The End of Aviation

Illinois farmer and ag commentator John Phipps had this article from The New Republic on his weblog this morning.

The End of Aviation

One of John’s major concerns is that dramatic changes in our travel will make it more difficult for ‘face-to-face’ decisions… for him primarily with respect to rental decisions on ag lands that have distant owners…and he is concerned that farmers are not ready for the degree of abstraction that would need to replace personal exchanges to make rental deals.

I repeat…we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Juneau, Alaska and Energy

Earlier in the year, Juneau experienced avalanches that destroyed many of their major power lines. The backup generators cost nearly five times as much as the old power supply. Alaskans responded by cutting their power use by 40%, primarily through household-based conservation. Lights were used sparingly, dishes were washed by hand, clothes dried on a line.

The lines have now been repaired…but electric consumption has not jumped back to its former level.

For a brief report:

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/green-living/juneau-alaska-is-an-energy-star/1116

What is the Future of Suburbia?

A few weeks ago I posted the cost-of-services economic analysis done in Rhode Island. It related the nine-fold increase in the State’s budget since 1950 to the ‘cost of suburbanization’.

From an infrastructure perspective, the suburb and the suburban subdivision are socially expensive. They have also used environmental services randomly and, until recently, without much ‘ecosystem service’ planning. Current energy costs put these already strained techo-social systems in more financial stress.

The New York Times did a forum addressing the ‘future of suburbia’. I recommend it…to start thinking of how ecosystem service perspectives can solve suburbia’s dilemma.

What is the Future of Suburbia?

The Shape of Things….

The EU is working on changes to regulation on the shape, color, etc. of fruits and vegetables. Currently, there are measured standards…. leading to significant food waste. France, Spain and Italy are expected to oppose the changes, citing the positive impact standards have in market operations while protecting consumers.

Maryellen and I ate some pretty ugly zucchini (not to mentioned an orphaned cucumber) from our garden last night…we’ll report if we have any negative reactions.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4364217.ece