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Notes from Andy Lipkis at Farmlab

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If you haven't had the chance to visit Farmlab's weekly salon series, do try. Every Friday at noon, Farmlab, the people behind Not a Cornfield, host a salon with a special guest speaker (except next week when they are doing something different by presenting a play about environmentalism). A complimentary lunch is served and the energy of a lazy Friday is transformed into good vibes by the community that attends the talk in the warehouse abut railroad tracks and the LA River and under the Spring St. bridge.

The following are scribblings of notes and interesting quotes from Lipkis' presentation called Helping Nature Heal Our Cities:

We [Los Angeles citizens] consumed enough waste in th 80's to fill the LA Coliseum every two weeks. The single largest use of electricity in the state of California is the pumping of water in LA. That's 20% of the state's electricity use.

We spend $1-billion pumping water into the city. We spend $.5 billion pumping it out. We spend $100 million on stormwater quality. What's wrong here?

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) send a request to the Governor and President to declare a state of emergency regarding the 5400 environmental/pollution related deaths a year. That equals out to be one and half 9/11's a year.

When the phrase 'unacceptable lifestyle change' was being used to thwart the start of the recycling program in Los Angeles, the power of change was in the kids. Through schools, studens were taught about recycling who in turn brought home the information to parents who in turn got angry at the school system, teachers and city officials. Yet, soon enough, the city gained a 90% participation rate, the highest in the nation for recycling.

The government should not be spending money on fixing problems caused by people not taking personal responsibility.

Where energy is not recycled, it is pollution.

Andy Lipkis is the president and founder of
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TreePeople. Tonight, Farmlab is presenting a jazz opera in Beverly Hills, which is this week's Classical Pick.

Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist