A few inauguration thoughts ...

... '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.


Alas, it wasn't just campaign claptrap

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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.


Shoveling shit

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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.


"How to cut your home energy costs"

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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:


What's the payoff period? How about "as soon as we start"?

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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.


Joseph Lstiburek: Good houses, not social statements

This is another installment in my series of miniprofiles of sustainability-minded people. Joe Lstiburek (pronounced "stee-brick") is a nationally recognized authority on building science in general, and especially on moisture-related building problems and indoor air quality. 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.

JOSEPH LSTIBUREK, 53, Westford
Principal, Building Science Corp., Westford and other locations

Green epiphany: “I don’t think I ever had one.”

Green hero: “I don’t have one; I think green is mostly overdone. But I do have an architectural hero, Edward Mazria.

A sustainability practice you’ve taken on: “”I’ve done my house. We took an 1880s house and made it ultra-energy-efficient.”


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