Hello, I am Susan Caumont, the new president of Renew the Earth. I feel honored and humbled by this custodial responsibility; and excited about this opportunity. I hope to lead RTE into new projects while continuing to pursue the successful activities of the past on which RTE’s reputation is firmly built. The excellent people who have agreed to join me on our board are all hard working and sincere individuals with histories of lifetime commitment to activities that promote the well-being of our global humanity and the health of our earth.
I will take this opportunity to introduce myself and our board members:
I define myself as an artist and naturalist. I have freelanced my art all my working life. Among my many assignments and contracts were; designing the letters to be carved into stone on government buildings in Washington, DC and working as a natural science illustrator for the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. But these and other artistic efforts were just for ‘staying alive’ as the saying goes. As these many years have passed the most important things I have done are; thinking and evolving my ideas about how to help encourage the ‘best practices’ that humans have invented, (renewable energy, of course, among them), and creating artwork that may focus attention on the precious and unique quality of life on earth.
Jeff Beller, our vice president and treasurer, has been described by a friend as a ‘militant altruist’. Knowing and working with Jeff for the past 15 years, I agree with this description. His energy level is so intense that he could also be described as a ‘force of nature’. He has applied his formidable personal energy, for more than 40 years, to advocating and promoting renewable energy, world wide. Recently, he has added an even wider vision, a humanitarian vision, with the concept of measuring and valuing the most basic form of renewable energy; human renewable energy. This is why RTE has become the home of HREM.org – Human Renewable Energy Measure.
Dennis Irwin, our secretary, even though he is a conservative Lutheran, and a lawyer, is still a humanitarian and wishes us all well. I think it is his excellent sense of humor that makes this leap of faith possible. He will try to keep RTE out of trouble and on the right track. He can’t help himself.
Bill Holmberg’s resume makes the rest of us look like slackers. I will only say (because it is impossible to do his life work justice here) he has brought the discipline and devotion learned during his military training to bear in the field of renewable energy (specifically biomass fuels from cellulose). I doubt that a day has gone by, in his adult life, when he hasn’t been originating new ways to bring more renewable energy to the marketplace. He is tireless and a true original devoted to the health of the earth and future generations.
Gene DeSeato is the most decent and balanced person I have ever met. How he got that way, I don’t think he even knows. He is simply one of the happy few to which nature has gifted uncommon common sense. He is at ease and welcome at any gathering of people. With compassion and without prejudice, Gene can be counted on for advice that will help RTE succeed with its projects.
This is just an overview of our Board. In the future they will speak for themselves on our website and you will get to know them better. As of now, I am asking all of them to describe what they hope to see RTE accomplish in the coming year. Ideas from our board members will be essential for the future development of RTE.
I will now go into more detail about plans that are ‘afoot’ as I write. Renew the Earth is renewing and upgrading it’s 25 year commitment to publicizing success stories of renewable energy and sustainability. We are developing an internet audio/video station named Bridges Programming for this purpose. We will hold to the highest standards of credibility, but admit that we can make mistakes and request your forgiveness when we do. ‘Trust but verify’, is our motto and plans or programs that we bring to your attention through our media will be vetted by a respected community. This is the sound and sage advice of our former (formative) and heroic president, Tina Hobson.
These carefully researched success stories will be podcast or broadcast live daily and then archived. These broadcasts are then available to any individual or organization. An index will be developed for easy access to any area of interest concerning renewable energy and sustainable practices. Efficient cataloging and broadcasting of successful efforts world wide, ends ‘reinventing the wheel’ when it comes to gathering the right information and technology for a project. We hope to inform, educate and connect individuals and organizations to the diversity of resources that can connect their choices to the health of our earth.
Some examples of these success stories would be the best practices in organic gardening, community scale solar electric plants, farm waste biomass converted to liquid fuel, conservation of local natural resources ( wood, water, mineral), recycling/composting and educational outreach projects for young people that will cultivate their native compassion for the natural world.
We believe that renewable and sustainable energies are a deeply humanitarian issue. The HREM, Human Renewable Energy Measure, was conceived in the course of thinking through the impact of energy on our economic systems. Two years ago, Jeff Beller and I imagined into life the concept of a measure for the value of human work effort within economics. This is, we feel, an essential measurement, a primary color, a starting point etc, that is missing in economic systems and is the measure that would create humane economics. RTE is proud to be the Home of the HREM. To learn more about it, please go to the hrem.org site. This is a concept in its infancy but growing fast. It is an open source idea and we welcome your input.
RTE is testing it’s internet broadcasting website, Bridges Programming, at the RELACCX conference in November 2014. Jeff and I will be doing interviews of the various speakers and participants. These interviews will be broadcast, then archived on our RTE website. We hope the conference will help highlight our new role in the renewable energy, sustainability community. Live interviews with simultaneous broadcasting using Skype or Google Hangouts is a unique service in the renewable energy community and increases the efficiency of getting information to people who need it. More information about who we will be interviewing and what we may be asking them, will appear on this website in the future.
Another project that is in the concept form, at this time, is ‘solar learning centers’ for African Nations. We are collaborating with Amminadab Munyaneza and his organization, 501c3, Religion Without Borders. Amminadab’s concept paper will be posted on this site soon.
Finally, I am pleased to present my favorite project – the ‘Earthlings’. Our children lean toward us, asking to be taught what is real and worth saving. In order to raise their sensitivity toward the natural world and encourage their native compassion for all living things, RTE is organizing lists of activities children can do alone, with each other and with their parents that highlight sustainability and encourage their ‘sense of wonder,’ as Rachel Carson expressed.
I congratulate you if you have stuck with me to the end of this! Please feel free to communicate with me and let me know what you feel RTE can do to become more effective.
Thank you for your interest,
President, Renew the Earth.