Fire Drill Friday | Jane Fonda Keeps Us Focused On #1 Priority

Washington (GGM) Analysis | November 15, 2019
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

It was an emotional day on Capitol Hill with defamed ex-Ambassador for Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, testifying in the second impeachment hearing for Donald J. Trump. The details outlined by Ms. Yovanovitch were critical and seem to have sealed Trump’s fate. I speculate he’ll be impeached by New Years Eve 2019.

Meanwhile, a few hundred yards away, in the warming sunlight, Jane Fonda rallied Americans with her sixth Friday Fire Drill. Her mission is to draw awareness to the Green New Deal and the important role fossil fuels have played on our climate’s demise.

Fonda was not arrested today, but she prides herself on the positive impact her protesting and subsequent arrests have had on the climate emergency cause. Today’s climate focus was on our oceans and rising sea levels as well as the urgent need to break free from plastic.

Although Fonda wasn’t arrested, two of her tag-along friends were: Marg Helgenberger and Robert Kennedy Jr. It seems these wonderful climate activists consider their arrests their red badge of courage.

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The holiday shopping season has arrived. It’s imperative that we keep our resolve to act now on lowering atmospheric carbon levels by the choices we make during the holiday season. Every tiny decision will save a life. For example, it’s advised that no red meat for any festivities. Avoid plastic packaging. Buy grocery products in glass bottles. Let’s promise to keep our eyes wide open as we claw through the packed aisles, and make the right selections when we reach toward a store shelf.

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Another positive choice is to buy local. It’s mind boggling how dramatic this simple decision can make. Again, it’s all about being aware, and making a commitment in advance to save our oceans and brighten our children’s futures. We can do this!

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Three States with the Most Charging Stations | Can You Guess?

Washington (GGM) Analysis | June 4, 2020 | by Noreen Wise

After three months of staying at home, (and happy to do so), I must admit that I’ve never been so eager to plan a road trip this summer. Public transportation is still quite worrisome, but driving is an ideal option for social distancing while traveling. In fact, I’ve determined it’s the safest transportation option available.

With so many restaurants offering curbside pickup, and the empty highways luring me to take advantage of this unique opportunity, it’s exciting to ponder which destinations to add to my list. This may be the best summer ever to travel across country?

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Is my exuberance getting the best of me?

Perhaps, but I was excited to read today that the three states with the most EV charging stations are:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida

Texas surprised me, actually. I had no idea that Texans were buying EV’s, but apparently they are. Excellent. Here’s a link that identifies where all the EV charging stations are located across America.

Facial coverings are needed at gas pumps and rest stops. Interestingly, I’m finding that it’s very easy to forget we’re in the middle of a pandemic when I travel. I better follow the great example I’ve seen and hang a face mask from the rearview mirror so I don’t get stuck without one. Happy travels. 😷

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EV Charging Stations for Curbside Pickup | Solutions

Washington (GGM) Analysis | June 2, 2020

After three months of staying home, and my commitment to keep on keeping on because it truly is much safer at home, I’ve now become passionate about curbside pickup. It’s such a positive and beneficial reason to get out of the house while still maintaining safe distances.

Last night I had the great fortune of hanging out in Bertucci’s parking lot for ten minutes while I waited for my delicious, piping hot four cheese ravioli. (I love how hot Italian takeout is. If I make ravioli at home, it’s never the same temperature as that of an Italian restaurant. I’ll speculate it’s the oven.) I felt inspired while I waited and soon began to imagine a dozen EV charging stations under the pretty trees, with cars attached to each one. (This was a particularly beautiful parking lot. Big and spacious with lots of nature.)

Charging stations seem like the perfect solution for mitigating the negatives of safer at home. There are so many incentives that businesses can use to fund the installation of EV charging stations. Installing charging stations that are funded by incentives are a painless way for struggling businesses to create jobs. More charging stations, results in more EV car purchases, which results in even more jobs. More charging stations at restaurants in particular equates to increased curbside pickup. This is so easy, and it all begins with the plethora of available incentives and tax credits and partnership with governors who are hoping that businesses will cut emissions quicker to reach the state targets.

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Thank you Bertucci’s. This vision all began with your outdoor sign letting passerbys know you were open for curbside pickup. I immediately pulled in and called from the parking lot. Maybe you can throwback to the 50’s and have rollerbladers deliver meals to the cars the way I’ve seen in movies, and have music blaring in the parking lot for a feel good vibe which will make us order more food and hang out longer.

Let’s DO THIS!🎸

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Governor Cuomo Has a New York Green Plan For Rebuilding Economy | Take Notice

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 27, 2020

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by Noreen Wise

Governor Cuomo’s daily covid briefings have been what many of us feel is the leading source of the most valuable and accurate information relating to all things covid-19, the global pandemic that has killed more than 351,000 across the globe, nearly 100,000 in the United States, and in excess of 23,000 in the state of New York.

Governor Cuomo’s focus on the “facts,” the stone cold truth of the grim statistics, as well as the dire reality of our healthcare heroes initially not having enough PPE, and the unnecessary bidding war between states, FEMA’s confiscation of some of the state’s PPE once ordered , alongside an acknowledgement of the president’s chronic conflicts with the governor over his sharing of the horrible facts with the public each day at lunchtime, earned the public’s trust in teh Governor’s agenda for the phases of reopening, testing and economic recovery.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings though, has been his sharing of his decision making thought processes and the strategies and logic behind his decisions, as well as insights into his critical thinking skills and solutions. Every single day of this horrid nightmare, Governor Cuomo has walked us through step-by-step, providing us with footprints to follow.

In essence, Governor Cuomo has been a superior role model for other states and the American public, whether we recognize it or not and dare to apply what we’ve learned to our own circumstances or not. Governor Cuomo’s example, has certainly helped me formulate my own personal and business covid action plans and solutions.

As states begin reopening this week, all eyes should be on New York’s methods, particularly for testing, and which businesses are associated with which reopening phases. Our president has assigned testing responsibility to the states. I now consider Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings the same way I do my weather app. Don’t leave home without viewing.

The bright side of this traumatic journey, is reading in Bloomberg Green yesterday that Governor Cuomo has negotiated a plan with Canada to bring clean energy down state from Canada and build the renewable energy infrastructure it has been aspiring towards for years, which will create new jobs and help revive the New York economy decimated by the covid state lockdown. Brilliant!

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May other states take note of this exciting, planet-saving stroke of genius. Illinois is in the midst of passing its Clean Energy Jobs Act. The EU is also all in on a green recovery, with the UK projecting it will generate 850,000 new jobs, according to Bloomberg Green.

An amazing silver living during covid’s harsh reality.🌳

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Who’s Making Decisions Behind the Curtain? | SBA and Covid Relief Funding

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 26, 2020

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by Noreen Wise

It was startling to receive an emailed letter from the U.S. SBA Disaster Assistance Processing and Disbursement Center, located at 14925 Kingsport Road in Fort Worth, Texas, yesterday morning, Memorial Day no less, stating that a media business, focused on climate change and phasing out fossil fuels, is not eligible for the EIDL loan:

Business activity is not eligible. EIDL assistance is available only to a small business engaged in an eligible business activity. Business activity means the nature of the business conducted by the applicant. ~U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Processing and Disbursement Center

The bolded quote (please see the letter below) implies that there is an official list of which business activities are eligible and which are not, but in calling the SBA Disaster Assistance Processing and Disbursement Center, I learned that there is no such list. Googling this, I found no such list either. And yet, clearly the letter states this.

What’s going on?

I’m currently on hold at the Fort Worth office, and have been routed through a series of calls to Tier 2 Escalation, where I have just learned I’m caller number 543, so this may be an all day wait.

Phrasing the loan decline in this way is clearly arbitrary, and leaves one to speculate that whoever created this verbiage was relying on some type of behind the scenes directive. The implication seems to be political, or perhaps based on company size. But what I envision is that an algorithm was created for media companies, and run through social media, gleaning data from posts, and an unofficial list was established of who would or would not receive rescue assistance. This was most likely based on how each media company posts about the current president and his administration.

Shocking, yet totally believable.

Again, my current hypothesis regarding covid relief loans for media companies is that loan delcines were based on whether they are for or against our impeached president, absent any information that can better explain this subjective declination rationale.

So sad. Yet, thankful to know that this is our tragic reality in this epic year, 2020. Understanding that this is the difficult road forward for media companies as we inch closer to election day 2020, removes the blinders, which improves our vision. 🌳

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Strategic Solutions During a Crisis | Some Countries Can Multitask

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by Noreen Wise

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 21, 2020

When a country is unified during a crisis, the way we were following 9/11, as well as Hurricane Katrina, and the devastating Tsunami in 2004, then we can all work together to accomplish more. We do this everyday in our homes. We multitask during the pandemic, while maintaining everything we did before the stay home orders.

Beginning in January 2020, there was one huge headline after the next highlighting America’s largest corporations announcing their climate action agenda’s. Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, pledged $10 Billion to help fight climate change. Microsoft vowed to be carbon neutral by July 1, 2020, carbon negative by 2030, and to eliminate all the carbon it has pushed into the atmosphere since it was founded by 2050.

Other American corporations soon began following their lead. But when covid suddenly struck, climate progress was quickly back-burnered. It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it mustn’t be the outcome. If we can all multi-task, so can our corporations.

Effective leadership is strategic thinking, seeking effective opportunities to accomplish two important missions at the same time, especially when they align so perfectly. Corporations are having to rethink many internal processes. If US corporations took the time to weave climate initiatives into the covid planning framework, the United States would land much further ahead than where we are right now as we scan the horizon and process the massive looming climate crisis barreling toward us.

It was exciting to read in The Star, that Canadian President Justin Trudeau announced to Canadian companies, he would provide government covid loans, as soon as each company let the government know what they were “thinking about” climate. Huarray! That’s the way a leader gets climate action done. ✅

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Ottawa’s Climate Change Master Plan

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 19, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

With so much division and chaos in the United States right now, and the worrisome feeling that we’re falling behind on the substantial climate action progress we made in 2019, it’s inspiring to learn of a North American city that is all in on climate action forward motion right now, even during covid. Hurray!

Ottawa, the Washington DC of Canada, ROCKS!

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Ottawa’s “Climate Action Master Plan” is impressive with it’s simple, straightforward mission statement, tangible targets, guiding principles and priority actions laid out in a concise one-pager. This is the ideal recipe for success. And success in carbon reduction was Ottawa’s prologue in creating their Master Plan: 14% cut in the city’s carbon emissions from 2012-2018, and a 36% reduction in carbon emissions by corporations during this time.

“The Climate Change Master Plan is the city’s overarching framework to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and respond to the current and future effects of climate.” ~City of Ottawa

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Ottawa’s Climate Action Master Plan Guiding Principles:

  • Responsibility – everyone in the community is responsible and needs to lower energy consumption and mitigate risks
  • Collaboration – all levels of government, all corporations, all citizens, utilities and stakeholders must work together to effect change and develop solutions
  • Municipal Leadership – the city will take the lead in fostering a joint partnership between corporations and the community
  • Coordination – the long term agenda must be strategic and harmonized
  • Equity and Inclusion – all decision-making processes must be equitable and inclusive

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Thank you, Ottawa! We’ll just follow your example.🌳

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Renewable Energy Continues to Surpass Coal in US

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 15, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

It was a year ago, last spring, that we learned renewable energy usage exceeded coal usage during the month of April 2019 for the very first time ever. At one point that month, the gain was 9 straight days in a row, another first, and 38 days total for 2019 Newsweek recently reported.

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It’s therefore exhilarating to be one giant step further along the road to a complete renewable transition.  In 2020, every single day for the entire month of April, renewables exceeded coal, for a total run of 40 straight days of renewables crushing coal. The price of coal increased during this same time period, while the cost of renewables decreased, which appears to be a factor in the favorable outcome for renewable energy.

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It’s a particularly significant success in light of the fact of how forcefully our president has been trying to sway public opinion to back coal, as one coal company after the next declares bankruptcy. It appears the American public is slowly adapting to the reality that the elimination of fossil fuels is inevitable, so they might as well transition sooner rather than later and take advantage of all the discounts and rebates before they disappear. 🌞

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