Monday, July 31, 2006
Clever Ads on Sustainability Topics
The Creative Gallery on Sustainability Communications is available on
UNEP website: www.unep.fr/sustain/advertising/ads.htm
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Jeffords shows the way
I'm not voting for anyone who won't sign on for this.
check out Sen. Jeffords' Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act. Here
are the highlights:
· Requires that the U.S. reduce its emissions between 2010 and 2020
to 1990 levels. By 2030, the U.S. must reduce its emissions by 1/3 of
80% percent below 1990 levels, by 2040 by 2/3 of 80% percent below 1990
levels and by 2050, to a level that is 80 percent below 1990 levels.
· Requires that power plants, automobiles and carbon intensive
businesses reduce their global warming pollution.
· In the event that global atmospheric concentrations exceed 450
parts per million or that average global temperatures increase above 2
degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial
average, EPA can require additional reductions.
· Provides for standards and grants for sequestration of greenhouse
· The National Academy of Sciences will report to EPA and the
Congress to determine whether goals of the Act have been met.
· Requires the US to derive 20% of its electricity from renewable
sources by 2020.
· Establishes energy efficiency standards similar those found in
California and ten other states.
· Invests in innovative technologies.
Is there a candidate smart enough to seize on this?
Note the promise of the last sentence in the penultimate
paragraph--the question is whether there are any candidates smart
enough to see the potential of making a sane response to global
warming Public Issue #1
It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Stupidity
Published: July 29, 2006
San Anselmo, Calif.
I WENT to see “An Inconvenient Truth” last weekend, but the theater was
closed. The power was out because of an overheated transformer. It was
Day 9 of our 11-day, record-melting heat wave here in the San Francisco
Bay Area, where Mark Twain once supposedly, but probably apocryphally,
compared our foggy summer to the coldest winter he’d ever known.
The fog — the Coast’s natural air-conditioner — kept failing to arrive,
however, as we sweltered in triple-digit heat. I briefly remembered the
single night I’d hated the fog, freezing in extra innings at Candlestick
Park. But mostly I recalled the sheer wonder of watching it spill over
sun-struck mountains, summer after summer, and I yearned for its return.
Where had it gone?
I’d just returned from a week in a Mexican desert to find it several
degrees hotter at home, in a marathon that meteorologists have called
unprecedented. My 7-year-old’s skin was so warm that I took his
temperature. A neighbor had to shut down the emergency sprinkler system
at his house, which, sensing fire, was about to douse his furniture. The
water scalded his hands.
Inland, where incomes are lower and temperatures normally higher, the
elderly and infirm have been quietly dying in their overheated
apartments and cars, sometimes slumped in front of running fans.
Yesterday, state authorities were blaming the heat for more than 130 deaths.
Certainly, it was nothing compared to the 2003 killer heat wave in
Europe, which led to tens of thousands of deaths, and yes, we know that
much of the rest of the country is suffering hot weather too. But it was
our heat wave, and we hated it just the same. Power failures left
hundreds of thousands of Bay Area customers cursing Pacific Gas and
Electric in the dark. One repairman reported that his crewmen had just
installed a fresh transformer and were taking a break, sipping some
Gatorade, when he watched their work explode into sparks.
Local meteorologists offered clashing opinions about why the fog stayed
away, but they agreed that the culprits included a mass of warm air that
shifted northward from the Four Corners and parked over the Great Basin.
Part of this high-pressure air mass extended over California’s coast,
tamping down the cool sea breezes. The days were scorching, the nights
sticky and hot.
The San Francisco Chronicle published an article headlined “Scientists
Split on Heat Wave Cause,” which said some climate experts attributed
the heat wave “at least partly” to global climate change. “Others,
however, disagree,” the article continued, “and say it’s still too early
to blame the current weather on the planet’s changing climate.”
This made me wonder: when will it be too late? I get it that you can’t
blame climate change for any one weather event. But I can also see that
there’s a pattern emerging — and it sure looks a lot like what
mainstream scientists have been predicting for several years. They’ve
been warning of more frequent and severe heat waves and warmer nighttime
temperatures that rob you of any relief. You don’t really need a
climatologist to know which way the wind is blowing.
“It’s so hot,” my friends and I say to one another. “It’s scary.” And we
“Aren’t you scared?” I asked my husband.
“Sure,” he said, and went back to watching the A’s.
I know he’s mentally healthier than I. Twain, after all, also is
supposed to have said that everyone complains about the weather but
nobody ever does anything about it. At the time, his comment was pithy
and wise. But times have changed: a consensus of leading scientists
suggests the world has a chance of stalling climate change if we make
deep and immediate reductions in our fossil fuel consumption. This would
take some leadership, but I’d put my children in day care and work full
time for someone with that kind of vision, and I’d bet parents across
the country would do the same.
The fog finally rolled inland on Thursday. But the clock is still tick- ing.
Katherine Ellison is the author of “The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood
Makes Us Smarter.’’
For those who wonder why industrialists are so often portrayed as self-interested pigs
Spend some time visiting John Engler's cukoo-cloud land where global
warming is just a left-wing conspiracy
(Then spend some time at realclimate.org to find out what actual climate
scientists have to say.)
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Interesting: Intriguing local problam solving format takes on energy
I don't know how much of this will be substantive, but this is an
interesting attempt to take discussion out of the sterile "panel
discussion with Q&A" mold and try a different setting and approach.
August 13th -- Meet Minds, Solve Problems
On Sunday August 13, 2006 the first “Meeting of the Minds” will take
place in the Red Light Lounge of the Temple Club located on 500 N. Grand
River in Lansing. This newly forming group is being created to focus on
a single socio/political issue each month, to address important issues
in the community, and to support local organizations that are working to
The format for the first meeting will be:
4:00 PM Doors open, A\V presentations from local artists, board games.
6:00 PM Dinner & organizations speak focus topic.
7:00 PM Participant discussion in the form of "Five Minutes of Fame" on
state commentary on the focus topic.
11:00 PM Networking.
The August meeting will focus on energy issues. For more info, contact
Josef A. Petrous at (517) 507 1799 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Should brave men die . . .?
Should Brave Men Die So That You Can Drive?http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/7/25/161546/473
Ethanomania further debunked.
Peak Oil Medicine Blog--how is health care to work in the low-energy future?
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Free film showing on hybrid home construction, 8/2 and 8/16
"Building with Awareness: The Construction of a Hybrid Home."
The 2 h, 42 min film will be shown over two evenings Wednesdays Aug. 2 and 16 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at EVERYBODY READS bookstore, 2019 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing (next to Gone Wired Cafe).Everyone is welcome.
Here is information about the teaching film from the producer's website:
Building With Awareness.com
Learn About Straw Bale Home Construction, Solar House Design,
and Green Building With Our How-To DVD Video, Books, and Website
Building With Awareness: The Construction of a Hybrid Home Is The Award- Winning DVD Video On How To Build Beautiful and Energy-Efficient Solar-Powered Straw Bale Homes With Straw Bale, Adobe, Mud, Cob, and Other Natural Materials. Every step, from breaking ground to the final coat of earth plaster, is beautifully presented and easy to understand.
Building an energy-efficient solar home requires more than just using straw bale walls. Every element of the design can have a positive effect on reducing or eliminating your energy bills. Energy-efficiency and beautiful aesthetics can both come from the same materials. This web site shows how green building techniques can make both large and small buildings dramatically more energy efficient.
Our Building With Awareness: The Construction of a Hybrid Home DVD video follows the construction of one straw bale solar house, from start to finish. This DVD video will educate you on how both materials and the design of the building will determine its energy efficiency, visual appeal, and construction cost.
Your host: The Lansing Post-Petroleum Planning Project (LP4) is a local group made up of people concerned with helping the Greater Lansing area create a plan to thrive in the very challenging years that are coming up, as the world supply of cheap energy begins to diminish and the need for drastic reductions in overall fossil-fuel usage further limit our options.