Google.org has recently announced they are investing $10 million in geothermal energy research.
Illinois farmer and ag commentator John Phipps had this article from The New Republic on his weblog this morning.
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.
In 2005, a number of forest professionals in Massachusetts develop a statewide (and eventually regional-wide) vision for forest protection and management. It is interesting in 1) it’s analysis of forest issues at the urban, suburban, and rural levels, and 2) it’s approach of innovative partnerships and economic mechanisms.
Eric Sprague, of the Bay Bank initiative, and I spoke this afternoon and he made me aware of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities. It’s an interesting new organization….here is their weblog (with link to the website).
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:
This morning National Public Radio reported on the rapid expansion of global marine ‘dead zones’ in the past thirty years. In order to better understand this problem:
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.
A brief CNBC interview with Richard Sandor on carbon markets. Interestingly, he compares the EU ‘carbon crop’ to the American ‘carbon crop’…to make the commodity analogy.
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.
Farmers are on pace to produce the second largest corn crop and fourth largest soybean crop in history, which may lead to lower prices for the key grains, the government said Tuesday.
For the article: