I've mentioned other times about preferring to have one blog instead of two, for all sorts of quotidian reasons, but foremostly in a symbolic way: I want to find a way to make my two issues — saving the planet and escaping the misery of obesity — be one. (It's the Buddhist's hot dog order: Make me one with everything.) When the subjects are, say, solar energy and food addiction, it's not readily apparent where the Venn overlap is. Read more »
It doesn't explain all of my absence, but I am indeed away, at an obesity conference on Bainbridge Island, Washington. I'm writing about it at my other blog, fisherblue.com/blog.
Congressman Ed Markey follows up his energy road show last Monday at MIT with an appearance tomorrow at Tufts. A school group, Environmental Consciousness Outreach, is hosting Earthfest: Focus the Nation from noon -4 p.m. on the Academic Quad. The event will include live music, free food, and speakers, including the directors of Environment America and Environment Massachusetts. Read more »
After a brief hiatus, another in a series of miniprofiles of sustainability-minded people who are working to reduce humankind’s footprint on the planet. They're "mini" not only because they're short, but because all the questions are 10 words or less, and the answers are requested to match. I met today's subject while writing about a green, urban in-fill property in Lawrence, Mass., and later hired him to help us plan an expansion at our house.
JOHN ROSSI, 42, of Newburyport, Mass. Principal, Barendsen Rossi Collaborative, which does architecture, design, and industrial design
Why do you do this work? "Because I love solving problems."
Green epiphany: "In college, we read Rachel Carson’s "Silent Spring," and I realized at one point, 'oh my, this was written 30-40 years ago, and how much worse could it be now?' I’ve realized since that it isn’t all doom and gloomy, that there really is an opportunity here."
A sustainability practice you’ve taken on: "Raising kids who appreciate the earth and want to take care of it." Read more »
A position I've held consistently, and don't expect to change anytime soon, is that coal is evil shit, albeit a necessary evil until the day we can be rid of it.
The primary reason I — and practically every thinking person without a financial tie to its mining, transporting, and burning — oppose coal is that its burning spews vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and I don't believe there'll ever be a valid way around that. Read more »
Tom Friedman's column yesterday was filed from Costa Rica, perhaps the globe's best example of how to prosper without exploiting native resources.
You're no doubt familiar with Costa Rica's many wonders, both natural and governmental. In a country roughly the size of West Virginia, it has rainforest, an active volcano, and both Caribbean and Pacific shores. It has decades of stable, democratic leadership, a literacy rate above 90 percent, and protects more than a quarter of its land for conservation. Read more »
A week ago Friday, David Frum was among the guests on Bill Maher's HBO show, and one of the topics they skirmished on was energy. Frum talked about how expensive wind and solar are, which he said precludes moving toward them.
Maher's response was right on: So what's the alternative? Business is great and we all die? Unfortunately, the conversation went elsewhere, and Frum never responded, but that's an answer I'd really like to hear from the other side. Read more »
Under the influence of Michael Pollan and others, I've written previously about how we've lost the connection between the food we eat and the world that produces it.
I don't know which should strike you as more absurd, that such a disconnect could occur, or that I could be the one mentioning it, again — I'm suburban all the way, a middling house-plant grower at best, and until recently, didn't even understand what other people meant by having a connection to the land.
Photo by Seth Itzkan
And yet, here I am again, brought along this time by Jim Laurie, whom I heard speak Tuesday night at Redbones BBQ in Somerville, which I take pain to mention because they've been strong community supporters as long as they've been around. On Tuesday, they hosted the Mass. Climate Action Network, serving grass-fed beef donated by Chestnut Farms of Hardwick. Read more »
Yesterday was my first opportunity to take part in the Mass. Climate Action Network as a member of its steering committee; there hadn't been any events since I volunteered to take part as Sustainable Arlington's representative a couple of months ago.
I'm not sure how I'll end up, but I think it's worth two posts, one on the presentation by Jim Laurie (see here), and one on the reports of activities by the town and regional climate-action groups. I'll do the latter first, to fulfill my liaison role with SA. (Info in the bulleted items is from group representatives; I'll post with MCAN and make corrections if necessary.) Read more »
My life with cars has been driven by a combination of bonehead purchases, lazy stewardship, and just plain bad luck. I've tried to improve with age, but I still feel snake-bitten. (The next-to-last car I bought was a VW Passat, based on the strong recommendation of Consumer Reports, but the car was an unreliable, high-cost, high-maintenance disappointment.)
Which brings me to our Prius, which we purchased about 22 months ago. I'm writing from our dealership, where I've come to try to learn why its mileage performance has substantially declined. I've just had my consult, and the news is not good. That is, there is no news, no mechanical flaw. Read more »