Town Square

Global Warming - act locally

Original post made by Hugh MacMillan, Evergreen Park, on Jun 23, 2006

This is non-partisan issue Numero Uno. Action to reduce carbon dioxide saves our quality of life and redirects our national policies. Palo Alto Utilities is to be commended for its adoption of renewalable energy sources, but we can move faster. Instead of a ten-percent surcharge for joining PaloAltoGreen let there be a tne-percent surcharge for NOT joining PaloAltoGreen. PG&E has recently announced a 39% percent rate hike. Don't you think renewables will soon be cheaper than the alternatives?
And, by the way, use your car less!


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Posted by Richard
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 23, 2006 at 1:11 pm

All of the efforts to conserve are certainly admirable and we are doing what little we can to aid in the effort. My youngest son bought a Prius and we are driving less and trying to make more use of our local businesses.
The trend changing actions however need to be taken by, or at least supported by government and business. Is there any place to go in Palo Alto or the Bay Area to get Bio Fuel? My oldest son lives about 30 miles from Austin Texas. He tells me there are two bio fuel stations in Austin, pumping a blend of 10% diesel and 90% cotton seed oil, at $2.86 per gallon. This with zero emissions, per the station owner.
Is there anyplace in Palo Alto or the Bay Area that is yet selling ethanol? We have a perfect example of how to implement the use fo ethanol in Brazil. All we have to do is pay attention and follow there example. Would the Valley support a sugar cane crop? Are there any venture capitalists or investors willing to set up the first ethanol refinery? Just imagine if we were smart enough to follow Brazil's example and become independent of oil countries and oil companies. Just imagine all the traffic we see on El Camino and coming in and out of town on Page Mill/Oregon Expwy., passing through with zero emissions. All this with a by product of cattle feed. This isn't an unobtainable dream. If Brazil can accomplish this why can't what we like to think of as the most technologically advanced and powerful country in the world. We only have to follow their example.
If our town council would like to take another step in it's admirable green goal it could place solar voltic panels on the roofs of local establishments and use them to power free charging meters for electric vehicles at the curb side. Local businesses could help sponsor these charging stations that would help promote the use of all electric vehicles.
It's gratifying to see we are finally taking our head out of the sand and admitting that fossil fuel burning in the culprit responsible for global warming.
Thank you Al Gore.

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Posted by trudy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 30, 2006 at 6:18 am

As I understand it, ethanol from corn is not necessarily an environmental win, but ethanol from sugar cane is. Since sugar cane grows in Hawaii, it would seem easy to grow here. The question is, where's the land for it?

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Posted by Mary Beth
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 30, 2006 at 11:59 am

Palo Alto Green signs: The photo of the sign on p. 19 of the 6/21/06 issue of the PA Weekly is my front yard on Middlefield. When I signed up for PA Green, I asked for a sign, thinking that my visible location would be useful. A nice person from the Utility Dept. delivered the sign several months after my request, on a trip out of his way and on his way home from work. Placing signs was no longer a priority. I think that sign placement should be a routine task - perhaps deliveries scheduled once a month or on certain utility routes on a routine basis. The sign-up packet should explain this.

Driving to and from school: Getting a driver's license and driving to school instead of biking or walking is a rite of passage for teens. Perhaps that rite should be outmoded now. Students could be required to buy a parking permit, renewable every quarter, for $50 or $100 each to allow those who want to drive to continue to do so. Before that, campus lunch services should be prepared for more customers, since some kids would no longer drive off campus for lunch, and lunch-time club meetings and activities sheduled.

I notice that more parents drive their children to school than when my children were in school. If parents are worried about safety perhaps there could be neighborhood bike pools or walking pools, where parents and nannies would sign up on a rotating basis to shepherd a group of kids to and from school. Is this something the PTA's or site councils do with a some staff or police help?

For students to walk or bike to school would reduce car trips and therefore emissions.