This is another installment in my series of miniprofiles of sustainability-minded people. The Green Building Initiative is a nonprofit working to hasten the adoption of sustainable-building practices, and administers the Green Globes, a tool for assessing and rating green-building practices, comparable to the more well-known LEED program. To recap, the profiles are "mini" not only because they're short, but because all the questions are 10 words or less, and the answers are requested to match.
For the op-ed page of the Boston Globe, I wrote an essay on the existence of food addiction. If you think it doesn't exist, you're wrong, but that's OK: You're also in the mainstream, at least for today. But that's changing.
... 'cause no one else seems to be talking about it.
* A friend told me, "I'm going to make a few calls, but come to think of it, everyone I know went down to Washington."
* For the past couple of days, Starbucks has been handing out red, brown, and blue cup sleeves (the brown is supposed to be white, of course, but they don't bleach), and I've heard a couple people this morning comment on how much they love them.
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama gave lip service to nuclear power (with provisos that would appear to rule out much support, at least for the foreseeable future); "clean coal," which of course exists only as a slogan of a can't-be-bygone-soon-enough inddustry; offshore drilling; biofuels; and other environmentally questionable choices.
At least, I'd hoped it was lip service, but it appears he meant it. I'll give him points for being truthful, but I'm disappointed nevertheless.
Derek Kravitz of the Washington Post reports that the Interior Department has certified that Cape Wind won't harm the environment. Unless legislators raise any more objections, a final "record of decision" should be issued within 30 days.
I must say, begrudgingly, that the coal industry is nothing if not resilient.
Anyone — a-n-y-o-n-e — can see that coal is evil, filthy crap that, though it may be in use today, should be removed from the world's energy mix at the first possible opportunity. Unquestionably. Undeniably. Demonstrably.
Anyone who says different is a) ignorant, b) stubborn beyond the point of personal safety, c) under direct economic threat from acknowledging otherwise, d) all of the above.
Marc Breslow is easily one of my region's leading energy lights. We share a hometown, but the breadth of his influence really struck home for me a month or so ago when I attended Mass Energy's annual meeting. In a room full of trail blazers and luminaries, I don't think anyone prompted more references from the podium, including from state energy secretary Ian Bowles, than Marc.
He is also a founder, or perhaps the founder, of Sustainable Arlington, a grassroots effort to make our town more energy efficient.
And, he gives seminars on how individuals can cut their home energy costs. The first in a new series is next week in Arlington, and three others are to follow:
If you don't know that rehabbing the homes and other buildings we already have is going to be one of the most important initiatives of the next 20 years, it's OK. That puts you well in the mainstream.
But that's going to change. Buildings use almost half the energy in America, and there are 110 million homes alone. Even if every new building in America over that time were to be zero net energy, we will have continued to squander energy and affect the climate adversely if we don't redo what we already have.
The electrical grid has grown but otherwise hasn't changed much since it was put into use early in the 20th century. But that's about to change. (E/The Environmental Magazine)
One of the best parts about being a journalist is you get asked — hell, you get paid — to explore subjects you might not have looked into otherwise. The best case in point for me is my story on the smart grid that is (finally) available online at emagazine.com.