Energy-harvesting wall switches

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An interesting product I came across at GreenBuild was the home-control system being offered by Verve Livings Systems. The tech-candy for me is their wall switches, which convert the energy you use to flip the switch into a pulse that sends the instruction to a a central controller, dousing or dimming the light in question, or performing more complicated routines if programmed that way.

E.O. Wilson on GMOs

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As I continue to read "Naturalist," EO Wilson's biography, bolstered by my exposure to him during the closing session of GreenBuild, I find myself increasingly convinced that everything he says is considered, wise, and valuable. Certainly, this is hagiography, but at least I see it as such, and for today, I'm sticking with it anyway. You can judge as you wish. In his GreenBuild appearance, while talking about water and food scarcity, both of which are worthy topics on their own, he paused for this blanket statements: "Many people are afraid of a super bug.

Preston Koerner: "Leave it better than you found it."

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.

Preston KoernerPRESTON KOERNER, 29, Salt Lake City Lawyer, LEED AP, and founder of Jetson Green, an exceptionally informed website on green building initiatives.

What do you do: “I’m obsessed with green building and with helping other people become obsessed with green building.”

Did you know Jetson Green was going to be such a hit? “Not at all.”

Green epiphany: “Boy Scouts is when it started: 'Leave it better than you found it.’”

Where does the water go?

I was talking about the loss of ice pack in the Himalayas, and in the Greenland Ice Sheet, and how their shrinkage is likely to be as disruptive to daily life as climate change, and my astute friend Angelo asked a simple question for which I don't, today, have a good answer.

"Where does the water go?"

If it's not in in groundwater, and it's not in frozen freshwater, where is it? The ocean is the obvious answer, but if the losses are so significant, wouldn't that would be observable in sea levels? 

News worth reporting

It's not particularly green-related, but it's too momentous not to mention (from the Washington Post):

WASHINGTON - The pace at which Americans are getting cancer has started to decline for the first time, marking what could be a long-awaited turning point in the battle against the disease, according to an annual report that tracks progress in the war on cancer.


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My longest-standing friend in the world turned out to be an HVAC engineer (who voted for McCain — I don't think I even know him anymore), and the last time we got in touch, before I could tell him what I've been doing, he started telling me how much he dislikes LEED. "We do most of that stuff anyway, but now we have to spend a bunch of time we don't have filling out forms to prove that we did them.


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