Bill Koucky is an inventor, entrepreneur and true renaissance man. His vision for local energy independence includes a complete circle that starts with growing non-GMO canola seed, pressing the oil, selling that product to restaurants and other culinary users who can return the used oil, where it is blended with ethanol produced from local food waste and turned into biodiesel to power tractors to plant more seed, run generators and other vehicles.
They say the cheapest energy is the energy you don't have to use. This episode of Investigating Community Resilience looks at local efforts to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient. Jessica Wheaton of Traverse City Light & Power and Brian Beauchamp of the Michigan Land Use Institute talk to host Dave Barrons about what is being done.
In this discussion, Jim MacInnes CEO of Crystal Mountain Resort, sits down with Dave to discuss energy policy and decisions. Jim outlines all that has been done at Crystal to improve energy conservation and efficiency to become one of the business leaders in the field. Jim also openly discusses the need for business to get behind energy improvements. Michigan is energy poor but can make great advances in both efficiency and conservation. Jim and Dave also discuss the concept of a national revenue neutral carbon tax as proposed by the Citizen's Climate Lobby.
This is a special edition of iCR presenting a recent presentation by Mr. Josh Ruebner, author of the new publication SHATTERED HOPES, a history of the current status of Israeli/US promises to negotiate a settlement of Palestinian and Israeli conflict. Ruebner is not optimistic that President Obama's promises to guide negotiations to a fair settlement will lead to success.
A Carbon Tax Gaining Steam This edition of iCR features two volunteers from the local chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby. Elizabeth Dell and Maura Brennan. The CCL is a national effort with chapters growing in number across Michigan, aimed at creating the political atmosphere and support for a revenue neutral carbon tax. Taxing carbon use is an effective method of reducing carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. Our reliance on fossil fuel is diminished by a tax and the tax revenues are redistributed equally as rebates to individuals, much like an income tax refund. If carbon emissions are not brought under control our planet will continue to warm up and the climate will be forced to change dramatically.
Connecting To Nature Matters This discussion is with Jim Crowfoot, Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. Professor Crowfoot has developed a credit course open to most incoming UM students regardless of major. In his class Jim Crowfoot seeks to guide students towards development of their own spiritual connection to the natural world around them. So many incoming students, he finds, suffer from a very real 'nature deficit'. Without a spiritual connection to nature the meaning of "eco-social communities", so important to Resilience thinking, is lost. Human communities are still fundamentally rooted in the natural world and the eco-system services it provides.
This edition of iCR deals with a brewing issue in the state of Michigan, the reliability and safety of Enbridge Pipeline Co. pipelines in our state and specifically their proposal to increase the flow and pressure in 60 year pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac. The discussion features Bill McKibben who was part of a recent protest against the Enbridge plans held in St. Ignace on the shores of the Straits of Mackinac.
Resouces Books -- 1. What's the economy good for anyway? by John DeGraaf and David K Batker 2. The future: six drivers of global change by Al Gore 3. Local dollars, local cents by Michael Shuman 4. Rebuilding the food shed by Philip Ackerman-leist 5. The world in 2050 by Laurence C. Smith 6. Owning our future by Marjorie Kelly 7. Yes! Magazine by positive futures network 8. Prosperity without growth by Tim Jackson 9. The surprising design of market economies by Alex Marshall 10. Plenitude: the new economics of true wealth by Juliet B. Schor 11. Treading softly: paths to ecological order by Thomas Princen 12. Flourishing by John R Ehrenfeld 13. Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman 14. Dreaming the future by Kenny Ausubel 15. The wealth of nature by John Michael Greer 16. The resilience imperative by Michael Lewis 17. For the common good by Herman E Daly and John B Cobb Jr. 18. www.resilience.org
This discussion follows the previous one with Education as our chosen theme of focus. Pat Lamb, Principal of the Traverse Area Intermediate School District, Career Tech Center joins in with response to challenges raised by in the first discussion with Annette Norris. Lamb reviews the many programs the CTC provides, many of which are right in line with Norris's thinking. Lamb acknowledges there is plenty of room to grow the CTC programs with better understanding, especially amongst parents who may not see the opportunities offered their student children. A resilient community needs a wide range of hands-on educational opportunities.
This edition of iCR focuses on education in a discussion with Annette Norris. Norris is Director of Education at the Academy of Manufacturing Careers in Jackson, Michigan. Highly skilled manufacturing jobs, like highly technical welding jobs are going unfilled in our state due to a lack of a trained workforce. Norris has done such things as creating Welding Camp and a series of supportive programs which begin to get Jackson area school children into directed, hands-on, technical education experience as early as fourth grade. Norris challenges the current system in many schools of delaying any hands-on technical ed. until junior year in high school. She also offers challenges to the Michigan graduation requirements in math and to the single minded idea that college is the only path to future success. Resources: www.academy4mfgcareers.org and www.tbaisd.org
With this edition iCR visits the Orchard & Vineyard Show in Traverse City. This is the annual winter gathering for fruit growers from across the state of Michigan. With two years of nearly totally destructive of weather in one decade, the fruit industry is facing challenges that go beyond marketing. iCR visits with Dr. Julie Winkler from MSU reporting on climate change threats to cherry production, and with a selection of producers, both experienced and new, on the adaptations they foresee making to continue raising fruit in the face of more frequently occurring weather threats and long term changes in climate.
This edition of iCR focuses on social capital. Dave is joined by representatives from three different different organizations providing services to those in need in the Bay area and across Northern Michigan. Barb Lemcool outlines the 'one stop shopping', navigator services that Help Link provides. Sue Onan, director of Brick Ways, details the various levels of independent living her organization provides for the developmentally disabled, and Jim Moore director of the Disability Network of Northern Michigan tells us his organization provides a large range of services to the disabled across 17 counties. The talk turns to the premise that how well a community takes care of its residents and neighbors who are in need, is a large measure of the social capital, or social strength, of a community and therefore its long term resilience. Resources: http://www.brickways.org http://www.disabilitynetwork.org
Garforth argues that efficient use of energy is the first step towards securing energy security and resilience in the future. Green energy generation, whether from solar panels or wind generators or hydro-electric or any other source can only work if we address the wasteful use our buildings make of current energy supply. Forty percent of our energy use in this country is in our buildings' electricity and heat demand. We must use it better. The iCR camera then returns to a private residence to see how well an energy audit we showed months ago has been used to improve energy conservation.
In Jackie Victor's keynote at the Great Lakes Bioneers Conference in October, 2012, in Traverse City, MI, she addresses the challenges of growing a small business in Detroit. She draws parallels between our two local communities and how importance a strong, viable connected community is in growing a resilient economy. Jackie Victor has been an advocate for social change her whole adult life, beginning with her participation in the Michigan Peace March when she was 19. She went on to direct Sane/Freeze which became Peace Action. Since then, Jackie's work and efforts have focused on the revitalization of Detroit, where she co-founded Avalon International Breads, a socially responsible bakery in 1997 in the Cass Corridor. She spent time at Pleasanton Bakery with our own Gerard Grabowski and Jan Shireman. Jackie is deeply involved in the economic, cultural and spiritual revival of Detroit, where she raises her children and is on the boards of Greening of Detroit, the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and SheTroit. She is a close friend and collaborator with the longtime activist, Grace Boggs.
Timothy Young is the founder and Chef of Food for Thought, Inc., an organic and wild-harvested gourmet specialty foods company with a mission of creating and raising awareness around just and sustainable food systems. This is his keynote address presented Saturday morning at the 11th Great Lakes Bioneers Conference, October 20, 2012.
Placemaker, Gary Howe returns to discuss the concept complete streets. Gary and local film maker Aaron Dennis have completed two in a series of visual promos for the support of complete streets planning in Northwest Michigan communities. Plus Gary brings along his own set of demonstrative pictures outlining the principals of complete streets. Complete streets connect neighborhoods and whole communities. Complete streets do not favor one form of transportation over another. Drivers, bikers, runners, walkers and strollers are all served safely. Gary and Dave discuss the connecting value of a complete street vs the separation cause by single use thruways.
ICR's program this week is the full length presentation of his talk Michael Shuman's Keynote on Local Investment was presented on October 2, 2012 at the Hagerty Center, NMC. His visit was hosted by: • Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce • Odom REUSE • LIAA • MLUI • Oryana • SEEDS • Great Lakes Bioneers • Neahtawanta Center • FIM Group • Crystal Mountain Resort • Olson, Bzdok & Howard, P.C. • Baybucks • iCR Investigating Community Resilience.
Sarna Salzman, Executive director of SEEDS, is in to talk about the upcoming BIONEERS Conference coming soon on the 19-21rst of October at Northwestern Michigan College. The Great Lakes Bioneers is among the leaders in the Bioneers movement being the very first satellite conferences to expand out of the California event. Great Lakes Bioneers has even spawned three additional Conferences, one in Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland. Bioneers connects the evvironmental movement with social justice. Dave and Sarna discuss the role this conference and its efforts builds social capital in our region.
Bob Russell and Dave Barrons take time to discuss the cornerstones of resilience thinking; we are living in and increasingly complex and fragile world with future challenges that will are unpredictable. Therefore adaptation is a key concept. Bob and Dave discuss what adaptation means and importantly what it doesn't mean. Localism, another key concept in resilience thinking, is discussed in detail, also.
James Clift of the Michigan Environmental Council joins in for more about the ballot referendum facing Michigan voters this November. Clift recognizes the risk involved in making this a constitutional question: whether to amend the state's constitution in order to achieve renewable enegy sourcing, but Clift points out the state's utilities are already under a legislative mandate until 2015. The new requirement would not change the rate of progress already underway by the state's utilities. And further, in the face of a legislature that has publicly announced it will not deal with energy until after 2015, Clift argues there is no alternative to direct voter action. Electric utilities are facing a big era of change as coal plants are retired anyway, now is the time to direct the future of our energy resource and not simply leave it to market forces.
ICR begins two discussions on energy and specifically on the referendum appearing on this November's ballot, asking Michigan residents if they want to mandate that 25% of Michigan electricity needs come from renewable sources by the year 2025. This first discussion is with Jim MacInnes noted businessman as CEO of Crystal Mountain Resort where he has lead that success story towards an energy constrained future. MacInnes is also an electrical engineer and active in several areas of energy policy and action. Jim MacInnes shares his concerns about 25/25, and his experiences operating in the public realm where political discussion is isolating groups from each other. Part two of this discussion features James Clift of the Michigan environmental Council.
In this edition the theme of investigation is Social Capital. Tim Keenan, president of Veterans For Peace - Chapter 50, joins Dave for a discussion of peace activism and why it matters to a community. Visuals come from this year's Hiroshima-Nagasaki Memorial Candle Float down the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City. Tim is a Vietnam vet active locally in raising the questions about war and violence that all communities must confront. War is a near constant in our country's unfolding history. Can our resilience as a nation and as individual communities be sustained at all, when war and its spill-over violence are an option?