Monday, June 30, 2008

Can Weeds Help?

Can Weeds Help Solve the Climate Crisis? - Global Warming - Environment -
Not only did the weeds grow much larger in hotter, CO2-enriched plots — a weed called lambs-quarters, or Chenopodium album, grew to an impressive 6 to 8 feet on the farm but to a frightening 10 to 12 feet in the city — but the urban, futuristic weeds also produced more pollen.

Half Empty or Full?

Is Your Tank Half Empty or Half Full? - Op-Ed -
High gas prices have had some obvious immediate effects on Americans: Hummer sales are down, commuting by public transit is up, airlines are charging for nonessentials, like baggage. But if $4 gas (or higher) is here to stay, we can expect our lives to change in other ways, too. The Op-Ed page asked 10 writers to reflect on the consequences — unexpected, unnoticed, unrealized, good, bad or indifferent — of really expensive fuel.

Curbing Cruising

As Gas Prices Rise, Teenagers’ Cruising Declines -
“We’re not cruising around anymore, with gas costing $4.50 a gallon,” said Ewelina Smosna, a recent graduate of Taft High School in Chicago, as she hung out the other night at the Streets of Woodfield, an outdoor mall in Schaumburg. “We just park the car and walk around.”

Friday, June 27, 2008

Congressional Speculation

Op-Ed Columnist - Paul Krugman - Fuels on the Hill
What about those who argue that speculative excess is the only way to explain the speed with which oil prices have risen? Well, I have two words for them: iron ore.

You see, iron ore isn’t traded on a global exchange; its price is set in direct deals between producers and consumers. So there’s no easy way to speculate on ore prices. Yet the price of iron ore, like that of oil, has surged over the past year. In particular, the price Chinese steel makers pay to Australian mines has just jumped 96 percent. This suggests that growing demand from emerging economies, not speculation, is the real story behind rising prices of raw materials, oil included.

In any case, one thing is clear: the hyperventilation over oil-market speculation is distracting us from the real issues.

Hot Air Heating

Congressional Memo - An Inexhaustible Energy Source - Heated Words. But Can It Be Tapped?
Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, declared, “After today’s vote, the G.O.P. now officially stands for the Gas and Oil Party.”

Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said: “Most Democrats still insist on trying to repeal the law of supply and demand. It’s a new economic theory. You might call it Obamanomics.”

Solar Freeze

Citing Need for Assessments, U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects
"The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah."

Gas-Guzzling Car

38 random thoughts on building prosperity:
Driving a gas-guzzling car is always a waste of money, no matter how much gas costs. In addition to the fact that you probably paid too much for an overpriced tank that’s designed for offroading and you don’t even like getting your shoes muddy, you are helping to destroy the earth’s environment by contributing to climate change. One way or another, climate change is going to be expensive.

Kids Love Solar Power

Schools turn to the sun to save
'I have yet to meet a kid who doesn't love solar power,' said McCalmont, whose company contracts with several local private schools as well as Fremont Union. 'They think it's cool, it's new technology, and they are fascinated with how it works.'

The Rubbish Fairy

Take Out the Trash Precisely, Now. It’s the Law.
“It’s a sad thing to have to shatter people’s illusions, but gone are the days when we could put all our rubbish and junk in a big bag and overnight the fairy would come and take it away, and that would be the end of it,” Mr. Bettison said. “The rubbish fairy is dead.”

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Best Buy testing free e-waste recycling program -

Best Buy testing free e-waste recycling program -
"Best Buy is testing a free program that will offer consumers a convenient way to ensure millions of obsolescent TVs, old computers and other unwanted gadgets don't poison the nation's dumps.

The trial, expected to be announced today, covers 117 Best Buy stores scattered across eight states that will collect a wide variety of electronic detritus at no charge, even if the Richfield, Minn.-based retailer didn't originally sell the merchandise."