I had the privileged of working with the LA Business Council to produce this video, which premiered today at the organization's Sustainability Summit. It documents the creation of CLEAN LA Solar -- a brand new program that will allow LA property owners to install solar panels on their roofs and sell the electricity generated back to the local utility over the course of a 20-year contract.
These kinds of programs, known a "feed-in tariffs", have been in place for years in Europe. They hold the promise of both economic and environmental benefits. One panelist at today's conference -- the head of Solar Provider Group, a major international firm -- described how the solar industry in his native Germany produced nearly 150,000 jobs last year. By contrast, the famed German auto industry produced less than 5,000 jobs.
We are already seeing the impact on the ground in LA. Solar Provider Group just made a $50 million investment in the City. Expect much more to come!
Israel's elder statesmen gave a great interview this week with David Horovitz at the Times of Israel, as the Jewish State celebrates it's 65th Birthday.
Funny, articulate, and insightful, President Peres says that the only thing permanent in the world is disatisfaction:
"Today you live 80 years. Two hundred years ago, you lived 40. What you have today, a king didn’t have. When a king had a toothache he was crying like a baby. He didn’t have running water or a telephone. But the more we have, the more we want. Dissatisfaction: that is permanent."
Today Hamas announced that it will be bulldozing part of a 3,000 year-old seaport to expand its terrorist training facilities in Gaza.
UNESCO -- the UN agency in charge of protecting global cultural artifacts -- named the seaport an "international heritage" site in 2012. Now UNESCO has gone mute. The organization's silence is particularly revealing considering its recent forays into highly contentious political disputes in the area.
Hillel Neuer at UN Watch: “UNESCO’s admission of Palestine as a member state in 2011, which caused the organization to lose almost a quarter of its budget when the U.S. suspended its contributions, was justified as a measure to help protect world heritage sites in Palestinian areas,” the letter said. “Yet as Hamas turns a cultural heritage site into a terrorist training ground — the antithesis of culture — the silence of UNESCO now places the very credibility of the organization at stake.”
Check out my latest piece in the Times of Israel, which addresses the one issue that seemed to fall below the radar last week in the midst of Senator Kerry's visit to the Middle East:
For much of the international community – now awash in talk about the prospects for renewed negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians – Hamas’ latest assault on the foundations for peace has largely inspired a collective yawn.
Maybe this is because Hamas’ imposition of it’s extremist ideology on the people of Gaza has been so oppressive, systematic and sustained over the past six years that another act of tyranny is nothing out of the ordinary. Women in Gaza are jailed for riding bicycles and leaving their homes without a veil. Children are fed hatred of Israel and virulent anti-Semitism from the cradle. Palestinian schools are cynically used to fire rockets at Israel.
In its present form, the environment of Gaza is more likely to produce a new species of polar bear than an outbreak of peace."