Saturday, September 17, 2016

"There goes Jana again..."

A while back I rushed out of the house to attend a panel on food security in the desert.  Struggling to catch my breath after my mad dash (more like a hobble) to catch the bus, I settled back into my seat with my feet hanging out into the aisle. Next thing I know there’s some guy stopped in his tracks, staring down at my feet. “Oh, sorry…” I muttered as I pulled them out of the way.  Only later did it register that he had been smirking at my mismatched sandals!

Sorry if it seems like I'm always in a tizzy. That’s just me doing what little I can do to protect our planet.  To be honest, I have been struggling with that lately.  I began questioning what difference I could make - taking into account all my weaknesses.  Recently, I spoke up at a public hearing at the Arizona Corporation Commission. (TEP was petitioning to double everyone’s basic rate, while lowering the credit to rooftop solar users to discourage people from installing solar.)  I was scared to death because the last time I spoke I got nervous and lost my train of thought. I decided it was important to work at overcoming my fears, so I prepared a statement to read.  My hand shook as I held the paper at arm’s length to see it.  Next time I’ll do even better – I’ll bring my glasses.

But there was something that one of the commissioners (Doug Little) said that motivated me to carry on. He said that the commission was currently in the process of investigating the value of solar. The problem is that they aren’t doing it fast enough! That reminded me of TEP’s unambitious plan to transition to using solar for 1/3 of its power by 2050.  Scientists have warned us that if we keep going the way we are, the tipping point (or point of no return) could happen within the next five years.  So you can see why I feel this great sense of urgency - so much so that I'm willing to make a fool of myself to get people's attention.

And I'm not the only one. The commissioner on the left got a good picture of this guy....

I admit that sometimes I come across as sorta ditzy, or too intense.  I talk (or chat text) too fast so my words get away from me, and on a rare occasion even post a facebook meme without checking the sources.  I'm sure some people are thinking, "There goes Jana again!" There are days I totally relate to the absent-minded professor as I “blubber” away. " There is so much vital information taking up space that I don’t have room for practical, mundane thoughts – like how to articulate a discernible sentence. I am grateful for my ability to write it down in my blog and for my fact and spell checkers Dan and Josh.

There are so many urgent developments happening in the world today that lots of people aren’t aware of - so many important events that our corporate owned media doesn’t profit from sharing with us. For instance, many Tucsonans don’t know that we are currently in a 17 year drought.  We just turn on our tap and water comes out.  Most Tucsonans don’t know how we get our CAP water – that our CAP water is pumped 360 miles UPHILL, using up the water in the Navajo and Hopi’s confined aquifer to run the coal burning generating station that powers those pumps. Those tribes get none of that water or electricity. Many people on the reservation don’t even have running water and electricity in their homes. Most Tucsonans don’t know that we get enough rainfall every year to meet all of our water needs – if we allow that water to sink into the ground to restore our aquifers. Most people have never heard of Watershed Management Group or how they are trying to get our rivers flowing again with rain water harvesting.  Every day I see people do things like put in new drip systems that use more of that CAP water when they could irrigate with rain water. So, yes, I feel a real sense of urgency to let people know.

So, please, excuse me if I make a fool of myself by babbling on.  Forgive me if more and more of my facebook posts are on environmental disasters or if I make you uncomfortable with a request to share a video on fracking.  I’m doing what little I can to get the word out.  One thing is clear - I can't do it by myself. So if you could help out by occasionally taking a moment to “like," share a post, tell a friend, or sign a petition, I would greatly appreciate it. 

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