stuart's blog

Accessing Energy in Mount Pleasant

Thursday, August 25 at 7pm

(Rebro Mon, Aug 29 at 7am)

on solar-powered

Access Energy is a different kind of company. It’s a utilities company that is structured as a co-operative. In the company's own words: ‘Every customer is an owner of the business. Unlike other electric utilities, your co-op exists to make sure your needs are met, not to make a profit. As a member-owner, you share in the margins earned in the form of dividend checks.' Yes, that’s right. The profit the company makes is shared back with the owners of the company--the customers. 

On the 2nd of August, with a heat index of nearly 120 degrees, James and I went to the annual general meeting. It’s like a party celebration with a few speeches thrown in. We saw the customers of Access queuing up to receive their checks. I’m sure many of us wish our energy provider was a cooperative. But unfortunately, utilities are given the rights to operate exclusively in an area. So what you get depends on where you are.  

Lighting the Way

Dream Green is featuring the Sustainable Living department at Maharishi University of Management in our latest Dream Green show.  The leading lights of the department are Lonnie Gamble and David Fischer, both of whom have done so much to promote the creation of a sustainable future.  It's fascinating to hear Lonnie talk about sustainability and renewable energy.  His commitment and depth of knowledge are truly impressive.  But we all know that even if we accept the need and logic of creating a sustainable future it's not necessarily

Deep Thoughts on Big Issues

Fred Kirschenmann is a deep thinker when it comes to making agriculture sustainable.   He's had an organic farm since the 1960s and been involved with green issues in theory and practice for five decades.  We ask him the tough questions on how to make agriculture sustainable.   Fred argues that large-scale farming that relies on very few crops with little genetic diversity and large scale industrial economics is no longer viable.  There are challenges coming - a less stable climate - the increasing cost of fuel - the shortage of fertilizer and the ageing of the current generation of farmers.  We need a greater diversity of crops and to inspire a new generation of farmers who want to grow food for their local communities.  Greater diversity of crops is better for the soil and more robust in a less stable climate.  Fred's greatest hopes lie in changing from annual crops to perennial ones.  It is quite amazing how much this will benefit the soil, water retention and the fundamental economics.  Fred explains to us some of the more recent research that is helping to create perennial food crops that will greatly assist in this transformation to a more sustainable model.

on the road

It's that time of year when the corn seeds go into the ground and everything turns green.  James Moore and I are also turning green.  This week we start the radio series Dream Green for KRUU FM and beyond.  We are about to go on the road and record shows featuring all the players in the energy efficiency and sustainability.