Tag Archives: ecology

Solar Roofs over Parking Lots Are Going Viral in California and The Southwest

This is in the New York Times this week: Ersatz roofs made of solar panels have sprouted above dozens of school parking lots in the state [of California], altering vistas and promoting a philosophy of green thinking among the young. Yet … Continue reading

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Thoreau 2.1: Jay Shafer’s 100 Sq. Ft. Home

I find Jay Shafer’s Thoreau-like experiment elegant and inspiring. Who needs a mortgage if you have creativity?

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Red State

A nervy image. And Andrew Sullivan explains: This is a map of global temperature anomalies for last month. Pretty uneventful until you get to the Arctic, where the feedback loops of warming, loss of ice-reflection, more warming and so on … Continue reading

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Birds and Wind Turbines

Last year, a friend of mine who bird watches noticed that I had promoted wind farms on my blog. He subsequently informed me that wind farms are not an environmentally uncomplicated form of energy. Each year approximately 40,000 birds die … Continue reading

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Petroleum Jelly: Rep. Joe Barton apologizes to BP for Obama’s $20 billion “shakedown” (oil victims’ escrow account)

This would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic: Here’s exactly what the Republican doofus said: I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation … Continue reading

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Better living through data crunching, or a centralized tool for global government shenanigans?

I’m an old-style Albert Einstein/Bertrand Russell/Buckminster Fuller internationalist. I think that national sovereignty will—and should—give way to a democratic “Spaceship Earth” world government at some point in human history (perhaps with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights functioning as an international Bill of … Continue reading

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Six years later, I collapse (my defenses) and listen to Jared Diamond present the broad outlines of his book, “Collapse” (Viking 2004)

Back in December of 2004, when Jared Diamond’s Collapse  came out, I decided that I wouldn’t buy it. I simply didn’t want a Paul Ehrlich-1970s-style-downer book about the environment marring my otherwise sunny disposition. I’m not brave Oedipus: I don’t necessarily … Continue reading

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Going Green by Driving Your Car?

Are human carbon emissions actually greening the Earth? According to the UK’s Independent, a new study says that trees today are growing faster in Maryland than they did 225 years ago (the oldest trees in the study), and the researchers attribute … Continue reading

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Oil Dependence on the Middle East: Jimmy Carter Tried to Break It

And Republicans demogogued the issue and, in the 1980s, reversed Jimmy Carter’s even very modest initiatives. Now it’s President Obama’s turn to get smacked around by the Republicans on this issue. But I think that he has to do it. It’s right … Continue reading

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The Post Carbon Institute’s Richard Heinberg on Peak Oil

Richard Heinberg’s talk on peak oil is very good. Here’s part 1 of 5: And here’s part 2 of 5:

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T. Boone Pickens: Peak Oil is Here and Our Middle East Oil Dependency Needs to End

Texas oil man—and now octogenarian wind power activist—T. Boone Pickens, in an interview with Amanda Little posted at Mother Earth News, says that the world has already reached peak oil and that the U.S. better end its Middle East energy dependency pronto:   Pickens doesn’t believe that … Continue reading

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A Metaphor for Global Warming Hysteria—or the Real World Failure of Copenhagen?

My kids think this iCarly mini-disaster movie trailer is funny, but with Copenhagen’s global climate talks failing this weekend, it seems to have an unpleasant saliency. Silly climate scientists! Prophets of doom and gloom! They sure are funny, aren’t they? Aren’t they?

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Copenhagen: Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

And no plan B. In response to the failure of Copenhagen’s climate talks, an editorial writer at Spiegel bemoans humanity: Copenhagen’s collapse merely confirms the opinion of those who view climate change as some pipe dream of scientists, left-wing politicians … Continue reading

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Barack Obama: Climate Change’s Neville Chamberlain?

Environmental peace in our time? At Salon today, environmentalist Bill McKibben says that, with regard to global warming, civilization has an existential threat before it akin to Adolf Hitler. The slow-working of politics as usual, in other words, won’t work. You … Continue reading

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25, 5, and 2: Three Great Reasons Not to Buy a Hummer

This evening I watched an extraordinary documentary titled A Crude Awakening (which can be found at Amazon here), and in the film three numbers jumped out at me: 25 5 2 And what do these numbers represent? 25 is the percentage … Continue reading

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Climate Change: The View from Germany’s Window

In Spiegel today, Christian Schwägerl takes after President Obama and America in their tag team foot dragging on climate change (rightfully so, I think): For most Americans, the world beyond the US’s borders is nothing more than an irritating nuisance. Hence arguments based … Continue reading

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Peak Oil?

The Guardian today appears to have a big news scoop: The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a … Continue reading

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Caught with Our Pants Down? Is America Behind Other Nations in the Global Green and Clean Energy Competition?

Apparently so. Two energy observers in the San Francisco Chronicle cite alarming statistics: As Congress debates climate and energy legislation, Asian challengers are moving rapidly to win the clean-energy race. China alone is reportedly investing $440 billion to $660 billion … Continue reading

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This Historic Moment and President Barack Obama’s Vision

Kurt Andersen, this past week at the Daily Beast, suggests that President Barack Obama, in the teeth of America’s steep economic downturn, is at the cusp of a historic opportunity—and that he has known it for awhile: “Ronald Reagan,” Obama said … Continue reading

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What Bush Was Trying to Hide: One of the Arctic Ice Retreat Photos President George W. Bush Kept Classified and That President Barack Obama Recently Declassified

“Satellite images of polar ice sheets taken in July 2006 and July 2007 showing the retreating ice during the summer. Photograph: Public Domain.” Notice, in this photo, just how much white reflective surface space has turned to dark sun-radiation aborbative … Continue reading

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