Change the World Wednesday, Good News

I look forward to Wednesday’s and finding Small Footprints challenges in my inbox. So today it was with sadness that I read Small Footprints will be taking a break until January 20th. I will miss both you and your challenges.  In reading through the current post I found Small’s final thoughts on last week’s challenge and had a brainstorm.

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I’ve never understood the idea behind spreading bad news. In most cases, it makes us feel hopeless which, in turn, immobilizes our efforts. Sharing the positive, however, inspires us to try … to make an effort to succeed and make a difference. Just imagine what would happen if we turned on the nightly television news and saw report after report on wonderful, green successes achieved by people like us. Good inspires good! I encourage you to continue sharing good environmental news … it has the power to change the world.

 

This was all I needed to read today to know what I could post between now and January 20th to continue to inspire you, Small Footprints I hope I do you proud. :-) Each Wednesday I will share with you a news article, or piece of good environmental news I stumbled upon for that week that gives us the motivation to continue striving towards our environmental or personal green goals.

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This was timely for me as I feel one of my recent posts on the negative effects of nuclear plants was by far the most depressing thing I ever published. Sorry folks, I needed to get that off my chest.

Now for this week’s good news

Last week, UCLA announced a new goal – helping the city of Los Angeles switch to solely renewable sources of energy and local water resources by 2050.

I hear you, 2050 is a long way off but with help UCLA could meet the challenges they have set for themselves ahead of the set timetable, at least in my opinion.  Why is UCLA doing this?

“Why are we launching this initiative? The short answer is, because we must,” Block said. “Failure to take constructive action is simply not an option.”

Now isn’t that the truth?  We cannot afford not to take the steps to switch to renewable sources of energy. Some of the goals UCLA is striving to bring about include:

  1. Working to see renewable energy, such as solar, as inexpensive as coal
  2. Initiatives that would reduce the purchase costs of electric vehicles to match that of gas powered vehicles.
  3. And addressing water concerns which Los Angeles must as it gets most of it’s water from other areas including the melting mountaintops of Colorado.
from Google images

from Google images

Along with more than 70 professors in various disciplines and cooperation with local, state and federal government UCLA is joining forces with businesses and researchers and including students to get involved.

The UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability announced Wednesday a competition for students to submit visual representations of their solutions to climate change.

Cooperation from the bottom up is what will save the planet and restore a future for our youth and future generations.  I hope this sends a message to others to form groups working together to change the direction we have been going in.  You can read the entire article here. Please share this and let’s see if we can’t get other universities, businesses, and communities to come together and make the changes we need.

Let’s inspire everyone. Please leave your good news in the comments this week and the weeks to follow.

 

15 thoughts on “Change the World Wednesday, Good News

  1. The Media delight in feeding us the Negative Lois, and like you, I had to write about Nuclear Power and the affects… But after that one depressing post of mine I had to change my next post to be much lighter, as I felt so awful as the negativity got to me when I thought about all the disasters the world has had and many which have been kept from the public…
    So I am looking forward to your Good News Wednesdays, and I was thinking of joining in the challenge, but as my posts are hap-hazard to when I post them, I thought I would fail at keeping regular postings..

    You always put such great detail into your posts Lois, and I know Change the World Wednesdays with the Good news will delight us all… :-)

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    • And I had said I was trying NOT to write about Fukushima :-) As you see I lost the battle with myself. Once I had that out of my system I had to lighten things up, just like you did.

      I had to thank Small Footprints for the idea to post a bit of good news each week while she is on vacation It’s not easy to find the good environmental news so I hope I find enough to continue through January.

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  2. I’m with you. Keep spreading the good news. I fast forward through most of the news. Stopping only for something I need to know about and any good news. People are so quick to share the bad. I’m ready to hear more and I know it’s out there.

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    • Marlene, I’m glad you are looking forward to receiving a bit of good news each week. :-) I know what you mean about all the bad, I have a bit more control over what I hear now that I have no television or receive a newspaper, but when I do hear bad news it seems to really affect my moods.

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  3. A few months ago the government supplied free draft stoppers for all external doors for anyone who wanted them. It might seem like a little thing, but apparently up to 25% of heating and cooling costs can be saved by stopping drafts. I also like to close the blinds against the sun on hot days, and open them up on cold but sunny days. I find this makes a big difference to the indoor temperature.

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    • Jen, you are right, it might seem a little thing but for some these can be put off for other more pressing needs. I made one for my back door a bit ago and it has made a huge change to that area. Good for your government for trying to help families.

      Our curtains and blinds are a great way to control the ambient temperatures indoors. I do the same, opening them to let the sun in on cold days and closing them in the summer or at night to avoid the heat loss through the glass.

      I’m going to enjoy these Wednesday posts, hearing the good things that are taking place, big and small, helps me see there are many things people are doing to save our natural resources, thanks for sharing this.

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  4. OK… Good News! I read yesterday that the city of Lakewood (which is the suburb just to my west and the place where I grew up) Is actually looking at a 10-year plan for becoming a zero waste community. Woo Hoo! A few years back they tore down a big shopping mall that had been the cornerstone of the community and replaced it with a beautiful integrated mixed use LEED certified area including a walking shopping district, outdoor ice rink, farmer’s market and a whole pile of housing. I wrote a post about it a few years ago and reprinted it here: http://ecocatlady.blogspot.com/2012/08/riding-in-circles-memoirs-of-suburban.html

    It all makes my little heart swell with pride.

    Oh… and another piece of good news. This isn’t specifically environmental, but today the US Senate took a HUGE step toward eliminating the gridlock in Washington, and voted to eliminate filibusters on nominees – with the exception of supreme court nominees. Most people don’t realize this, but ever since Obama was elected, the Republicans in the senate have filibustered virtually every single person he’s tried to appoint to any post. This is completely unprecedented – generally when a president is elected he gets to come in and put his own people in place, but because the Republicans have employed this crazy strategy, a HUGE number of positions are still being filled with people that Bush appointed meaning that even though we’ve got a Democratic president, we’ve still been operating with a bunch of right wing people in a whole variety of positions. So now nominees can be confirmed with a simple majority. So six years into the Obama presidency, he’ll finally get to appoint the judges and executive office positions so perhaps a few things will actually get done. Woo Hoo!

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    • Now that’s 2 pieces of good news! I just took a look at your post and remembered when you wrote it. Your post helped me put into perspective the decay I saw in my hometown.

      Ten years for the entire community to be zero waste is amazing! Why is it Colorado is so far ahead of the east coast (especially) when it comes to environmental issues? We have our pockets of people who care, but when looking at the state as a whole we are so far behind.

      Thanks for sharing more good news. I think I am going to enjoy this series.:-)

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  5. Ah Lois … you’ve put a huge smile on my face today. Thank you so much for continuing the good news idea and keeping CTWW alive. And, in my opinion, you couldn’t have chosen a better challenge for the next couple of months. :-) When I hear about organizations outlining a plan, with some date far in the future as their goal, I question why it’s going to take them so long. But on the other hand, I am thrilled that they are planning for the future. It tells me that this isn’t a “for now”, one-time goal, but rather a firm commitment. Like you, I think that they will achieve their goals sooner … and perhaps go on to do greater things.

    Thank you, Lois … for your friendship and for all you do to help the earth. You truly are an Eco-SuperStar! I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season. “See” you in 2014.

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    • Small Footprints, we will miss you and your challenges, I hope you enjoy your break and have a wonderful holiday as well.

      I’m glad you approve of the challenge I have decided on to continue to carry on while you are gone.

      Yes, I do think 2050 is such a long time off in the grand scheme of how bad things are, but with each step forward I believe they will be able to build momentum and even acquire more funding to progress at a faster pace, at least that’s my hope.

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  6. Yay! Cheering for this – it’s not that I’m against these changes, not at all (I hope you know that from reading my blog, and the actions I try to take). I just keep a bit of a devil’s advocate view, so I have a balanced view on things. I think, like anything, the greater the demand in the market the better prices will get for things, such as electric cars and solar cells. When we work out a good way to supply the base load with renewables, then we can push harder for electric cars, however, in the meantime, they often are only adding to network loads. Perhaps I should write more on my experiences working on the network side of the business, and knowing what customers are and aren’t doing with their needs for power.

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    • Sarah, I for one would love to hear more about your experiences with what customers are and aren’t doing

      There is so much negative news out there, I think this may be quite a challenge for me to come up with something positive week after week, but I am going to give it my best.

      I too was cheering for UCLA’s initiative. Someone has to take charge and it hasn’t been the US government!

      It’ funny, I was just commenting on your latest post while you were commenting here, we haven’t crossed paths like this often lately. Nice visiting with you. :-)

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