I am very honored to be a partner, contributor, and panelist for the 9th edition of the Green Me Film Festival. This year it will take place at the CinemaxX (Potsdamer Platz) in Berlin from Friday 29th of January until Sunday the 31st. This year’s focus is set on the thematic trio Ocean- Life-Water.
Over 30 featured films and documentaries addressing the following topics: Ocean, Life and water will be screened. This year’s festival features several special highlights such as Academy Award-Winner “Racing Extinction”, Emmy Award Winner documentary “Mission Blue”, which exposes legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle’s work.
Ron Finley’s “Can You Dig This” which is a personal favorite documentary as it focuses on my dear friend and colleague, Ron Finley or otherwise known as the Gangsta Garner and explores the urban gardening revolution taking place in South Central Los Angeles.
In addition to fantastic films that will be screened, there will be discussion panels which include the film directors, experts and environmentalists to discuss topic relevant issues and sustainability.
Our younger audience will be delighted to see productions such as “Ponyo”, a Japanese animation movie or Oscar Nominee movie “Song of the Sea”, perfectly suited for a family day. Children up to 14 years old are admitted free of charge.
The Green Me film festival is a non-profit event and was put together with the help of its partners and the team of volunteers. The festival does not receive any state subsidies.
This year, Auma Obama, sociologist, germanist and expert on environmental questions gave a moving speech as the documentary The Salt of the Earth received the Green Me Award for best documentary. Auma Obama and the German minister for environment Barbara Hendricks presented the award to the awe-inspiring film director, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.
On a personal note, I am particularly fond of this sustainability festival and received the Green Me Award for my international work in sustainability, specifically my work in Germany in the renewable energy field. I have implemented many wind and solar farms throughout the Country since the early 90’s and helped to create the first feed-in-tariff program. I was very honored to have received the award from both the German Consulate General Los Angeles and the Green Me Film Festival for my ecological and sustainable achievements.
pollution annually—equivalent to taking 13 million of today’s passenger vehicles off the road—and saves more than enough water to supply the annual water needs of a city the size of Boston.”
The beginnings of a wind farm in Los Angeles? Is it possible? As someone who has worked in the wind industry since the 90’s, I have seen the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful with regards to proponents and opponents of wind energy. And sometimes, very rarely, an opportunity appears where the best of what wind power has to offer can be realized in ways that can educate, inspire and directly benefit a community in need.
I am currently involved in just such an opportunity as part of a school bond program. As a first step, I am conducting a wind feasibility study for a school in Los Angeles County within the Glendale Unified School District. This very progressive school is home to special needs students, ages 6 to 22. It is also a public school and, as such, represents a possible proof of concept for a larger program that could benefit the entire Los Angeles County public school system. The renewable energy technologies potentially implemented on this new construction project could include solar thermal for the therapy pool, photovoltaic for the parking structure and roof and wind turbines atop of a 1000 foot ridge just tucked in behind the school.
Creating a net zero energy public school would be a remarkable accomplishment. Currently, our goal is provide enough energy to mitigate 80% of the energy demand of the school. Even at this rate, the financial benefit would be immediate and applicable system-wide. Although the utility company does not have net metering, meaning you cannot sell excess energy that the school would produce back to the grid, it does open the door to this possibility.
There is hope that, through the success of pilot projects like this, more utility companies will provide incentives and rebates for community and school wind initiatives. Also, and perhaps just as significant, this project has the potential to serve as a real world example for students to learn about and experience first hand the science of wind power resulting in increased awareness and advocacy among students of all ages as well as inspiring and even developing the industry’s future leaders.
I know this is a once in a lifetime project on so many levels and I am grateful to be a part of it. The true hero in this project who I must acknowledge is the Principal of the Special Education Department at New College View School/Facts Program in Glendale; Macre ‘Jay’ Schwartz. She reminded me that to teach in a progressive school you must teach within a progressive environment.
Please follow me as I chronicle this inspiring story and let you into the world of possibilities, such as building the first wind farm in Los Angeles for a school.
What does a crew member on Whale Wars, a sustainability expert, and a part-time rocket scientist who plays jazz all have in common? The start of a bad joke? Almost assuredly, but they were also speakers at FRED Talks held in late June.
It was an inspiring night filled with dynamic speakers all housed in the first LEED platinum green building in Santa Monica. Please enjoy the video of all speakers at the event.
My speech, “For the love of wind! How did the first turbine come to LA?” can be found on around the 38th minute, or so. But, I would sit back and enjoy the entire video. Trust me. You will enjoy it!
I am an energy consultant who divides my time between Santa Monica and my native Toronto. In 1997 I, with help from two of my friends, implemented the first urban turbine (windmill) in North America (erected in downtown Toronto in 2002), the first community-owned power wind project in Ontario, and I have been involved in similar projects worldwide ever since. I have implemented recycling programs globally and lobbied for environmental issues to help frame public policy. Currently I am working with the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) to help install renewable energy projects on their campuses.
My assignments vary on a day-day basis. I have worked in the construction industry collaborating with structural engineers, discussing master planning applications and their field development with architects – confirming the placement of wind turbines and solar arrays – or I could be helping advance and shape international conversations on renewable energy programs, including topics related to energy independence, energy efficiency, energy conversation and green jobs.
With global economies focusing on sustainability, the future will include broad growth in green career opportunities. The successful delivery of these programs rests on leaders who have a genuine passion for the environment. This passion is crucial for individuals who wish to succeed in these jobs.
I am an environmentalist first and foremost. Always follow your passion – don’t just hop onto the ‘green bubble’ to be green. Growing up in Europe and then moving to Toronto provided me with a glimpse of cultural differences that separate Europe from North America concerning the environment. In my late teens, I didn’t understand the lack of education in North America within the environmental field and have since been determined to change it.
Everyone told me that a wind turbine in Los Angeles would never happen. Well, there is one and it only took six months, on a community college campus in LA County. Now, I consider that a pretty good start for the City of Los Angeles.
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