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?
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:
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. 😷
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.
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.
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 briefingsthough, 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!
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.🌳
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 onwhether they are foror 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. 🌳
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. ✅
Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 19, 2020
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!
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
Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 15, 2020
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.
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.
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. 🌞
Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 13, 2020
by Noreen Wise
It’s always the small things that make the difference in big transitional changes. So too with our transformation into renewable energy. If every household committed to replacing gas stoves and gas grills with electric in 2020, we’d be well on our way to converting our homes to solar and wind. Bloomberg Green’s recent article about this new trend highlights the pros and cons.
Realistically though, it’s all about taking the first step. We need to eliminate all fossil fuel usage including appliances. If we know that the elimination of fossil fuels is inevitable, (does anyone doubt that it is), then we should all immediately begin to replace easy to replace appliances. This is how progress is made. One step at a time.
Last summer, Berkeley, Californiabecame the first cityin the United States to ban natural gas in new homes. The law was passed unanimously and went into effect January 1, 2020. Interestingly, Berkeley was also the first city in the United States to ban smoking in restaurants and public places back in 1977. There’s a saying in California: As goes Berkley, so goes California. Let’s be on the look out for more California cities to continue with this trend, creating the much needed momentum.
As always, the changing of the tides comes when one person, one town is willing to step boldly in the right direction. Thank you, Berkeley, California. May your small step with climate action be as successful as the revolution you kicked off when you banned smoking in 1977. Think of how many lives Berkeley saved. Cheers to the Butterfly Effect.🦋
Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 12, 2020
by Noreen Wise
According to a recent report published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the official wet-bulb temperature of 35˚C (95˚F) is the maximum temperature the human body can successfully cool itself on its own to keep from overheating. Once we cross the survivability threshold into the danger zone, the combination of heat and humidity results in the skin’s inability to sweat fast enough to cool the body, and we can succumb to heatstroke within a few hours of being outside, which is potentially fatal.
Bloomberg Green reports that there are several cities along the Gulf Coast that have already experienced this type of extreme condition, maximum heat combined with maximum humidity, and have repeatedly crossed into the danger zone. New Orleans is one such city. The concept of there being a survivability threshold that has already been reached in some parts of America, is almost unfathomable. Large populations live in these areas. If the conditions are unsurvivable, they’ll be forced to move. The injustice is maddening.
It always seems to be the same routine. A certain percent of the population disregards the warnings and recommended guidelines, and selfishly pursues material gain at the exclusion of everything else. This causes a negative ripple effect that impacts those of lesser means, with limited resources, resulting in a downward spiral for large segments of the population that involves further financial strain. The rich get richer, everyone else becomes more financially challenged, and climate change extremes increase, impacting an increasing number of vulnerable communities and cities.
If we can’t immediately recognize that this is one of the most significant wake-up calls yet, there’s no hope. Everyone has to be all in on climate to save planet earth. If individuals aren’t self-motivated to make the necessary changes, then local, state and federal governments will have to force them. Period. 🌎
Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 11, 2020
by Noreen Wise
With an aggressive goal of zero waste in many personal products and detergents, new sustainability companies are blossoming, offering everyday essentials sold as solids instead of liquids, which can be packaged in paper or even more simply, without any packaging at all. One company in particular has an expansive zero waste product lineup, the Zero Waste Store.
Personal staples like shampoo and conditioner, and even laundry detergent, have begun capturing consumer attention. Recycling has been a challenge during the stay home orders, resulting in stronger consumer awareness of just how much plastic packaging households toss out daily, and how quickly it accumulates in garages, closets and cars.
I’m very particular in my preferences for personal products like shampoo and conditioner, and have been using one particular brand for many years. In fact, I have a huge crate of empty plastic shampoo and conditioner containers that I have to wash as soon as I have time. The problem is, I’ve become so busy that I never actually do have time. So, the pile keeps growing larger, creating a more daunting task, with no end in sight.
The Zero Waste Store is an online presence with exceptional shipping procedures from a waste perspective:
everything shipped using plastic-free materials
100% water activated paper tape
compostable shipping labels
recycled padded mailers
corn starch packing peanuts
everything 100% biodegradable
There’s no time to waste in confronting plastic waste. Covid has highlighted how imperative it is to be prepared and get out in front of life-impacting crises as quickly as possible. Switching to no waste products during covid, while we’re making so many other changes to our daily routines, is the ideal way to build strong habits during one crisis, that will help alleviate the impact of another crisis.
I can’t wait for my shampoo and conditioner to arrive so I can check it out. ♻️