you buy enough of them, there’s volume discounts and 10% coupon codes to apply (JUNESAVE gets you 10% until 7/8/05; VISIONOFF gets you $10 off $100 until 7/31/05). So I got away with a year’s supply of lenses for $105, and I’ll probably get another $30 off as a rebate, which takes down the cost of the $50 lens fitting I had done this week.

(And I’m only posting this because I know having lousy vision is EXPENSIVE, and that would have been $160 worth of contact lenses offline. That’s why I felt entitled to go blow the $60 at Franklin Covey on a new dayplanner with Dilbert pages in it.)

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