"Where it all goes, that place called 'away'"

Another in a series of miniprofiles of sustainability-minded people who are working to reduce humankind's footprint on the planet. brian-butler.jpg BRIAN BUTLER, 40, Somerville Owner, Boston Green Building BGB is a general contractor specializing in sustainable building.

It's all one issue

If you want the Prager who knows and values the outdoors, you want my brother, Richard: National Outdoor Leadership School, Outward Bound Minnesota, solo Appalachian Trail hiker from Georgia to Maine, scaler of all the 4,000-plus-feet peaks in New Hampshire, New York State School of Forestry graduate degree, all before age 25, and 10 years (maybe it was only 5) as president of the Simsbury (Conn.) Land Trust.

Me, I got nothin', as JS would say.

Energy in the debate

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Taken altogether, I can't imagine too many minds were made up by the debate last night. I wouldn't say it was boring, but it certainly was even, and contained no shockers. I heard one pundit opine that Obama had succeeded in making his case for commander and chief, and McCain had successfully made his case against Obama as president.

I remain unsatisfied with the candidates' energy discussions, and Obama added another burr last night, when Jim Lehrer pressed both candidates on the initiatives they might have to forego or delay as the result of the financial bailout.

Ask nature

It's not ready yet, so this is premature, but at least I can say you heard about it here first... Asknature.org is a database being prepared by the Biomimicry Institute of Montana that will allow users to explore the natural world for solutions to problems that people are trying to solve. That's what biomimicry is.

Bachmann, Barton, and bullshit

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When encountering crap such as this from the other side of the partisan divide, I try to put myself in their shoes, or perhaps to envision a situation in which I'm guilty of the same practice and imagine how they might feel.

This time, I can't, though you are certainly welcome to help me through my myopia, if you see it.

Green buildings open house

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association's annual open house is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Hundreds of buildings will be open across 10 states from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A family event will take us out to western Mass. that day, so I'm looking forward to checking out some sites I wouldn't likely have seen otherwise.

Follow this link to a directory of buildings that you can search by zip code, or by green feature (gray-water use, geothermal, grid-tied solar, or whatever).

Influence the debates

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Many readers will remember the "coincidental" circumstances in the primaries that one of the sham fronts of the coal industry sponsored the debates and hardly any questions were asked, among hundreds, about how to solve the environmental issues facing America and the world.

Now, we're going to have only three presidential debates, and I want to do my little bit to ensure that doesn't happen again. I'd like you to, too.

Green people

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No, not Martians, of course, but what to call them otherwise? I'm referring to people who are working in the fields of sustainability, efficiency, renewability, etc. I run across a lot of them, and they've all got ideas, perspectives, and stories. So I've decided to try to introduce a few of them via a series of miniprofiles of a type I used to do at the Globe. They're mini because not only are they short, but all the questions, and most of the answers, are 10 words or less. Here's the first one:


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