HOW GREEN IS SAN FRANCISCO? (2/1/09)
Some three years ago I wrote an article on the 4th Utility. Most of us understand the elements that go into heat, water, power but few really truly understand the fundamental elements and far reaching consequences of communications and how the 4th Utility can conserve and foster sustainability. Fine tune Quality of Life Issues.
Another way of looking at the 4th Utility is to try to comprehend Electricity, Gas, and Water and then add to that Communication via the Internet and other wire less options - operations that are being done today all over the world.
The topic of this article is how Green is Francisco? Well, if you hear Mayor Gavin Newsom - he would lead you to believe very Green - but in reality we are far behind some under-developed countries.
Let us take the issue of trees and how we nurture them. Or for that matter our Open Space and how we take care of them in San Francisco. It may surprise you that hundreds of mature trees are felled down in San Francisco and all without permits. Recreation and Park know this and so the Department of Public Works.
We had four hundred trees felled down at Hunters Point on Parcel A which comes under the jurisdiction of the City and County of San Francisco and all without permits. At McLaren Park hundreds of trees are felled down without permits and this City and County of San Francisco does not give a damn.
In the early 1930s and 1940s some San Franciscans took upon themselves to create open space. One great example that the world acknowledges is Golden Gate Park. Another is McLaren Park - private citizens bought the homestead land with the City of San Francisco contributing towards the end to create this jewel that few know about in the Southeast Sector of San Francisco. Of course we have the Presidio of San Francisco - Federal Property that the Sixth United States Army and Presidio of San Francisco handed over to the National Park Service who in turn divided the jurisdiction and shares it with the Presidio Trust a quasi-Federal agency.
Missing in the equation about thinking Green and going back when the Ohlone first had patrimonial jurisdiction - is the word sustainable. Perhaps we could add the word ³necessity² or ³want². The First People never wasted and used and took only that which was necessary. Of course this way of living has much to do with not being Greedy. Few think about this notion preferring to brag about being Green and not thinking much about the prevailing GREED.
Once the Whites stole the land - greedy as they are they wanted it all. So, as and when we see the destruction of animals, birds, pristine forests, creeks, rivers, lakes, hills, wet lands. All that which Mother Earth gives to us temporary occupants - know as humans to share. Only those instilled with holistic values - understand sustainable practices and what is more practice it - faithfully.
In San Francisco we brag that we recycle a lot and that is good. We also brag that we are Green - but we have nothing much to show about being Green except being Blue in the face. When it comes to Solar we lack behind most Cities and the few projects we have to show case do not really work. A glaring example the Solar Panels installed at the Moscone Center.
We could brag the whole day that we are green - but, really do we have a sense of how much Electricity, Water, and Natural Gas we are wasting? Our Clean Water Pipes are over Eighty Years old and millions of gallons of clean water are seeping into the ground - every single day - and polluting the Water Shed. Add to that the Waste Water people that are over Eight years old and doing the same - polluting our environment.
The Natural Gas line we have that is mostly situated in the Southeast Sector that at one time fueled the now defunct Hunters Point Power Plant and the current Mirant Plant - is a faulty operation with problems. But, few will talk about it. Fossil Fuel spews Carbon Dioxide into the air and harms all living beings. Add to that thousands of tons of coal dust and pollution in and around the Mirant Plant.
Add to that methane gas that is being spewed by the Phelps Raw Sewage Treatment Plant and other poisonous odors from the antiquated septic tanks and you have a situation that calls for those in authority to sue the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and move this plant and all its operations - away from the center of a Neighborhood that has been denied its Environmental Justice Rights.
Further, naturally occurring Methane Gas is found at Hunters Point, Mission Bay, Candlestick Point and in a host of places where once there was an abundance of wet-lands. In years past landfill consisted of materials - as the years went by - decomposed to release with water, vegetation, and other material conducive to producing Methane Gas all over San Francisco.
Now one must remember that one ton of Methane Gas equals Twenty Two tons of Carbon-Dioxide every harmful to all beings - and that includes human beings known as Homo Sapiens. Our City brags we are Green but the reality it is just the opposite. The most ignorant person on this issue is Mayor Gavin Newsom the sitting Mayor of San Francisco that lacks among other things a moral compass.
Some years ago we spent millions of dollars to build the Jefferson-Martin Transmission line. If only we got a daily or monthly report - it would shock us to know that this brand new Transmission Line has not worked correctly - over forty percent of the operating hours.
We could say the same of the Potrero-Hunters Point inner City transmission line. It needs to be fine-tuned. These two Transmission lines that belong to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) purport to do some good but are not up to par.
We expect the Pittsburg-Potrero underground Cable to bring us some 400 Mega Watts. We now consume about 980 Mega Watts in San Francisco and when we have Peak Times - we have to procure more from outside our Region.
If our City and County of San Francisco really practiced the principles of Clean Energy that we so much brag about - we could have said loud and clearly the about of Mega Watts we generate from Solar, Wind, and Wave. But, we cannot because that number is very miniscule. So much for a Green bragging right.
California wants our Energy Produce to produce as much as Seventy Percent Clean Energy and we can easily do that in San Francisco has it not been for the corrupt politicians and the sell outs that are most ignorant about issues and the latest technology. We have some folks sitting on an idea for the last ten years without making any progress in San Francisco. All the hurdles to prevent progress come from City Departments and foremost the Mayorıs Office of Economic Development and Work Force.
The 4th Utility is very complex and only the more advance Nations like Sweden, Japan, and Germany have advanced the cause of the 4th Utility. In San Francisco we have not understood it because of ignorance and more because of corrupt politics. I last wrote an article some three years ago and got hundreds of e-mails from all over the world. San Francisco is sleeping and we will miss the train, the bus, the boat and the plane. We know how to talk the talk but fail to walk the walk.
In the Southeast Sector that is mostly the Potrero Hill, Bayview Hunters Point, Visitation Valley - over 20,000 housing units will be built. There are plans to build a Causeway from Brisbane to Candlestick Park over Yosemite Slough to Parcel G where this City and County of San Francisco proposes to build a Stadium stark naked in the middle of a Superfund Site.
Now, it is impossible to talk about being Green, holistic, clean, and messing with radiological elements and a Superfund Site that is on the ten most polluted sites in the Nation - Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. The home of the National Defense Radiological Laboratory from which originates our Environmental Protection Agency - so much for history and radiological elements such as Depleted Uranium first tested at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard .
Our City has failed to equip our City Departments with the best that the 4th Utility can offer in terms of communication. Our City IT system is primitive to say the least. Our San Francisco Police Department cannot use the Internet and only few law enforcement units can communicate truly with the Federal Agencies. There has been no leadership to improve communications and the same with the Records Keeping Department - that cannot query Incident Reports using the latest computer software and things are done manually.
The City and County of San Francisco talks about building over 20,000 homes in these Economic Crises where millions have lost their jobs. People are hurting in the San Francisco and even the Food Bank and other charitable organizations cannot cope with the poor and those in need lining up for help. I know what I am talking about because I witness the pain and the suffering.
The current Federal Stimulus Plan that is being offered does not mention the 4th Utility directly but I guess you can place it under the Infrastructure Projects that President Barack Hussein Obama will fund so stimulate some growth in jobs and bring solace to the millions that have no food, no shelter, and call America their home.
We are in a Depression but you would not think so judging from the millions spent by Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac and other dubious non-regulated organizations that we the tax payers are going to bailing out - with billions of dollars. What sense does this make? Our Nation permits some three percent of crooks to control the entire Nation and one of the foremost entities that are dubious in nature in the Private - Federal Reserve Bank that really prints as much money as it wants to fill any need of sorts.
We the people have to take the power into our hands. The rich can fleece us and then talk about sub-prime loans, toxic loans, and whatever to try to hood wink us. Notice that these scum bags have not been sent to jail. It is as if White Collar Crime pays. We have use the 4th Utility to nab this scum bags and bring them to justice. It is fair to call upon all communication at its best to rein these scoundrels and bring them to justice. We must think 4th Utility all the time.
The 4th Utility is tied to the digital world and we have the tools at our finger tips and hand to make a difference. I was reading some of my old articles when I found this one that some one else was quoting and found myself reading myself which I was - the article was about a three year old article on the 4th Utility written by moi.
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