04 June 2010

I Wish I Had Given Al Gore More Consideration

"If you asked me to name the three scariest threats facing the human race, I would give the same answer that most people would:nuclear war, global warming and Windows."
- Dave Barry



The past few weeks, mainly all of May actually, have been an interesting one. Much of it has been contending with the Veteran's Administration regarding injuries and problems from my Army days. As of recently, the wrist has been wrapped up for the last 3 weeks, but trust me there are other issues too. This is the first time in my life where I've felt like the body is just breaking down. Yeah, I know...people keep saying I'm getting old is the rampant joke. I've never had an issue with my age, but at 41, I know I experience pains that should be a ways off, yet. I beat the hell out of my body and practically gave it away to the service of my country in my youth. I gotta tell ya... I'm paying for it now.

Daughter and Granddaughter

As mentioned in my last post, I got to spend a little time in Tennessee visiting my brand-spanking new grand daughter. My mom also flew to TN and that was a pleasant visit as well. It was a first for getting to spend time with just my mom. Usually some of the other siblings or family members were around, but during out stay, we shared a room at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville. I don't remember ever having Mama all to myself. My daughter and her husband have two cars so I got the loan of her car to chauffeur moms around when necessary. Tennessee, especially the Nashville and Clarksville area were recently hit with record flood waters only weeks before our arrival and it was still raining. Waters were receding by the time we got there, but you could still feel the dampness in the air. Humidity was high. There was an extreme contrast in environments. I flew in from one of the hottest and driest places in the U.S. into an area of the country with the most water looming in the air still. My body hadn't experienced that since my deployment to Central America from Fort Campbell on a peace-keeping mission. We practically needed scuba gear just to walk off the plane. TN was also so green...a total opposite to the desert browns. I got lots of pictures that I am still editing on, mainly  pics of the baby along with family and friends who came to see the baby. These are a few of the miscellaneous shots I took.

Tugboat heading down the post-flooded Cumberland River.


So what's my title about, you ask...

I recently and finally watched "An Inconvenient Truth" which was made back in 2006. I'm 4 years behind on this documentary. I just never made time for it, mainly because I did't really like Al Gore all that much and I can't really tell you why. At the time the documentary was made, I wasn't keen on environmental change and didn't understand fully what we could do to make a real difference. I just didn't believe it could be done. The different advocate groups could yell and preach all they wanted but I just didn't see the rest of the world caring so much and thus my own attitude became very passive about the issue. We weren't giving up oil. I couldn't see electric cars replacing American muscle. Solar panels were too expensive and they look ugly on your roof. I guess I gave as much respect to the issue as I do they guy wearing the aluminum foil hat to keep aliens from controlling his mind.

Cameron, entertaining at his house


I watch many-a-documentaries, though. "An Inconvenient Truth" was on my list to see. It just never beat out the more interesting documentaries that discussed space, science, sex, religion, or elements of the human condition. What did get my attention a little was some of the cable television shows that made a series out of going green, particularly some of the house constructs that implemented  renewable energy tech into their homes that looked gorgeous. Also about this same time frame I was in grad school and touched on this a little while getting my MBA in 2006. The next year however, we really dove into this during my Master of Science work in Telecommunications. It was a misunderstanding on my team's part that made me stumble into this green tech thing head first. Our final class project consisted of basically wiring a brand new university for state of the art Telecom. Because of some ambiguity in the instructions, we interpreted it as building the entire school from scratch when the requirement was just for the infrastructure! We went all out in construction design, materials, techniques, and technology to build the school while minimizing our carbon footprint. By the time we finished, we had build the school for free (due to actual existing government grants, partnerships, and tax credits), we were completely off the grid and selling energy back to the Tennessee Valley Authority, and used as much local material and talent that could be acquired. We incorporated new and cheaper non-silicon solar tech (CIGSS), the latest and greatest in energy efficient IT (Virtualized Servers and MAID systems), and even a wind farm. We even had waterless urinals, for crying out loud. We were Platinum rated in LEED compliance. We didn't miss any element of infrastructure design. We built in consideration for the nearby New Madrid fault as well as social concerns such as the school shooting that happened Virginia Tech that same year in 2007. This was a great project management challenge and we did well with it.

Magnolia Leaf and Bloom

So that left me with a wondering of why more companies weren't seeing the benefits of this. This point in time was a complete 180 from where I was before. I moved to Nevada in 07 and was amazed at the fact that this state gets more sun and has more federal land than anywhere else in the US, yet we don't take advantage of it. Casinos are more tech savvy than the state, yet there is more that they could be take the lead in. They certainly do when it comes to protecting their money...how about the same with the environment. Agencies are doing a good talk about green tech, but I'm just not seeing enough action. I worked for the State of Nevada in a huge government building. I got a 3 hour tour of the facilities and explored everything from the HVAC systems to emergency controls, but not so much in green efficiencies. I've seen the nay-sayers and listened to their views. I've analyzed the propaganda of those who refute the obvious. I have never before seen so much organized effort that has wasted so much money and time. Wait, actually I have...from the same people who kept trying to say cigarette smoking wasn't really causing cancer. As you can imagine, many of the anti-global warming pundits are also backed by the oil conglomerates...like BP!

 So, yeah...I wish I had given Al Gore a little more consideration.


"The warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening. We are entering a period of consequences." 
~ Al Gore

4 comments:

Karl said...

First off, I am forty-one also. It is an interesting time be that age. We have a bit of experience behind us and hopefully a number of years ahead of us.

With how our culture can not give up certain comforts and "necessities" we are slowly heading into lousy place. I don't know if it will be a tipping point event with the sudden drop or gradual decline.

Very good post. Congrats on the grandchild. I hope your health issues get addressed, as they should.

Photo Anthems.com said...

"A bit of experience behind us and hopefully a number of years ahead of us." Well said, Karl. I like that perspective.

Glendalee Robinson-Jackson said...

Excellent blog entry... Congrats again on the beautiful granddaughter. As for the environment...We are most certainly living in treacherous times and will have to pay the piper soon for our neglect and irresponsibility in handling this beautiful planet we call home.

Photo Anthems.com said...

I think about it every time I go outside. Can you believe its already hitting well over a hundred here, now? Interestingly enough, I was just watching a show the other night about "Extreme Hotels" and they had incorporated the waterless urinals I mentioned earlier. It made me go back and read through my original paper for that project. Its STILL a good read!