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World Team Now-Environmental & Social Transformation

Category: solar energy (page 1 of 3)

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads from the Pacific Islands Part 1 Turtle Island ©

By Suzanne Maxx ©

The Blue Lagoon Yasawa Islands photo © World Team Now/Maxx

The Pacific Island Region seemed to call, and last year I went on an adventure to the islands of Fiji and Samoa. In the past, we had looked for a location in the United States where our non-profit organization 501 (C) (3) World Team Now (WTN) could go a step beyond Sustainability and demonstrate a renewable future. The answer to the search came with an invitation from a representative of the Fiji Government to visit the islands of Fiji.

World Team Now’s goal was to apply the experience of our Orangetown Green Microgrid entry in the New York Microgrid Prize and share the perspective gained from working on renewable energy and other related systems. World Team Now had previously succeeded with small alternative energy projects in our home state of California, such as helping the City of Malibu install Electric Vehicle Chargers in our EV Charging Campaign. In New York (where WTN is also registered), we did a net metering initiative that helped solar owners in Lake Placid, NY, finally get the right meters to profit from their solar installations. We were ready to do more.

I was on assignment for Environment News Service to keep on writing about Small Island Developing States, (SIDS, the UN acronym) and continued to do so while on this journey by writing about Eco Resorts in Fiji (click here to read articles).

Some colleagues referred to my experience in simultaneously seeking an island location for our World Team project as Dating Geography. What I discovered on this journey was surprising, and unexpected— and shocking that it took a year to assimilate. There are few words for the events that continued in this time of transformation.

Fiji and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) may end up leapfrogging the developed nations and become the model for a sustainable future to benefit us all. In this region, ecology and economy can grow to scale and this new development may more appropriately be called Large Ocean Island States (LOIS) in the future.

Flying to Yasawa Islands Fiji photo © World Team Now/Maxx

Blending the two words ecology and economy, the Small Island Republic of Fiji has leading Eco Resorts that stretch beyond the imagination. These Fijian Eco Resorts are leading with an Eco prowess formula for sustainability, and it is not just for the tourists’ benefit, or for profit, but for the benefit of all who live there as well.

Fiji is one of the few naturally pristine island chains left in the world. Located in the Pacific Island Region, Fiji is one of the rare places that still has beautiful coral reefs, flora, and fauna, along with a crystal clear view of stars and starfish alike from the more than 333 Small Islands that make up the Republic of Fiji. Recently, Fiji ranked at the top of Google’s search engine after Fiji’s 7’s won the Olympic Gold in Rugby, but surprisingly Fiji is also searched for happiness and world peace.

Arrived in Nadi Airport, Fiji— People crowd TV to see Fiji 7s Win Olympic Gold! © World Team Now/Maxx

On the world stage, The Republic of Fiji has moved into global leadership and action, not just by their first local team win in Rugby at the Olympics, but also because, in UN terms, Fiji represents leadership action globally.

Fiji was the first United Nations (UN) member to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol. His Excellency, Peter Thomson of Fiji, led the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for the year through September 2017.  His UNGA leadership was a historical first for an island state, with many successes.

H.E. Peter Thompson President of the General Assembly and Suzanne Maxx at the UN Ocean Conference photo by Tomas Pico /UN

As the President of the 71st General Assembly, Peter Thomson held a High-Level Event, titled “Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda,” in collaboration with the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). So many UN Member States wanted to participate that another day had to be added to the one-day event. On May 18, 2017, H.E. Peter Thomson facilitated the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on financing the SDGs’ future. Along with Sweden, Fiji organized the UN-Ocean Conference in New York, June 5–10, 2017. World Team registered the UN Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Sustainable Solutions Ocean Opportunities on the Small Island States (SOS-IS) at the Ocean Conference. H.E. Thomson followed up the Ocean Conference with multi-stakeholder partners conference call on the Mangroves which we joined for the status update coming into his new role continuing with work for the Ocean. Watch the closing of the UNGA with the summary of H.E. Thomson’s  accomplishments.

Fiji hosts the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCC’s COP23 from November 6–17, 2017 in Bonn, Germany (being held in Bonn, due to Fiji’s lack of capacity to host more than 20,000 guests in any one island area venue).

With a relatively new Constitution to govern the Republic, Fiji is in the process of petitioning to join the UN Council for Human Rights in 2018.

Of all the treasures Fiji boasts, the most valuable may be the welcoming character and loving (Bula) nature of the native people and their culture. Even industry, Fiji Airlines, for example, welcomes all in a BIG way.

Airport, Fiji

Fiji Airways hanger. © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

The native culture’s hospitality yields care— coming from an organic, authentic lifestyle that lives close to nature and is intimate with the ocean.  Like most island republics, the intimacy and relationship to the ocean are core and, like the breath inhales/exhales, ebbs and flows, the resources of fishing, eco-tourism, flora, and fauna provide what is needed for the people and the planet.

Yet, with the sea level rising, the increased frequency and scope of storms, ocean acidification, pollution, and climate change are all becoming intensified threats to the thriving natural existence of this paradise found. The region is highly susceptible to climate change— hit in 2016 with the record-breaking category 5 cyclone Winston, Fiji knows the ramifications of Climate Change. Living with and on the ocean becomes more challenging to the Fijian traditional way of organizing island life, and sustainable development becomes a necessity going forward. All these elements together make the Small Island Developing States more vulnerable.

This vulnerability of the Pacific Island Region is, however, becoming a leadership strength. They recognize that economy and ecology go hand in hand, and have prioritized sustainability in their development process that could set an example, and not just for island nations. The islands are fragile and vulnerable, yet because of their size and present state of development, they have the greatest opportunity to demonstrate true and lasting sustainability. The lessons learned from the industrially developed world, choosing to sacrifice living with the intimacy of nature in favor of profit, the Fijian sustainable development model is striving for a better balance.

The Blue Lagoon Yasawa Islands photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

This is a win/win for ecology and economy considering the future generation’s lives, and in terms of people, biodiversity, and our common home. Even within the rural locations in the developed world, the investment in antiquated infrastructure and a primary fossil-fuel-based electrical grid make the transition to renewable energy more expensive, slower, and harder, keeping the profits in the hands of the privileged and benefiting few. Fortunately, in the Small Island States, the policy, and regulatory structures are not now obstacles in the same way.

Since many small islands have been without water and electricity, it is both economically and ecologically beneficial to start with renewable energy systems. Fiji has embraced the changing times, planning for and allowing Climate Change refugees from neighboring islands in the Pacific Island Region, such as Kiribati, to arrive, and is welcoming them and other island natives to Fiji as their home.

Eco Resorts and Tourism’s business model seem to create a win-win-win for all— foreigners get to enjoy nature’s best in a peaceful, rich environment with cultural diversity. Natives benefit from the jobs created locally, and the economic and tax benefits for the republic end up building a more sustainable future.


Turtle Island

From Nadi, a seaplane will take you to Turtle Island, a pioneering romantic honeymoon Eco Resort, developed initially for couples. Many of Turtle Islands Eco-design systems can be seen from the Turtle Airways seaplane.

Boarding Turtle Airways Seaplane photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

For small islands that have been without water and electricity, resorts like Turtle Island have found renewable energy systems to be sustainable.

Turtle Island Resort is one of the leaders in renewable energy systems and living by cradle-to-cradle principles— much more than a desalination resort, it is a paradise found in sustainability.

The 500-acre island is kept in line with nature preservation as they move towards their net-zero island goal for renewable energy. The solar farm that primarily powered The Turtle Island Resort at the time of my stay was 1.2 megawatts of solar energy with battery storage.

Turtle Island Solar Farm © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Upon arrival at Turtle Island, you are carried from the seaplane to the shore by natives serenading with a local song, and it seems the whole island’s population joyously celebrates your arrival like a holiday. The heartwarming welcome, Bula, exclaimed by natives who live and work on the island, brings on a feeling of home in its purest sense because love is present and freely offered and everything is set up for you and your partner’s comfortable participation in sharing island life.

Nature’s gift organized by Turtle Island, Bure’s entrance Photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Water is harvested from the natural environment, with both rainwater (catchment) and seawater taking the salt out of the sea (desalination), to make fresh water. The fresh water is collected in a reservoir and stored in water tanks. It is not just the beauty of the famous surrounding Blue Lagoon shores, it is also the way they work with and use water— beauty from what is put within and all around at this Eco-luxury Resort.

Cradling Turtle Island, The Blue Lagoon Photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Turtle Island is the brainchild of Richard Evanson, and now his son Richard Evanson Junior (Jr) who continues to expand and implement the vision of this island to preserve the natural habitat and enhance the natural beauty of the island, prioritizing sustainability.  They have preserved wildlife by bringing in species and creating the breeding ground for these species to thrive, like, for instance, the colorful wild collection of tropical birds in flocks that include parrots, cockatoos, and parakeets.

Mahogany Tree in Turtle Island’s Legacy Forrest © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

According to Richard Jr., who continues the family legacy of Turtle Island, “The Island boasts guava, papaya, passion fruit, soursop, and coconut trees, with more than 900,000 thousand trees planted,” since his father Richard Sr. envisioned Turtle Island.

© World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

 

Traditional Kava Ceremony/ Turtle Island Staff Photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Jr. explained,  “Dad strategically planted 60–75 thousand Mahogany trees, not only to preserve the land and prevent devastation by being organic, natural fire-damage prevention, but also to increase the land value… the trees support ecological biodiversity, prevent soil erosion, create windbreaks, and help the reforestation of indigenous forests.” Their family’s philosophy, explained Richard Jr, is that “Decisions and developments must make financial sense, have environmental integrity, benefit the local people, and celebrate the heritage and culture of a place.”

The Kava ceremony and native traditional dance and songs augment the heartfelt sharing with staff and island entertainment in the evenings.

Here is my video of Fiji Traditional Culture Song & Dance.

Anniversary Ritual From Couple’s Honey Moon Photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

In every breath at Turtle Island, there is the opportunity for intimacy, not only with your partner, but with the orchids, the birds, and the ocean. Whether you want to kayak or do stand-up paddle boarding into the sunset, dive or snorkel, meditate on the colorful patterns of the fish you swim with, or go for a horseback ride, all are captivating ways to relate romantically to the island and ocean and one another.

Turtle Island Patty’s Private Beach Lookout Photo © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Intimacy on Turtle Island is prioritized to have all honeymoon expectations met, catering to personal desires, like, for example, just for you and your loved one, your own special menu for private dining on your own floating table while watching the sunset on the ocean, or dining under the stars.

Or the option to create your own private beach excursion and picnic meals. Food Director and world-renowned chef, Jacques Reymond use wild-caught, fresh seafood right out of the ocean to create culinary art which feeds all the senses. Think Pacific green lobster, snapper, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and prawns, integrated with fresh home-grown vegetables, coconuts from the trees, all combined together for culinary masterpieces, or look at the cuisine here. Each person’s dietary needs can be met, or custom made to the activity and the adventure or environment of the moment. It is more than the body that is fed, and the community-style meals bond hearts, with all else that is needed provided for in your Bure.

© World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

The 14 handcrafted native Bures are mostly constructed and carved from island-grown hardwoods. The Bures have an authentic Fijian design and are equipped with all the ideal creature comforts. In addition to having double showers, and bathrooms, tranquility reigns with the deck’s day bed by the ocean and the beachside hammock under the palm trees.  The pristine pure scent of the tropical flowers, mixed with the salty ocean spray is intoxicating. The ocean and its bathwater temperature make each private Bure’s large sunken Jacuzzi just another version of the play in a warm water paradise.

Here is a Video Tour of the Turtle Island of a Bure.

 

The View from the Villa’s Day Bed, Turtle Island © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

There is a full-service Spa on the island— Vonu Spa’s four hands, two masseurs for one body, Lomi Lomi massage experience, with all-natural Pure Fiji, is to live for. Turtle Island is an exclusive paradise, with the perfect amount of luxury and openness to what is natural. Activities are optional, flexible, and can be tailored to your need, and they range from learning the Fijian language to native culinary delights, or Zen and the Art of Opening Coconuts.

Turtle Island not only looks like a turtle but is also a breeding and nesting ground for sea turtles, where turtles come onshore to lay their eggs at night. Turtle Island’s conservation program is in partnership with World Wildlife Fund, and you can learn more about their Sea Turtle Program here.

Paradise Found comes with also facing the reality of duality— nothing in form is perfect, or rather perfection lies in embracing imperfection, as well as the constant aspect of change. This includes the paradise found on Turtle Island Resort too.  It is indeed the will to keep doing better, growing and improving that counts.  Willingness to change is a quality that World Team Now embraces, as we have learned this makes for the extraordinary and is a key to the transformation of an island.  Solutions that we suggested seemed welcomed in the intimacy of Turtle Island. It was a joy to see Monica Laurence, the niece of Richard Sr.,  embrace the suggestion to have the Farm to Table fresh home-grown food be Organic or even Bio.  This happened because I had met a Fijian woman, Vitila Vuniwaqa of Vee’s Farm, with deep roots and contacts in the organic farm community, and introduced her to Monica. By now Turtle Island could be well on their way to being Organic Farm to Table.  And we hope that, in the process, they have found a plant-based solution to approaching insects.

The Vital Role of Mangroves, Turtle Island © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

When the solar energy scales up further, and perhaps when hydrogen and other storage and energy sources we discussed are added, Turtle Island will reach the 100% renewable goal, operating 100% of the time. I had an island tour in one of the electric golf carts, which was one of the first alternative vehicles used on the island.  With other alternative vehicles suggested, like electric and hydrogen fuel cell, cars, trucks, and trackers, all could be further integrated into the island’s transportation modes.  Once these become economical to import, islanders will ultimately no longer need the diesel gas used; meanwhile, we discussed the possibility of biodiesel down the road. Fossil Fuel freedom is on the horizon for these islands that have developed by being in tune with nature.

It seems the goal of everyone on Turtle Island is to make each and every person feel like family and attend to their every need with a genuine kindness, not because it is their job, but because this is who the Fijian people are— happy, so they want to spread what makes them feel good. A family member died during my stay, and the support and kindness extended to me by the locals and the Evanson family made it possible for me to go forward there. Monica Laurence has carried the Turtle Island bond forward into future generations with Turtle Talks (watch here).

Turtle Island’s Bula spirit gives back to the communities and supports the education of islanders and some special programs that include island rugby. Turtle Island’s motto is “Ask for anything” within the sustainable resort experience. Turtle Island prioritizes a balance between the environment and culture, with the emphasis on couples, family legacy, and the willingness to give back to local communities with programs from rugby to education.

Turtle Island, Fiji ‘s legacy is true, Once Discovered Never Forgotten, see more from the fabulous new website here.

Turtle Island © World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

 

 Eco Island Adventure To Be Continued…

Summary of World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Posts

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads from the Pacific Islands Part 1 Turtle Island ©

By Suzanne Maxx © The Pacific Island Region seemed to call, and last year I went on an adventure to ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 2 Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Fiji Part 2 Travel to the Yasawa Islands to... Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort Leading the ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 3 JMC

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 3 Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort So too, our love for the ocean is ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 4 Global View

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 4 Koro Sun Resort Koro Sun Resort’s 160-acre sanctuary on the island ...
Read More

BMW i, Malibu (Solar Carport Demo)

Solar carport charging BMW i8 PHEV sports car with World Team Now’s Founder Suzanne Maxx

BMW chose Malibu to be their back drop venue to showcase the BMW i series replete with solar carport, charging hardware and software for their press day’s ride and drive; see full photo story through album  here. I happened upon the festivities yesterday at Nikita Restaurant’s parking lot, and met up with lead BMW team members. The new BMW i8 PHEV sports cars and the all electric BMW i3 are vehicles being marketed with the big picture in mind of climate action with support for the gestalt of a completely green conscientious life style.

Representatives from BMW Corporate: Wieland Bruch, Corporate Communications Manager BMWGroup Nadine Alice Carl, Product Management Automobiles and Aftersales Project e-Mobility

BMW manufactured with a supply chain consideration of a “cradle to cradle” intent to reduce carbon emissions, and ideally, optimize the choice to source “the charge” from all renewable energy.

Simultaneously creating carport shade and electricity from the solar glass roof supported by a steel frame, DesignWorks’ savvy approach to BMW’s solar carport uses sustainable bamboo-sourced carbon fiber, and the placement of SolarWatts’ high yielding solar panels in a grid with space between the panels allowing some light to shine though, while the rest of the light is captured by the solar panels.

BMW has put a lot of thought to handle many of the obstacles like range anxiety in the all electric vehicle, which comes with options such as a trade-in for other BMW’s on long trips and a charging infrastructure tapping into all charger locations, with software that organizes and allows for a universal payment scheme through BMW.

The hardware and software connected to the charger allow for intelligent communication with one’s home as soon as the vehicle is plugged in to charge.  Programs to support these initiatives showcase the BMW’s  service package 360° ELECTRIC electrically integrated concept and BMW’s various opportunities that came from partnerships with Schneider Electric and the Mobility House MyGekko provides the home automation platform that makes it all seamless. This integration supports what World Team Now refers to this as, “consciousness of energy usage systemically”— which is more than just the vehicle sales. BMW’s programs include i Wallbox Charging, maintenance and other services, with the customizable intelligence to potentially turn on lights and other electrical devices, as soon as the vehicle plugs in the charge at your home or office.

There are many pluses, beside the vehicles themselves in the BMW i series, that could take advantage of the vehicle to grid connection with battery energy storage where the battery could be a back up for home/office energy. Ideally, based on time of day and peak load, you might have the option to charge entirely from solar or a mix with the energy (ideally renewable) coming from the grid.  In CA there is the option to arbitrage energy, and sell energy back to the grid from the vehicle’s storage during peak hours, gaining the charge off peak, and saving money by making energy from sunshine.

The Round-the-World Solar Aircraft, Solar Impulse 2 is Launched

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg launched Solar Impulse 2 today in Switzerland.

© Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch

© Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch

“A vision counts for nothing unless it is backed up by action. With 8 world records for Solar Impulse 1, the first solar aircraft capable of flying during the night, crossing two continents and flying over the United States, we have shown that clean technologies and renewable energies can accomplish the impossible,” said a delighted Bertrand Piccard, founder and Chairman of Solar Impulse.

“Now we need to go even further,” added André Borschberg, co-founder and CEO. “Solar Impulse 2 will have virtually unlimited autonomy, and now we need to make sure the pilot is as sustainable as his aircraft. This is why the round-the-world flight will be as much a human as a technological feat.”

Solar Impulse 2 Facts

  • single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber
  • has a 72 meter wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747-8I)
  • weight of just 2,300 Kg, equivalent to that of a car.
  • 17,000 solar cells built into the wing
  • supply four electric motors (17.5 CV each)
  • solar cells recharge lithium batteries weighing 633 Kg (2077 lbs.)

© World Team Now (WTN) 2014. All rights reserved.

The Solar Impulse— Living Dreams of Transformation

Across America 2013:Final leg from Washington DC. to New-York City. Final Approach © Solar Impulse |Revillard| Rezo.ch

Across America 2013:Final leg from Washington DC. to New-York City. Final Approach © Solar Impulse |Revillard| Rezo.ch

Pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the pilots for the all-solar plane, had the dream for The Solar Impulse— the first manned flight to fly both day and night. When we first met, it was a model plane and now it has made history.  There are few people who choose to live their lives by pioneering inspirational projects that prioritize the global dream of transformation; in that spirit we are united.  In this way, even when I met Bertrand Piccard and André Roschberg for the first time in Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 at the United Nation’s conference COP15, they shined the light through their eyes, with words and ultimately deeds of inspiration.

Bertrand Piccard and André' Roschberg of the SolarImpulse at The United Nation's Conference COP15 Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 when the SolarImpulse was a model and a dream.

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg of the Solar Impulse at The United Nation’s Conference COP15 Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 when the Solar Impulse was a model and a dream.

The Solar Impulse when it was a model at COP15 in 2009.

The Solar Impulse when it was just a model at COP15 in 2009. Now its mission has been accomplished — to demonstrate that flight can be done in a totally sustainable way. Now on to the second Solar Impulse airplane, the HB-S1B, in 2015!

Betrand would say, “Life is not governed by chance, but by encounters”.  We shared about realizing dreams against seemingly impossible challenges; we shared visions, and together laughed louder than the chorus’ that sang songs of cynicism and doubt, and knew this was an important time for our planet.  A time where human’s challenge to live in balance with our natural resources needed demonstration. The Across America journey was then a distant dream.  From San Francisco to Texas to Arizonia to St. Louis to Washington DC and ultimately to New York.

The Solar Impulse the all-solar airplane follows in a rich tradition of risky aviation demonstrations from the Wright Brothers to Lindberg’s hop over the Atlantic. These pioneers used their flights to push the dream into reality, launching new industries by piloting courageous first flights for the public to witness.  Bertrand’s family has a lineage of this type of pioneering legacy as well, with a message. But it is more than the technology, it is a model for a path that is needed—and each major step, is a metaphor not just for realizing aviation dreams but also for a demonstration project about renewable energy to combat climate change. It’s more than teaming-up unique pioneers like Bertrand and André. Herein, this project is a marriage of innovative technology and sustainability, both needed to come together for real change at a rapid rate with public adoption, for global transformation.

We at World Team Now watched from afar as the plane became a reality, as it was tested and flown in different parts of the world—following, promoting to the public, sharing, blogging, tweeting and holding the light that we would unite, and all of our dreams would indeed be realized. We watched and followed the stream in real time through the pilot’s journeys watching one major step after another.

In the tone of realizing dreams, and being an inspiration for the Wall Street financial world at REFF Wall Street our friends André and Bertrand, the Pilot's of the Solar Impulse airplane teamed-up for a game changing keynote speech.

In the tone of realizing dreams, and being an inspiration for the Wall Street financial world at REFF Wall Street our friends André and Bertrand, the Pilot’s of the Solar Impulse airplane teamed-up for a game changing keynote speech.

What a surprise to learn that both Bertrand and André Borschberg who I just followed virtually from St. Louis to Washington DC, would be the key note speakers for Renewable Energy Financing Forum (REFF) -Wall Street. REFF-Wall Street, an event World Team Now participated in as a supporting organization is held in New York City, and they, us, and the event would all be in New York.  Their key note’s message to the extremely traditional Wall Street financial brokers was that “green” was not just good for the ecology; it was also good for the economy, stimulating new industries, and many green jobs.  The Solar Impulse’s approach to financing going beyond traditional methods was indeed an entrepreneurial approach with integrated marketing partners, branded with their technology and services within the Solar Impulse, patrons, angels, and other fundraising mechanisms. This all hit home harder when President Obama  gave a speech on his plan to fight climate change which echoed similar sentiments that were spoken by the innovators of the Solar Impulse team. When we connected after the key note, I learned of the challenges of the last leg to New York with what was then an exact unknown departure date and time; there were still formidable obstacles. To top it off, it was a surprise to see Bertrand and André again in the same day during NY Clean Energy Week’s event at the Tesla showroom celebrating along with other innovators.

We at World Team Now worked diligently to find a way to support the last leg’s landing of the Across America from Washington to New York, and through our contacts at the Governor’s office were able to team-up people and bring in the Port Authority to participate and contribute to help overcome some of the obstacles.

Visit our gallery of the Solar Impulse JFK Landing by clicking on the picture.

Visit our gallery of the Solar Impulse JFK Landing by clicking on the picture.

We were honored to participate in a slice of history and be present for the successful landing of the Solar Impulse at JFK on Saturday July 6th 2013 at 11:09 pm. This “dream come true” moment was ineffable. To be in the presence of all who made the living dream of transformation a true reality, to share in the moment of completion of the Across America Journey with them and be there to see with one’s own eyes is an indelible moment that lives in many lives, besides mine. There was only a small group of us VIPs, journalists, and 50 lucky contest winners allowed to this special historic event. Not only was aviation history written in New York, but it was such a victorious event, as the plane continued to fly even after a rip in the fabric about 8 feet occurred in flight, forcing the plane to land early and modify their originally intended route and landing time.

Had the plane crashed, instead of the one in San Francisco, of course all eyes would have been on the Solar Impulse (a commentary about our society’s present values).  Those of us that bore witness to this historical moment were so elated; a spirit that was contagious with looks of awe in the silence and lack of noise, with clean fresh breathable air free of burned jet fuel, with a wing span (208 ft / 63.4m)  a bit larger than a 747 ‘s  (195 ft 8 in / 59.6 m) when it landed a few feet in front of us on the tarmac where we waited.  We met others who were equally blown away by this moment and also captured it here in Roland Pabst’s blog.  The media impressions surpassed expectations with  8.3  billion thus far—which is significant, especially given the poor presence of traditional media sources at the New York landing.

The public at large has had a hard time of truly understanding the full potential of solar energy and other renewables as well as the importance of the change to a more balanced energy source.  So when people can see that the all-solar plane flies at night they begin to really understand the battery storage concept— the choice to be able to feed energy back into the electrical grid and/or store energy, and even sell it back to the grid or use it.  As Bertand explained, “Our plane, Solar Impulse, was never designed to carry passengers, but to carry a message”.

We learned more about the message at the press conference on Monday; events continued reaching the public like the opening of NASDAQ where Tom Werner from SunPower rang the bell with Bertrand and André.  Then the meeting at the U.N. where the Clean Tech flag was planted—hopefully this will further inspire the U.N. towards a binding climate treaty— finally (especially after the horror of Copenhagen) —  we are long overdue for global action for collective energy and for our one environment, our one world.  The people of New York got other opportunities to share in the gift of the Solar Impulse at the various other community events hosted by sponsors, such as Schindler at the Intrepid.  We hope this inspires you to see for yourself and take advantage of the Solar Impulse’s Public Day.  If you miss the Solar Impulse this time, keep it on your radar, as in they will return during their World Tour in 2015.  Say good-bye to this airplane yourself— it is for all people to see here in the USA at JFK now for the public, click here to find out more. Be an ambassador for our future, and go and see the beauty and possibility the Solar Impulse represents.

Act Locally, Act Globally – Think of Us All As Part of One

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Change seems to be accelerating. Change, not just with our climate, but also with the “systems” humanity has created, spurred by Globalization.  Whether that be the legal system, political system, financial system, health care system, or educational system— the systems in place to provide the world’s basic needs.  Have we learned to scale our systems to meet Globalization’s challenges? Humanity can learn  from how nature scales to support the whole—  Biomimicry of man-made systems seems key to the stewardship of our earth and for an organically sustainable future.   

Global transformation is in the works, and is needed within all systems including those within our one global governing body – the United Nations. Friday ended the two week climate talks in Bonn, Germany. The disappointment was all too familiar as it seemed like yesterday, but it was a year ago when World Team Now produced the event as part of the UNFCC’s Rio+20, and also an event at The People’s Summit.  We went down to Rio once again with great expectations for more progress than what was able to be achieved inside the United Nations’ RIO+20 conference’s time. So now, it is distressing that there was a huge snag caused by foot dragging by Russia in a key entity, the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI). At least there was some progress in the overarching 2015 international climate action agreement. Why wait until disaster? We clearly need more projects that influence public perception. “To see is to believe” for most, so we need more examples to inspire the masses to embrace change.

At World Team Now, we are growing, and eager to see the change that happens once our non-profit World Team Now can be supported by our World Team multi-media platform, and broadcast.  Our World Team project too needs to be demonstrated to be fully understood, and to that end our development of our pilot project continues.  While we are working to have this World Team model up in full scale, we have been occupied with events.  In California, for example what we did in Malibu with Earth Day (photo album here), with our “Ride & Drive”, and “The Circle-Up  Around Renewable Energy”.  We owe a shout-out to all of those who showed up to participate or volunteer, and for the support of Nissan of Thousand Oaks, and Edwards/Wildman.  We hope to be sharing some of the edited footage soon at WTN’s upcoming event September 26 and 27.   Another example is what World Team Now is doing in NY to support ACORE’s Renewable Energy Financing Forum (REFF)-Wall Street. Join us and get 20% off registration by using this code “SPT20WTN”. REFF is the perfect activity, included with more than 20 Energy Industry Events for New York City’s Energy Week, June 24th-28th.

Please save the dates for World Team Now’s upcoming annual event in Malibu September 27th & 28th, 2013. Watch World Team Now’s Event’s page for more details about the timing.

Speaking of timing, two great renewable energy demonstration projects born in Switzerland also have “New York” as a destination.  PlanetSolar, is the world’s largest solar boat, and it includes an interesting research component with the project it just arrived in New York.  The soaring approach to change done state by state has value. The Solar Impulse is a renewable energy demonstration project with great potential. You can take flight and  follow in real time on their final segment of the “Across America” trip, and join the history in the making as they land in New York early July.

Planet Solar is in New York

PlanetSolar reaches New York, the second american stopover of its 2013 campaign

The two states where World Team Now is based are proudly taking leadership positions in the environmental transformation needed to address climate change— let’s hear it for California and New York, especially Mayor Bloomberg’s action plan to address the affects of climate change .  The water situation and the issue of drought is rapidly becoming more serious, due to climate change.  Often, to execute solutions at a scale needed to address the affects of climate change, bonds are created.  California is taking the lead with creating a Water Bond.  World Team Now was present when Senator Fran Pavley, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, hosted the Hearing; “Encouraging Regional Water Solutions: Implications for a Statewide Water Bond” at Pepperdine University.  Californians are set to vote on the $11.1 billion water bond in November, 2014.

More action needs to be able to take place on a state level and even city level, which gives more weight to the “Think globally, act locally” mantra—  but not to preclude think global act global actions which are needed as well— the local can catalyze the global.    It is a huge victory to finally permanently close the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in California, not just for the immediate risk of radiation, but also in respect of the long term issue of what to do with the radioactive rods which are byproducts of nuclear reactors. With no safe disposal protocol for these rods, even closed plants will continue to pose risks to the public and our planet forever The pressure is on for Southern California Edison to strive towards truly renewable energy— the kind with no radioactive byproducts to threaten public safety. It is time for us citizens to spearhead energy independence, be active in supplying a diversity of local renewable energy resources (supporting grid stability as a benefit), and to learn how to responsibly use energy.

But it is time for the whole of us in society to consider “Act locally, Act globally- Think of us all as part of ONE”.

 

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