Al Gore, speaking for Live
Earth, talked me into hosting this party. All I had to do was find a
location, put together a few small items and invite all my friends.
They gave me the URL where I could download a packet to use to make my
party part of a planetary thing. I followed the recipe to large
extent. They said to "be as green as possible in preparations." Friday
walked four well filled bags of groceries back from Safeway, where I
got crackers, chips, juice and beer. The
morning of the event I rode my bike down to the Sunnyvale Farmers
Market to get fruit, bread, tomatoes, and a few other fixings. Then I
spent the afternoon making salsa, eggplant dip, and signs to guide
people the last quarter mile to the party. I asked
everybody I could to bring a cup of their own, and for the role of
disposable plates I put out a years worth of clean TV dinner plates.
The packet said I should play this video at 8:30. I had
a friend with high speed internet burn a CD for the event since the
clubhouse has no information wiring. Unfortunately, the CD
and my Macintosh weren't getting along. However, by pure luck around
8:30 Al Gore kicked off the organized part of the event from the TV. He
promised to do his part to reduce his CO2 production and work to
implement Government policies to move things in that direction for
everybody. Then we turned off the TV and had a round table discussion
about the issue.
I wanted to give everybody
a chance to speak. I said "If you have something you want everybody to
hear, now is the time to say it." Margaret said "If everybody uses 2%
less energy every year we will hit some aggressive sounding climate
change targets by 2040." Cameron said "If you want to be an activist,
something you enjoy doing, it almost doesn't matter what. That way you
won't burn out." A number of people said things like "I'm hanging my
laundry on the line in my back yard to dry. It saves a lot of energy
and the clothes smell great."
or "I ride the train to work nowadays. It's great!" Beth talked about
her work with the clean cities team. Ellis talked about
the two or three year struggle they had gone through to elect McNerny,
who is currently the only Engineer/Scientist in Congress. Another guy
talked about being a Solidarity activist back in the days when he lived
in Poland. We must have shared for an hour and a half. There were so
many interesting stories!
When it was my turn I told of the engineer from the Palo Alto Utility
Department I had met during the Enron induced power crisis. He had come
to that event with a large collection of new low power florescent (LPF)
bulbs. That was back in the days when they were $7 or so each. He
explained that he had used money that he had saved from using LPF bulbs
in his own home to pay for the pile. Then he said he would give them
out free to people who would pledge to use the money they saved on
their utilites from using the bulbs to pay it forward, meaning spread
the meme. I finished the story by saying "I don't know if I would go
quite that far, but I have these bulbs, and I'll give you one if you
promise to swap it in for an incandescent bulb when you get home." Then
I gave out my five spare bulbs to people that put their hands up.
After that we all posed
for a group shot, which you can see below.
Special thanks to DrPesto for
this picture. Of the 29 people shown, I knew about 15 before the
evening started. I think the Live Earth phenomenon was responsible for
bringing in the rest. Thank You Al Gore!
After that some went back to
and some went back to watching the show on TV.
Part of me wants to read that
2008 logo as "the world is to the left of Pax Americana". Another part
thinks it's "world peace". Either way, I know who Ivan wants us to vote
for. Click his picture to check out his recommended URL collection.
I think I took this picture while
the Police were singing "sending out an SOS"...
It was neat being reminded by the
babble box that we were part of a globally shared experience. I did
come away from the experience with a feeling that "we are all on the
same page". Thanks to everybody for making the evening something else!