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…
The Great Transition—Lester Brown has written a thought provoking series of commentaries about the potential for a “great transition” away from fossil fuels. Check out part one and part two.
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.
Posted in Linkage
Tagged Arabica, Barack Obama, bicycle, CAFE, climate change, cockroach, coffee, disaster, DIY, election, EPA, Friday linkage, fuel economy, Grist, Hawaii, Hurricane Katrina, leaf mold, Lester Brown, links, marijuana, New York City, NYU, Robusta, Sandy, Treehugger, vegetable
Perfect summer week in Iowa. The daily temperature stayed below 85, the sun was shining, and the sky was blue as far as the eye could see. At night the mercury would drop to the low-60s and the sleeping was good. Even the endless fields of corn destined for feed lots and ethanol plants are beautiful in some way. On to the links…
Build Your Own Seltzer Maker—I make my own seltzer water at home using a Sodastream machine, but the C02 cartridges are somewhat expensive for the amount of carbonation provided. I have thought about ordering a modification kit from Co2 Doctor. Now, an article on Etsy shows how to bypass all of that and craft a system from commonly available parts. Why do I feel a trip to Menard’s coming up?
Oregon Joins Fight Against Shark Finning—As I have linked to in the past, several states have taken action against this brutal practice and even the federal government has taken action. Oregon has now joined Washington and Hawaii that ban the sale, trade, and possession of shark fins. A similar bill has passed the California Assembly, but has yet to clear that state’s Senate. There is no reason that sharks should be killed just to harvest their fins in order for people to enjoy a delicacy. It is barbaric and anachronistic.
Yards Can Go Au Natural in Minneapolis—A movement is growing in Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs to allow for lawns, those unnatural expanses of invasive grass that require too much water and too many chemicals, to exist in a more natural state. Imagine a suburb where the weekend hum of lawnmowers and the fear of chemical exposure were replaced with silence and native plants.
Which Composting Method is Best for You—My love of the infographic is well documented. This little dandy from WellHome, cross posted on Treehugger, runs down the options for composting at home. My first priority before next year’s gardening season starts is to site my new compost bins. Since moving in November I have been without. At least Cedar Rapids has municipal composting so my green waste does not end up in the landfill.
Six Reasons Every Garden Should Have a Pond—I have thought about putting a pond in my landscape at two previous houses and again at my current house. What has stopped me is a general laziness for cleaning out anything wet. Nothing ruins a spring day like spending a few hours on a ladder cleaning leaf debris out of gutters. At least the goop makes for a good addition to the compost pile. Here is a rundown of some good reasons I should overcome my slacker attitude and get digging.
Posted in Linkage
Tagged California, CO2 Doctor, compost, ETSY, garden pond, Hawaii, infographic, leaf mold, Minneapolis, natural lawn, Oregon, prairie, seltzer maker, shark fin ban, Sodastream, Treehugger, vermicomposting, vermiculture, Washington