It's so simple to be wise.  Just think of something stupid to say, and then don't say it.     Sam Levenson (1911-1980)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Update: (Less) Absurdity in Equal Measures

Apparently I'm not one of those who can keep a blog up-to-date while getting a home up-to-date for the hagim.  לא נורא - lo nora, as they say -- no harm done.  Sometimes keeping the balance means dropping one side for awhile when the other side gets too heavy.

Speaking of balance, I am happy to update this post with some excellent news. Last month, the Minhal MiKarka'ay Yisrael (Israel Land Administration) reconsidered its original decision, according to which moshavim and kibbutzim would have been charged for using their land to install solar collectors, and will now allow them to place solar collector panels on up to ten percent of their property, without paying charges or penalties.  According to one of our local community publications,
... During its last meeting, the Administration board decided that there is an urgent need to encourage the establishment of alternative enterprises to produce electricity and renewable energy.  The board backed its decision by citing the rising price of fuel and electricity, and the growing awareness of the need to preserve the environment.
I see this as an important and encouraging step forward, on two fronts:  The decision itself shows foresight and stays in step with recent national developments encouraging the development of alternative energy sources, a process we, as a country, cannot afford to hinder in any way.  This link, in Hebrew, outlines the historic June 2008 decision to allow private individuals to sell electricity back to the grid.  A synopsis in English is available here, c/o Good News from Israel.

More importantly, by reversing its original, flawed decision, the Minhal is demonstrating flexibility in its willingness to support the ability of the kibbutzim and moshavim to continue to use their primary resource, land, for the good of the entire country.  

Historically, decisions akin to this one meant that to encourage agricultural production for the whole of the nation, the kibbutzim were granted large portions of a limited resource, water, at a reduced price.  As a result they were able to feed the country, as well as providing top-notch produce for export, but over the years many of them became sloppy in their water usage and wasted an embarrassing amount of it.

As I see it, the Minhal's decision now provides a correction of past wastefulness, as it allows the kibbutzim and moshavim to take full advantage of a natural resource, solar energy, that doesn't seem to be running out any time soon.  No oil, not nearly enough rain, but sun?  It's the one thing we've got plenty of...

מועדים לשמחה -- Have a wonderful Sukkot.

Keep the balance,



ProfK said...

Your post comes in the same week that a municipality in Nevada, also a full-sun area, finally settled a case that had reached the courts. A homeowner in one of the gated communities had solar panels installed on his roof, thus violating the homeowner's association's rule that all roofs must be the same and made of the same material. A law firm took on the case pro bono and after a year of backing and forthing the court actually acted in the way that we would love our courts to act--with common sense. The homeowner's power bills had been cut by some 47 percent. The court not only ruled that the solar panels could stay but suggested to the association that their rule should be changed so that no new construction could be built without the panels on the roof and also suggested that the association require all older houses to put in the panels within ten years.

Mrs. S. said...

It's nice to hear that the government is doing something right...

Shavua tov and moadim l'simchah.

A Living Nadneyda said...

Prof K - Wow, that's fantastic news. It's heartening to learn of advances like this one; every small step will bring us that much closer to the understanding that we are going to have to take major steps in the very near future, and the various bureaucratic bodies will have to jump on the bandwagon to make any real progress.

Mrs.S - The government does some good things, too. What a relief.... but we still have to keep our eyes on the stupidities. It's our tax money, and our future.

Moadim l'simcha to all.