Topics: Puerto Rico Microgrids; Food Companies Support Sustainable Farming; The Benefits of Gratefulness
In this week’s episode of Solutions News, we discuss microgrids in Puerto Rico, talk about corporations underwriting farmers’ transitions to organic food, and Rinaldo interviews Margaret Klein Salamon. After a discussion about the Green New Deal and Margaret’s organization The Climate Mobilization, Rinaldo discusses the ways in which gratitude changes your brain.
A year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the island has a plan to recreate the electricity grid as a decentralized microgrid. The latest integrated resource plan (IRP), would divide the island into eight connected regional mini-grids generating independent sources of energy. In the case of a future storm, even if one of the grids was knocked out, the others would function and could pickup the slack. Rinaldo talks about the importance of creating a new sustainable grid but advises against portions of the plan involving liquid natural gas (LNG). He also relates the story to microgrids being created in Montecito and Goleta.
In 2018, four of the largest food companies, Nestle USA, Danone North America, Mars, and Unilever United States formed the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance. The alliance is developing a loan system to help farmers transition to sustainable and organic farming. Because the process takes at least three years to make the transition, it has previously been tough to do without any financial support.
Gratitude Changes the Brain
It turns out that actively showing gratitude in everyday life not only changes your perspective, but it also chemically changes your brain. Studies have found that gratitude is associated with more health grey matter in the brain. Interestingly, other studies have been able to quantify that groups tracking gratitude in their lives felt 25% more happy than groups tracking neutral or negative events. Over a period of ten weeks, the “gratitude group” also ended up exercising an extra 1.5 hours on average compared to the other groups. Being grateful is an easy way to reduce anxiety and depression while feeling noticeably happier overall. See also: gratefulness.org
Ms. Klein Salamon is the founder and director of The Climate Mobilization, a volunteer-powered organization that is working to initiate a WWII-scale mobilization that rapidly transforms our economy to protect humanity and the living world. In that role she has helped catalyze a burgeoning worldwide climate emergency movement. Thirty-eight cities and counties around the world have now passed climate emergency declarations based on the climate emergency policy framework that The Climate Mobilization has developed and championed.
Margaret earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Adelphi University and also holds a BA in social anthropology from Harvard. Though she loved being a therapist, Margaret felt called to apply her psychological and anthropological knowledge to solving climate change. She is the author of The Transformative Power of Climate Truth and Leading the Public into Emergency Mode. Her forthcoming book is titled Transform Yourself with Climate Truth.