My town’s Climate Action Protest- I get to be “zombietime”

WUWT readers may know of the famous zombietime.com where an anonymous photographer captures some of the bizarre things that happen at protests in SFO and Berkeley.  Today on the campus of Chico State University, a protest of sorts was held, I went there to take photos to document it. It was much more down to earth than some “zombietime” offerings, but it was still a bit strange and full of mixed messages.  The main message: stop a parking structure (with solar panels on it even!) and others, the secondary message was something about climate, but it isn’t clear what.

I first noticed this protest when I saw this image on Facebook advertising it:

I sent an email to organizer Dr. Mark Stemen of CSUC stating my concerns over the imagery and what it represents to some people in the community and he agreed to pass it on to the students. I’m happy to report that I didn’t see any masked faces at the event today.

That was followed by another sign on Facebook, one far more normal and inviting:

The stated objective from their Facebook page reads:

Critical Mass, Climate Action Protest

Our Objectives:

1. Two more parking structures are scheduled in the CSU, Chico Master Plan after this one is complete. We say, Never Again. Revoke both of these projects immediately.

2. Zingg [president of the CSUC campus], we offer you the stage for a public discussion about what “Campus Climate Neutrality” looks like off of paper, revoke your signature or redefine your perception of sustainability– We won’t stand for greenwashing.
* An apology for calling your students ‘uninformed voters’ would also be appropriate during this time; for democracy… & science.

3. Stop selling parking permits to students within one mile of campus. Getting these students to campus without a car will free spots for individuals that commute and need a space.

In the 2011 CSU, Chico AS Elections, 76% of students voted in OPPOSITION to this University proposed plan. The structure will cost $14,000,000 and incur 30 years of debt that will be paid for by an increase in student fees. With this semester’s tuition increased by more than 32%, this plan does not represent the interests of the students and the student vote is evidence of this realization.

The University has gone along ignoring its President’s commitment to “Campus Climate Neutrality” as well as the overwhelming student dissent and will begin construction early this August. This project supports an infrastructure that is not responding to the demands and needs for sustainable transportation. At a campus where 80% of students live within two miles, the students believe they can do better, much better.

Here’s what the event looked like as I approached on foot in downtown Chico.  Click all images below to enlarge them.

I annotated the image above to show that the protest was held next to the parking structure under construction. Some background is helpful.

For years, downtown merchants have been asking the City Council to do something about the parking situation. On certain days and hours, finding parking downtown is an exercise in futility, and you can find yourself driving in circles for several minutes trying to find an open parking space. A newspaper article in 2005 by the alternate weekly highlights the problem.

Plans were made for a new parking structure by the city, but anti-growth people launched a referendum to vote it down. Chico State decided to forge ahead on their own to solve the problem and recently got approval from the CSU trustees to build the parking structure, even though Stemen’s class had a vote and sent the trustees a letter arguing against it. The local daily newspaper praised the decision to go forward in an editorial on May 12th:

Our view: The CSU trustees were able to focus on the obvious — that Chico State University needs more parking for its students.

In Chico, where things such as election dates, disc golf and bridges over irrigation ditches become full-blown controversies, no decision is easy. That’s why it was a relief that the decision over Chico State University’s planned parking structure was made by a board in Long Beach.

The also printed a comment from CSU trustees who were surprised to get a complaint about adding more parking saying usually such plans are met with open arms by the students. But, as the newspaper editorial points out, this is Chico were getting things done that are considered normal by most of the rest of the USA turn into full-blown controversies. In this case, Professor Mark Stemen and a handful of students (who won’t be around in a few years to live with issues they protest) are driving this controversy.

If it was just a parking garage, then maybe, one might be able to argue that such protests might have a basis. But there’s a bizarre twist to this. This parking  structure is part office space and part sustainability shrine, with a 15 kilowatt solar power array (expandable) and with LEED certification.

Here’s the architectural drawing from the CSUC web page on the structure, annotations mine:

Features:

  • 15kW photovoltaic array with trellis and infrastructure to expand
  • 10 electrical vehicle charging stations
  • Heating and cooling system 15% more efficient than required
  • Water efficient fixtures
  • Drought tolerant plants
  • Low e-windows
  • Occupant sensored energy efficient lighting system
  • White interior walls and ceiling (in parking structure)
  • Open/Full capacity sign at structure entrance
  • Recycled materials used in concrete
  • Designed to LEED Silver equivalent

And here’s a video made by students highlighting some of the features:

Here we have a parking structure with solar panels, a combined office with LEED certification, and  made with recycled materials. What’s not to like? Automobiles, that’s their issue. It seems that with Eco-zealots, it is never enough.

Oh, and who’s the LEED certifcation and sustainability guru at CSUC? Why CSUC’s Dr. Mark Stemen of course, the same guy organizing opposition to the LEED certified parking structure and today’s protest.

So here’s the pictures of the protest today against this structure, others like it to follow, and somewhere in all that some protest about climate and using bicycles is mixed in. Click images to enlarge them.

The view from 2nd and Normal Street ~ 1:15 PM 9/10/2011

View of the main protest site - seems hardly "critical mass" with so few people

The sustainable band is getting warmed up, meanwhile some hippie walks barefoot on asphalt on a 100 degree F day

The band's electric organ, guitars, and PA system is pedal powered by a team of 4 stationary bike generators (Note: people make CO2 too ya know)

Getting the stink eye for taking pictures

At the other end of the parking lot, guards say "no cars allowed". Apparently they didn't get out of bed early enough to prevent some scofflaws from parking there.

~ 2PM 9/10/2011 - I thought maybe I got there too early the first time, and that's why the crowd was so thin, so I came back an hour later to see if anything had changed, after all, they say 76% of the student body was against the parking structure.

Nope, an hour later, no increase in the crowd, so I left

Later in the day, one of the protesters put this photo up on the Facebook page for the event:

"Honk if you hate parking", yeah, that'll work. Photo by Luann Manss

A couple of closing images. First, from Dr. Mark Stemen’s Facebook page. I never thought of parking and eating being linked. I guess I just don’t have my mind right…yeah, that’s it, “Cool Hand Mark” has it all figured out:

In the face of such logic, I suppose it would be pointless to point out that parked cars don’t produce CO2 (as opposed to the ones still driving around looking for a parking space) and that increased CO2 actually benefits agricultural production worldwide. As NASA says, The biosphere is booming thanks to increased CO2 [insert electrical short circuiting sounds here].

Nature’s wind today had other ideas though, and turned one of the signs posted up on the construction fence a block away into litter, only to be trampled by one of the hideous CO2 belching beasts:

Of course I’m sure some of the protestors will say I staged that photo, what with me being a “denier” and all that. But no, that’s exactly how I happened upon it. In fact, it was the first hint I was getting close to the protest, as it was the first sign I saw today one block west of the protest.

In closing, the protest was pretty mild, the students didn’t wear face masks as the poster advertised they might, protestors got to socialize, listen to some pedal powered tunes, free speech was upheld, and I had a good chuckle from it all. I hope you did too.

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113 Responses to My town’s Climate Action Protest- I get to be “zombietime”

  1. Jeff Alberts says:

    Protest? Looked more like a farmer’s market or craft show.

  2. DJ says:

    I’d like to personally thank all the protesters for the success of their rally. It worked.

    It worked so well, in fact, that the cooling they achieved reached Reno, and today was quite comfortable.
    ……perhaps too comfortable…. I’m noticing the advent of fall here, with leaves showing up on my lawn, and IMHO, a bit earlier than normal.

  3. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    Jeff, they were busy dreaming, believing and giving the protest some face. It sewems as though there wasn’t much oomph behind their message.

  4. Ric Werme says:

    A new standard in “laid back.”

  5. Leon Brozyna says:

    And in a few years, after getting introduced to reality, most of those protestors will be in the market for a cheap car to get to and from their jobs and, since it’ll have to be cheap, it’ll probably be a *gasp* CO2 emitting model.

  6. Stephen Singer says:

    Wow, do they even have enough clowns to get up a good game of flag football? The student body is obviously really worked up over this issue, not.

  7. Climate Nonconformist says:

    Believers? Well that “zombie” outfit certainly seems like religious vestments.

  8. Jesse says:

    These kids need a hobby or something.

  9. Dave Worley says:

    That’s what they get for not holding a mouse click march.
    They could have had millions turn up.

  10. Ted Dooley says:

    A half keg of stale beer at any frat house would have drawn multiple times that many participants….

    REPLY: LOL! I passed a couple on the way, I should have taken photos for comparison purposes. – Anthony

  11. Jenn Oates says:

    As a Cal grad, I say “pfffft.” You call that a protest?!

    :)

  12. higley7 says:

    The solar panels on the structure are not bad as ancillary power when they do produce electricity, BUT—and a big but—how much will they cost to buy, install, and maintain relative to the power they will produce? If there is a mandated buy-in program, which means that they get paid for producing energy even if they use it all in the structure, it’s a scam because it means they are being paid by the taxpayer as a hidden subsidy.

    If I make power from my own panels, I simply have a lower electric bill each month; I should not be paid for it. The idea of getting the use of the power and then being paid for it is triple-dipping, as (1) I do not pay for the power, (2) I use my own power and do not pay for it, and (3) they pay me for making it. In England and, for awhile, in Spain, the buy-in program forces the power company to pay several times the electricity rate and then sell it at normal prices–of course, they have to pass the inflated costs on to the customers, so bills go up.

    The buy-in cost is such a deal that one of the solar companies in Spain was shining spotlights at night on their solar panels, making electricity, getting paid four times the going rate by the power company buy-in program, and then pay normal rates for the electricity to run the lights. They were making about 200-300% profit by blowing on their own sails due to the ridiculous buy-in scam. Right now foreign companies are building wind turbines all of the UK because of the insanely profitable, taxpayer funded buy-in program for alternative power. It’s a true crime.

  13. pochas says:

    Just some kids havin’ fun, mate!

  14. TomRude says:

    “Huge crowds, massive demonstration”
    Beth Sorenstein

  15. Jeff Alberts says:

    YEah, not much energy there.

    Around these parts, we get the Starbuck’s Protesters. After getting a mega grande crapafrappachino, they stand out on the street corner of Coupeville, WA and hold up signs about peace not war. As long as the weather’s nice, that is.

  16. pat says:

    “We are the dreamers”
    No you are the [.. of ...] s that have absolutely no [...] worth a bowl of [...].

    [Please watch the language. Robt]

  17. I feel really sorry for today’s generation of college kids. They have so little left to protest about. A parking garage? My generation protested Vietnam, world hunger, nuclear weapons, overpopulation and so forth. A parking garage? What’s next? A campaign against a street light?

  18. omnologos says:

    Did they sacrifice the fat guitarist at the end of it?

  19. Doug in Seattle says:

    Dooley, I was thinking the same thing! But then again it was pretty much the same back in my professional student days (the 90s), only then it was some other cause with 20 protesters (and 200 at the frat house).

  20. BillyV says:

    Look, in every college community 0.87 % of the students feel they must join or participate in a protest of some kind and are wannabe activists. The schools represent in general an unbalanced political mindset tilted left, and we always will have someone from the faculty to help the students along. Since we don’t have a “Great” war going on that is popular to demonstrate against- as in prior years; and costs too much to go to Washington to protest against the pipeline, (Mom & Dad would not approve nor fund it.) the issues to get really worked up about are minimal. The local parking garage is the convenient target by these juvenile wannabe thinkers and manages to fulfill the craving of that 0.87% of the students. It is a wonderful target to combine being green and the desire to control other people’s lives and just make noise. The unfortunate thing is that they sometime consume 100% of the local newspaper wannabe reporters and they make it out as some sort of an event of significance when it is just a zit-fest of youth with excess energy. This energy release is necessary for the health of the whole college.

  21. UK Sceptic says:

    We get bigger crowds at the local village jumble sale…

  22. Katherine says:

    That’s a protest? Pfft. The farmers’ markets I’ve been to had more visitors.

  23. Bryan A says:

    perhaps it would be better accepted if they designated an entire floor of the structure for bicycle parking only and included charging stations for electric bicycles

  24. James H says:

    “We are the face for change” they say on an image where you can’t see a face as it is masked. What the heck is that supposed to mean?

  25. charles nelson says:

    Dreamers and Believers…pretty much seems up the whole AGW movement.

  26. SSam says:

    “3. Stop selling parking permits to students within one mile of campus. Getting these students to campus without a car will free spots for individuals that commute and need a space.”

    Maybe so, but suppose that one has to go to an appointment between classes? Or to meet a class at a different site? Is your quest to control other peoples lives so important that you HAVE to force people to make changes in where they live based on your frivolous whims? How hard is it to re-negotiate a rental agreement so they are not VICTIMIZED by your overzealous ideology?

    [expletive deleted]‘s

  27. Roger Sowell says:

    Great post, Anthony! I got a good laugh. I suspect that the only faster way to get the stink-eye is to show up with a video camera.

    Ah, well, we have a similar eco-friendly parking structure here down south, in Diamond Bar, California, at the headquarters of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. I was there for a meeting about a month ago and saw the eco-aspects up close. The building is at the junction of the 60 and 57 freeways, about 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

    The parking structure is built, and the solar panels are installed, along with about a dozen or so electric car charging stations. I saw zero cars plugged in when I was there, however, there are other charging stations in adjacent parking lots. Several of those charging stations were in use. No cost to plug in, free electricity.

    link below is to an article of questionable accuracy, but the photos are similar to what I observed there last month. I wonder what the full cost is for each kWh that surges out of those car chargers…50 cents? 75 cents? $2? Perhaps more…. our tax dollars at work.

    http://www.stefanoparis.com/piaev/WhyWeNeedPlugIns/2008.03.15EVAoSC/2008.03.15EVAoSC.html

  28. Allan M says:

    I see you also have trouble with the Church of Cyclist Militant.

    Several decades ago, I used to cycle quite a lot, but I never could stomach that crowd. In the UK, they enjoy riding through red traffic lights (The Prime Minister was filmed doing this), the wrong way down one-way streets, on pavements, cutting across traffic streams, etc., because the rules don’t apply to them. And they want the law changed so that if a motorist has a collision with a cyclist, the motorist is automatically considered at fault.

    And all that CO2 that comes from making cycles…

    /Sunday morning gripe.

  29. Looks like they are behaving like students and other young people. At least they are active in some way. It’s when they can’t be bothered to do anything anymore I get worried.

  30. Jim says:

    Ever sat in class next to someone who just biked to class in 90 degree weather? I appreciate those who travel via air conditioned car or bus.

  31. David, UK says:

    A bit of poof reading wouldn’t go a miss, Anthony! /irony

  32. tallbloke says:

    About a million people joined this demo.
    http://tallbloke.net/img/Anti_War/images/IMG_0111_JPG.jpg
    Didn’t change anything though.

  33. John Andrews says:

    Impressive crowd!

    Anthony, you need a WUWT booth for these events.

  34. Speed says:

    In order for this to be successful as well as a useful learning experience, Mark Stemen should have led the students in developing an alternative proposal — one with real dollars and a time line. How do they propose to solve the problem of housing and transporting students in a way that doesn’t hurt local merchants? How much will it cost? How long will it take? Where will the money come from?

    Just saying, “No!” is what a two year old does.

  35. DirkH says:

    Our car-and-everything-else-hating leftists simply burn down the cars. A map of Berlin:
    http://www.brennende-autos.de

    [Clarification note - translation: 633 arson attacks documented in three and a half years. ~jove, mod]

  36. RandomReal[] says:

    @Speed,

    Good point. When I attend one of these gatherings (I easily fit in with my ponytail), I typically ask students what their major is. More often than not, it is some non-science, non-engineering major. I then suggest that they switch to engineering so that they can help develop truly innovative technologies.

    @John Andrews

    Perhaps a booth to “Test Your Climate Change IQ”. Questions such as:

    Given a graph of satellite derived sea levels with a nice linear fit of ~3 mm/year, is the rate of sea level rise for the satellite period: (a) accelerating, (b) decelerating, or (c) neither accelerating or decelerating. The answer is of course (c). Bonus: if the rate of sea level change remains unchanged, sea levels in 2100 will be: ~1 foot, 3 feet, 3 m, yada, yada.

    Other questions: pick the drought extent map that matches this year with comparisons to the mid 1930s and mid 1950s droughts; land falling hurricanes; GISP2 temperature record; etc. Of course, all of those are “trick” questions, thus you should put in a few softball questions. Could be fun.

  37. Wade says:

    I find it amazing how many inexperienced young people think they have the answer to everything. Of course, not every college age student is so naive and arrogant. But it is still true, many young people think they have the answer to everything. You know it is a young person’s protest when it makes absolutely no sense.

  38. polistra says:

    Aside from the carbon nonsense, protesting against parking is smart.

    Important fact: Today’s youngsters desperately need more exercise and more sun. Making it too easy to drive is unhealthy for them.

    Most campuses are short on parking by intention. It’s impractical and dangerous for such a dense population of adolescents to be driving all the time.

  39. PJB says:

    Clever use of the word “Climate” in their protest, as it lends gravitas and recognition. Like most things climate-related, the actual facts of the matter have little to do with the actual situation, are manipulated by those in control of the effort and basically are a front for some other agenda.

  40. Tom in Florida says:

    “It seems that with Eco-zealots, it is never enough.”

    Of course, it is never about the issue, it is always about getting their way; even when their way makes no sense. Much like a spoiled child who throws a tantrum.

  41. Sandy Rham says:

    The Left consider that because they ‘care’ rational thought is an optional extra.

  42. jim says:

    you guys just don’t get it
    these kids are showing you a better way
    not so much a protest
    but more a set of proactive solutions
    they will get there way as they become the leaders
    of tomorrow and simply institute car-free policies
    throughout all urban centers.

  43. Old Goat says:

    A bit of climate protestation today, looting a few shops tomorrow, mugging old ladies next week. We hoodies are so busy these days, we don’t even have time to be hugged by Dave Cameron any more.

  44. Ralph says:

    Well, I have to say that the American attachment to the car is highly annoying and highly anti-social. I went to many so-called ‘towns’ in the US where you could drive 10km from the edge of town to the drive-in bank, then drive 1km to the drive-in pharmacy, then drive 1km to the drive-in supermarket, then drive 1km to the drive-in supermarket, then drive 1km to the drive-in pizza joint (all on the same road) – and never get your fat a**ss out of the car, and never meet anyone. And the town ‘center’ must have been 10km long to accommodate all these parking lots. What a waste of space, what a loss of community spirit.

    Compare this to my traditional European town, where I can cycle 1km from the edge of town to the center, park the bike, and visit 50 shops all within 200m of each other. I can say ‘Hi’ to a few familiar faces, have a chat with some assistants (without being ordered to ‘have a nice day’), have a coffee in the shaded and pedestrian cafe square, and then cycle home with my bag of goodies on the back. (Busy mothers have ‘wheelbarrows’ on the front of the bike, with room for four kids and four bags of goodies).

    Somehow, I think America’s ‘freedoms’ and ‘prosperity’ are also its biggest Achille’s Heel. Prosperous in material goods, but poor in town planning and social spirit.

    The Cargo Bike ( the bike looks good too…. ;-) )
    http://www.dutchcitybike.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/bakfiets31.jpg

  45. trbixler says:

    What is really worrisome is that the kids will need jobs to support themselves and their future families. With the focus that pseudo science has made on CO2 their prospects do not look good.

  46. Dan Lee says:

    Looks like some professional protesters setting up there. On some weekends I take my woodwork to craft & art shows around Florida and I have one of those $200 white-top canopy tents also.

    So my first impression on seeing the pics is, that’s a protest? It looks like a normal, regularly scheduled event to me. Were there people selling hotdogs and soda? Fries and arepas? How much does it cost to register for space at a protest?

    I guarantee that there are supporters, possibly organizers, of all these protests whose sole aim is to have another venue at which to make some money.

    Long live Anarcho-Capitalism!! :-)

  47. Frank K. says:

    I found the Facebook page image at the top of this post particularly vulgar and inappropriate given the proximity to the tenth anniversary of 9/11…

  48. Barbara Skolaut says:

    Jacques Voorhees says: “I feel really sorry for today’s generation of college kids. They have so little left to protest about. A parking garage? My generation protested Vietnam, world hunger, nuclear weapons, overpopulation and so forth.”

    And it did about as much good as their parking garage “protest” will. We’ve still got world hunger, nuclear weapons, and (supposed) overpopulation, and after killing loads of their own citizens, Vietnam wants our investment and our tourism.

    They’ll learn, too, if they ever grow up.

  49. MattN says:

    The more stupid stuff like this that I see, the more and more I just want to buy my own island.

    And that reminds me, I need to go buy a Powerball ticket….

  50. Paul Coppin says:

    jim says:
    September 11, 2011 at 5:53 am

    you guys just don’t get it
    these kids are showing you a better way
    not so much a protest
    but more a set of proactive solutions
    they will get there way as they become the leaders
    of tomorrow and simply institute car-free policies
    throughout all urban centers.

    BAHAWAHAHA!. No, they won’t. They’ll do what every generation has done before them, once they earn MONEY. See out a a comfortable and fulfilling life centered around work and family with an occasional vacation thrown in. If they earn enough money they’ll pretty much ignore the “leaders of tomorrow”, because they can. Hindsight is 20/20… :)

  51. Paul Coppin says:

    Hmmrph. should have been “seek out a comfortable…”

  52. Steve in SC says:

    In another time, going masked was a surefire way of being shot on sight. I believe there are still laws on the books that make going masked illegal. Then again if the good prof and his students want to be identified with the radical muslimic rabble, go for it as they seem to be kindred spirits. Since there is a lack of parking, that would indicate that there are way too many students and professors.

  53. DSW says:

    Just as these kids at the protest are closer to the end of the activist spectrum than most their age, Ralph’s vision of driving nonstop and never socializing is also an “edge of the spectrum” observation. Most people are more in the middle – like when I drive to the disc golf course (which is WAY more critical than any ol’ bridge over an irrigation ditch…./sarc) When I lived out in the sticks, people were very kind and friendly, especially if you needed help. It’s the big cities that are more the social wasteland (and havens of liberal thinking coincidentally)

  54. ChE says:

    We say, Never Again.

    Godwin rolls over again…

  55. TomRude says:

    Funny in the poster, the “face of change” advances masked… says it all.

  56. mobihci says:

    I looked at the pics, saw a post with normal on it, and thought, yes it is!

  57. JJ says:

    “These kids need a hobby or something.”

    No, they have that.

    What they need is a job. Like the kids who drive to class, so they can get to their job on time, have.

  58. harrywr2 says:

    Ralph says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Compare this to my traditional European town

    The Europeans who immigrated to the US apparently didn’t like traditional Europe.

  59. tom T says:

    What is wrong with them. They are complaining about the cost, didn’t they hear the President’s call for more spending to stimulate the economy, are they anti-American?

  60. Juice says:

    For years, downtown merchants have been asking the City Council to do something about the parking situation. On certain days and hours, finding parking downtown is an exercise in futility, and you can find yourself driving in circles for several minutes trying to find an open parking space.

    Several minutes? Oh, you poor babies.

    Try living in any big city on the east coast where attempting to park in town (not just downtown) either costs you $20 or more or requires driving around for 20-30 minutes looking for a meter that’ll cost you $4 an hour and will likely end in you getting a $25-100 parking ticket or towed.

  61. juanita says:

    Jim says,
    “you guys just don’t get it
    these kids are showing you a better way
    not so much a protest
    but more a set of proactive solutions
    they will get there way as they become the leaders
    of tomorrow and simply institute car-free policies
    throughout all urban centers.”

    So, they take up a parking area all day, make signs that tell me to “get off my ass,” and stand downtown shouting insults to passersby? They look at me and they decide “old lady, not one of us.” Well, this old lady uses her bicycle about 90 percent of the time, just to be told by a bunch of know-nothing, non-producing, trough-dwelling losers that I shouldn’t drive my car when I decide I need it?

    There’s an old saying: you get more flies with honey than vinegar. These people reek too much of vinegar. Telling somebody they are wrong-stupid-bad because they exercise the freedom to choose is counterproductive, and I’m sorry, un-American. They seem to be more angry at the idea that we don’t do whatever they say than the fact that we drive cars.

  62. juanita says:

    JJ says:

    “What they need is a job. Like the kids who drive to class, so they can get to their job on time, have.”

    Thank you !!!

  63. Dave Worley says:

    We could take a collection for one of those pedal generators. Next time such an event happens Anthony could donate it to the College. Maybe the college could give tuition credits to students based on the amount of pedal power they generate. Park it in the new garage and kids could come to school an hour early and earn their tuition. Anthony could attach a remote monitor that would show the amount of Mah generated by these caring students.
    That would be interesting.

  64. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Stop being so cynical, people! Remember the cry of activism on campus:
    Young people are the answer!

    Of course, it’d help matters if those in charge of the activism had a better question than:
    “What shall we use for cannon fodder?”

  65. Gary Mount says:

    Using the term Climate Action reminds me of the terrorist organization from my neck of the woods called the Squamish Five of the early 1980s that named themselves as Direct Action. Things did not work out so well for them. Interestingly one members name was Hansen.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squamish_Five

  66. Interstellar Bill says:

    I have a hard time believing that story about shining spotlights on solar panels.

    1. The spotlights onlyhave 15% of their energy in the visible.
    2. Only about 50% of a spotlight’s output is in the main beam that shines on the panels.
    3. The panels only have about 10-15% efficiency.
    I would expect the panels to produce only a few percent of the spotlight’s electricity,
    far less than even a 4:1 payback would fix.

  67. TheGoodLocust says:

    I guess some people really need a “cause” and global warming is the best thing they could come up with.

    I think I need to start up an organization crafting fake outrages for these sorts of people so they can’t actually do any harm.

  68. Jeff Alberts says:

    Paul Coppin says:
    September 11, 2011 at 7:08 am

    BAHAWAHAHA!. No, they won’t. They’ll do what every generation has done before them, once they earn MONEY. See out a a comfortable and fulfilling life centered around work and family with an occasional vacation thrown in. If they earn enough money they’ll pretty much ignore the “leaders of tomorrow”, because they can. Hindsight is 20/20… :)

    RIMMER: Who are the other two?
    LISTER: The whacked-out, crazy hippy drummer’s called Dobbin. He joined the police force in the end. Became a grand wizard in the Freemasons. The bassist is called Gazza. He was a neo-marxist, nihilistic, anarchist. He eventually joined a large insurance company and got his own parking space.

  69. Curiousgeorge says:

    Dreamers and believers? Really. I think that description fits potheads just as well.

  70. JPeden says:

    “The band’s electric organ, guitars, and PA system is pedal powered by a team of 4 stationary bike generators (Note: people make CO2 too ya know)”

    Sure looks like another Ponzi scheme to me, maybe even implying an infinite regress needed only to produce the sound they want. Hey, all you Sustainable Saviors, just how many “Nationalized” Slaves will the Great Central Planners need to merely tell us exactly what we can say?

    And that first image of the Grim Reaper does seem a bit “Freudian”, don’t ya think?

    “No.”

    I’d love to show up at these protests with a baby formula, bottle, and pacifier concession stand and some live Clowns dancing around to attract them over. But would they have to be nude?

  71. SionedL says:

    The answer here is to charge enrolled students an annual automobile on street parking fee of $500-1,000. Then we’d see how committed the students are to the cause. There are many cities, I think NYC is one, I know Florence, Italy is another, where you must have a permit to even drive a car into the city.

  72. JPeden says:

    Don’t be fooled by Climate Action’s cynical ploy! People are already so “hungry” that they’re getting fat. Now making them walk and pedal bicycles, to boot, only reeks of yet another Teaparty plot against the People! They’re going to get even more “hungry”!

  73. Nuke Nemesis says:

    On the other hand, if they do build the parking garages, they can put a weather station there.

  74. Nuke Nemesis says:

    I have always wanted to show up at these protests with a bin to collect personal electronic devices from the protesters. Those things suck up electricity (which is somehow linked to foreign oil, btw). We can save the earth one iPod and cell phone at a time if the protesters will set the example of personal sacrifice.

    Notebook computers, tablets, BluRay players and Gameboys will also be accepted.

  75. Matthew W says:

    As far as most (pointless) liberal protests go, that one seems rather tame and lame. I guess that’s better then having the type of typical protests that the real Zombie covers !!!

  76. Dave Wendt says:

    That Chico protest might seem poorly focused and disorganized, but compared to Zombie’s photo montages of Bay Area activities the focus was almost laser like. BTW, if you’re thinking of going to her site to check it out, be forewarned, there are things which once seen can never be unseen. It would seem that no protest in the BA is complete without a large compliment of poorly preserved old hippies gettin’ nekked, as well as numerous others engaged in activities which, in some dark corner of your mind, you may have suspected to exist but for which you really don’t want to have visual confirmation.

  77. Ralph says:

    >>Ralph’s vision of driving nonstop and never socializing is
    >>also an “edge of the spectrum” observation.

    Maybe – but if some dumb-ass town planner designs your town in that fashion, you are stuck with the results. There must be many in the US, whose lives have been ruined by the mistaken worship of the car.

    And the observation someone made of East Coast towns (and most European towns) is equally valid. A large city can only absorb so many single people in tin boxes travelling into town. By definition, a very large city has to be a largely car-free location for many citizens, otherwise the entire city becomes grid-locked. But if you know that, why not design cities with that in mind?

    And having done so, you might discover something wonderful – if you can walk or cycle from home to city center in less than ten minutes (through higher density housing), and the city center is vehicle free, your quality of life improves dramatically. And I am not saying this to be Green, it is just true – a fact of life.

    .

  78. Nuke Nemesisi says:

    @Ralph:

    Shall we bulldoze all our cities and start over?

    BTW: Why is it that many people forced by central planners to live the way you describe will choose to purchase a car as soon as they can? False idol worship, perhaps?

  79. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Ralph says:
    September 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Maybe – but if some dumb-ass town planner designs your town in that fashion, you are stuck with the results. There must be many in the US, whose lives have been ruined by the mistaken worship of the car.

    And the observation someone made of East Coast towns (and most European towns) is equally valid. A large city can only absorb so many single people in tin boxes travelling into town. By definition, a very large city has to be a largely car-free location for many citizens, otherwise the entire city becomes grid-locked. But if you know that, why not design cities with that in mind?

    And having done so, you might discover something wonderful – if you can walk or cycle from home to city center in less than ten minutes (through higher density housing), and the city center is vehicle free, your quality of life improves dramatically. And I am not saying this to be Green, it is just true – a fact of life.

    There are also many who’s lives have been ruined by not having a car, or by being forced to live in “high density housing”.

    The point here is that people should not be forced to adopt somebody else’s idea of nirvana. People are not objects to be arranged, stacked, and labeled like so many cans of soup. In addition there are a great many who must have private transportation available to them to do whatever job it is they do in the “Big City”. Not everyone is a cubical rat who sits in one place 8 hours a day and only needs to go from home to work and back. If these Chico students want to walk or bike, that’s their choice. But for them to try to impose their life choices on others is unacceptable.

  80. West says:

    Thanks, James, my first thought, too.

    If they are the face of change, then why are they afraid to show their faces??

    Apparently thuggery in the name of “change” is no crime to them.

  81. Pete Olson says:

    “We are the extremely immature, still-riding-our-parents’-coattails, little kids – trying to act and feel important.”

    I’m afraid these are not the hard-core radicals I so admired in my youth. This looks for all the world like a car wash…

  82. Gary Hladik says:

    juanita says (September 11, 2011 at 8:22 am): “There’s an old saying: you get more flies with honey than vinegar.”

    Apparently juanita doesn’t watch “The Big Bang Theory”. Check about 2:40 into the following video for a better way to attract flies:

  83. games4us5 says:

    Sorry Ralph, but I’m not biking to the grocery store (over 1 mile away from my house) in -22 degrees F. We usually get 2 weeks in February that run -22. No way I can stock up enough groceries for the 5 in my family on a bike. Nor can I keep the food from melting in the over 90 heat before I get it home. (It’s not safe to bike after dark in our neighborhood when it’s cool enough to keep the food from melting.) Then there’s the 3 to 6 feet of snow we can get… Bikes don’t work very well in that, either.

    I lived within a mile off campus in college, and usually walked. But, it was not safe for a female to walk across campus after dark without a male, so if I had a class that ended after dark, I usually drove. Now, our campus was nice enough to have an “escort service” – guys that would walk girls across campus to keep us safe, and I utilized that. But again, when temps dip to about freezing, a car is a heck of a lot warmer and safer than walking across campus just to “save the planet.”

  84. Max Hugoson says:

    “We are the dreamers”
    No you are the children of privilege that have absolutely no brains worth a bowl of chili.

    Hum, did I fill in the blank right? Do I get a prize? And what’s wrong with my language?

  85. Roger Sowell says:

    A famous song says, “When will they ever learn?”

    I attended a very large and well-known university in the center of a small city in the early 70s, also with almost no parking. The only parking available was for faculty and staff, but not for students except a limited few with special needs. The student body numbered just over 40,000.

    There was a satellite parking lot where I parked my car for days at a time. I only drove on the rare occasion such as weekends with a date, or a roadtrip with friends. This was during my freshman year when I lived on campus.

    The University, not being totally stupid, provided free shuttle buses for the students. This included routes of several miles that collected students from their apartments and brought them in to campus each morning and back each evening. I believe that the first bus in the morning ran about 6:15 am and the last bus at night was about 11:00 pm.

    This was 40 years ago. Nobody protested, nobody made an issue of our transportation solutions. It worked, and worked quite well. As the University has grown over the years, the only thing that has changed is the shuttle buses have more efficient engines.

  86. JPeden says:

    B-but, each of these little green weenies needs to have some confabulated “cause” by which to make their sad lives “meaningful” – mostly by non-specifically controlling the rest of us regardless of what their “issue” happens to be. Plus, how else would their Charismatic Leaders distract them from noticing that they are merely serving as useful idiots toward the goal of Totalitarian State Control, instead of “saving the world” from whatever they happen to notice or concoct as evidence of its imperfection and thus our impending doom?

    Man, sure I hope Sarah Palin doesn’t show up there. They’d get so high on “being meaningful” that it might get pornographic.

  87. Mark says:

    It certainly seems like downtown Chico and the university need more parking- as noted in the the provided reference link. I can understand why some folks might consider the design plan for the battery plug in stations as being unsustainable. http://www.csuchico.edu/fcp/projects/parking.shtml#

    “Several energy-saving features are planned for the office and parking structure project. Up to 10 battery plug-in stations are planned for electric vehicles. The electricity for these recharging stations will be generated by photovoltaic units on the structure’s roof, so users will not incur a cost, nor will the stations increase the campus’s electrical load.”

    The university has likely started up a new quarter so I’d like to suggest that electrical engineering prof’s ask their students what they think about the statement above.

  88. PaulID says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    September 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm
    nope a farmers market and a craft show would have far more people in attendance.

  89. Rob Z says:

    Doesn’t that protest belong in the “Climate Fail” thread?? ;-)

  90. Mike D in AB says:

    I wonder if it’s time to start calculating up the energy budget of the bikes that they’re lauding? If they’re steel, they’re made from coal and iron ore shipped across the world by ship. And steel is the lowest footprint metal they’d likely be built with. The high-temperatures needed for the light-weight metals… well, they need steel to build the infrastructure, and then a lot of electricity or carbon-based combustion to achieve the temperatures once the foundry is built. But that would mean looking deeper than the surface, which mobs are not noted for being very good at doing.

  91. Allan M says:

    Ralph

    People who live in european ‘car-free cities’ still own cars. But they park them outside the limits, thereby causing more congestion for those living in the places around the edge. Oh what irony! Oops, sorry, hypocrisy.

  92. Ralph says:

    >>Shall we bulldoze all our cities and start over?
    >>BTW: Why is it that many people forced by central planners to live the
    >>way you describe will choose to purchase a car as soon as they can? False
    >>idol worship, perhaps?

    Why not? Cities are re-modelled every 100 years anyway. I note in Perth, Australia, that there is a high density law, where if a single house is pulled down, you have to build four in its place.

    And why do people choose to buy a car? Cause and effect. If you live in a city that has been designed around the car, with sprawling suburbs, you have to buy a car to live – otherwise you are stranded. However, if you live in somewhere like Naples, buying a car is utterly stupid, and so a majority buy a scooter or go on foot. But who needs a car in Naples? Everything is there beneath your flat.

    .

    >>Sorry Ralph, but I’m not biking to the grocery store (over 1 mile away from
    >>my house) in -22 degrees F

    Because your cities are designed stupidly. When I was in Moscow, it was -28 c, but I still did my shopping on foot. How? The supermarket was under the flat. All the flats were grouped together, with the shops (and the metro station) underneath.

    Actually, I am not a fan of Russian high-rise flats (even if they were built properly), but the low-rise you get in Germany and Spain are just wonderful. Now this means that you need to walk a bit further than in Moscow (or catch the tram), but I think low-rise flats are the better option for maximum quality of life.

    .

    >>The point here is that people should not be forced to adopt somebody
    >>else’s idea of nirvana. People are not objects to be arranged, stacked,
    >>and labeled like so many cans of soup.

    Ahh, the American cry of ‘freedom!’ The freedom to be 10km from the nearest shop. The freedom to starve if you cannot afford a car.

    Do you think that Germans or Spanish are ‘forced’ to live in flats? Do you think we have a totalitarian state in Europe and you are allocated a flat at the point of a gun?

    Face facts. Europe is much more crowded than many parts of America, and so having a detached house in the suburbs is often a liability. Do you want to spend your life in the local park with your family or on your balcony with a crate of beer and a few friends – or sitting, frustrated and fuming, in yet another traffic jam trying to get into town?

    This is why flats sell in Europe. In Germany I can walk 200m to the tram-stop, from the superbly appointed 5 star flat (with garage below and private gardens), and be in the city in 5 minutes. In L.A. you can drive from your detached plywood shack (a normal American-build house) and be in the city in 1 1/2 hours – and still not find a parking place.

    .

    And this is the other problem with the American obsession with the car – obesity.
    http://eurthisnthat.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/fat_person2009-med-wide.jpg

    But don’t worry, the Dutch have designed a bicycle especially for Americans who visit Holland – it is called the Americana Fiets. It has a strengthened frame and extra-fat tyres, to spread the weight.
    http://www.selectism.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/core77-dutch-master-bicycle-1.jpg

    Best of luck in your next traffic jam.

    .

  93. Ralph says:

    >>People who live in european ‘car-free cities’ still own cars. But they park
    >>them outside the limits, thereby causing more congestion for those
    >>living in the places around the edge. Oh what irony! Oops, sorry,
    >>hypocrisy.

    Have you ever been to Europe? Do you own a passport?

    Some flats have private car parking below them. Some people do park on the streets. Some hire a car, for the odd occasion when you want to drive to another city. …. But there are a sizeable majority of people in many cities who do not have a car, and wouldn’t want one. Or they have a scooter or bicycle. Have you ever tried driving, in Naples?

    How big would Anthony’s little car-park have to be, to accommodate this lot?

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3540/3468732491_95d26ae739.jpg
    http://lh4.ggpht.com/RandRWassenaar/R7LtmSlI_UI/AAAAAAAACWE/nn0rXDxDKLs/s800/bikepark.jpg
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3096/3129792109_7a04354a04.jpg

  94. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    This reminds me of a day in Amsterdam in the 70-ties. They were building the underground and some houses had been demolished exposing the bare walls of the neighbours. The local protest movement (“provos”) and the budding green activists used it for graffity and painted supersized slogans on the wall to broadcast the message.

    One week there was “Amsterdam Car Free” on the wall and the item for the week after was “Cuba Liberated”. So on one day, and one day only, the wall was adorned with the gloriously surreal:
    “Cuba Car Free”.

  95. flicka47 says:

    Ralph…
    Have you ever tried walking in LA? Los Angeles is physically 10 times the size of Naples. That is 502.69 square miles make up the city of LA, as opposed to 45.5 for the city of Naples. Many Californians grow up with the knowledge that the California missions were placed approximately a days ride on horseback apart…that’s 20 miles. So, if LA was a square that’s a day and a half on a horse or bike one way to get to work, or the grocery, the dentist…

    More importantly is you seem to want to ignore what folks are saying, if you want to live in a little town like Naples so you can walk everywhere within a reasonable bit of time, feel free. Just don’t think you have any right to tell others how they should live.

    I don’t even live in a “town” or an incorporated area, the closest town to me is almost 15 miles away. That’s the way I like it, and I have as much right to live where I want as you have to live where you want. Period.

  96. Curiousgeorge says:

    Ralph, since you apparently love Europe so much, I suggest you stay there. Enjoy your little socialist paradise.

  97. Nuke Nemesis says:

    The local community college where I teach recently reserved several parking spaces for EVs and converted those spaces to EV-recharging stations.

    Problems with this include:
    1) No EVs are sold in this area.
    2) The spaces aren’t metered, so anybody with enough money to afford an EV gets free electricity.
    3) The college has endured and is still enduring major budget cuts.

  98. Nuke Nemesis says:

    If only we were all smart enough to follow the ideas of those who are smarter than us!

  99. Tim Clark says:

    I actually would have rallied against the parking structure. If the CITY of Chico needs parking, let them build it. Why should students be forced to pay student fees for parking to accomodate ignorant city folk.

    Disclaimer: I have two children in College, driving CO2 belching autos I purchased, attending partly at my expense.

  100. Ben of Houston says:

    The frustrating thing is that they have a point about the parking garage and debts. They are just making themselves look bad with these ludicrous.

    At UH, there was significant student opposition to a $40 million 4-floor parking garage that had an entire floor for visitor parking, a second floor for employee parking (despite the fact that there was more employee parking than employees), two restaurants and some offices. As it was built on an existing parking lot, there was only an increase of about 300 parking spots available to students. Plus, there was an upgrade of $100 per semester for garage parking permits. It was pushed through and less than half of the 1,500 garage permits were sold the first year despite many complaints about parking.

    Of course that’s the difference between California and Texas. The Cali’s protest. The Texans just refuse to use it on principle.

  101. John T says:

    You pick up on the “Honk if you’re against parking” sign, but I laughed at the “Get Off Your Ass Bike To Class” poster.

    Maybe I’m just lazy, but most the time I’m on my bike, I’m still on my “A”.

  102. Ben of Houston says:

    Oh and Ralph, Houston dwarfs even Las Angeles. My city is approximately a circle with a radius of 25 miles, nearly 2000 square miles (4400 sq km). I drive the entire length of the city each morning and each night. It takes me a long time, yes. However, I have the advantage of being outside the flood zone while giving my daughter a good school and a nice-sized yard to play in. It’s my choice to do so. Other people choose to live in midtown or downtown within walking distance of everything, often without using their cars more than once a week. That’s their choice. Oppresive, backwards laws like in Perth which mandate compression are foolish (especially given Australia was blessed with huge expanses of land) and inhibit freedom for no benefit.

    Your “large cities must be car-free” comment is so idiotic it’s beyond reproach. You simple are demonstrating your superior attitude while expousing ignorance of the American way of life. I don’t criticize Russia or New York for having vertical cities. Nor do I call you ignorant for your daily routine keeping you within 10 miles of home. That’s your choice. Please respect mine

  103. Nuke Nemesis says:

    John T says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:38 am
    You pick up on the “Honk if you’re against parking” sign, but I laughed at the “Get Off Your Ass Bike To Class” poster.

    Maybe I’m just lazy, but most the time I’m on my bike, I’m still on my “A”.

    Would a Honk if you think Environmentalist Chicks are Easy get a lot of honks?

  104. Larry Fields says:

    When I was a student at Humboldt State, I had a roommate, who had given serious consideration to organizing a ‘chew-in’, on the lawn near the administration building. Why, you ask? Because there were no spittoons in the classrooms to accommodate the significant minority of tobacco-chewing students there. :)

  105. BillyV says:

    The “chew-in” of course was the lame excuse created by the fella who represented and fulfilled that 0.87% of the students that just hadda do something to gain their 3 minutes of fame while in college. Hope in their life they went on to chose more legitimate or productive means to seek the remaining 12 minutes. Is better for them to do the Chew-in and spare the rest of us, with something worse to vent his frustration to get noticed. It must be awful to see other folks getting all the attention and you are being ignored. Life is not fair!

  106. APE says:

    Ralph, Are you kidding me? In the US and many parts of the world that I have seen high density housing is synonomous with high crime area. ( I know the latest green thing is yuppie high density urban living complete with local shops and a gated entrance to try and keep the riff raff out) Do you go to Compton or Watts or West Sacramento or East Saint Louis or stay East of the Potomac in DC because you can ride your bike to the local grocery? …its cheap housing too you just can’t go out at night without a police escort! Wonderful low rise or high rise apartments with gang activity going on every evening makes for great socializing with neighbors… just make sure you lock your windows!.(and yes I have had a gun pulled on me in Europe walking near a high density area after dark) I’m sure that we just need to incarcerate a few more! There is a reason that people even in Germany and Russia (see Study by ITS Davis 2005 Asilomar Conference) move out of these types of situations just as soon as they can afford it… sometimes sooner. Maybe I’m socially backward and full of unwarranted fear but anyway you look at it high density housing always means more encounters with people one wouldn’t normally choose to associate with and without a speedy way of leaving the situation (ie car). Glad to hear you are happy with your HD choice but please be cautious.
    APE

  107. Larry Fields says:

    Speaking of honk messages, another former roommate came up with a great one for a bumper sticker: Honk if you’re a fuddy-duddy! :) It certainly applies to me.

  108. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    High density urban housing? I guess it’ll work, if all the housing is constructed of concrete, stone, metal, and similarly non-flammable materials, with everything inside likewise being non-flammable including all furnishings. Otherwise fire departments will have to have a near-instantaneous response time, preferably alerted by automatic means, to avoid possible losses of many lives at once. With the fire equipment finding quick passage through walkways not designed for even mere cars. And no burning of fuel for any heating-type purpose can be allowed to prevent mass death from the accumulation of dangerous gases, especially natural gas, with only electric and possibly solar permitted.

    Yup, that’ll sure work. Feel free to live in such conditions if you want. I won’t.

  109. Ralph says:

    >>flicka
    >>Have you ever tried walking in LA? Los Angeles is physically 10 times
    >>the size of Naples.

    Pffff !! That is what I was saying – if you want social communities and functional cities, where you do not have to spend 6 hours a day in a car, you need to design them properly.

    .

  110. Joe says:

    I’m an architect, and have been doing LEED projects for a decade. Without the insane home-brew electricity, a LEED project is consistently 25-40% more costly to design and construct than a comparable non-LEED job. Case in point, a hotel that is starting shortly (rare, I know) is the same cost as an non-LEED apartment building I’m just wrapping up. I use the two for comparison because the systems and construction type are quite similar.

    The Apartment building is phyiscally much larger, perfahs 40% more floor area, has more costly and construction intensive fixtures and finishes, appox. 20% more dwelling units and so forth – it is a lot more building with a much better chance of breaking even that the LEED building ever could.

  111. Joe says:

    But true to form, these guys OPPOSE a parking structure because they think someone will be planting corn in it’s place were it not there? No. The the contrary. Someone will need 3 times as much surface parking.

    Seriously, why is that these folks so predictably think this way? And for DECADES and DECADES on end!

  112. w.w.wygart says:

    If the cost of the use of a parking space in Chico is so low that there is never a free parking spot, then the price of parking is too low. Parking rates within two miles of Chico State should be raised immediately to the point where most Chico State students cannot afford to park near campus [the howls of protest will let you know when you have reached the market clearing rate] and everyone will automatically adjust their lives, living arrangements, and commuting strategy so as to maximize their benefit and minimize their cost. Businessmen downtown can give vouchers for parking to their customers at the register [as they do in some other cities already]. This is called democracy in action – I mean a free market – people vote with their wallets, their feet and their pedals.

    A system that is 100% efficient at filling parking spaces is stupid, time to add some intelligence. If you keep the price of a commodity set at FREE, there will never be any of it on the shelf, this goes for parking spaces as much as milk, or egg, or bread. Here is an interesting discussion of the economics of the situation as it played out in Chicago with privatization of the city’s parking meters Here is a tid-bit:

    “Think of all the time you have to circle for thirty minutes to find a place to park. Think of all the traffic that consists solely of people in the endless hunt for the perfect spot. These are real costs. Just because they aren’t monetized doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”

    Some of the costs are environmental I might add.

    W^3

  113. w.w.wygart says:

    That missing link if you are interested is a page at distributedrepublic.net entitled shortages-are-bad dating to 3/22/2009.

    http://distributedrepublic.net/archives/2009/03/22/shortages-are-bad

    W^3

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