Business leaders urge Obama to act for clean energy

solar panels sky

When it comes to climate and energy, some business leaders are catching on, even in the United States. On January 21, a report authored, in part, by over 100 academics, energy experts, government officials, and business leaders called upon the president to address climate change by taking measures that do not require congressional approval. Spearheaded by the Center for the New Energy … [Read more...]

The permaculture gardener: year-end wrap up

garden bench in fall

November has been quirky: it started warm, then got quite cold and windy, followed by falling leaves, brilliant blue skies, then heavy clouds, even snow. Did I leave anything out? Then, of course, there’s the raking that accompanies the falling leaves. At this point I’d say I’m the only person in my neighborhood who still uses a rake to move leaves around; everyone else uses a leaf blower. The … [Read more...]

More reasons to avoid industrial meat

Monsanto protest image

Are you demanding locally-raised, pasture-fed meats? Do you protect yourself and your family by eating animals raised in a non-industrial environment that doesn’t depend upon the constant administration of low levels of antibiotics? If you do, you’ll be relieved that you do after you read this article. If you don’t, I’m about to give you a lot to think about. This little piggie went to market … [Read more...]

Climate craziness: use coal gas to get more oil

people with clean coal T shirts

Utility company Mississippi Power is building a plant that will convert coal to carbon dioxide gas, which will then be sold to oil companies that will pump the gas into the ground to replace oil coming up out of the ground, thereby sequestering the CO2 that resulted from the coal conversion. What is it about creating more carbon dioxide emissions so that they can be sequestered that seems … [Read more...]

Europe targets bee-killing pesticides

bumble bee

It was a good day recently when the European Commission voted to ban the use of a class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, for two years. Fifteen countries voted for the ban, which is not enough to constitute a “qualified majority.” That’s the reason for the sunset on the ban after two years. The moratorium applies to all member nations of the European Union and England. It will begin no … [Read more...]

Permaculture works


Based on the latest maps from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it appears that the eastern third of the country should be in good shape this year insofar as rainfall is concerned. For someone saddled with completely infertile soil, that’s good news. In my opinion, it’s bad enough to have to deal with unending amendment of the soil, without having to feel guilty … [Read more...]

Reassessing Arctic oil


Shell Oil will discontinue drilling for oil off the coast of Alaska during the summer of 2013.  According to Marilyn Heiman, Director of the U.S. Arctic Program of Pew Trusts, “[Shell] had some safety and management challenges that I don’t think they had fully thought through.” Shell, along with every other oil company out there, has a lot to learn about drilling in the Arctic Ocean. I'm no … [Read more...]

Always the last to know

Climate Change

Quiz time, readers: what do the US Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the Transportation Department, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, the Energy Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce, the Government Accountability Office, and the CIA have in common? It’s a long list of government departments … [Read more...]

Secrets of the trait


Picture this:  You’re an organic farmer in – well, pick a place. Your neighbor also farms, but not organically. As neighbors go, he’s a pretty good one; the two of you talk about the weather at the feed store, and he’s been interested in your agro-forestry sideline. By the same token, Monsanto’s visited your county multiple times, and your gut tells you he’s one of their hot prospects. … [Read more...]

The Capitalism Papers: Fatal flaws of an obsolete system


Self-interest lies at the root of capitalism. This self-interest is a thoroughly predictable, steadily consistent feature of the human landscape and can reasonably be viewed as a solid foundation upon which to build. Self- interest can serve as both motivation and a salve for weary spirits. Kept within commonly-accepted bounds, it acts as a spur against laziness, and a hopeful haven for … [Read more...]