How We Win The Battle: By Working Together

In the first post of the year, I pointed out that 2021 is the battle year. It’s the turning point, the crux, the pivot, where everything changes. That’s a tough battle. How do we win?

By working together. Yep, that’s right: we fight and win by working together. Every one of us. It’s the only way. We need all hands on deck. We have to redefine success so that we aren’t encouraging our budding entrepreneurs and impressible youth, literal receptacles of our societal runoff, to exploit for financial gain, regardless of injustice. We pivot to mutual gain. We’re going to call it “mutually constructive cooperation,” there are many examples we can look to for this, and we’re going to learn more. We’re taking deliberate efforts to create situations that don’t cause harm. We take into consideration all stakeholders. We develop new ways of doing things that are good for all: the climate, economy and humanity. We earn a living, we protect human well-being, and we strengthen nature. It’s totally possible.

It’s possible, but it’s hard, in that it’s complex. We want to keep things as simple as possible, but these problems we’re facing are big, a lot of people have different ideas of what we should do, and different levels of resources and ability. This is all OK! This is what it means to be human. We’re all different, we all have a role to play. This is, by it’s nature, going to include conflict resolution strategies. We can begin to understand that our differences are our strengths, they should bring us together and not pull us apart. We can begin to understand that many in power will use our differences to divide and conquer, and keep the masses weak. This is a strategy where only a few will win. If we want victory for all, we all embrace our differences and work together, for the benefit of all. 

That sounds great to me. If it does to you also, set up your account on CLEANetwork, take the “Intro-To-Go: Getting Started on CLEANetwork” course, and start your journey to find your niche.

Time for a Just Transition

What exactly are southern Illinois legislators waiting for? Ameren is switching to renewable energy and planning to close down coal plants, Vistra Energy has announced closure of all its Illinois coal plants, and the Southern Illinois Power Cooperative laid off 21 people because they’re closing a coal boiler, switching to solar and saving everyone $125 million in the process. This is not something politicians have any control over. It is happening, and they need to face reality and get with the program of helping individual and communities transition to a clean energy economy.

Resources are available to help communities, we don’t have to start from scratch. The Just Transition Fund Already has a plan for that. Let’s get busy southern Illinois!

Getting Oil Out of Our System

We are addicted to oil. It is tangled up in our lives, in everything we do, everything we use, even what we eat. But we have to stop using oil. It’s totally do-able if we look hard at how it’s tangled up in our lives, and take steps to deliberately untangle it. Here are some recent headlines.

To dive deeply into the technical and economic policies needed, read the “Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States.” They break it down into three key areas:

Deep decarbonization requires three fundamental changes in the U.S. energy system:
(1) highly efficient end use of energy in buildings, transportation, and industry; 
(2) decarbonization of electricity and other fuels; and 
(3) fuel switching of end uses to electricity and other low-carbon supplies.

Yes, it’s complicated and will not happen overnight, but there’s no excuse not to do it. It’s good for us, we know how to do it, so it’s just a matter of choosing to do it. We can figure this out.

Farmers Markets In Our Schools

Read this on “Green Our Planet:”

This year, schools are on track to run more than 200 farmers markets at their schools, most of them run by 5th graders. Many of these schools are in low income neighborhoods where there’s no fresh food for miles. So now we have 5th graders helping provide fresh produce for their community.

Can we get this going locally in Carbondale and the Metro East? It’s about having gardens at schools that kids can work, learn and build community.

Community Solar

There are some opportunities in Carbondale to learn about getting involved community solar, where you don’t have to invest in your own solar system:

Visit Solarize Southern Illinois:

To learn about Illinois Solar For All, a program for income-based community solar participation at a reduced rate:

Please share and add additional info if you know of it!