Possibilities for Change in Butte County
Energy Program Evaluator for State of California
Training Officer and Technical Academy Manager at GRID Alternatives
Professor & Chair of the Construction & Energy Technology Department at Sierra College
Dr. Lee Altier
Professor, College of Agriculture
In Possibilities for Change in Butte County three presenters explore dealing locally with the climate crisis.
Green Financing-How Do We Pay for It?| (starts at 1 minute)
John Mitchell, a US Navy nuclear engineer, State of California energy program evaluator, and UN IPCC reviewer, advocates for local level climate mitigation and resiliency. He expects a climate change of at least 2.5C, but moving toward localized food and energy production can give communities the wealth and control to deal with that change. Specifically, he recommends major increases in local solar panel deployment and using compressed air to store energy. He urges citywide deployment of victory gardens to create a cooler, wetter environment. He calls for community investment in autonomous EV shuttles that could replace personal vehicles and hot, crowded parking lots for one fifth the cost of a bus system. He recognizes the need for state and federal incentives, regulation, and support, but his vision for city and county areas is that localized production of essential goods, supported by Municipal Banks, will keep money in the community and provide capital for smart development.
Zero Net Energy, Solar, and GRID Alternatives for Butte County (starts at 29 minutes)
Steve Geiger, from the Construction & Energy Technology Department at Sierra College and from Grid Alternatives, a nonprofit solar installer, reports that buildings release over a third of all GHG emissions. The 2019 State Energy Code calls for new construction efficiencies, and the State funds multiple programs to assist in meeting those efficiencies, notably centering around developing affordable housing. Efficiency and green opportunities range from distributed solar with or without storage to insulation and quality appliances. Building for efficiency goals can also provide local jobs.
Recycling Food Waste to Food (starts at 60 minutes)
Lee Altier speaks from his experience with the Chico State College of Agriculture to address a situation in which the world’s food chain experiences annual losses of a third of its production, a billion tons of food wasted each year. The problem of “waste” can be addressed through finding uses for things—i.e., misshapen foods can still be used as food. Also, systems can be designed for efficiency. He notes that food waste involves water, land, labor, and other losses, too. Focusing on the Aquaponics program of the university’s Organic Vegetable Garden, he describes a semi-closed system in which water is recycled through fish ponds and vertical gardens in a greenhouse, yielding products at both ends with minimal resource loss.
Recorded: October 16, 2019