June 22nd, 2007
Next week I'll begin my formal (and, I suppose, informal) duties as a new member of the Berkeley Energy Commission. If there's anyone out there with experience in government (or with energy ideas), I'd appreciate hearing from you in the comments section (with do's and don'ts).
On Tuesday afternoon, at 1:30, I'll be attending a groundbreaking ceremony for a wind turbine being built at the Shorebird Nature Center (right by the Berkeley Pier) -- there's a nice little article about it in today's Chron.
On Wednesday evening at 6:30, at the North Berkeley Senior Center, I'll attend my first commission meeting as a commissioner myself (my son and I dropped in on them a couple months ago). Apparently at the start of the session I'll be sworn in -- or, as my son refers to it, "coronated." I'm somewhat nervous about being up to the challenge -- about having the patience to work through the incremental processes of fighting global warming at the local level (among other energy issues) -- but I'm excited to be getting involved.
On a beautiful day in Berkeley like today, it seems almost surreal to imagine that there's a climate crisis. I keep thinking of what my little heal-your-own-back book (and my chiropractor) says: it's especially important to work at prevention when nothing seems to be wrong. (I understand that this spine-to-global-warming analogy is quite flawed -- but if you have a wonky back yourself, you probably understand how the topic tends to work its way into disparate conversations.)
By the way, as far as I know the public is welcome at commission meetings. At one point, late in the meeting I attended as a civilian, the commissioners came to a point in their agenda where they were supposed to ask for public comment. They all turned to me, as I was the only member of the "public" in the room. After an awkward moment I just shrugged and said, "Um, the public's cool with everything so far."