This holiday season, the Eco-Action Committee of the Green Party of the United States is asking Americans to observe a Dark Earth Hour from 9 to 10 p.m. tonight, the third Thursday of the month.
By turning off all unnecessary lights and appliances for that hour, we can show our understanding of the need to conserve energy as we seek to move away from destructive technologies and to wind and solar power.
The Dark Earth Hour is more than symbolic. Especially during this period of high electricity use, it can represent an actual reduction in power demand. The Eco-Action Committee encourages people to light candles, visit with family and friends, or simply take a quiet hour of down time during this busy season.
No matter what your political persuasion, the Dark Earth Hour is a reminder that we are all in this together, and we can all take this opportunity to power down for the Earth.
I have been making a concentrated effort to use mass transportation as much as possible in recent years. Tom and I have two cars that we try not to drive much. During our work week in the winter time, we drive the 1.5 miles to the TRAX parking lot and take the train to our job 12 miles away (In the warmer weather we either walk or ride our bikes to the TRAX station or take the bus if it meets our schedule.). At our place of work we keep our other car so that Tom can do the job related errands that require the use of a vehicle around the area where we work in uptown Salt Lake City.
As we were walking to the train yesterday after work we were talking about what Salt Lake City should do to change its downtown from a vehicle supported area to a pedestrian friendly area (When you walk, you realize how much dependency there is on vehicles and how vehicles are not friendly to pedestrians….).
All of downtown should be car-free. Only buses and trains would be permitted downtown. All parking decks downtown should be transformed into useable residential or commercial or office space. Automobile users would park their vehicles in lots surrounding the city and take shuttles or trains into downtown. (Better yet, as our train and bus system is improved and expanded to all areas of the valley, folks should be able to travel from their homes….). Bicycles could be made available via rental fee for those choosing to transport themselves that way. More people could then actually live and work in the downtown area. For moving, designated times could be alloted after business hours for vehicles to move furniture and other items into buildings downtown. Same thing for deliveries for businesses.
With proper and efficient planning, this could work.
Not only did Pom Poms Not Bomb Bombs perform, so did Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson with Salt Lake’s School of Rock at the Step It Up 2 event on Saturday November 3rd:
Why is it that a good thing for our planet ends up being challenged?
Today’s Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Biodieselers are being challenged by big business.
Big collection and rendering companies are turning to the health department to challenge the hobbyists who make the fuel solely for their own use. They claim biodieselers shouldn’t be allowed to reap the “yellow grease” – so valuable it is traded on the commodities markets – unless they play by the rules.
The Salt Lake Valley Health Department is listening.
That means the little guys who make their own biodiesel who introduced the biodegradable, low-pollution, sustainable fuel to Utah long before anyone sold it commercially – already are the losers in this grease war, said Graydon Blair, a member of a 100-member grassroots group called the Utah Biodiesel Cooperative.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re doing it for yourself, you’re pretty much screwed,” he said. “This has pretty much killed [home-made] biodiesel in Salt Lake County.”
Big business buddies stick with big business buddies it looks like: The Health Department and these big companies.