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News from Solar Living Institute

Vol. XI, No. 4. April.2008

In This Issue
UN Calls for Farming Revolution
SFCC Green Jobs Fair
Solar Living Workshops at ASES
Hopland Workshops
Congressman Thompson visits the Solar Living Center
Solar Success in the Northeast
Make a Donation to Support the Planet!
Talk Radio features SLI Instructors

Millions of people today will pause to celebrate Earth Day, and in commemoration spent the weekend attending events, cleaning up creeks, and tending gardens. We at the Solar Living Institute celebrate the earth each and every day with our mission to promote sustainable living through inspirational environmental education. And we have much to celebrate. Our education programs are expanding and, thanks to our vast network of supporters, every day we inspire more and more people to make a change for a more sustainable future.

In this issue read about our Congressman’s visit to the Solar Living Center, a recent collaboration to provide green career education to city college students in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunter’s Point, and a few of our sustainable living instructors who share their expert knowledge on the radio.

UN Calls for Farming Revolution
A UN-sponsored report has called for urgent changes to the way food is produced, as soaring food prices risk driving millions of people to poverty. Unesco, a UN educational body, says increased demand for food in India and China, the growing market for biofuel crops, and rising oil prices are some of the factors behind the rising prices.

Congressman Mike Thompson visits the SLC

By Congressman Mike Thompson

A few weeks ago, I spent a beautiful, sunny morning touring the Solar Living Center. This wasn’t my first visit, but each time I’m there, I’m always impressed by the staff’s knowledge and dedication.

However, this visit struck a special chord with me because the activities I saw going on at the Solar Living Institute are so closely aligned with the work I’ve been doing in Congress. I’m the first to acknowledge that the federal government has been slow to address the threat of climate change. But over the past year, Congress has made great efforts to support the kind of innovative problem solving happening at places like the Solar Living Center. From increasing fuel economy standards to improving building and appliance efficiency, Congress is taking the initial steps toward a greener America.

Personally, one of the things I’ve been fighting for are tax incentives for homes and businesses that use solar power and other forms of clean, renewable energy. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I believe “greening” our tax code is just one way we can help bring technologies like solar power to more Americans.

Congress is also starting to share the Solar Living Institute’s belief that investing in green technologies like solar power can grow our economy through new jobs and businesses. The good news is that just last December a bill become law that will bring three million new “green-collar” jobs into our economy over the next ten years; we’re lucky to have a resource like the Solar Living Institute in our very own district to lead the way in this arena.

I believe this change in Washington is taking place because more Americans are aware of the importance and urgency of protecting our natural resources and combating climate change. And more Americans are aware of this because of places like the Solar Living Institute. Their commitment to teaching visitors, both old and young, about the impact they have on our planet is at the foundation of effective environmental policy change. I applaud their great work and look forward to my next visit.

Solar Success in the Northeast
If you’re thinking that only Californians and Southwesterners can reap the rewards of solar energy, it’s time to think again. Progressive and workable incentive programs, strong net-metering support, increasing utility rates, and ample year-round solar resources are giving home and business owners in several Northeast states plenty of opportunities to plug into affordable renewable energies.

For the most up-to-date information about renewable energy incentives by state, visit www.dsireusa.org

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