Michael's blog

Miscellaneous green strategies

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This is another in a series of posts about the actions we're taking — or not yet taking — to lessen our footprint on earth.

A lot of our lighting is with CFLs. We can't use them in the kitchen ceiling because they're not compatible to the fixtures, and we're in the same situation in the downstairs bathroom. But where we can, we do. A question I've asked before: What to do with all the old bulbs?

John Tierney, 20th century thinker

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What I'd really rather say is, "John Tierney, bonehead," or worse. But I'm going to control myself. Tierney is a New York Times columnist, which is an enviable perch, but Tierney wastes the advantage by relying on old-paradigm thinking. What prompts this criticism is his column "10 things to scratch from your worry list," in which he provides fodder for all those fogies, like himself, who think all this climate talk is a bunch of hooey.

In Design New England

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My first story for Design New England magazine is on the newsstands now, in the July/August issue.

Here's what the page looks like (you can click on it and be taken to a readable version on the magazine's website):

Has the future of LEDs arrived?

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Eric Taub of the Times has a story this morning saying that the coming age of LED lights is just about here, but I don't know if he hit it just right.

The story touches the usual points about LEDs — very expensive, but lasts longer, has no mercury, and can generate any color — but on the question of white-light intensity, he devotes no more than an aside: "L.E.D. bulbs, with their brighter light and longer life, have already replaced..."

Hello and goodbye

One way to describe Leith Sharp is to include her on the roster of hugely influential people who you've never heard of.

I wasn't aware of her myself until recently, when I started looking for the best people around Boston to interview about the state of green building in Boston, for a story I'm doing for GreenSource magazine. Turns out that, as founding director of Harvard's Green Campus Initiative, she's one of the obvious, top-shelf voices to consult.

Coal stats

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When the new site goes live, it will have a blog made up of all the green content from here. Where here, green has been one category among many, it will be divided it into green subcategories. One of them is going to be infoporn, a term that I think arose at Fast Company, or Wired; it is a perfect description of one of my itches. And, it's about the most I can say about the rest of this post...

This all comes from an LA Times story yesterday:

V.P. Sebelius

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I previously touted Kathleen Sebelius, governor of Kansas, as one of my two rooting interests to run with Barack Obama. Though I'm reasonably confident that Obama will make a wise choice, no matter what, I was left with only one rooting interest after James Webb removed himself from consideration.

From Wikipedia:

On July 7, Webb removed himself as a possible candidate for Vice President in a statement to Time Magazine, stating ... that "under no circumstances will I be a candidate for Vice President.”

We don't ... unplug chargers

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We're really struggling with phantom power load at our house. The phantom power load, which is estimated at 15 percent of the household electrical bill, is what goes to devices when they're not doing anything directly for us. TVs, phone chargers, computers, etc. As a pretty electronic family, we have lots of these. Several factors have been getting in the way, but it boils down to laziness and habit. Lazy, because I don't feel like going around the house every night and snapping these things off, and then going around again in the morning and snapping them on.

Biofuels addendum

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The TR story I mentioned previously does address sugarcane as a source of biofuel, but only in passing because the crop grows in only a few portions of the US and therefore isn't capable of contributing much to the market.


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