Thursday, February 28, 2008

A green President

Well, out of the shear amount of exposure I've had to the Presidential campaign (a shout out at The News Record's new political blog, with contributions from your's truly), I thought something on the green issues was in-store for the blog.

John McCain, most importantly, advocates for the inclusion and expansion of nuclear power into America's energy strategy. Most of the rhetoric I've heard and seen from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has been nearly, the same: 80% by 2050 and the like.

The League of Conservation Voters recently released their 2007 scorecard, which rates Senators and Representatives on numerous votes and gives them an overall score.

McCain had a score of zero, Obama had 67 and Clinton had 73.

There is much more information out there on this (for example, here), so when you're deciding who to vote for on March 4, don't forget to do your research first.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Props to Blogs, and Other Stuff

So, I'll admit I've been a little caught up in the presidential race right now, and with school and work. But I'd like to give a quick shout out to two awesome blogs I have come across recently, for your viewing pleasure when you're not reading mine:
  1. The National Wildlife Foundation's Wildlife Promise blog. They have good coverage not only of the presidential race and candidates, but of other pertinent cool stuff - like this post, "Bush Administration Goes Green?"
  2. Dot Earth, of the New York Times. So, it's not the first time I've mentioned this blog, but I just really enjoy it. For always insightful and up-to-date info check this out.
Additionally, today was installment number two of the UC President's Climate Commitment speaker series. In case you missed it, show up for the next one some time next quarter.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Green Home Products Expo This Weekend

If you're bored and looking for something to do this weekend check out this expo at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. There is a $10 price tag to get it, but it looks pretty cool.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Peak Oil!

So, the CEO of Shell has stated that peak oil, the point where demand for oil exceeds supply, may be here as soon as 2015.

Yes, 2015, only seven years from now. So what does this mean...?

You think oil (gas) is expensive now, just wait until then and the years that follow.

In an effort to continuously learn more about this stuff, I came across a MIT report on "The Future of Coal." Because realistically we've got a lot of it and it's not like we are going to take all of our coal plants off-line any time soon.

(I have yet to read the report, and it has remained an open tab in my Firefox browser for about 5 days... I'll get there sooner or later.)

In searching for a cool interactive graphic I saw a week ago I came across 25x25 - Clean Energy of America's Future, which advocates smartly using America's farm and ranch land to install renewable energy infrastructure to supply 25% of America's power by 2025. Now there's an idea.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

It Could Happen Here

I know you've seen them, the green or other naturally colored, reusable cloth bags being sold at grocery stores nowadays. Keller's IGA, Wild Oats and Trader Joe's all carry them - Oh, and Park + Vine does too. I don't know if Meijer or Kroger do, because I haven't shopped there recently.

Reusable cloth shopping bags, like this one at a Superquinn grocery checkout in Dublin, have replaced those stretchy, crinkly plastic shopping bags, which are subject to a 33-cent tax per bag.

In 2002 Ireland passed a 33 cent tax per plastic grocery bag. Within a year, plastic bag usage dropped 94 percent, and today nearly EVERYONE uses the cloth bags. So why not do the same thing here?

When I went on "Make Peace with Nature" to talk about sustainability efforts at UC I was asked by the host David Surber why the U.S. couldn't mandate that all light bulbs be Compact Fluorescents like Australia did. My answer was that I didn't know, and then when President Bush signed the Energy Bill a few months ago the U.S. followed suit and mandated that all bulbs sold in the U.S. be CFLs by 2012.

This is progress, be it slow and one step at time.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Focus the Nation Today

"Remember, remember the fifth of November..." That's when it started at Power Shift, with thousands of students and youth from across the nation in Washington, D.C. Today more than 1,500 schools around the country are holding teach-ins to raise awareness to global warming.

Today's "Focus the Nation" schedule at TUC is as follows:

12 p.m. – Dr. Richard Beck, UC Geography Dept., "Carbon Sequestration"

1:15 p.m. – Larry Falkin from Cincinnati City Government, presenting on "Cincinnati’s Climate Action Plan"

2 p.m. – Todd Portune, Hamilton County Commissioner

2:45 p.m. – Dr. Randall Bruins, US EPA, "Biofuel Impacts on the Midwest" and "Future Midwestern Landscapes," potential ecological consequences, both positive and negative, of growing feedstocks for biofuels.

3:45 p.m. –- Dr. Fran Kremer, US EPA. "Cincinnati's Efforts with Alternative Energy," This includes efforts to develop waste-to-energy technologies and to use waste materials to sequester carbon. It also includes studies that elucidate some of the complexities involved in developing alternative energy sources, such as the potential impacts of alternative fuels on water quality.

4:45 p.m. – James Kinsman, Green Energy Ohio, "Opportunities for Green Energy in Ohio"

Stop by and see us. LEAP will be giving out free organic cookies and granola bars (while they last).

Monday, January 28, 2008

State of the Union

I'd just like to point out that when President Bush said tonight that "We must pass an agreement that will slow then stop carbon emissions," it was the democratic caucus that stood up in applause first, followed by the other half of the room. I am also curious about a proposed Clean Energy Fund of sorts he proposed tonight to help China, India, and other developing nations become more clean and environmentally friendly.

On another note, stop by and see us this Thursday in the TUC Atrium for Focus the Nation. It's going to be an all-day event with a bunch of different speakers and presenters. Stop by and check it out.