I am back from Orlando, Barack Obama won reelection, Mitt Romney is unemployed, Joe Walsh is still a dick but at least he’s also looking at the unemployment line, and weed is legal in two more states. What a week.
On to the links…
How the EPA Does and Does not Test Fuel Economy—The recent case of Hyundai, including the Kia brand which it owns, of having to reimburse customers for misleading or false mileage claims brought to light a lot of odd practices with regard to the testing of a car’s mileage.
How NYU Stayed Partly Warm and Lighted—I am hoping that the current disaster in the northeast United States a result of post tropical cyclone Sandy and the subsequent northeaster start a conversation about utility resilience. I thought the same thing might happen after Hurricane Katrina with regard to coastal infrastructure, but I see where that went.
Geothermal Advocates Hope Sandy Gives them a Second Look—Apparently, the advocates of geothermal heating and cooling think the recent disaster is going to be a boon for business. Again, I think we will choose the cheap and easy solution rather than really thinking about the resiliency of our systems.
Bicycles are Transportation’s Cockroaches—I have always hated scenes in post-apocalyptic scenarios where everyone is suddenly a horse lord. Why? Because no one really knows how to ride a horse and there are really not enough horses, but there are a lot of bicycles. Cheap, reliable, and powered by the rider it is the ultimate option for when the stuff hits the fan. Imagine what fleets of longtail and cargo bikes could do in the wake of a disaster?
Climate Change May Lead to Wild Arabica Bean Extinction—Climate change and its attendant consequences are usually not at the forefront of people’s minds, but threaten their morning coffee and you will get people’s attention. Just let them taste a few cups of Robusta coffee and you will have climate change warriors on your hands.
Solving Hawaii’s Fresh Vegetable Problem—You would think that Hawaii would be a wonderland for fresh vegetables. Visit one of the excellent farmer’s markets and you would agree, but the reality is that there is an access problem for a lot of the people on the islands. What this speaks to is that the problem with our food system is often not growing enough but being able to distribute that bounty equitably.
Make Your Own Leaf Mold—Leaf mold is one of those things that every person should be making in their garden to improve soil health. It should be a government mandate.