Carnival of th Green Number 100!

| Monday October 22nd, 2007 | 0 Comments

cotg.gifOn Hundred. That’s the number of “Green Carnivals” that have passed through the blogosphere as of today. The 100th carnival is over at “The Good Human” today, so be sure to check it out. David’s been working extra hard to make it a really good one.
In case you don’t know what it is – the Carnival of the Green is an idea I cooked up with Al from City Hippy over pints of beer in London 2 years ago. It’s a weekly wrap-up of post from environmentally related blogs collected and organized in one place. And that place moves every week, giving a new blog exposure and the responsibility of hosting it. For more info, check out this post on TreeHugger.

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AskPablo: Where do car tires go?

| Monday October 22nd, 2007 | 5 Comments

tires.jpgKristina recently needed new car tires so she asked me where the old ones go. She wasn’t referring to the big tire pile seen in the Simpsons’ hometown of Springfield but where the tread on the tire goes. In order to answer that question we first need to learn a little bit more about car tires…

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Money Don’t Buy You Happiness – Thoughts for the Weekend

| Friday October 19th, 2007 | 0 Comments

happy-money.jpgMust we really be reminded of the ancient saying, “Money Won’t Buy You Happiness?”. Evidently we do, and frequently. The fact is money *does* buy happiness if you’ve been utterly destitute and manage to achieve a middle-class level of income, but after that, money presents a diminishing margin of return. This Newsweek article sums it up great and is well worth a read for your weekend. The key take-a-way paragraph:

If more money doesn’t buy more happiness, then the behavior of most Americans looks downright insane, as we work harder and longer, decade after decade, to fatten our W-2s. But what is insane for an individual is crucial for a national economy – that is, ever more growth and consumption. … “Economies can blossom and grow only if people are deluded into believing that the production of wealth will make them happy … Economies thrive when individuals strive, but because individuals will strive only for their own happiness, it is essential that they mistakenly believe that producing and consuming are routes to personal well-being.” In other words, if you want to do your part for your country’s economy, forget all of the above about money not buying happiness.

Have a great weekend!

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Lights out San Francisco this Saturday Night

| Friday October 19th, 2007 | 0 Comments

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If you happen to be in San Francisco this weekend, don’t forget to switch your lights out at 8pm in honor of “Lights out San Francisco”, a symbolic event to promote energy conservation. Most non-essential lights on civic buildings and both bridges will go out for one hour between 8 and 9pm. There’s also a great party going on in Dolores Park. Get your candlelight dinners ready!

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A Cool Trillion in Green Markets by 2030

| Friday October 19th, 2007 | 0 Comments

Alternative energy stands poised for growthGreen markets, in particular renewable and alternative energy, stand poised to grow into a $1 trillion market by 2030 according to analysis by Morgan Stanley.

A report on Thursday in Reuters said the world market for “green” energy – including solar, wind, biomass. biofuels, tidal, and geothermal – is likely to face exponential growth in the coming decades in response to rising prices for oil and concerns over security and the environmental costs of fossil fuel.

Adding to the optimism, Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) envisions a world run on 50% renewable energy by 2050. Currently, renewable energy accounts for 13.2 percent of global supply.

While nobody denies the fundamental risks with a continued (and growing) reliance on fossil fuel, it is no surprise that not everyone shares this optimism.

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Green Collar, Green Tech, and Green Management Careers: The New Wave of Employment Generation

Shannon Arvizu | Friday October 19th, 2007 | 0 Comments

green-collar.jpgAs many of us in the field recognize, there is a slow but steady growth of “green” positions opening up for traditional blue collar, tech, and professional employees. We can expect this number to increase as our state and federal governments begin diverting money to green employment generation in the near future.
Earth2tech.com recently posted a top ten list of “hot” green jobs. For professionals, we can expect an increase in demand for green brand managers, land use planners, LEED architects, and green venture capitalists. I also foresee an increase in “Green CEO” positions, CSR managers, and green supply chain managers. For the “techies” and chemists, there will be more positions opening up for research and development in alternative energy sources. Finally, we can expect a surge in jobs for the new “green collar” workers, who will work as solar panel installers, biodiesel veggie oil pick-up providers, and green building construction workers. Check out the several other green collar jobs listed by Urban Habitat.

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Water Cops: USA Today article highlighted

| Thursday October 18th, 2007 | 2 Comments

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Wednesday’s (10.17.07) USA Today featured a story titled: Sprinkling the lawn? Look out for H20 cops
“Drought-Stricken areas serious about water limits” The article is about the fines that are being slapped on homeowners for watering their lawns in Georgia during water restrictions resulting from a drought.
I felt this article fell inline nicely with my Netafim article on subsurface irrigation. Over watering in high-density suburbs where water shortages can strike at any time could be easily avoided through water wise irrigation methods. The source of the problem begins well before the unconscious consumer who waters their lawn unefficiently and wastefully. In my opinion it begins with the city planning departments who allow developers to build unrestricted in their use of water. Proper CCNR’s would effectively control the home owner from installing wasteful irrigation systems and water leaching plants. At the current rate of population growth world-wide and the simple fact that our fresh water supplies are finite is it not painfully clear that water flow should be wisely managed?

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Brazil’s Lula Campaigns for Fairer Trade as IBSA Summit Commences

| Thursday October 18th, 2007 | 0 Comments

Brazilian, Indian and South African leaders are meeting in Pretoria this week for the second IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) summit. The three national leaders are looking to foster closer political relations and boost trade and economic ties, particularly among developing nations in the southern hemisphere, by coordinating efforts to bring down trade and investment barriers and the sharing of knowledge, expertise and development resources.
Rapid growth in and the opening up of the Indian economy, along with its growing role in world trade and manufacturing, Brazil’s successful and internationally influential efforts to develop biofuels and flex-fuel vehicles, and South Africa’s importance as a supplier of key strategic minerals and a linchpin of relative democratic and economic stability in southern Africa are among the factors that make the IBSA summit a leading indicator of the upcoming diplomatic agenda likely to be pursued by developing countries in larger, broader international forums that bring together leaders from the southern and northern hemispheres and from developed and developing nations.

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The Heinz Center Releases “A Survey of Climate Change Adaptation Planning”

| Wednesday October 17th, 2007 | 2 Comments

The Heinz Center: A Survey of Climate Change Adaptation PlanningMitigating the future consequences of global warming is an important aspect of our current response to climate change.

As the reality of climate change truly begins to seep into the global consciousness we “suddenly” find ourselves in a world of changing weather patterns, a rapidly melting Arctic ice cap, rising seas, stressed ecosystems, and endangered species.

With leading climate scientist Tim Flannery’s recent statement that we’ve already passed a critical threshold of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere it becomes clear that “future consequences” are now at our doorstep. Global warming is real and it is here.

While mitigation is still vital, the focus must also turn to effective strategies for adaptation to an altered and rapidly changing world.   

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The Power of Smoother Noodles?: Eco-Strategies from Hamburger Helper

Shannon Arvizu | Wednesday October 17th, 2007 | 2 Comments

hamburger-helper.jpgHow many General Mills product developers does it take to envision a more sustainably produced Hamburger Helper? The geniuses came up with smoother noodles. Yes, that’s right. Smoother noodles, not the twisty kind, allow the product to settle more compactly in the plastic pouch and, thus, require a smaller cardboard box for the product. Voila! Sustainability in Action! Hardly.
It is noteworthy that giants like General Mills are starting ponder green principles in their attempts to reduce waste and lower product cost. Walmart CEO Lee Scott is touting Hamburger Helper as the wave of the future for greener products in his store.

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Water wise: Sub-surface irrigation, what’s that?

| Tuesday October 16th, 2007 | 2 Comments

netafim%20pic.gifProper watering methods are seldom practiced by most gardeners who either under or over water when irrigating. For us who have no water sense there is a product out there that makes watering efficient and more importantly, easy!! The product is Netafim dripperline and its duties lie under the soil not above. In short, Netafim is the king of sub-surface irrigation which sounds more complex than it really is. The flow rates through the tubing vary from 0.6-0.9 GPH (gallons per hour) released through one-way drippers spaced 12″ apart and buried 4-6″ deep beneath the ground’s surface. Netafim drip/micro products support sensible water use by using virtually every drop of water. This translates to Netafim products receiving an exemption when other forms of outdoor watering are being restricted or banned. I have personally used Netafim with raving success, you never even know when it’s watering and the results are truly rewarding.
RESULTS:
1- A “green” yet water-saving landscape via smart water delivery.
2- Netafim Dripperline delivers a slow, steady application of water.
3- Water is directly delivered to the plant’s roots eliminating water-waste.
4- Netafim dripperline is pressure compensating; water is supplied uniformly.
5- Prevent water-waste through puddling, wind, evaporation or overspray.
6- Another remarkable “green” product for the water wise among us.

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Beyond the Tipping Point of Climate Change

Shannon Arvizu | Tuesday October 16th, 2007 | 0 Comments

hsbcbuilding.jpgIt’s official. Global climate change is not our future. It is our present.
It’s happening faster than scientists predicted, according to a new IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report to be released in November 2007. Tim Flannery, climate change expert and author of The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth, said. “What the report establishes is that the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is already above the threshold that can potentially cause dangerous climate change.” He continues, “We are already at great risk of dangerous climate change, that’s what these figures say. It’s not next year or next decade, it’s now.” Read the rest of his comments on the AP Newswire.

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Al Gore, the Nobel Peace Prize, and Global Warming

| Monday October 15th, 2007 | 0 Comments

Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize along with the Intergovernmetnal Panel on Climate ChangeBy now it has been widely reported that Al Gore, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has won the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in alerting the world to the very real and growing danger of climate change.

As an essentially political figure, Gore has taken a lot of flak for his stance on global warming, even before his movie An Inconvenient Truth was released, but since then especially. Many detractors as well as supporters focus more on Mr. Gore and his political ambitions, real or imagined. Even after being awarded the Nobel for his work on global warming, the mainstream media buzz was more about whether this means Gore will run for president than the actual issue of climate change.

While much of the criticism of Gore has been vitriolic bombast from a vocal fringe, there have also been some more reasoned and reasonable concerns raised on the substance of Al Gore’s message on global warming. Lisa Dilling, writing in the University of Colorado’s blog Prometheus, gives a good example of this.

In her post she raises a principal concern that Gore’s message, as seen in An Inconvenient Truth, is light on effective solutions to Global Warming. While doing a good job communicating the problem, he doesn’t do so well in communicating the tough choices faced by the reality for which he has helped alert us.

I have other concerns as well.

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AskPablo: What is the Cost of Carbon?

| Monday October 15th, 2007 | 1 Comment

GD3153294%40Benxi-steel-mills-blo-3862.jpgThis week’s question comes from Richard. He asks how the price of Carbon Dioxide is determined. Unfortunately for me this is not an easy question to answer since there are many different prices for carbon. I will give it my best and hopefully you will be satisfied…

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Ever Wonder Where All those Foreign Aid and Development $$$ Went?

| Monday October 15th, 2007 | 0 Comments

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“The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.” George Washington
Corruption, institutionalized corruption in particular, has been a plague on societies for, well, since societies began to develop, I’d imagine. And while it almost surely exists in every country today, its scope and scale, and whether or not authorities publicly discredit and have the means and motivation to actively try and stop it, varies greatly between nations. And that makes a big difference in terms of how pervasive and damaging corruption’s effects are on the often fragile fabric that holds together the just functioning of any given society.
Just how sizable corruption has been, in monetary terms, during the recent past is being revealed to a greater extent than ever before by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and World Bank’s Stolen Asset Recovery initiative. Intended to assist developing countries recover assets stolen by corrupt leaders and deposited in foreign, often Western, banks.

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