Future of Transportation

The Internal Combustion Engine is facing the beginning of the end, so argued Peter Holley of The Washington Post.

It’s relevant locally because it is budget time in Monroe County. The Council has its second reading of the budget October 30th. Attend if you can.

But if you haven’t been paying attention don’t fret! County Councilman Geoff McKim does a great job breaking down the numbers on his blog. This is a must read for Monroe County!

One of the interesting things about Indiana is the reliance on cars. The proposed county budget allocates $6.8 million to “highways” and another $1.6 million to “roads and streets”. 

While we all travel on these roads and appreciate their upkeep, the cars travelling on those highways and roads might change. 2017 might mark an economic moment when “electric vehicles went from a promising progressive fad to an industry-wide inevitability.”

In fact, there are already five electric charging stations in Monroe County and Indiana University has begun adding all electric cars to their motor pool.

You can read the Peter Holley’s article in its entirety here.

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The Rise of Extreme Rain

It’s raining in Monroe County.

While our rain is a blessing, it goes without saying that the deluge in Texas and Florida as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma are catastrophic. The vast amount of water dumped on these communities is something that we haven’t seen before.

David Leonhart wrote an excellent piece in the New York Times on why we are seeing this now, entitled “Irma, and the Rise of Extreme Rain.” He shows why warm air carries more moisture than cool air. Naturally as the water warms with climate change, the hurricanes and tropical storms will continue to drop large amounts of water on these coastal communities.

The article ends with these words: “Welcome to the era of extreme rain. We can continue to pretend it’s all a coincidence and watch the consequences mount. Or we can start to do something about it — by using less of the dirty energy that’s changing the climate and by preparing for a future that’s guaranteed to be hotter and rainier.”

The Monroe County Environmental Commission is working locally to do something about it!

The Age of the Human and Shifts in Thought

The Anthropocene is here (if you are like me and didnt know that much, click the link to watch some great TED talks). This global phase is felt locally and has garnered action, paricularly from local Monroe County churches, who continue to reflect their concern for the environment.

 St. Thomas Lutheran (ELCA) is one of these, celebrating a month long push. Season of Creation takes place throughout September at St. Thomas. Themes of this month permeate the church’s liturgy, education, advocacy, and community outreach. Many of the tools used comes from church web resources. A book recommended is titled Season of Creation.

A part of the past week’s service included adult education looking at the creation story in Genesis through the lens of the Anthropocene. In addition, phone calls to the Governor were urged by members who also belong to the Indiana Forest Alliance

Efforts like these are now common locally. In fact, there are many other houses of worship who are similarly engaged in environmental and sustainability initiatives, making Monroe County a green haven in Indiana.

Time is Runing out on Solar in Indiana

With net metering being altered at the end of this calendar year, many in Monroe County are taking the opportunity to learn more about solar power on their homes and places of worship. Already, Trinity Episcopal, Unitarian Universalist Bloomington, Friends Meeting Bloomington, and Columbus Unitarian are expanding their solar arrays ahead of the deadline. These places of worship are saving up to 10% on installation costs through a program called Solarize Bloomington Phase 2. This program is run by the City of Bloomington and SIREN.

There is an upcoming informational session this Tuesday, August 22 at 7pm invite Bloomington Council Chambers in the Showers Building downtown Bloomington. This is an informational session for those interested in taking advantage of this timely opportunity. 

If you Have questions, please contact the City of Bloomington or SIREN.

Time is Running Out to Save up to 10% on Solar

If you have thought about solar energy for your home, business, or pergola, time is running out for you to save up to 10%! This program is called Solarize Bloomington Phase 2.

Monroe County residents will need to take part in an informational session which will take place this Thursday, August 17 at 7:00pm at the Ellettsville Public Library. If you can not make this session, there are only two more before the September 15th deadline! 

This program is run by the City of Bloomington and SIREN.

Green Parking Garage

Great picture of the Monroe County Employee parking garage at this morning’s farmers market. You can see the solar panels on the roof soaking up the sun, and the living wall on the right of the building is looking colorful! Just another example of the green efforts of County Government!