The big news at this year's Bioneers conference in Logan, Utah, is that an actual Mormon, Jared Doxey, worldwide Director for Architecture, Engineering and Construction for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,Â uttered the words "reduce our carbon footprint." Well done, Utah Bioneers.Â This is something of a breakthrough for us.
Doxey said ofÂ the â€œgreenâ€ projects â€œWhen you talk about reusable energy and sustainable design, it knocks down all kinds of barriers,â€ he said.
The LDS Church is now in the middle of a project to build five prototype meetinghouses in Utah, Nevada and Arizona. Doxey said all of the buildings have been or will apply for a LEED Silver certification.Â One meetinghouse in Farmington, which is now complete, has 156 solar panels and is 100 percent solar-powered, he said.
â€œTwo months before we were done with construction, we were selling power back to Rocky Mountain Power, and that was pretty nice,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™re expecting that system to be working 50 years from now.â€Â (Herald Journal)
OneÂ suggestion forÂ the Bioneers, however: Instead of the three Es, Equity, Environment, and Economy, maybe it should be the three Ps: People, Planet, and Profit. One, the word "environment" is a loaded word in these parts. It's just too Al Gore in too many peoples' minds. Secondly, it's a bit confusing. Equity? Sounds like something Karl Marx would say.
A lot of the hostility toward environmentalists here is a perception that they focus on planet at the expense of people and profit. Hopefully, going forward, people all across the political spectrum will grasp that you need a holistic approach that simultaneously takes into account people, planet, and profit. It's not jobs vs. the environment. Economy is ecology.
An example of that: Utah's ski industry is at risk from climate change. Another example: Utah's biggest customer for our coal fired electricity is California. Now that California's proposition 23 has been voted down, our biggest customer will soon be walking away from our product.
Maybe USU Professor Jim MacMahon is all wet in saying "We're going to heck in a hand basket." (Herald Journal)Â He's only dedicated one lifetime to study of issues that affect whether we get to stay in business for the long haul out here in the arid West. What does he know? Still, the thing for people to grasp is that things have changed a bit. It used to be that all you needed to win the day on shooting down concerns about climate change was foment doubt about the science. That isn't going to cut it anymore. If you want Utah to stay in the coal fired electricity business, for example, fomenting doubt is not going to save your business plan. Foment all the doubt you like; your biggest customer is about to walk away from your product. Does this get your attention? If you are to save Utah's coal industry, smoke won't do anymore. Now it's you who need to be all about reputable climate science that people can take seriously. Now it's you who have to get the science done and then sell it to the public. Good luck with that one. Toward that end, you might consider supporting the CLARREO program of earth observatory satellites which might be a way for science to cut through a good deal of the smoke that has been generated around climate change.Â You can't doubt that a clearing of smoke will favor your case, can you?Â Of course not.Â There can be no doubt abut that.
Know this though. The Bioneers aren't your enemy. Jared Doxey is not your enemy.Â The Bioneers aren't trying to do you out of something. What the Bioneers are after is a win win win deal for people, planet, and profit.