Category: Environment

Turning Rejection Into Acceptance, Solarly

Improved growing technology and niggardly consumption of resources now allows industrial farmers to grow ten-to-twenty-times more vegetables indoors in smartly designed greenhouses by employing hydroponics and sun-capture techniques. The new hothouse method uses fewer chemicals, water, and arable land, and it feeds more people. The only obstacle to upgrading our produce paradigm is money: the...

Tough Questions

Is it worth keeping millions of Americans employed in an industry that produces products which harm our country? Would those laborers be better utilized making something that’s good for society? Or is it simply more important to provide jobs — to maintain jobs — no matter how pointless and unhelpful they are?  Other than the...

“Flow,” the Film

If you’re still drinking bottled water — or are in favor of more asphalt roads, lateral real estate development, and industrial farming — we’ve got a movie for you.  It’s called Flow, and like other cinematic wake-up calls, such as An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary coolly and convincingly correlates normal and accepted human behavior with the despoiling...

Next in Line at the Latrine

For much of the nation’s existence, India has either been colonized by its European superiors or shackled with cuffs of poverty. Until recently, the average Indian endured squalor and neediness unimaginable to those of us who expend our excess calories at cardio-striptease classes. Even now, as viewers of the urban fairy tale “Slumdog Millionaire” note...

Too Big to Fail

While we’re genuinely sympathetic to the enormous hardship that accompanies the loss of a job, the spectacle of Detroit automakers pleading for alms from us, the citizenry, from whom they have earned unfathomable wealth over the decades, is one of those macabre spectacles that normally appear in only the most imaginative science fiction. Our compassion...

Labis: “Too Much”

If there were an easy answer to endemic poverty, the kindest among us would surely have already implented it. There’s no simple solution. But one thing is obvious — at least to an outsider: desperately poor people must stop having desperately poor children, most of whom cannot be fed, educated, and cared for properly.  The...

Getting There

Ford announced that they’ll stop manufacturing their biggest cars and will delay the release of their new F-Series truck.  The Metropolitan Transit Authority in Los Angeles announced that last week’s ridership on the commuter rail was the highest they’ve ever recorded. Gasoline prices eclipsed $4.50 at many stations around the city. United Airlines is raising...

Boom and Bust

The snowshoe hare, a long-eared cutie at the bottom of the Arctic food chain, roams the 6 million acres of Alaska’s Denali National Park, eating the bark off of spruce saplings with the voracity of locusts. When the rabbits (and the squirrels, and the picas, and all the other little critters that provide sustenance for...

The Gas Tax Holiday

Desperate to curry favor with short-attention span voters, both John McCain and Hilary Clinton have proposed plans for a “gas tax holiday” this summer, when Americans drive most. The explicit reason for such a plan, which is gaining popularity among Congressman facing reelection challenges, is to give consumers “a break” while the economy is poor...

Notes on Taking the Bus

I generally prefer to walk or ride my bicycle to get around the neighborhood, but sometimes distance or time requires that I use the car. And when that’s not possible — in the interest of consuming less oil (and everything else) we only have one automobile in our family now –I avail myself of public...