Greetings All ~
I was perusing the 350.org website for information to blog about, speak about, and images for post cards to send out to churches asking them to ring their bells on Oct 24th and came across this video:
The Sound of 350 from 350 Faith on Vimeo.
Looking for a 350 event in the Tampa Bay area, I found that the St Paul Lutheran church at 5103 N Central Ave in Tampa will be ringing their bells on Fridays in addition to 5:55 pm EDT on Oct 24th. I fully support them and hope to get all the churches in the Tampa Bay area to join in. In fact, I guess I'm going to church tomorrow... mainly to see if they'll help me get ALL churches in the Tampa Bay area ringing their bells! Using GIS data I have the addresses to all 1934 churches in Hillsborough County and if I can find where the DOR code of 7153 (churches) is on the Pinellas County parcel data I'll tell you how many churches are in Pinellas County (and have their addresses too!). [The format of GIS data is subject to the whims of government, and don't we ALL know that one in one way or another!]
In fact, the Hillsborough County GIS data puts the paved parking in with the building for the parcel and then the parcel is identified by owner - I haven't yet found a building footprint layer or a paved parking layer, perhaps they have those features in a geodatabase they'll be willing to share.... Otherwise send me a Trimble and give me a job! And what a job that will be! Identifying all the paved parking in the Tampa Bay area?! I want the Trimble it to survey the lot to put a lid on it ~ a solar panel top that is! With the new Electric Vehicles coming out, the outrageous increases in electricity rates (18% for Duke Energy residential customers - watch out the rest of you!), and the predicted 10 degree temperature increase (which will have our A/C units running even more folks!), WE NEED SOLAR AND WE NEED IT NOW! Forget subsidizing the dinosaur car industry - we'd better take care of ourselves and that means taking our government back and getting what we need. Health care? Yes, I care about my health, and my health will be dependent upon solar energy otherwise I don't know if I'll be able to afford electricity --- the planet sure can't afford any more coal plants providing us our electricity, that's for sure. Ok, way off track here.... Ah, Trimble, then back to churches, bells, and 350.
Trimble - to determine the exact measurements or coordinates of the parking lot to install a solar array. Only $5700 used, capable of outputting a CAD-ready schematic for construction/installation though, and then on to the local government for property appraisal and updating that GIS parcel data! I'm hoping the Churches will be first in line on this new deal.... Perfect for shade, free electricity (especially considering how much they're open! *grin*), increasing the property value (oops, do churches want to increase property value?), providing green jobs and green training, putting that electric bill money back into those good works that churches know how to do so well. ROI is under 5 years at today's solar energy prices. Get that solar energy subsidized for all of us, and in 5 years imagine what kind of economic stimulus package THAT will be! Let's see, parcel data for Pinellas County is 316,777. Now without me going in and subtracting all the vacant lots, we'll just use 300,000 (I can't find a building footprint GIS file from their data either or a paved parking by itself - that's ok, I need to be busy [pay please... anyone?]). 300,000 buildings at $100 a month = $30 million dollars... a month. Just for Pinellas County. So, what is a solar panel? Something that will stimulate the economy by providing jobs with its manufacturing, provide jobs with its installation, and will stimulate the economy recurrently by replacing the electrical bill for each and everyone of us. Oh yeah, with proper storage (battery bank) it will also recharge your new electric vehicle.
Churches - and their lovely bells.... So I figured up the number of churches in Hillsborough County (and got their addresses) [will do the same for Pinellas County when I get an email back from their GIS gurus] and want to contact them all to get them to ring their bells like St Paul's Lutheran Church in Tampa is doing (and many others too as the video describes) but really to get them ALL to RING OUT on Saturday, October 24th at 5:55 pm EDT (that's 11:55 pm CET, the time 350.org is sync'd for). Now I've got to find the money for postcards and postage ---- within days... gesh.... 5000 standard sized post cards are $359.99 and postage at a non profit rate with permit (which some nice church will provide I'm sure) is $335 (actually that's for oversized post cards, didn't see a rate for regular sized on that website). Of course, I'll put on the post card to PLEASE send their email for this brand new BELL-BASE (database of church bells *grin* ) and I'll avoid all that yucky cost stuff in the future and the Tampa Bay Faith Community will have a complete email list of all Faith-like places (and their bells!).
350.org is also asking radio stations and tv stations to send out a 350 Hz signal at that time --- 5:55 pm Oct 24th. All musicians, plunk out that F tone as it is reputed to be closest to the 350 Hz signal tone. (Boy, I'm gonna get all the remote sensing data I can for that time, can you imagine what a significant tone will do to any localized weather pattern? or even on a mesoscale? *geeksrus*grinning4days* ). [Dang, I need that new computer so I can do some WRF modeling!]
Ok, peeps, pass the word & ring out at 5:55 pm (EDT) on Saturday, October 24th! And please, send me your church's email address! [Ah, the cost of printing and postage will be gratefully appreciated too! Let's save the trees though, and everybody call 5 or 10 churches in your area and ask them to RING OUT (350 times now!) at 5:55 pm (EDT) on Saturday, October 24th. Send me the email address & I'll get up the BELL-BASE (database *grin* ).
Thanks ya'll. Know I can count on you!
ps - My friend, the retired engineer, has already designed - to code - the solar parking structures (and priced the materials minus the solar panels). Just let me know, and I'll be right over to measure your parking lot, figure out how many panels you'll need to cover your parking lot, how much of your electrical load the final array will cover, and let you choose your photovoltaic panel preference!