Reassessing Arctic oil

shell-arctic-drilling-ad

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...]

Terrible tech toy tortures toddlers and tweens

Apptivity Monkey

We don't own a TV, so I don't see many ads. But since I love the NBC show Parenthood, I had to subscribe to HULU Plus to catch the show every week. There, I'm subjected to the every-eight-minutes commercial assault on our minds, dignity, and behavior so central to the TV "experience." This, HULU Plus calls "limited commercial interruption." I call it Hell. Ever since my HULU subscription … [Read more...]

Green waste

Waste not want not WWI poster

I was riding my bicycle into town on trash collection day last week and noticed that one of my neighbors had filled their can with weeds and other green waste. They had obviously cleaned up their yard and had accumulated a lot of green material in the process. But, I stalled out in trying to figure out why they had put it in their trash can? Weeds, grass clippings, twigs and other cuttings are, … [Read more...]

The gates of Hell

The Gates of Hell

In a letter to Ernest de Chabrol dated 9 June 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in? Nearly two hundred years later, de Tocqueville has been vindicated not only as a superb social critic but … [Read more...]

Peak oil, keeping reality in mind

Biking

Ponder what it means that half of all the oil ever burned has been burned over the past 22 years and ask yourself where the supplies will come from to fund the next 22 years. Thanks to Adam Smith and those who followed him, especially the current neoclassical economic theologians, we've seen such an increase in the world’s wealth and population that it's hard to imagine life before the … [Read more...]

‘The Grey,’ a peak oil flick quick take

The Grey.

John Ottway has the job at the end of the world. He's a sharpshooter who protects oil rig workers from animal predators lurking in the wilderness surrounding a remote Alaskan oil facility in the new film, The Grey. When Ottway (Liam Neeson) and some of his co-workers workers board a light plane for Nome, he finds out quickly that his knowledge of wolf behavior will come in handy. The plane … [Read more...]

Young couple finds freedom in simple living

Smith and Strober

Peak oil isn't all about Saudi Arabia depletion curves and what's for lunch at the annual ASPO conference. In fact, may folks still don't know much about peak oil. I didn't know about it until recently. My casual online search for ideas about how to simplify my home led me, via Peak Moment, to so much more than I could ever have imagined. I found an episode about a couple who were simplifying, … [Read more...]

Resources and anthropocentrism

Trash Heap

We see finite substances and the living planet as materials to be exploited for our comfort. We treat resources as our entitlement. Examples of intense anthropocentrism are so numerous in the English language it seems unfair to pick on this one word from among many. And, as with most other cases, we don't even think about these examples, much less question them (cf. sustainability, … [Read more...]

Six ideas for a low impact holiday

Recycled Gift Tags

For many of us, the first snow is on the ground, night skies are star-studded and a holiday spirit is in the air. Holidays, as much fun as they are, tend to bring out some of our most entrenched bad habits. The holidays shouldn't be a burden on the environment, but they are. Most Americans, for example, produce about 25 percent more trash during the holidays (from Thanksgiving to New Year’s) … [Read more...]

Why women matter to the energy conversation

Moms and kids on bikes

I can't think of any moms I know (and even those I don't) who would sprinkle a dose of poison on her kid's food. I can't think of any who would blow mercury particulates in her kid's face. Nor any who would wish for her child a lower standard of living in the future than she now enjoys. Who does? Moms are the super champions of kids, wanting only the best for her offspring. Your kid's future … [Read more...]