I thought I’d have some breathing time when I got back from Southern California Wednesday, but Friday I checked with Washington School and I had a kindergarten class that morning, oops! then the gig at Tumble and Tea Saturday, and Sunday the Green Festival. The festival was even bigger this year—they moved the largest speaker area to another building across the street so there was room for even more booths: solar energy companies, organic fashions, fair-trade organic chocolate tastings, a big bookstore, onsite bodywork. I was a guest of Reach and Teach, which carries my CD, Sun, Sun Shine, to festivals and conferences and sells it on their website. I asked the guys who run it if the falling economy had affected attendance. They said fewer people came on Friday and on Saturday morning, but as soon as the “No on 8” demonstrations were over Saturday morning, they were way busy. They noticed more people using debit cards, and fewer credit cards, so people are conscious of needing to live within their means, but they are buying. I went to hear Van Jones at 1:00. His word: The economy that’s based on consumerism, debt and using natural resources faster than they can be replaced is indeed failing but the sustainable economy, the one represented by the Green Festival, is growing.
Van Jones is a great speaker—funny and inspiring, well-researched and down-home, and handsome as all get-out. He’s a journalist turned lawyer turned community organizer, and when Obama is termed out, I want Jones for president! He’s locally famous, but I can see him going national. He said the good news is that Obama won, the bad news is that now we’ve really got to get to work. Yes, there are and will be technological solutions to global warming, but right now Van Jones is promoting the lowest of tech—a caulking gun—to weatherize buildings against energy loss, and we have thousands of construction workers out of jobs right now who would be happy to caulk and instal insulation, solar panels, and double-paned windows. His organization is Green for All. His book is The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.
In my report on Southern California I forgot to mention Arlington West, the display of crosses we saw from the Santa Monica Pier. We went down and walked among them: a cross, star of David or crescent representing members of the American military killed in Iraq, some with mementos placed there by their families. Normally the crosses are only on the beach on Sundays, dawn to dusk, but we saw them on Tuesday because it was Memorial Day.
©2008 by Nancy Schimmel
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Van Jones, one of the featured speakers at the San Francisco Green Festival last weekend.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Jones