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Your mileage may vary; ours has

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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.

Seth Godin, so often au courant

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Simply put, if you haven't heard of Seth Godin, who blogs about marketing, you should check him out. I consider that a complete thought, and good content, all by itself.

But he's not really a sustainability guy ... actually, I think he is! OMG, yes he is — he's always talking about the long view, albeit in his realm of selling, rather than environmental. Yet another example of how sustainability is a very broad topic.

Coal spokesman says, "don't believe anything I say, ever again"

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OK, so I'm practically a media whore for the Alliance for Climate Protection, but I can't imagine being someone's bitch in service of a better cause. The latest clip they're circulating, and that I'm sharing below, is the incredible — that's "incredible," as in "not credible" —  comment from King Coal mouthpiece Joe Lucas ... 


The Ecology of Commerce

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Well-read readers may recognize the headline as the title of Paul Hawken's 1993 book, which I recently read for a book group started by fellow members of Sustainable Arlington, a group committed to helping the town become more ... sustainable. We met to discuss it a week ago; here are some thoughts from my notes:

The best way to start is to begin

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People who know of my interest in sustainability sometimes ask where to start, and my answer has varied over time, dependent on what new action I've been exposed to.

Perhaps this states what's obvious to others, but I've only recently come to understand that the right answer is the first one, whatever that is. Whether one starts with here or there doesn't matter nearly as much as having started.

For $34 billion, the automakers should stop suing us

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Joel Gordes, whom I know of through NESEA, says that if taxpayers are going to give $34 billion to bail out the Big 3 US automakers, one of the conditions should be that they must stop pursuing their selfish lawsuits against state regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

They make the solar better

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At Mass. Energy's annual meeting Wednesday night, solar vet Henry Vandermark told me about of SolarWave Energy, a venture he has in start-up that provides a real-time, remote monitor for solar systems. 

As I understand it, Vandermark will sell his service to installers, as a constituent of their warranty services, allowing them to make service calls before a crisis, and avoid making business calls when they may not be necessary. 


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