Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Out of Camden, Maine comes a homebuilt 105 MPG microcar demonstrating that Yankee ingenuity is alive and well as the downslope of the peak oil era approaches. Powered by a 150cc four-stroke engine, the Moonbeam was fabricated by Jory Squibb for $2339 in materials and a 1000 hours worth of labor. For hauling groceries or traveling around town, this microcar, based on a Honda Elite motor scooter, has a lot going for it.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Bill McKibben, one of the earliest and most articulate writers on the issues of global warming, notes that Haggling Over Global Warming may be finally giving way to direct action in a number of areas. The question is: which are the best directions to devote our attention given the magnitude of the crisis and the divergence of opinion. As always, Mr. McKibben provides a sound rationale for moving forward on the central issue of our day.
Monday, September 11, 2006
A new phenomenon that affects calculations about increasing greenhouse gases is causing concern about climate scientists. As permafrost melts in various locales around the world, methane is released, a greenhouse gas that has 23 times the heat-trapping capability of carbon dioxide. The risk of dramatically accelerating temperatures is considerable.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Nicholas Von Hoffman writing for The Nation speculates on the day (maybe only 40 years hence) when the last remaining stores of oil will sit in the basements of the rich, like vintage wine, as the planet becomes a vastly different place for humans. Read it and weep: Honey, We Killed the Planet.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Even in places where there is a strong environmental ethic in play (such as Vermont), the resistance to wind turbines on ridgetops is a highly contentious issue, as discussed in this Wired article. Even when developers try to place the turbines in remote settings, local folks often rise up in protest, not wanting to impair the aesthetics of the region. In fairness, however, consider the aesthetics when global warming pushes the temperatures a few degrees higher and turns forests into wastelands. Or, consider the aesthetics of mountain-top removal for coal or the impact statewide of a nuclear power plant mishap that contaminates a sizeable portion of the state. Wind turbines are clearly the preferable choice.