Network for the Environment and Social (Human) Security

Municipalities and Climate Change

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Sustainability | 1 comment

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I live in Tel Aviv/Israel, where the sun shines 24/365. Well, almost. Rainy days are rare in Israel the rain extends from October until May. The precipitation peak is from December to February. Mostly it is short torrential rains, after which the sun shines again. Constant, for some days, clouds in which the sun is not to be seen are seldom. An interesting point is that for the last decade or so, the average yearly rainfall becomes less. This means, the sun shines more often, than in the years of normal precipitation. Even in the winter the exposure to sunshine is high!

For some time a commercial is on national TV, which offers Solar panels to produce electricity on your roof. I have to admit, that I don’t watch very often TV and, most certainly, I do not watch the advertisement section. But the aforementioned commercial caught my attention, since this is exactly what this website is all about. Decentralization!

The catch is that it is only economically viable, if the roof is at least 1.000 square meters big. It has to be noted, that most of the roofs in Israel are flat.

Last year I met Mr. Peer Wiesner, from the Green Party, one of the vice-mayors of Tel Aviv. I tried to introduce to him the idea of a Center for Maritime Living (CML(1)) in the totally unused port of Tel Aviv. Mr. Wiesner immediately told me, that to do so would be impossible due to the bureaucracy. But cordially he enquired about the project. He was interested after I told him, that the CML should work profitable. The idea was that a part of the CML should be a youth hostel. For humans to live on the waters of the Tel Aviv port is impossible, I was told and our discussion took a different turn. Mr. Wiesner mentioned, that the town hall is soon to be renovated. I asked how big the roof is and the answer was, bigger than 1.000 square meters. This would be enough for the Solar panels. Mr. Wiesner dismissed the idea. He said this will never happen.  We talked a little more about things not relevant to this blog and, after promising to stay in touch I bid farewell.

Of course, we did not stay touch. Nothing ever came out of it.

It took me some time to understand why there is an interest on a personal level, but on a political level nothing happens. First the CML. Legally the port, although an integral part of the town, does not belong to the municipality. For this a solution could be found easily, like paying the city taxes voluntarily. Why Solar Panels are not installed on the roofs of all the municipal buildings, is much harder to comprehend. This is a chance to exploit the Inherent Energy and it is not being done. By earning money the city budget would increase. The financing of the various tasks of the city would be a lot easier. And eventually the city taxes for private people and small business’s could, at least be frozen if not, reduced.

It would also send the right signals to the citizens. We are serious about the Climate Change and we do everything in our powers to fight it. And every citizen is part of it this is only the beginning!

I have been writing this post and I realized that the possibilities for any municipality to fight Climate Change are endless. Yet at the end of the post, I wake up from my reveries and know, that nothing will happen for a long time. Even small gestures as installing LED-street lamps (2), the most energy efficient illumination is not on the agenda of city hall. Neither is a consequent garbage separation. All in all, whatever the municipality is offering are only cosmetics and nothing else. The real problem is that it is not only in Tel Aviv like this. It is in the whole world like this!

And for this no one else is to be blamed but us, the citizens. We do not really demand it from our politician and therefore they don’t pursue it!


For further reading:

1. Center for Maritime Living

2. LED Street Lights


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  1. offshore bank account

    Looking forward to the solar powered trash compactors.Last week a big announcement from Waste Management which announced at the that it will start distributing solar powered trash compactors..Talk about a marriage made in heaven! Waste Management is considered to be a national leader in garbage removal and has developed the worlds first and only solar compaction system!.Actually come to think of it Waste Management has been headlining a lot this week when it comes to green. Last week on a related blog we discussed how the company had entered into a joint venture with Bend Oregon-based to melt garbage into usable synthetic gas. Yep Waste Management is definitely a green garbage company!. Solar powered trash compactor.Heres the coolest part IMHO the solar powered trash compactors look like any other side-street trash can but for the fact that they have solar panels on the top. The panels convert energy from the sun and use it to crush the trash compacting it right there within the receptacle!.More compact trash allows for less frequent garbage pick-up. The newest versions even have network-equipped features that will send a signal for pick-up when they are full..Wow. Another cool solar powered invention..I just have one question When will my hometown of get these? Im not kidding. Im following this post up with a direct email to my City Councilors. I think its time for us to invest in this innovation and cut down on trash and waste in general..Maybe you will agree and do the same thing..

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