Recently, just before we escaped to Buckeye Hot Springs on the far side of Yosemite (heaven!), we went to Glaser Center to hear Hans-Josef Fell, sponsored by Ann Hancock and Sonoma County Climate Protection Campaign. Hancock calls Fell “a Rockstar of Renewables” and yes, he is! Fantastic good news, an ethical guy with the power to get things done telling us renewable energy makes perfect economic sense as well as protecting us from the worst possible scenario. Check out his Powerpoint and more at

Seems the Feed-In Tariff he legislated into being has saved Germany something like $4.6 billion to date – and renewables are now 5% of the energy of the country.

Fell has opened the eyes of many that renewables make perfect sense. If we consider that the fuel bill of the entire world may be around $200 trillion in 20 years, renewable energy, he claims, could actually reduce that budget to closer to $100 trillion, creating new jobs, stopping oil wars, solving our pollution problems. Ideas that haven’t quite caught hold here, hydrothermal carbonization (HTC), Wind Power and Thermal Collectors seem obvious additions to our lives as he speaks. Germany now has 7 times as much solar power as does the US. Ideas like sustainable chemistry, working with geothermal and sea current energies – wow! Sci Fi in the works…truly. Feel free to check my science at the Climate Campaign site. I sort of get these concepts – will keep reading!

Hans-Josef Fell, member of the Green Party, was able to make these changes in history through writing German renewable energy legislation known as Feed-In Tarriffs, in 2000 and a result is a decade long boom in the solar market in Germany, making that country number one in photovoltaic installations.

Fell was delivered to the Glaser Center by Global Exchange and Green Festival guy, Kevin Danaher, another visionary worth listening to. Fell enlightened the audience about how the German government managed to build a renewable energy presence that is both practical and proves there is money in renewables. 16% of German energy is from renewable sources and more to come. Fell has a lot of global influence, too. Following a visit to Turkey, a nuclear power plant in the works was stopping; in Taiwan, the government announced it would not build the next nuclear plant and would phase out nuclear power by 2020.

Danaher, creator of the Green Festival, is a more local visionary, contemplating a huge garden party for 10/10/10, Bill McKibben’s interational day for acknowledgment of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). Danaher said Global Exchange might do “like 300 gardens” to show their support for GHG reduction – but I had to uncharitably chime in our iGrowSonoma/Daily Acts/Petaluma Bounty and others 350Garden Challenge ended with 620 new and amended gardens – tons and tons of food cultivation and water savings through committing to native plants rather than grass lawns and starting up new local gardens.

Here in California, we may have passed AB32 to greatly reduce GHG, but it takes us little guys and gals to make change actually happen as anti-environmental types are saying implementation of the new law is “too expensive”. So AB32 stops at the gate? Horrid thought.

That acknowledged, light at the end of the proverbial pollution tunnel was definitely offered by Fell. German legislation now makes it possible to outwit Energy Lords of Oil (and he simply stated Oil is the biggest business ever on the planet) and get us to serious GHG reduction. The 350ppm number is top of mind for me – fact that we’re now poisoning each other with 392.04 parts per million of greenhouse gases (check out from time to time for updates) – an unsustainable amount of garbage in the air we breathe and derive sustainence from. OUCH!

Sonoma County Supervisor, Valerie Brown, spoke for quite awhile at Glaser, awaiting Fell’s arrival, and we’re glad she did. Seems Sonoma County has its own vision, the PACE program to boost energy efficiency and independence – and she’s collected letters of endorsement from 11 governors including ours – to advocate for energy independence and, hopefully, more closely emulate Germany’s fine record of GHG reduction.