Conferences and Fairs

Comments On Intersolar North America 2017 & Interesting Videos

A Presentation & Discussion By Rod Kirk

intersolar 2017 pic 1Another summer, another Intersolar North America Conference in San Francisco. If you did not go to this show this year, yes, you will be happy to know that Freiburg Green City was again the sponsor on the give away conference bags. It was a good conference; one of the best to mingle with people involved with solar and energy related products. I will go over my thoughts on this years conference, provide some show and tell goodies, and invite anybody else who attended the conference to tell their stories also.

We will finish the meeting up with viewing  some very interesting videos that I have found related to energy and sustainability.

Join us for a fun filled and interesting EGG meeting!

Fifth Annual West Valley College Earth Stewardship Symposium

A Green Event Occuring April 20-21, 2017 at West Valley College


The West Valley College sustainability Committee is hosting the 5th Annual Earth Stewardship Symposium. This year’s theme is the oceans of the world and the topics covered include the effects of plastics and pollution, aquaculture and fisheries, and what the ocean tells us about ourselves. The two-day event begins Thursday, April 20 at 3 p.m. and continues on Friday, April 21, starting at 9 a.m. in the Campus Center Baltic Room.

The symposium is produced by the WVC Sustainability Committee and sponsored by a grant from the West Valley-Mission Community College District Land Corporation.
The event is free to the public with free parking in parking lot 5. For more information, please visit or call 408.741.2011.

 wvc earth stew symposium 2017 poster

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Free parking in Lot 5.
If you have any questions, please contact Brenda B. Rogers, Tel. (408) 741-2011.


BIOS Of The Presenters

Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang collaborate in an ongoing project to collect plastic that is washing ashore on Kehoe Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Since 1999 they have focused their attention on just 1000 meters of tide line on a single beach. Their artwork has been featured in over 70 exhibitions in galleries and museums; educational and science centers including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artist Windows, the United Nations World Environment Day, the Cummings Gallery at Stanford University, and the University of San Francisco. Their work was recently exhibited at the California Academy of Sciences, Sausalito's Marine Mammal Center, The Oakland Museum, Hong Kong's Ocean Film Festival. Their artwork is widely collected nationally and internationally and has been on display at the US Embassy in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. Cavallo Point Lodge in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area has fine art prints of their work in each of its 155 rooms. The California Coastal Commission commissioned advertising images seen in posters and on placards and bus signage. They were cited as co-authors in a report from the University of Tokyo about concentrations of pollutants in plastic pellets published in the 2009 Marine Pollution Bulletin. TV segments have included appearances on the PBS Newshour, The Travel Channel, Wowow Tokyo and The Today Show. 10 short videos have been produced highlighting their artwork. In talks on the project they have appeared at the Newseum in Washington, DC, The Dallas Art Museum, California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Oakland Museum, Oxbow School in Napa, CA, and California College of the Arts in SF. Their project has been supported by the Feigenbaum Nii Foundation, the Arts and Healing Network and the Open Circle Foundation.
Dr. Halley E. Froehlich is a Postdoctoral Scholar for the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, involved with the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) working group evaluating sustainable open-ocean aquaculture around the globe. Halley received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington and B.Sc. in Animal Biology in 2009 from the University of California, Davis. Halley is also a proud graduate and transfer student from West Valley College. As a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, she took an interdisciplinary approach studying the effects of human and natural-based low oxygen disturbances (i.e., hypoxia) on marine species and fisheries. A key facet of Dr. Froehlich’s graduate and postdoctoral research is linking important ecological questions with conservation and management objectives.

James Nestor is an author and journalist who has written for Outside Magazine, Men's Journal, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Scientific American, Dwell Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more. His book, DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What The Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was released in the United States and UK in June 2014.

nestor picDEEP was a BBC Book of the Week, a Finalist for the PEN American Center Best Sports Book of the Year, an Amazon Best Science Book of 2014, BuzzFeed 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2014, ArtForum Top 10 Book of 2014, New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, Scientific American Recommended Read, Christian Science Monitor Editor’s Pick, and more. The book follows clans of extreme athletes, adventurers, and scientists as they plumb the limits of the ocean's depths and uncover weird and wondrous new discoveries that, in many cases, redefine our understanding of the ocean and ourselves. DEEP has been translated into German, Chinese, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and more. The audiobook, read by Nestor, was released by Audible in June 2016.

Nestor has appeared on more than 40 national radio and television shows ― including ABC’s Nightline, CBS Morning News, and dozens of NPR programs.

On April 16, 2016, The New York Times and Sundance Institute debuted “The Click Effect,” a Virtual Reality short documentary by Nestor and Sandy Smolan. The film, based on a chapter in DEEP, was the first VR short film shot in live action underwater with freediving. “The Click Effect” debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and was an official selection at Tribeca Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, and more.

Nestor's longform piece for the boutique electronic publishing house, The Atavist, was released in December 2012. The story, Half Safe: A Story of Love, Obsession, and History's Most Insane Around-the-world Adventure documents Ben Carlin's arduous decade-long, around-the-world journey on land and by sea in the same vehicle.

An inveterate adventurer, Nestor joined a doomed surfing expedition to Norway and Russia for Outside Magazine in 2009, in which he and his team became the first to ride the breaks of the Arctic Circle. He has travelled extensively in Central America and the South Pacific, and lived for a short time with Vanuatuan yam farmers who worshipped the US Army. At home in San Francisco, Nestor lives in a house he rebuilt himself, runs his 1978 Mercedes-Benz 300D on used cooking oil, and occasionally risks his life picking up laundry in his Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar, the first-ever American-made production electric vehicle, which is for sale.

Stiv Wilson brings over a decade of experience in grassroots advocacy, systems innovation, and campaign strategy to The Story of Stuff Project. His role at The Story of Stuff  Project is to design, stiv wilson picexecute, and lead community-sourced campaigns to measurable conservation victories. Stiv is a waste and plastic pollution expert who frequently asked to speak on Solutions to the vexing inefficiencies in the materials economy all over the world. He’s created and led several campaigns to victory: from plastic bags bans, to plastic microbeads, to plastic water bottles at the state, national and international level. He’s sailed over 35,000 nautical miles to four of the five oceanic ‘garbage patches,’ documenting and communicating maritime plastic pollution firsthand. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Data Connectors Technology Security Conference

Information About the Data Connectors Technology Security Conference

data connectors logo 1blue karma security logoJoin other data security conscious companies, organizations, and individuals at the Decemeber 8, 2017 conference in San Francisco dedicated to information, cloud, cyber, and network security. Blue Karma Security company will be present at this conference.

For more information, contact the conference host at Data Connectors Website.




2017 Holiday Maker's Faire Coming Soon!

Information About An Upcoming Maker's Faire

Makers Fair 121716Add some enchantment and curiosity into your holiday activities by attending the 2017 Holiday Maker's Faire hosted by the Middlebrook Center. You will find all types of things to do and see. There will be demonstrations, workshops, live music, networking, many interesting activities for the children, pizza and other types of foods, and more! See the brochure for times, costs, and other details.

If you need additional information, contact the organizer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



VERGE Conference Viewing & Discussion

verge logo 2Taking place this week at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose (Oct 26 - 29), is the VERGE Conference. Today we will focus on the conference. VERGE is GreenBiz Group's global event series that focuses on technologies and systems that accelerate sustainability solutions in a climate constrained world. VERGE fosters collaboration of companies, utilities, municipalities, and technology innovators to create opportunities for business, society, and the environment. The speakers at this years conference represent the cream of the crop from across technology, science, utilities, social movers, and more.
We have signed up for the viewing the program virtually and will view some of the program during todays session. Please join us for this exciting opportunity to listen to the creation of possible solutions to important issues.  

Thursday Morning Meeting, Oct. 29, 2015
8:00am - 9:30am
Free, No reservations required, but it would be appreciated if you sign up on our Meetup site.

Saratoga Federated Church, Richards Hall 20390 Park Place, Saratoga, CA 95070
Enter on west side, corner of Oak Place and Saratoga-Los Gatos Rd (Hiway 9).

The Magic of the Bioneers

bioneers logo 2Prior to 2012 I did not know of the Bioneers organization; didn’t even know they existed. I came across their website and signed up for their newsletter. After reading and pondering what they had to say, I convinced myself that this was a very interesting and meaningful organization and there was probably more than meets the eye. And was I ever right. I signed up and attended their 25th Anniversary Bioneers Summit Conference. It was held near the civic center complex in San Rafael, California. It was a nice drive there and I leisurely stopped along the way taking lots of pictures.

drummingThe conference opened with the drumbeats of Deb Lane and Afia Walking Tree; accomplished and talented percussionists. That brought most of the attendees in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium out of their seats moving to their magic beats. It reminded me of events I was part of in my college days. Looking around I saw youngsters, oldsters, people of all different races, people from nearby, and people who travelled across the U.S. and from across the oceans to attend. As each day unfolded, I was in awe at the magic taking place before my eyes. The organizers had something for everybody to get involved with on each day of the event.


ken ninaThe founders, Nina Simons and Kenny Ausubel, followed with their keynote addresses. Ken had some positive comments on the renewable energy efforts going on in California as well as some stories related to women’s roles throughout history, capitalism and corporate evils, and indigenous people. Ken said that “the 60’s are going to look like the 50’s”. Wow, think about that one! He followed that with “the stone age didn’t end because they ran out of stones”. Nina threw an idea out to the audience that the reason our brains became bigger was to allow for greater social interaction. Bioneers was founded in Santa Fe, New Mexico by Nina and Kenny. It is written that it is an innovative nonprofit organization that brings together social and scientific innovators with practical and visionary solutions for the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. Being at this event was like being in a candy store. There were all these innovators to interact with and I had to figure out which ones I wanted to spend my time with!

The core of the Summit Conference was the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday events. Each day would start with a four hour series of Keynote addresses and performances followed by an afternoon full of tantalizing interactive sessions. Every speaker, every performance, and every session was incredibly rich in content urging us on to be a good steward of this earth, respect all that is living, and protect it for future generations.

A crowd favorite was mycologist Paul Stamets. His talk on “How Mushrooms Can Help Us Survive Extinction 6x” brought the house to a standing ovation. Paul gave an update on his patents and efforts to bring to use non-toxic fungi to control termites and other pests. This cheap (under a dollar) control can replace the two thousand dollar method that current pest control companies use. We are talking about a natural remedy versus one backed by corporate chemical companies.

Paul presented dramatic evidence on the important relationship of fungi and the health of bees. The bees visit rotting logs to harvest material produced by various fungi. This fungi gains entry into the logs through the bear scratches on the logs. By eating the fungi byproducts, the bee’s immune system is upgraded to be able to survive viral and mite attacks. Fungicide use is interfering with this process and bee colonies are collapsing. There you go; another example of the interconnections within the web of life.

Severine V T Fleming , Director of Greenhorns, provided us with a really entertaining talk about supporting new farmers and why it is important to get back to the basics. 40% of the terrestrial land is agriculture. Commodity farming is destroying the earth.

The effect of capitalism and corporate greed on the earth’s climate was highlighted by Naomi Klein; Canadian Journalist, Activist, and Author of This Changes Everything. Naomi emphasized that an economy built on the consumption of fossil fuels is bad for the earth and humanity. She has been encouraged that many local fights are morphing into global principals.

Clayton Thomas-Muller, Organizer for Idle No More, Co-Director of the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign of the Polaris Institute, shared an idea he hopes we will follow; don’t ask what kind of earth we are going to leave our children but ask how we are going to raise our children to help the earth.

The crowd was inspired by the stories shared by John Warner about Green Chemistry. John Warner, CTO of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, and co-founder of The Beyond Benign Foundation, was very convincing when he told us that industrial chemistry confuses our cells. Companies use extreme pressure and heat and forced reactive collisions to create chemicals that do not naturally exist. Nature does not do this. Nature pretty much uses room temperature and pressure! We need to go down the path of biomimicry using nature’s models and time tested patterns for our own living. Survival of the most compatible and not the strongest will prevail. Did you know that solar panels can be made with water, sugar, and berries?

Robin Kimmerer, professor of Environmental Science and Forestry at State Univ. of NY, and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, provided some guidance as to how we should interact with our earth and the living things around us. It is called the Honorable Harvest. Never take the first one. Listen for the answer. Ask permission. Take only what you need. Minimize harm. Use everything that you take. Be Grateful. Share it with others. Reciprocate the gift. Take only that which is given to you. She reminded us that it is not the land which is broken, but our relationship to the land. Her thoughts come from Mishkos Kenomagwen: The Teachings of the Grass.

Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani, founders of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in SF, Ca. shared many personal stories related to Glide and how they have been involved with social change. They emphasized that at Glide you will be in the company of unconditional love and radical inclusiveness. “Beyond the Possible” is Cecil William’s book.

There were numerous sessions covering many aspects of technology, water, sustainable farming, green chemistry, climate change, fossil fuels, renewable energy, solar, social change, eco governance, philanthropy, capitalism and corporations, fungi, indigenous people, and community action. To get more information on these well covered topics, I encourage you to visit  where you will find links to presenter bios and program content.

poetreeDuring the conference we had the pleasure of interacting with many performers. Climbing Poetree is a very powerful duo (Alixa Garcia & Naima Penniman) that mixes spoken word poetry, hip-hop, and other forms of artistic media to tell stories of humanity and community challenges. Everybody looked forward to when the last morning presenter was done. That was the time when “Slam Poet Harvester” Tim Merry would come out and do his thing. While the morning presenters were speaking or performing, Tim was busy composing a poem which would highlight the thoughts of the presenters. He enthusiastically put his whole body and voice into delivering his creation which put everybody into a fun mood to get ready for lunch. The Bioneers 2014 Summit Conference was the most inspiring conference I have had the pleasure of attending. Plan to go next year and I will see you there.



About the Author

rod kirk pic smallerRod Kirk, a San Francisco Bay area native, has held various Electrical Engineering positions in numerous companies in the areas of data storage, networks, and motion control. He has a degree from San Jose State University and an Energy Management certificate from De Anza College. Rod is currently providing Technical Writing services for cleantech, green, and emerging companies.






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