Friday, April 25, 2008


Peter Asmus, Marin Conservation League Previously, the only way for a local government to have a say in where the community's power came from was to establish a municipally owned utility. [Community choice aggregation] provides an easier way to switch to an earth-friendlier power supply without taking on the burden of managing the power lines, collecting bills, and the divisive politics involved with the expensive process of bringing energy under municipal control. This type of community energy planning is happening in a big way in California's Marin County, where I live. Granted, this is an area just north of San Francisco that's heavily populated with tree huggers. But other parts of California, from the Central Valley to Los Angeles, are investigating CCA models. (Massachusetts and Ohio have already enacted CCA programs, but the motivation in these states was more for local control and cutting costs, not saving the environment.) Marin's goal is to obtain 100 percent of the supply from renewable energy sources within the next few years. . .

The Executive Board of the Vermont AFL-CIO has unanimously passed a resolution expressing their "unequivocal" support for the first US labor strike against the war in Iraq. The strike, being organized by the Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union, will seek to shutdown all west coast ports for a period of 8 hours on the day of May 1st 2008. The Vermont AFL-CIO is the first state labor federation to publicly back the Longshoremen; other state federations are expected to follow.

Ben Russell, Independent,UK: Pressure for international action to combat the "silent tsunami" of the global food crisis intensified amid warnings that spiraling prices meant more than 100 million people could be plunged into hunger. A Downing Street food summit called by Gordon Brown heard calls for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to bring forward aid payments to countries worst hit as the first step towards a coordinated action by the G8 industrialized nations to tackle the worst food crisis for a generation. . . The Prime Minister said that food shortages represented a crisis on a par with the global turmoil in the financial markets, and threatened the stability of nations. offers a large compilation of political polls at the national and state levels.

Every few months seems to bring headlines about a lost violin. This week, it was Philippe Quint who lost his violin in New York City. David Sternbach, director of the Center for Arts and Wellness, talks with Robert Siegel about what it is that makes classical musicians so forgetful.

Dr. Hermann Scheer, a member of the German parliament, has been the driving force behind German energy innovations. He's been at it for decades and he's got a very clear understanding of the politics of energy, one that's far more sophisticated than anything to be found in the U.S. Congress. He's done a podcast with George Kenney of Electric Politics.


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