It’s All About Energy: Part One

Last week I received this email from a blog follower. It gave me pause.

Davia,
I’ve emailed you about this before, but apparently, I’ve not made my point well enough since you continue sending out the same tired list of things that people can do. 

If folks do everything on your list, but continue to buy dirty energy to power their home and their cars, then what good has been accomplished? It seems the only thing you propose is to contact your legislators, but the oil, coal, and gas companies are giving them money to vote against clean energy, so who do you think your legislators are going to listen to? And by the way, the money that’s buying their vote comes partially from you and all those who continue buying dirty energy.

If you want to be effective, then advise your readers to switch their home’s energy to 100% renewable either by installing solar, or by switching your account to LADWP’s 100% renewable energy. SCE also offers a 100% solar option. There are other third party suppliers of clean energy such as Arcadia Power that will sell you clean, solar energy and your utility will deliver it. Once your readers do that, they will no longer be polluting through the electricity they use at home, and they will no longer be giving money to their political enemies.

In addition to using clean energy in your home, any environmentalist worthy of the name should not be driving an internal combustion vehicle (ICE). Pollution from ICE vehicles kills thousands of Americans every year, and all the wars in the middle east are all being fought because of the oil there. The only people who have a legitimate excuse for not switching to an EV are those who cannot afford a $5,000 car, or those who have no access to charging where they live or work. If you don’t have access to charging, you should be actively pursuing a solution to that problem. 

I hope you take these suggestions to heart and change your list of things to do to include these two important actions. When people change to using 100% clean energy, they really do have an effect on the problem.

Respectfully,
(A blog follower)

 

The email unnerved me. I felt like I’d been sucker punched. There were some good suggestions in the email, but I was so blinded by his tone, that I couldn’t hear a thing he had to say. I let his words smolder in my inbox, not sure how to respond.

I spent last weekend with 300 Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers at our Regional Conference. The weekend started with a conversation about our six core values; Focus, Optimism, Relationship, Integrity, Personal Power and Non-Partisan. About Relationship, CCL says—“We take the most generous approach to other people as possible — appreciation, gratitude, and respect. We listen, we work to find common values, and we endeavor to understand our own biases.”

Of all of CCL’s core values, practicing generous listening is the most challenging for me. Tough as it was, the email from the angry blog follower was an opportunity, a chance to practice being generous and appreciative, to listen and understand my own biases. I have no doubt that my blog follower was angry and frustrated—and maybe even scared. We are alike in that way. That is a place to begin.

There is no shortage of climate solutions, but the hard part is building respectful relationships that will allow us to implement everybody’s good ideas.

To my blog follower: check out my new list of powerful action steps. Thanks for your great suggestions! Stay tuned to find out steps I’m taking to walk my talk.

12 comments on “It’s All About Energy: Part One

      • I too love this post. I think what I like is its vulnerability. I like the visceral response you shared, t
        he self reflection, the honesty, and then of course the transformation. You practiced what you preach! Your new list of five is stronger. I like it very much, this process you are in, this process we are all in together.

  1. Excellent! We all need to practice more talking to progressives, and conservatives; the whole gambit. Thanks for recognizing how your could put it out there to make a difference. :)Ck

  2. Right on! I’m sorry if my tone comes across as accusatory, but making these two changes really is the most effective tool we have to fight climate change directly. We can also fight it indirectly by eliminating our personal money going to fund our enemies.

    Early adopters drive innovation, and now there are many choices in both cars and energy. We owe it to humanity to do all we can and these actions are easy to do.

  3. Thanks for posting this! A minor nit from an energy nerd:

    Arcadia Power isn’t a bad choice, but the revenue it gathers is used to pay off old wind farms, not build new ones. That’s not a bad thing, and given the magic of wall street, it’s nearly the same.

    But personally, I went with my own utility’s green power offering, as a way of supporting the home team… and showing them that I’m willing to pay more for cleaner energy.

    Anyway, that’s a long way of saying “please do recommend people look into their own utility’s green power offering as well as Arcadia”.

    p.s.
    Going 100% renewable is a real challenge – I have yet to switch to electrifying my water heater and furnace, and may not ever electrify my historic stove (I live in a historical 1912 Craftsman :-), but at least I have solar, drive an EV, and have signed up for LADWP’s green power. I wish I’d put in 220v outlets for the hot water heater and EV when I did the solar!

  4. Thanks for posting this! A minor nit from an energy nerd:

    Arcadia Power isn’t a bad choice, but the revenue it gathers is used to pay off old wind farms, not build new ones. That’s not a bad thing, and given the magic of wall street, it’s nearly the same.

    But personally, I went with my own utility’s green power offering, as a way of supporting the home team… and showing them that I’m willing to pay more for cleaner energy.

    Anyway, that’s a long way of saying “please do recommend people look into their own utility’s green power offering as well as Arcadia”.

    p.s.
    Going 100% renewable is a real challenge – I have yet to switch to electrifying my water heater and furnace, and may not ever electrify my historic stove (I live in a historical 1912 Craftsman :-), but at least I have solar, drive an EV, and have signed up for LADWP’s green power. I wish I’d put in 220v outlets for the hot water heater and EV when I did the solar!

    • I think it’s true. Going 100% renewable is impossible for many. Suggesting that we do what we can.
      An important note to original unnamed blog follower — the pressure we put on our politicians for change is crucial. If they won’t get our vote, truly won’t get our vote, they will listen.
      great wonderful work, Davia.

  5. 100% Green Energy at LADWP — done. Thanks for the suggestion. The Prius must stay in the driveway a bit longer, but the bus and the bike get a lot of use. Thanks, Davia, for doing what you do, and doing it so well–with a positive and passionate heart.

  6. I understand both ends of the discussion. On one hand, if all we do is contact our legislators and they don’t listen, we feel helpless and nothing gets accomplished. On the other hand, if we only make changes locally without contacting our legislators, our actions go unnoticed by legislators. On my homestead, we drive electric (and hybrid), and we check the box, but we still heat our home and cook with gas. I took one small step by buying a biogas digester from Home BioGas recently (arrives in May) so we can at least cook outside using garden, kitchen and animal waste as fuel. I’m very excited about that. It’s a tiny step that many people don’t have room for (the digester has a decent sized footprint) but it’s something that makes me feel more self-reliant and less hopeless. Whether my single act of environmentalism does any good on the planet remains to be seen. But I’m looking forward to grilling with garbage this summer!

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