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.
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.
Doug Luciani, Executive Director of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce joins this conversation to detail a number of the local Chamber initiatives. From local food to energy policy this Chamber seems to 'get it' when it comes to understanding our difficult future and decisions that need to worked on, now, in preparation. Collaboration is the name of the game for this Chamber as it works with a wide range of community stakeholders.
Dave is joined by three active participants in the Occupy TC efforts going on locally. The discussion highlights the 'message' problem facing both the larger Occupy effort and those working locally: how to have a decentralized movement with some coherency to the message. This talk also shares numerous web-site resources and access points for those wanting to keep in touch with what's going on. Check CommonsDreams.org for links to many occupy resources.
Andy Knott, Executive Director of the Watershed Center, joins Dave for an update on Watershed activities which include major storm water mitigation projects around the Bay and long term work managing sediment behind three dams scheduled for removal from the Boardman River. Brown Bridge Pond will see dam removal and restoration of the river bed over the next year. Dave and Andy also discuss a presentation at the recent Fresh Water Summit in Traverse City. We share a portion of Dr. Gary Fahnensteil's talk on developments in the water-column food web in Lake Michigan where the Quagga mussel is changing everything at an historic rate. Fahnensteil works at the Great Lakes Research Lab in Ann Arbor and his findings are sobering.