Recruitment for Open Board of Directors Seats

The Orange County Sustainability Collaborative (OCSC) is seeking well-qualified candidates to fill two uncompensated volunteer positions on its Board of Directors for 2-year terms. Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, July 19, 2013.  To be considered, candidates should carefully review the attached evaluation criteria.  Please keep in mind no candidate could possibly meet all of these standards.  The determination and ability to get things done are two of OCSC’s highest priorities. Then, email the following documents to OCSC’s Board Member and Acting Secretary, Ms. Christina Hall, at chall3@antioch.edu : A cover letter of no more than two pages concisely: Stating candidacy Expressing motivation for serving as a board member, and Briefly summarizing significant professional and personal qualifications A curriculum vitae and Three professional references with professional titles, organizational affiliations, telephone numbers and email addresses. After the close of the application period, the OCSC Board of Directors will evaluate the applications and announce its selections by Friday, August 2, 2013. Director Nomination and Selection Criteria Final Director Candidate Eval...

Energy Efficiency Investments : The Safest Type of Investment

Finance guru Zvi Bodie had recently claimed that the best and safest investments are on I-bonds, inflation-adjusted bonds from the US government. This means that the rate of interest is guaranteed to be at least the rate of inflation. They are backed with the credit and full faith of the US government for 30 years, and can be cashed out anytime with the security that it is adjusted and the purchasing power has been maintained. In response to this article, however, one Hilton Dier, owner of Renewable Energy Designs, argues that it is not the safest investment out there. Instead, he claims that energy efficiency investments have the best return, and are the safest type of investment. First, he stresses that this type of investment only works for people who own property–homes or businesses–but does not work for people who rent. One of the key points that he underlines is that investments do not necessarily mean earning money, but can also mean saving money. If you save $100 on an electric bill, for example, it is the same as earning $100 on an investment, but perhaps even better, since saved money is not taxable. He also adds that just as I-bonds are inflation-adjusted, so are personal energy investments. In fact, it might be well over than just inflation-adjusted since it seems that the cost of energy–all the different kinds–is going up faster than inflation. So, the money saved in the first year, is guaranteed to adjust in the next year, as the costs go up and efficiency lowers the money spent. Finally, perhaps the biggest advantage of energy efficiency...

San Onofre Nuclear Plant Closes After Months of Inactivity

Southern California Edison announced on June 7 that it will be permanently closing the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. The nuclear power plant has been up and running for over four decades, but has not been generating any energy since January 2012. The plant’s first unit started operating in 1968 and has since added two more units. Shortly before the plant shut down in early 2012, the plant underwent some renovations, in which Mitsubishi Heavy Industries replaced the generators’ equipment. Soon after, damage was found in one of the pipes and discovered to be leaking small amounts of radioactive steam. Although the leak was minimal, it was found to be very harmful to residents of the area and the plant was requested to be immediately shut down by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Since then, the plant has not been generating energy for Southern California residents. Between the time that the nuclear plant was shut down until Edison International’s official announcement of its permanent closure, the plant spent more than $500 million to compensate for the loss of energy generated by the nuclear plant. According to this same Los Angeles Times article, the plant had stayed closed due to a long, inconclusive battle between Southern California Edison, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who refused to allow the plant to reopen. Heavy opposition from residents and the general public had added additional stress to the issue. This process, from replacing the motors to maintaining the plant even after it was shut down, had cost Southern California Edison over $2 billion. This, along with the unlikelihood that the plant would be approved...

Summer Speaker Series – The Ecology Center – Summer 2013

The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano presents its 5th Annual Summer Speakers Series. This year, three award-winning speakers are invited to advance the dialogue on today’s most persistent environmental issues. The topic of the series this year is on Basic Needs, with lectures and talks focusing on issues in food, water, and shelter. The talks are a series of cohesive lectures coming from three disciplines: youth activism, ecological design, and sustainable architecture. Join The Ecology Center in welcoming their speakers, Erin Schrode, Fritz Haeg, and Cameron Sinclair this summer. For registration, please visit:  http://www.theecologycenter.org/resources/basic-needs When: June 28, July 12, August 16, 6:30 – 9 PM Where: The Ecology Center 32701 Alipaz St. San Juan Capistrano, 92675 Cost: $10 for members, $20 for...