Category “Events”

Join Us: TFF and Greenway Head to DC Inauguration

Friday, 2 January, 2009

Green Bus Inauguration Tour

Greenway will be offering a complete transportation package for The Inauguration, including a 100% biodiesel powered bus for up to 47 passengers, catered lunch, drinks, and dinner on the return at famous Bottoms Up Pizza in Richmond.  We will be leaving from Durham and its Green Oil Campus on January 19th at 8:00AM, arriving Franconia-Springfield Station Metro Station at 2:00PM.  And returning the 20th at 5:00PM, leaving Franconia-Springfield Station, arriving Durham… who knows when?!  Price for the complete package will be $200, which includes a $50 donation to The Forest Foundation.

For transportation and Inaugural details:

http://inauguration.dc.gov/index.asp

http://www.wmata.com/getting_around/metro_events/inauguration.cfm

Accommodations

Greenway will not be offering official overnight accommodations, but some limited space is available for first come first serve.  Prices for accommodations that are Metro walkable (30 mins. to the Mall) vary from floor space camping, to couches, to bedrooms.

Pedicabs on the Mall

In addition, Greenway’s new Pedicab Manager, John Bair, will be bringing our two pedicabs up to service the Inaugural festivities on and around the Mall starting Jan. 9th.  He will be running multiple shifts and two of Greenway’s founders will be on hand to drive and to make policy suggestions to any errant decision-makers who decide to “Go Green” and ride pedal power!  If John is smart, he may be able to get in the parade and give us some real nationwide publicity!

Sponsorship

The Bus and Pedicabs are looking for sponsorship for the Inauguration tour.  The Bus will have sign space on either side and on the rear, and the Pedicabs will have their back panel space available.  We expect hundreds of thousands to see us on tour, so given our high profile as probably the only biodiesel bus headed to DC and one of only a few pedicabs on the Mall, we think this will be a great marketing opportunity. Contact us for pricing.

Proceeds from the trip and sponsorship will help fund The Forest Foundation’s non-profit work.

Trip Stipends and Discounts

For those who can not afford the full price of the tour, but can show volunteer service and dedication to the cause will be provided stipends or discounts.  Other non-profit and environmental groups may also be offered discounts.  Two stipends of $100 each are available to students on a first come basis from Dr. Sandy Smith-Nonini of YIKES!  Contact us for details.

Deadline for Deposits:

Jan. 16th

Email us at:

info@greenwayrides.com, or info@theforestfoundation.org

Big Fall for Foundation and Friends

Wednesday, 31 December, 2008

2008 was a tough year for The Forest Foundation, Forests of the World, Carolina Biodiesel and Greenway Transit. Forests of the World sales dropped dramatically in 2008 and we decided to back out of Fall tradeshows because of the rising costs, slowing economy and inability to gain enough value in the products to cover our carbon footprint, much less our salaries and overhead. The other tough news is that the Green Oil Campus has been slower to evolve that we expected, primarily due to a lack of financing from investment or lending. Though we had several volunteers and interns, the amount of energy and focus seemed too diffuse and too little for the tall tasks at hand.

The Cavitator reactor construction went smoothly and we spent a lot less than expected. However, the efficiencies were not gained in its operation, in fact, we lost efficiency, expending more methoxide and creating more glycerin that expected. As well, site costs for repair and maintenance started increasing, and with no development partners our cash flow dried up. The Phase II Assessment was completed and some issues were found with the site, particularly heavy metal and herbicide contamination. Our effort to purchase it has floundered as we have failed to find financing up to this date. Positive financials have remained elusive, particularly as feedstock prices climbed along with petroleum, and then prices collapsed making our hand-crafted fuel expensive. Diesel prices retreated 5 fold after the highs near $150 per barrel in August, right as we completed the reactor build and began to ramp up.

Bright spots were The Foundation received two grants this year, one from Frank Phoenix to help pay for our work with neighborhood kids (expenditures near $15K) and another from The Body Shop for our craft work internationally. We have received small donations, but the Foundation’s primary revenue stream has been the BCBC pump and fair trade handicraft sales, both which have slowed. We attended the Resourceful Communities workshop and retreat of The Conservation Fund and enjoyed the energy of the participants and all their cool projects in Nov. However, the triple bottom line mantra was hard to swallow, given the fact that our economy is a subset of our planet’s ecology. If folks don’t understand that, we are creating false models.

TFF exhibited in Oct. at the State Fair for the 15th year. Shifting gears to try to generate more income, we sublet space to green businesses both sign and marketing space, and created a Green Guide to the State Fair, which also launched a greening initiative, GreenNC. TFF met with Fair officials last year about doing more green things and it looks like years of preaching may have shifted them. TFF received support from Common Ground Builders, a green building supply company, and Stop Painting, a recycled plastics lumber company. Thanks goes out to all the volunteers, including Shane Maene, who helped run the booth, and of course MK, who, for yet another year, spent way too much time in the “sea of deep fried conservatism.” Marc did get to meet Kay Hagen, who unseated Dole, the do-nothing Republican Senator. Carolina Biodiesel picked up the contract to convert the State Fair’s waste oil into biodiesel and delivered the fuel to Department of Agriculture research sites in Butner and Goldsboro.

TFF exhibited, again, at both the holiday fairs, at the Judea Reform Temple and at the Resurrection United Methodist Church, and participated in a micro-lending fair at the Bryan Center at Duke. Sales were down across the board. Sadly, the Foundation was unable to attend its usual EENC and Green Festival Conferences, running out of money and energy this year. Marc rotated off the EENC Board to focus on trying to make a living and get the biodiesel plant built.

Greenway Transit by far had the best year, doubling its sales and acquiring a new Bus and luxury Mercedes, while paying down some of its debt. Greenway ran the transportation for a number of events, including the AASHE Conference in Raleigh, which had MK and Marc pulling 5 days of 18 hour shifts moving people from the airport to hotels to the new Convention Center and back. Thanks go to Dora and Ben who helped pitch in with running bus tours to Duke, UNC and NC State’s campuses. The crowd of teachers, students and administrators were awesome and we received accolades for our service and work as an organization. During the Conference, MK and Marc were recognized as NC Sustainability Champions by Sustainable NC.

Goals for 2009, survival.

Tale of Two Cities

Tuesday, 30 December, 2008

2008_december_prague

Mary Katherine and Marc finally took a well-needed vacation (thanks to our parents support) at the end of November, visiting Prague and Bolzano in the Dolomites in northern Italy. Two of our friends’ decided to get married in Prague, MK had been before and Marc had heard of Prague’s Gothic beauty and attractions (i.e. beer), so it seemed a good idea to head for Europe. The trip couldn’t have been timed better, with the rising value of the dollar against the Euro and the pre-holiday celebrations. The Dolomites of Italy had been on their mind since their 2006 trip to Torino for the winter Olympics, and were a high priority as being one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Lots of cool environmental ideas came from the trip, as our green lenses are always on. There were a lot of things we learned from our European neighbors.

The Wedding

Our friends, Barbara and Shane, had decided to have their wedding in Prague after visiting early in their dating, and realizing what a magical place it was. Low and behold, after some good planning, communication and salesmanship, they were able to pull close to 70 friends and family to Prague. It was quite a crowd that made partying there all the more fun. We ran into each other on the streets, got ideas on places to go and shared stories after stories, etc. Drinking alone is not advised. The event was brilliant all around. Of course, MK and Marc started thinking about how one can run green events, like weddings, while critiquing the Prague event (See below). However, we avoided saying anything during any of the events, like “have you thought about mitigating your carbon footprint ….. ” as we thought it may be bad manners.

Barbara contacted the Prague Tourism office, which was extremely helpful in legal particulars surrounding the wedding, like English speaking ministers. But most of the leg-work was done by the couple, finding hotels, churches, caterers, musicians, etc. MK and Marc joked that the mayor of Prague was going to appear with the key to the city, given the huge economic punch the event provided. Granted the city is large, but 70 folks was a serious boost to the town center. The wedding likely cost less in Prague than in the US, even when including the airfares. Generally prices were slightly less, though downtown was expensive compared to rural regions of eastern Europe. Average Czech salary is $10K per year and the exchange rate was around 19 Crowns to the $1.

The wedding was held at St. Nicholas Church on St. Winceslas Square the center of Old Town. The square holds the famous cuckoo clock, and gilded and ornate buildings from many architectural periods line coble stoned streets and whined away from the center. It was a beautiful cathedral, and the English service was well choreographed in its simplicity. The reception was held at the jazz club, and the rehearsal dinner at the best micro-brewery, U Flecku, where we were served endless mugs of brilliant stout, traditional meat dishes and dumplings. Yes, meat, potatoes and bread are center to Czech food, but vegetarian meals were available. It seemed that much of the food was locally prepared or grown. After a typical meal, one felt the need to dawn armor and defend the parapet or head out to the potato fields! Sadly, Marc caught pneumonia before his trip and was limited in the full scope of his partying capacity.

2008_december_ufleku

Other features of Prague are the river, its beautiful bridges and the spectacular Prague castle, across the river from Old Town Square on a hill overlooking the city. Its nighttime lights reflected in the river and created a regal feel to the evenings. Prague also sports excellent micro-breweries, music scene and an alternative, arts culture astounding in its sophistication. There was a real sense of individuality, where clothing designs had a hip, hand made feel. Marc and MK found a couple a very cool, used clothing stores, some hip boutiques and local vegetarian and vegan restaurants, like Country Life and FX Café. These were great places to people watch. Our favorite “pivovars” were: U-Flecku, At the Little Bear and New Town Brewery, all of which had excellent food (sans the smoke). Our second favorite was Strahov Monastery at top Hradcany Hill across the river, overlooking the City. We ran into one of the monks in his PJ’s looking for the brewery, it was a hoot. The walk, to and from, will help work off the beer and you can duck into any one of the bars on the way back for a pee-break.

We had hit Europe during the famous town square craft festivals, where most large towns had vendors (they seemed exhausted) inhabiting kiosks, and selling lots of interesting hand made goods as well as local food. Birch bark ornaments, crystal, lace and the coiled bracelet cinnamon pastries were a must. Prague sported numerous glass and jewelry galleries (the area was a center for gold and silver smything in the middle ages and the reason it became so wealthy), as well as the second largest toy museum in the world, marionette theaters, a sex machine and torture museums (thank God not sharing the same building)! There was a lot to do for a wide variety of ages, and singing into the early morning echoed from the streets.

charles-bridge

Walking and public transportation are wonderful, and we used the tram, metro and train system to get around, using roller luggage on cobbled streets, which created an annoying echo that let everyone know the tourists were coming. The city was ripe for pedicabbing, though taxis seemed embedded and horse carriages were available in the town square for about $100–what is their carbon footprint? We were surprised at how few bikes there were, but regulations, the cobbles and tram rails may have made biking somewhat difficult. Uniquely, the city requires helmets, lights and mudflaps. The hills above Mala Strana are a great place to exercise and catch a view. We used the metro and bus to return to the airport, which took about an hour from Old Town Center. We used the train to get to Munich and then transferred to a train to Bolzano, which took only 10 hours. The return trip was longer, requiring 4 trains and a trip through small towns of eastern Bavaria (Wald Bahn, “Wild Way”), a natural park and the Sudetenland in the snow covered mountains between the two countries.

Flying out of Prague we flew over Antwerp and saw a massive wind farm and an offshore installation. We also flew over Greenland and Hudson Bay and got our first view of icebergs, ice sheets and pack ice and the stark beauty of glaciated landscapes., wondering how well the planet was faring given record warming trends, loss of ice thickness as well as cover and reflectivity.

Though the Czech Republic was not as modern as other parts of Europe, its people and potential seemed great. Cigarette smoking was rampant and made Prague significantly less enjoyable, particularly to Marc’s compromised lungs. There was also a feeling of a Mafioso culture seemed to be developing and a slight seediness that tourist cities have. The influence of post Soviet era crime and corruption seemed to be waxing. One had this heavy feeling that the years of oppression and war was lingering, leaving one with the hope that the rest of the world would leave them alone, as the country has much to be proud of and should be left to develop at its own way and away from geopolitical manipulations.

The Dolomites

Taking the train to Italy from Prague we passed through into Germany and immediately noticed the number of solar PV and hot water panels and saw several large-scale, rotational PV fields. Lots of barns and businesses had commercial scale PV units. We changed trains in Munich and headed south over the pass into Austria, passing beautiful castles, alpine valleys and snow covered Alps, stopping in Innsbruck before heading south again over the Brenner pass at about 4000ft. Our Bolzano hotel had a very large solar hot water system and we passed a pumping hydro-electric plant several Kms north of town.

val-gardena

Watching the news in Prague we new the southern alps had received a major dumping of snow. Looking out the train windows we saw mounds of snow lining the tracks and hills. We had made a good choice, rather than going to eastern Slovakia or southern Poland mountains, which we had considered. We found that the Sudtirol area had received a two decade record of snow close to 30 cm early in the season, making the sunny days a warm wintry delight. The train line paralleled a major highway that wound its way through the mountains, along with the secondary roads and tiered villages, we were amazed at the level of safety engineered into these transportation systems. How much work over the years had been placed on building this infrastructure?!

bolzano

The Dolomites are a unique geologic feature, essentially an ancient coral reef that uplifted to nearly 3000 meters, eroded, was glacially carved and created one of the world’s most dramatic landscapes. Bolzano sits at around 200 meters in the southwest corner of the Dolomites northwest of Venice and is a largest city in the Sudtirol region. It has excellent train and bus service and a beautiful, old town square within walking distance of the train and bus stations. Val de Siusi and Val Gardena were the destinations and took about an hour by bus to get to. Siusi is the largest, high alpine valley in the Alps and is ideal for its infrastructure for winter and summer sports and spectacular views of the Dolomites.

bolzanodolomites

Our hotel room had a great view of the mountains. Castles lined the valley and the entrances of each side valley. This area was primarily German but was given to the Italians after WWI. Most folks speak German, but Italian was also spoken as well as Laden, an ancient language derived from Roman Latin and protected by law in the area. Each village had three names. The region’s beauty and ancient history conjure images of Tolkien, and indeed the ancient Laden fairy tales of people living under the mountains have influenced many authors. See these websites for more information:

http://calitreview.com/604

http://www.ilregnodeifanes.it/inglese/essay4.htm


utzi

MK and Marc’s favorite part of the trip, besides the food, beverages and spectacular views, was the Utzi Museum in Bolzano. Utzi was murdered back in around the 3rd millennium BC, immediately covered by drying snow and his body discovered in a melting glacier (can you believe that?) at the top of a mountain about 50 kilometers northwest of the Dolomites. His artifacts of survival gear make REI aficionados look pathetic, as he had to learn to hand craft and repair his gear from all natural materials. Extensive scientific investigation has been able to determine a great deal about this man’s life and livelihood, his origins and environment. His life was not easy and death sad, but a great gift to us all. One of the exhibits on Paleolithic life showed a rock that was the base structure for a community that lived in the Val Siusi. We cross country skied right by it! In one view from the mountain gazing down the valley 600 ft. we could see 5,000 years of human history, and 100’s of millions of geologic history.

Green Tours and Vacations

Given MK and Marc’s global touring and event planning experience, it would made sense to offer advise/services on how to create “completely green European tours,” like Barbara and Shane’s Wedding. For the most part, Europe and its hotel and tourism infrastructure are already hands down one of the best places to conduct green events, particularly if folks want to make the commitment to going overseas. The biggest issue is our carbon footprint, specifically traveling there on planes. This of course can be mitigated through a dozen organizations, from methane capture to tree planting. But once there, travel by public transportation is a breeze even for large parties. With many of the European countries approaching 20% of their energy from renewable sources, this makes green travel and living by far easier than any place except maybe Japan. Biodiesel is available, but to find sustainable bus or car transport is more challenging, though the compact size and diesel engines tend to get higher mpg, high biodiesel blend stations are limited.

All the hotels we visited had signs asking folks to turn off the lights, reduce water consumption and towel washing in several languages, though few had low flow shower heads, LED or compact florescent lights. This may because the electricity is 220 and manufacturers have not focused on this market yet. Our Bolzano Hotel had a massive hotwater solar panel right outside our window, and showers were definitely warmer in the evening than in the morning. Generally, recycling was found everywhere and waste was minimized in many ways, including food. Localism is already a strong movement in Europe so finding local vendors and particularly caterers who use local foods is not a problem. Veganism and vegetarianism is on the rise and many gourmet options exist.

Prague and nearly any medium size town in Italy make ideal places to hold weddings, retreats or events that have a feeling class, uniqueness and a connection to history. The 12th Century chapel in Tuscany next to where we stayed on our first trip to Italy markets itself on the internet to couples from around the world, so global sophistication is not lacking. There is so much to do and for the most part everything can be done within short distances, though “spoke” trips to larger attractions can be added to itineraries.

Opportunities abound to link with local green organizations and to participate in “give back to the community” projects, essential to make any tour more special and should be apart of any sustainable event. Accommodations exist for nearly any size party and generally costs can be kept to a minimum. Or one can go way upscale, depending on your budget. Greening high end facilities may be a task, but some may be on Eastern Europe and rural western Europe offer incredible deals with some surprisingly exceptional infrastructure.

Green tours to Europe can be a fun way to experience and to give.

Green Oil Campus/Ecolounge: Solar Hot Air Workshop

Wednesday, 10 December, 2008

The Ecolounge hosted another successful workshop, attended by over 40 folks,  presented by Rebekah and Stephen Hren.  Braving the cold of the unheated space,  (how ironic) folks were impressed with the hands-on presentation by our areas’ two, green entrepreneurs, who just published their Carbon Free Home guide, which contains lots of great and easily implementable, energy saving ideas.

Many folks in the environmental community have been pushing solar hot water and PV units, however, solar hot air hands-down is more cost efficient and is an easier to install technology than anything else, except maybe CFLs and energy efficiency through insulation and home improvements.  This is a particularly viable technology for those with some sun that hits their house in the winter and for low income families.  Solar hotwater requires significant investments in pumps, plumbing and installation and is viable only for large users of water.  Instant on technology used in Europe extensively is a better plan for smaller households.  PV units are still expensive, but their prices are dropping and the ability to grid tie and receive energy credits through net metering are improving.

Folks gained insight into several styles of hot air systems and plans exist to conduct a demonstration build here at the Green Oil Campus, along with a solar hot water system to help heat waste veggie oil processing and our biodiesel production systems.  Stay turned for more events of the Ecolounge, YIKES! and The Forest Foundation’s Green Oil Campus.  Thanks goes to Sandy Smith-Nonini and her hard work in organizing the event while MK and Marc were away.

Mary Katherine and Marc Receive Sustainability Champions Award

Thursday, 2 October, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Sustainable North Carolina Recognizes Five Individuals as “Sustainability Champions”

 

Raleigh, NC – October 28, 2008 – Sustainable North Carolina (SNC) has announced that it is honoring five individuals for outstanding achievements in promoting social responsibility and environmental stewardship in business.

While this is the 7th annual Sustainable North Carolina Awards program, this is the first year that the Sustainability Champion award for individuals has been given.

“Whenever we hear about the achievements of an organization with respect to sustainability, there is usually an individual behind the scenes who is the driving force for getting people on board to make these changes,” said Katy Ansardi, president of SNC. “We felt it was time to recognize some of the people who are taking a leadership role in creating a better future for our state.”

Dennis Quaintance

As CEO and CDO (Chief Design Officer) for Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels in Greensboro, Dennis Quaintance has guided the company to the completion of a groundbreaking , internationally recognized project that exemplifies the ambitious set of core values the company holds. His entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to inclusion and sustainability have inspired many people. Dennis is passionate about making North Carolina the leader in our country to promote and demonstrate sustainable capitalism to ensure a healthy future for the planet and for generations to come.

Richard Deming

Rich Deming has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, innovation and significant results in not one, but multiple organizations in the Charlotte area. He has streamlined the implementation of green building practices and solar energy through his construction company, Aedifico, driven the completion of the first B100 biofuel pump in the region, and created and marketed a line of innovative plant-based products to replace petroleum-based products through his company Fat City Formulae, while also teaching a biofuels course and assisting with efforts to create sustainable low-income housing and temporary shelters for the homeless.

 

Marc Dreyfors and Mary Katherine Williams

Marc Dreyfors and Mary Katherine Williams have founded multiple local and international organizations over the past 15 years that provide economic development opportunities and social benefits while addressing environmental issues. Their Green Oil Campus, located in an at-risk Durham neighborhood, incorporates many aspects of sustainability and looks at it through a systems approach. Marc and Mary Katherine go well beyond this simple presence and actively engage the community through hosting events and workshops, making space available for use, and hiring people from the neighborhood.

 

Courtney Lorenz

As Environmental Manager for Skanska USA Building in Durham, Courtney Lorenz is leading the environmental charge for the company locally and across the U.S. Through education sessions, application on jobsites, and incentives to encourage environmentally responsible choices, Courtney helps to connect the dots for Skanska employees and clients, while providing real-world solutions. Courtney works to make important changes locally that through her national influence can not only push improvements nationwide, but also showcase North Carolina as a source of innovation.

 

The honorees will be presented with their awards at a gala dinner banquet and ceremony emceed by Chris William, host of Carolina Business review, on Monday, November 10th, at the Raleigh Convention Center. The keynote address will be delivered by noted author and management strategist, Peter Senge.

 

Attendees will have an opportunity to meet the Champion award recipients, as well as finalists for the other awards, at a reception prior to the ceremony. In addition, the NC Sustainable Business Council (NCSBC), a member-led initiative of SNC, will hold its semi-annual forum earlier in the day in conjunction with the awards program. Business executives and experts will discuss the real-world challenges and lessons learned from implementing sustainable practices.

Major sponsors for the 2008 Sustainable North Carolina Awards are Cisco, Cherokee Investment Partners, PBS&J, SAS, Burt’s Bees, and EarthCREW. Other sponsors include Lenovo, Duke Energy, NC GreenPower, Biltmore, Kilpatrick Stockton, The Redwoods Group Foundation, NC State Energy Office and Pepco Energy Services.

For more information about the Sustainable North Carolina Awards, NCSBC Forum, and Sustainable Solutions Expo visit www.sustainnc.org/awards.

 

About Sustainable North Carolina

Sustainable North Carolina (SNC) is a non-profit organization that works as a catalyst for a sustainable economy through professional education, networking, implementation assistance and recognition. SNC is spearheading the NC Sustainable Business Council (NCSBC) to provide business leadership for an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable future. NCSBC is a member-directed organization that provides a forum for business people to network, collaborate, access information and resources, and create awareness.

 

About Sustainable North Carolina Awards

Sustainable North Carolina initiated its awards program in 2002 to honor organizations leading the way in creating solutions for a sustainable future. Since then, the SNC Awards has grown into a high profile event that attracts hundreds of business, government, non-profit and academic leaders from across the Southeast.

 

Climate Catastrophe: A Correspondence between the Entrenched Right and Bitter Left

Thursday, 18 September, 2008

Hi Folks:

 

Here is an exchange I had with the COO of a right-wing think tank that promotes “free markets” and negates climate change.  It’s a compelling read.  I am not sure if the time spent made an impact.  According to NY Times article citing psychological research on politics and climate change, humans tend to want to reinforce existing world views when seeking out information rather than collecting data that makes them insecure.

 

Richard W. Walker wrote:

 

Thanks for your kind words about my children (not joking!). Just don’t agree about global warming; agree about climate change–it’s with us, as it always has been, and it’s always been violent. To me, evidence shows that mitigation not prevention is the best solution. Do agree about the need to shift to alternative energy, if only for energy security, just think the evidence shows that when free markets are allowed to work new, more efficient technologies will come to the fore. But much good luck to you.

 

Richard W. Walker

COO, NCPA

 

Marc Dreyfors (President, The Forest Foundation) wrote:

 

My Apologies Richard if I annoyed you.

What I hoped more than that is put fear in your heart (a “Rovian” technique), as your actions put fear in mine that we will not solve anything under the ideology you espouse, but dig ourselves deeper in a hole that will enslave our children to a world deprived of basic rights and resources.  Energy security, environmental protection and sustainable development go hand in hand.  What is energy security?  Burning more fossil fuels?  That is self destruction on the highest order.  If these ideas are so annoying, publish them to your constituency. I am sure they would love the red meat.  If you think you are right, argue the point.

Read Collapse by Jared Diamond.  That’s where we are headed thanks to bozos like the ones in your org. that think markets are free or climate change is a hoax. I have a whole list of books on our website, that I would highly recommend.

May your children be blessed with enlightenment(as it seems you may a ways to go).

Marc

 

Richard Walker wrote:

 

Mr. Dreyfors,

I’ve slightly reconsidered yesterday’s response to you.  In light of our divergent views it’s obvious you’re wasting my time and yours.  My conclusions about how we should respond to climate changes and energy security (which is a far graver matter) have been arrived at only after careful research and much thought, as I hope yours have.  So I would humbly suggest that you expound these views through editorials to local and even national newspapers and blogs–the NRDC, for example, would likely welcome you heartily.  That would be a far more productive endeavor for you and a much less annoying one for me.  

 

Richard W. Walker
Chief Operating Officer
NCPA
(972) 308-6483

 

Marc Dreyfors (President, The Forest Foundation) wrote:

 

Dear Mr. Walker,

I was trained by some of the best scientists in some of the best
educational systems on the planet. I have published scientific work in
reputable journals and had my work peer reviewed. Have you?

 

Richard Walker wrote:

 

Mr. Dreyfors,

Thank you for your views about the Earth and the threats you perceive
to its ecosystem. From the repeated emails you send us, we are by now
well aware of your views and how much you misunderstand ours. So let
me state some things clearly so you can quit this foolish endeavor
(sorry, but true) and engage in more productive pursuits. While there
has been some warming of the Earth in the past, the global warming
campaign is just that: a campaign; it’s not science.

 

Bull shit. Science elicits facts. The facts are: humans are destroying
this planet in so many ways we can’t keep up documenting the losses,
over population and unsustainable resource consumption are the main
culprits.

 

The research simply doesn’t bear it out; there’s even research that
the Earth has cooled somewhat recently.

 

Are you really that uneducated…. global dimming from particulates in
the atmosphere from fossil fuel consumption and La Nina cause cooling–
the Earth fluctuates!? Systems cycle, they are dynamic, oscillate, but
the trend is towards global scorching as methane deposits are released,
but equally probable is a severe climate shift to an ice age if we tip
the balance. We have no idea of the catastrophe that we push this planet
towards as feedback loops are largely unknown. What we do know is that
the last 10,000 years has been a period of incredible climate stasis,
which we are irreparably damaging.

But even if warming does exist, we cannot just stop our economies
without wreaking havoc on billions of innocent people. Mitigation is a
far better course.

 

This is an example of your organizations fallacious arg. “we can’t just
stop our economies,” that says nothing about myriad things we can do to
grow our our economies while internalizing market externalities that
abound. Our economies will collapse if we do nothing to stop fossil fuel
consumption, now.

 

Of course, the Russians have now managed to accomplish what a decade
of sober research could not-kill Kyoto. We are not sick, and we are
not stuck in an old paradigm. We believe in free markets because
wherever they’ve been given a chance to work economies, and people,
flourish. Free economies provide opportunity. We promote free
economies, not any particular energy source or technology. We are
energy neutral. So our stance is that given the urgent need for energy
security, we should let free markets decide which technologies are the
most efficient and therefore most socially and economically beneficial
for all people, not just those with vested interests in select
alternative solutions.

 

You are obviously not an economist, as there is no such thing as a free
market as some ideal. “Free”? Your free markets are dominated by
monopolies, free riders, capture, corporate manipulation, market
externalities, etc., etc. Your Adam Smith ideal has nothing to do with
reality. You are dreaming. Using “market forces” to correct the raping
and pillaging of our society and natural world is one of many strategies
that makes sense, that we can agree. The markets “left to their own
devises,” reap misery, hardship and destruction if unregulated and not
guided by a value system that is well grounded in care and compassion
for others and the world around us. Markets poorly reflect
overpopulation and overconsumption, nor price them accordingly. Markets
do not value biodiversity loss, or climate change– massive market
failures.

Your social Darwinian approach is shortsighted and evil. We as humans
can do better. You, as an advocate of “market approaches,” should be
better educated on the problems and absurdity of “free” markets. There
is nothing free in the world. You should go back to school and take some
courses on physics and ecology and learn that there are no free rides,
and that randomness and chaos even have structure, entropy permeates
everything and energy and waste have serious costs, not reflected in our
markets. Everything is determined by the laws of physics and ecology,
genetics, etc. Your pursuit of freedom is an illusion of perception.

I would be glad to help educate you and your colleagues as it seems your
logic is oxymoronic, easily proven false and faulty. It is sad to see
money being spent on your organization when you proselyte such
disinformation. Again, those who conspire to undermine efforts to save
our planet when the science is unequivocal will be tried for crimes
against humanity. Mark my words, when millions begin to suffer and die
due to failure to act– your markets not responding, you will be called
to answer for your actions. You are promoting a corporate world view
that thrives on status quo, lack of innovation and old paradigms. You
really need to find the spirit of compassion, as your markets won’t.

Marc Dreyfors
President,
The Forest Foundation, Inc.

 

For example, perhaps I’m wrong about this, but it appears that you
would benefit greatly from the adoption of select alternative energy
solutions since you have intimate professional and private
associations (see those listed in your email) with companies and
organizations that will benefit greatly if free markets are not
allowed to work out the solutions to our energy problems. In fact, it
appears that your private associations may even have been undertaken
solely to strengthen your professional ones. I notice, for example,
that the Boy Scouts, the United Way and Little League baseball are
missing from your credentials. So is your opposition to free markets
grounded only in your own self-interest (careful, you may be making
Adam Smith’s point for him) or to the benefit of all citizens of the
Earth? If your diatribes against free markets and the NCPA are helping
lower your blood pressure or keeping you from kicking the dog, we’re
happy to have made that contribution to society. But if you’re trying
to dissuade us from our free market views I’m afraid that will be a
harder row to hoe, as they say in Durham and other points Southern,
than you’re capable of plowing.

Richard W. Walker

Chief Operating Officer

National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA)

12770 Coit Rd., Suite 800

Dallas, Texas 75251

(972) 308-6483

richard.walker@ncpa.org <mailto:richard.walker@ncpa.org> (preferred)

/The NCPA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research
organization headquartered in //Dallas with offices in Washington,
D.C. The NCPA depends solely on the contributions of individuals,
corporations and foundations that advocate private sector solutions to
public policy problems. All contributions are tax-deductible, and the
NCPA accepts no government grants or contracts./

ORIGINAL Message

From: marc [mailto:marc@theforestfoundation.org]

Posted At: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:48 AM Posted To: Events

Conversation: Sick bastards, sick planet

Subject: Sick bastards, sick planet

Dear Friends:

You and your organization are a reflection of the illness, the cancer,
the disease that has permeated our culture and that is now reflected
in the health of our planet. We, ourselves and the the planet, are
sick, and you are causing the sickness to get worse, by ignoring it
and living and thinking in an old paradigm. You fail to see the
destructive nature of your actions and your way of thinking. It is
flawed, logically, philosophically and spiritually. I pray that you
will come around and see the madness in your world view.

You must stop promoting the destruction of our planet, as we humans,
need it along with countless species to survive. Your efforts to
undermine action on climate and environment is making things much
worse, and rise to crimes against humanity as millions, indeed
hundreds of millions may die because of your inaction and your efforts
to undermine the actions of others.

Your arguments are fallacious and here are but a few: First, the Earth
is primary, we are secondary. Second, markets are not free,
corporations do not work in our public trust, and thus the role of
public policy and government. Third, markets are full of failures, of
which the market externality of pollution is the greatest failure in
human history.

Finally, humans are fatally mis-perceiving the world around them, as
we are all connected by natural ecosystem cycles and your actions and
lifestyle affect me.

Stop you destructive behavior!

Marc Dreyfors (MEM ‘90)

Manager,

www.GreenwayRides.com

Manager,

www.CarolinaBiofuels.com
President,

www.TheForestFoundation.org
Manager,

www.ForestsoftheWorld.com

Board Member,

Env. Educators of NC (2005-07)

Alumni Council,

Nicholas School at Duke University (2005-10)

1505 Angier Ave.

Durham, NC 27701

(919)957.1500

Solar Hot Water System at Carolina Biodiesel Install Workshop

Thursday, 18 September, 2008
I am writing to solicit your help to form a technical support team to assist
in installing a solar hot water system at Carolina Biodiesel in Durham,
which will heat the biodiesel during fuel production and will serve as a
demonstration project for yikes! (Youth Involved in Keeping Earth
Sustainable) and Ecolounge educational workshops we're developing at the
site. We are working with two high school science classes -- one at NC Sch.
of Science and Math and one at Chapel Hill High School, who are considering
this as a science project for some of their students. We have many
ingredients of the project, but need a little more techical back-up to make
it happen in coming months.

Marc Dreyfors already has a set of 8 used collectors (need to be pressure
tested), an 80 gal hot water heater, a pump, and access to cheap copper
pipe, and I have a run of pex left over from our system, so that should cut
costs for parts greatly. Also, for starters we may just hook up 2-3
collectors facing south, mounted at ground level on a mound right outside
the biofuel production bldg. With option of adding more later, perhaps on
the roof -- after he has fixed leaks there.

Also, for the science project part -- I have a 10-watt PV panel we can use
(as we did on our system in UNC project) to test efficiency of water heating
against degree of sunlight on daily basis, and I have copy of the Hoboware
program that we used for recording our data, and Rebakah Hren has a Hobo
recording device for the data gathering (sunlight and H2O temp). I can give
an introductory presentation to the students (w/ Darrell??) using the slide
show we developed from the UNC project. Rebekah has also offered to give a
technical workshop on installation, as long as we work around her travel
schedule. But we may need a 2nd technical day, and we'll need some hands-on
assistance on the actual work-days, and help with complications of plumbing
and elec., mentoring students, etc.

A follow-up project some of the students are interested in is building a
good appropriate technology design of a system -- perhaps using some of the
home-made plans available on the internet, that would be adaptable for
low-income households in US, drawing on what's being promoted and tested now
in poor countries.

I'm not sure of the total timeline for this, but I think we'd like to get
installation of the basic system done before December.

Can you help?  Can you refer us to others who can help?  What if we held an
NC Powerdown session on solar hot water, followed by a planning meeting w/
the students at the EcoLounge?

Sandy

Sandy Smith-Nonini, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Dept. of Anthropology
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Email: scsmith @ email.unc.edu
http://snonini.wordpress.com
http://yikeslink.blogspot.com