The Iowa caucuses are now over. Thank god–though not in the way that Rick Perry thanks god because those ads are just too funny. Now I can open my paper and not see an ad for Mitt Romney. Now I can turn on my television and not see an ad attacking Newt Gingrich, though none of it was paid for by Mitt Romney. It was just an organization staffed by former Romney associates and paid for by Romney supporters. I never thought I could actually feel bad for Newt. Now I can answer my phone without fear of a robocall. Finally, I can finally stop worrying about someone Googling “santorum” at work. Whew!
One thing that tires me about the caucuses and the coverage of the event is the generalities that commentators paint Iowa with. 60% of Republican caucus goers were evangelical Christians. Listen to the most of the pundits and you would think that 60% of Iowans were evangelical Christian. No, 60% of the 122,000 people who attended the Republican caucus were evangelical Christians. At least the pundits were not as bad as this jackass.
Top 10 Anti-Environmental Things Congress did in 2011–As if we needed a reminder of how lame our elected government can be and the near victory of Rick Santorum proves this out.
The Rhetoric of Fossil Fuel Independence is Dead–The U.S. is now a net exporter of refined fuel products. We are part of the global system whether twits like Palin or Boehner want to believe. Ironically, renewables allow the U.S. to actually be energy independent. Thank god–not in the way Santorum thanks god–I do not have to hear “Drill baby drill” anymore. It did not make sense four years ago and it makes no sense now.
EPA Regulations will Create More Jobs than Keystone XL Pipeline–As if the claims about the Keystone XL pipeline’s job creation ability were not overblown enough, it looks like the “job killing” regulations to restore the Chesapeake Bay may actually create jobs. Of course, this is like listening to people receiving government salaries from government jobs telling people that the government cannot create jobs.
Republicans Don’t Want to Talk About Infrastructure–Just like they will not admit that the government can be effective at creating jobs, Republicans are adhering to a policy of not talking about spending money on infrastructure which is something that only the government is effective at accomplishing. Clowns.
Difference Between Resilient and Sustainable–Okay, using a zombie apocalypse is probably not the standard fare for describing the difference between sustainable and resilient but it works. We need to make sure our systems are both resilient and sustainable. The best systems are paragons of both concepts and the only path forward that makes sense.
Greasy to Gourmet–The parade of stories about schools improving lunch programs is encouraging. It is also one of those moments that I have at the grocery store all the time. Go into the grocery store and get excited about the produce and the organic section and what not. Next, go to the aisle with Hamburger Helper and realize how much of that crap is still on the shelf and how many people are buying it. Ugh!
Walmart is Taking over Our Food System–As if the Hamburger Helper scenario is bad enough, just start thinking about the impact that Walmart has on our food system. Aside from the macro level problems associated with so much control exerted by so few entities, really pay attention to the value that Walmart puts on an excellent produce section. Compare that to my local full service grocery store–in this case Hy-Vee–that has people dedicated to produce and the same people work in those jobs for years.
Another Reason to Eat Locally–As if the thought of Walmart taking over the food system does not make you shudder enough, the spectre of big organic should as well. Just because it is organic does not mean it is good. You can produce organic milk in a feedlot and you can have an organic industrial tomato. It’s just a label that specifies a certain number of practices, it does not represent an equitable regime.
Slab City–I remember reading about this place in John Krakauer’s Into the Wild about Christopher McCandless. The place always seemed like a weird nowhere out there in the wide open space of the American southwest. The desert does weird things to your mind.
Salvage Creativity–I wish I could be as creative as some people are with salvaged materials. I am never able to see a pile of old door knobs and say, “Wouldn’t those make a great surface for a patio?” Wait a second, that sounds like a Portlandia skit.