Sunday, August 31, 2008

Technosanity #7: Solfest 2008

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I recorded this a couple weeks ago during the Solfest. Solfest is a yearly gathering sponsored by Real Goods and the Solar Living Institute, it focuses on solar energy, off the grid living, appropriate technology, and much more. This was my first time attending the Solfest and I had a great time. The episode is pretty long but it covers a lot of things.

SolFest -- SolFest is the world’s premier two-day celebration of renewable energy and sustainable living. Since SolFest was born in 1996 over 100,000 people have learned how to change the world while having fun. Each summer SolFest transforms the rural hamlet of Hopland, California, into the global epicenter of green living.

Solar Living Institute -- "mission is to promote sustainable living through inspirational environmental education. The Institute provides practical, education by example and hands-on workshops on renewable energy, green building, sustainable living, permaculture, organic gardening and alternative, environmental, construction methods."

Real Goods

I made a few blog posts about the Solfest 2008 as well as found some interesting companies and other web resources.

Green Career Conference -- -- -- -- -- Want a job in the 'Green Economy'? This is the place to go.

West Coast Green -- -- A green building and technology conference scheduled to occur in San Jose, CA in September 2008

Climate Code Red -- -- A book making the case that our climate is at an utmost emergency crisis state. CODE RED EVERYBODY DROP WHAT YOU'RE DOING!

Grid Beam -- -- It's a very interesting idea for rapidly constructing things like furniture, shelves, beds, electric cars, or nearly anything else. Sol Man -- -- offered a very interesting portable solar power station, built using grid beam technology.

Avalon Springs -- -- A new intentional community just started in Sonoma County.

David Blume, Alcohol Can be a Gas, at SolFest 2008 -- -- An amazingly interesting talk about using Ethanol as a fuel to power cars, airplanes, etc. The guy was phenomenal, had a lot of eye-opening things to say about the subject, to show how ethanol production isn't about food diversion but the food diversion story is more of an oil industry scam, etc. He's written a book, Alcohol Can Be a Gas!: Fueling an Ethanol Revolution for the 21st Century that goes into this deeply.

Greening Mass Media

A talk presenting thoughts on bringing 'green' thinking, ideas, perspective, etc to mass media. The green perspective is a niche viewpoint and it's easy for niche ideas to have a hard time being widespread in mainstream society. But there is a need for this viewpoint to be more widely accepted and enter mainstream society, and one way to do this is by having the green perspective regularly presented in the mass media. The talk was presented by Deborah Lindsey

She is not a professional journalist but came into being a talk show host & author from her desire to tell the story of green living. She got her start through finding a newly started radio station on which she could buy radio time. Over some time she'd built up a body of work that allowed her to build her career to a bigger scale. Now she podcasts, appears on a couple radio stations, writes articles for magazines, etc.

Management has specific goals -- to get advertising because it's advertising that pays the bills and satisfies managements duty to the shareholders. Over the history of mass media they've learned that "Tension" sells advertising. This is why journalists are always looking for the controversy and it seems that they sometimes create controversy where it doesn't exist.

If you're in the media industry let's be real, you're really in the advertising industry. Essentially all media is paid for by advertising.

It's a business and if it's going to be a sustainable business then you need to earn a living at it. She offered several ways to earn a living

- Being hired by a corporation

- Sponsorship or Endorsements

- Independent, and selling advertising

- Membership access to special content

- Commissioned articles (by the word)

- Grants

Technosanity #7: Solfest 2008

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