350.org on Solar Roadways Prototype

During my visit to Solar Roadways HQ in Idaho, Scott Brusaw and I decided that the climate-helping missions of 350.org and Solar Roadways were so similar that we ought to literally put them together! And so this photo was born: 350.org on the Solar Roadways prototype.

Solar Roadways and 350.org, working for the climate!

And if you haven’t yet watched the Solar Roadways Prototype video, definitely check it out here:

Oh, and if you haven’t heart just yet, 350.org founder Bill McKibben wants us all to get mad and then get busy about climate change. His latest article is a must-read: “This is f-cked up — it’s time to get mad, then get busy.

And the Sundance results are…

We finally received the results from Sundance and they are:

YERT was not accepted…

…but all is certainly not lost. (In fact they only took one environmental documentary film out of nearly 10,000 total submissions.) This just makes all of you, our grassroots supporters, all the more important. In fact, we’re convinced more than ever that the feature film will move countless environmentalists to action– both new and battle-tested activists alike. We just need a little more time to get it ready for prime time. We’re seriously examining the possibility of self-distribution, but we need to collect more information to do it well.

Please take our “YERT MARKETING SURVEY” by answering 10 quick questions here:

http://yertmarketing.questionpro.com/

As a thank you, we’ll give away five YERT ChicoBags to five lucky survey responders, selected at random.

Our submission to Sundance was very rough and incomplete– nothing compared to what we expect to create with a little more time (and money). Now we have our sights set on several other solid festivals – SXSW, Florida, and Tribeca. While the film remains far from done, we’ll keep whittling away at it until it finds its way successfully out into the world.

In the meantime, stay tuned for continued updates and thank you for helping us get this far. And don’t forget to fill out the YERT MARKETING SURVEY!

http://yertmarketing.questionpro.com/

Happy Holidays,
Ben, Julie, and Mark

P.S. Many thanks to our awesome unpaid marketing intern, Vidya Sarma from Chicago, for assembling the survey!

YERTpoll7: Topics in DC?

Hi, Gang!

We’re heading into a big week in Washington DC tomorrow, and we’d like to know your thoughts about what to cover while we’re there. Feel free to contribute comments to this blog entry with suggestions, or e-mail them to team@yert.com. In the meantime, please go ahead and fill out this little poll to give us a quick clue.

Thanks, and happy Cherry Blossom season to ya!

Mark

New Video – YERTpod7: Words of Wind-dom in Massachusetts

Dear YERTians,

We thought that we knew all there was to know about the Cape Wind controversy in Nantucket Sound. Then we talked to the folks involved, and you might say our pre-conceptions were "blown away." We encourage you to join us in our newfound indecision as we grapple with some intriguing windy nuances…

Just click here or the picture below to watch "YERTpod7: Words of Wind-dom in Massachusetts"
Yp7-WindDomInMass

This could well be an oil executive’s dream: proponents of clean energy pitted against conservation-minded environmentalists. Cape Wind is hunting for a location for their wind farm, but folks represented by Cape Cod’s Save Our Sound have cried NIMGV! (Not In My Gorgeous View). After meeting with Mark Rodgers, Communications Director of Cape Wind Associates, and Charles Vinick, President and CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, we learned that there is much more to this issue than NIMBY or NIMGV, but for every minute that the siting issues for Cape Wind remain unresolved, we burn more fossil fuels to fill in the gap.

Wind energy has become one of the fastest growing power sources in America, but still remains miserably low on the energy totem pole, generating less than 1% of all power in the U.S. (1) YERT believes that offshore wind turbines sitting beyond the visible horizon (roughly15 nautical miles from shore) make the most sense, and could generate as much as 907 gigawatts. Folks from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory say that number exceeds the "current installed U.S. electrical capacity." Oddly, we’re currently tapping a whopping 0% of that potential. What are we waiting for? Hopefully not the release of our little video. Take a look, then take a stand by clicking below on YERTpoll4: Wind Energy Opinionations — quickly!

Wind-ing Down for the Afternoon,

Julie, Ben, and Mark (Your YERT Team)

team@yert.com


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P.S. And now for Breadcrumbs! If you want to learn more about the topics in this video, check out these three resources:

  • Save Our Sound. From the web page: "The [Save Our Sound] Alliance was formed in 2001 in response to Cape Wind’s alarming proposal to build a 130 turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound." "Nantucket Sound and the waters surrounding the Cape and Islands are famous for natural beauty and abundant, diverse and unique wildlife. The Sound is also famous for recreational boating and fishing and draws over six million visitors annually to Cape Cod & the Islands. Nantucket Sound is central to our entire economy precisely because of its natural appeal."
  • Cape Wind. From the web page: "Cape Wind is proposing America¬ís first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. Miles from the nearest shore, 130 wind turbines will gracefully harness the wind to produce up to 420 megawatts of clean, renewable energy. In average winds, Cape Wind will provide three quarters of the Cape and Islands electricity needs."
  • If land and sea-based wind power seem too costly or problematic for you, how about high altitude wind power? Folks at SkyWindPower seem to have a very compelling idea in and (literally) over their heads. From their website: "In mass use, our calculations show that FEGs [Flying Electric Generators] of Roberts’ design should be able to produce electricity at a life cycle cost of LESS THAN TWO CENTS PER KILOWATT HOUR using tether materials now available. And new tether materials with even stronger strength to weight ratios are being developed.." Here’s the detailed paper: Harnessing High Altitude Wind Power. (For reference, land-based wind and coal power cost around 3-4 cents per kilowatt hour, per this clever estimate in Science.)

Footnotes:

  • (1) Energy Information Administration, "Electric Power Monthly, March 2007," http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/ftproot/electricity/epm/02260703.pdf
  • (2) National Renewable Energy Laboratory. W. Musial and S. Butterfield. "Future for Offshore Wind Energy in the United States," June 2004. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/36313.pdf

Do you know any corn farmers in Iowa?

Hi, Gang!

We’re headed into Iowa next week, and we have ETHANOL on the brain. We’re not drunk, though the thought has crossed our minds. And it might make interesting footage– but it simply isn’t our style.

That said, YOUR style can be our style, particularly if you help us figure out how to address ETHANOL in Iowa. We’re hungry to meet interesting folks who can tell us all sorts of fascinating facts and stories about ETHANOL. Do you know any corn farmers in Iowa? Community leaders? Professors? Political types? Send them our way and we’ll work to visit and learn from them– and share it back with you. (Also, if you know of any places we can stay in Iowa, we’d love to hear about those, too!)

Also, do you have any questions about ETHANOL? We think that you just might if you read this paper about various forms of biofuels. It certainly got us thinking, so we’re eager to dive into this issue… hardcore.

Send us a note, or answer the poll below, or both. We’ll love you either way!

YERTfully Yours,
Mark


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New Video – YERTpod3.1: Ask Uncle Sam EXTENDED REMIX

Dear YERTians,

Greetings from a delightful floor in Ann Arbor, Michigan! While my brave co-travelers are out catching up on what I hope to be a not-too-depressing dose of pop-culture (Ben and Julie are out watching Sicko), I opted to stay in with you for the evening… to take some time to get intimate. Not like that, sicko! I want to get into your mind.

But first, I’m delighted to share with you a 20 minute remix of YERTpod3: Ask Uncle Sam. If you liked the original, you’ll probably enjoy the extra footage in this new version. Lots of kids. Lots of questions. Fewer answers. If you didn’t like the original, skip on ahead to our little survey and give us a piece of your MIND.

Here’s the new video: YERTpod3.1: Ask Uncle Sam – Extended Remix

Now tell us what you want us to know!



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Floored,
Mark

Have your way with YERT

That’s right. We’ve been telling you all along that YERT stands for YOUR Environmental Road Trip. And, while we’ve been receptive to your ideas, we haven’t extended the red comment carpet for you. Until now. Introducing our first Micropoll– YERTpoll1: Detroit Exploits!

We’re headed to Detroit next week and we’d love to know what you’d like us to explore in that city. Go ahead and vote yourself silly, and then we’ll do our best to bring our YERTpeeps what they YERN for.

Enjoy. And vote.

YERTfully Yours,.

Mark