It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

---Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Let's update Dickens in the America of today.

City of Light

The Lancaster, California City Council unanimously approved changes to the city’s zoning code that require housing developers to install solar with every new home they build.

This is the latest piece in what Republican Mayor R. Rex Parris described at the City Council meeting as a plan to make Lancaster “the solar capital of the universe.”

Greentech Media, article by Herman Trabish

The mayor, a Republican one at that, heralds a new building code that will increase renewable energy use, spur innovation, and likely increase property values. The location is perfect for solar generation. Smart. Sensible.

But that is not all. The mayor's interests go well beyond solar. Here are other initiatives he has backed or is backing:

- Create the California Clean Energy Authority, which has brought in utility-scale solar developers like Silverado Power and a pipeline of 700 megawatts of large-scale solar within the city’s boundaries;

- Create the High Desert Power Authority, which has proposed a new transmission project to the state’s grid operator that would increase the delivery of renewables-generated electricity to other municipal utilities and relieve grid congestion between Northern and Southern California;

- Create Solar Lancaster in partnership with SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), and other installers, which identified Creative Renewable Energy Zones (CREZs) that have spawned over 27 megawatts of distributed solar across the city, including 7.5 megawatts of solar on Lancaster’s schools at a profit to the city.

- Create new ordinances requiring all new homes to be meet LEED certification standards, grey water systems, and solar battery systems that would be energy-independent for up to four days;

- Use LED bulbs and batteries in the city’s street lights so they will be entirely off-grid.

One more thing. His reason for doing all this is that he believes climate change is a major issue that requires as vigorous a response as humanly possible.
“The salvation of this planet, if it is not already too late, will be from the bottom up,” Parris said, “and there is no reason Lancaster can’t be the example for the world.”
While I know not all conservatives are fossil fools, proof of intelligent life on planet Republican is very hard to find. Well, here is one that is not only willing to acknowledge that climate change is real, but wants to provide leadership to address it.

City of light, indeed. Heck, the mayor is even named Paris (with an extra R).

City of Darkness

Welcome to Nelson, Georgia.

A Georgia town has passed a law requiring its citizens to own a gun and ammunition — a measure one councilman says is similar to putting a security sign in your front yard to deter criminals.
The Walking Dead is filmed in Georgia. Apparently, these people think the threat of a zombie apocalypse is real, not to mention conspiracy theories about a certain black president wanting to take their guns.
The law requires the head of every household to own a gun and ammo to “provide for the emergency management of the city” and “provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.”

The law is also meant to pre-empt any future attempt by the federal government to confiscate guns, according to the council’s agenda.

Here is our worst of times, age of foolishness, epoch of incredulity, season of darkness, and winter of despair all wrapped up in a nice tidy package. They probably think climate change is a plot by the UN.

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"Green Diary Rescue" is Back!

After a hiatus of over 1 1/2 years, Meteor Blades has revived his excellent series.  As MB explained, this weekly diary is a "round-up with excerpts and links... of the hard work so many Kossacks put into bringing matters of environmental concern to the community... I'll be starting out with some commentary of my own on an issue related to the environment, a word I take in its broadest meaning."

"Green Diary Rescue" will be posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page.  Be sure to recommend and comment in the diary.  

Originally posted to Climate Hawks on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Climate Change SOS.

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