Tag Archives: environment

Kicking the Oil Habit

Bush’s energy bill seems pretty fairly useless–the most novel thing to
come of
it is to put new refineries on old military bases. I fail to see how
that’ll make
us more self-reliant for energy needs. Fortunately, this is America, and
so people
can get off their butts and do cool things without Uncle Sam’s
babysitting them.
Here are some:

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Black Gold

Kenworth PilgrimageI wish people would stop whining about the cost of gasoline. Instead of complaining, we should stop buying gas-guzzling SUVs and other tank-like monstrosities, use public transportation more, and put pressure on auto manufacturers to make more fuel-efficient cars. The current price spike is very different from the 70s crisis. Back then, Americans used innovation – gasohol and fuel-efficient compacts – to break OPEC’s spirit. Today, people are buying SUVs and the like at high rates. It’s obvious that the high prices haven’t really hit people where it hurts. When people start trading in gas-guzzlers for efficient vehicles, I’ll believe that prices are high enough to worry about. Even then I’ll have little sympathy for drivers until they start pressuring Detroit to produce more efficient cars. So long as there’s demand for inefficient vehicles, auto makers will keep supplying them. Innovation is expensive and it won’t happen if there’s no demand for its fruits.

Father God and Mother Nature

During Lent last year, the Saint Mary’s campus did the traditional Stations of the
Cross and a new Earth Stations.

Turgi said the Earth Stations recalled the suffering of the Earth as the body of

Can you say “heresy” boys and girls? I’m a big fan of being good stewards of God’s creation, but this just ain’t kosher.

Hell With the Lid Off

Pittsburgh used to be called “Hell with the lid off”. Since most of the
steel mills closed, the air quality has dramatically improved. It seem, though,
that it still has a long way to go. The
EPA has announced a list of the 50 cities with the worst air quality
. Actually, it’s a list of counties that failed to attain the conditions set out in the PM 2.5 Standard. Allegheny County failed. Environmental Defense published a similar study in September that highlighted cities in which summer air conditions affected children the worst. Pittsburgh was 18th, with first being the worst. *Sigh* Oh well, at least I don’t leave around Philthadelphia any more. Then I’d really be sucking in scummy air. 😉

“Zero Energy” Homes

Check out this neat article on “zero-energy
that can produce as much electricity as they consume.
Now while
this assumes that you live in a particular climate (e.g., the
Southwest), that includes
some areas most in need of more sustainable design, given California’s
chronic power
shortages and the extended drought the West is experiencing. The
materials are already
on hand and commercially available, so I hope to see more of these
sustainable invents to be used.In reality, the houses don’t always
produce as much
electricity as they use, the savings may still be significant, and the
savings will
no doubt draw more homeowners to this philosophy of design.