Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Rising Sea Levels

March 15, 2012

From the NYT

About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.  The new research calculates the size of the population living within one meter, or 3.3 feet, of the mean high tide level, as estimated in a new tidal data set from the NOAA. In the lower 48 states, that zone contains 3.7 million people today, the papers estimate, a figure exceeding 1 percent of the nation’s population.

The land below the 3.3-foot line is expected to be permanently inundated someday, possibly as early as 2100, except in places where extensive fortifications are built to hold back the sea. One of the new papers calculates that long before inundation occurs, life will become more difficult in the low-lying zone because the rising sea will make big storm surges more likely.


Skip the BBQ?

August 25, 2011

There’s been some angst on the intertubes over the dwindling number of BBQ restaurants in Alameda (from a high of four down to just a solitary establishment). While the closure of any business isn’t always a good thing, as a vegetarian I couldn’t be more pleased 🙂

Considering that even folks down in the deep South are reconsidering their diet, maybe we have four too many such restaurants.

Not much seems out of place in the Mississippi Delta, where everything appears to be as it always has been, only more so as the years go by. But here in the fellowship hall of a little Baptist church on a country road is an astonishing sight: a plate of fresh fruit.

Irking drivers is urban policy

July 2, 2011

In Europe (naturally!). It is unclear if the concept would ever catch on here at home.

While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

Perhaps something to think about if (and when) we ever get around to developing Alameda Point.


Meatless Mondays

June 20, 2011

From wikipedia:

Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet. Meatless Monday focuses its initiative on Mondays for multiple reasons. Monday is typically the beginning of the work week, the day when individuals settle back into their weekly routine. Unhealthy habits that prevailed over the weekend can be forgotten and replaced by positive choices. A weekly reminder to restart healthy habits also encourages success.

NYT reporting that the concept is catching on in some places:

A new nationwide pro-veggie effort, however — aimed at persuading people to go meatless at least one day a week — has been embraced here Aspen) more than in any other city in America. At least 20 institutions and restaurants, including Syzygy, are offering vegetarian choices on Mondays under a plan announced this month.

Why not give this a try today? It is a healthy choice for you and for the earth as well!



October 18, 2010

From the AMP newsletter:

To help Alameda residents measure how efficient their 120-volt appliances, electronics, and computers are, AMP has donated 10 Kill-a-Watt monitors to the Alameda Public Library. The easy-to-use monitors help calculate the energy costs for each appliance or electronic device tested, and library patrons can borrow the monitors much like they borrow a book!

This is very cool! Reserve your monitor here (as you would expect, there’s a waiting list) 🙂

Additional info on these monitors.

Who needs driveways?

August 24, 2009

Before and after pics.

Paradise unpaved indeed!

Betraying the Planet

June 29, 2009

A landmark climate change bill comes up for vote in the Congress and what does our local congressman Pete Stark do? Vote against it! Sheesh … yet another DINO in our midst.

As Krugman explains ever so eloquently:

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

Meatless Mondays

June 27, 2009

Ok … I recognize that folks can’t stop eating meat all of a sudden. Here’s another approach towards a more healthy living for yourself and the rest of us (i.e: the planet)! 🙂

Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. Our goal is to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.

Go veggie young man!

February 16, 2009

A 2006 United Nations report states that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined! And according to the Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off U.S. roads.

I suppose it is easier for me (as a vegetarian) to pontificate on the demerits of a meat laden diet. I do recognize that it is simply impossible for almost anybody to make such drastic changes to their diet overnight. Perhaps with these constraints in mind, an Oakland based group called “Compassionate Cooks” is offering a wide variety of resources (including cooking classes) for people interested in making the switch.

Compassionate Cooks is dedicated to empowering people to make informed food choices and to debunking myths about vegetarianism and animal rights through cooking classes, recipes and resources, workshops and lectures, articles and essays …

Check them out … the Earth will thank you 🙂

If Berkeley can do it …

November 1, 2007

… why can’t Alameda?

The City of Berkeley is proposing to finance the purchase and installation of solar on homes within the city. The homeowner pays for the solar through their property taxes over a 20 year period, thus eliminating the biggest hurdle in going solar  – the upfront installation costs!

This is how Berkeley’s program would work:

A property owner would hire a city-approved solar installer, who would determine the best solar system for the property, depending on energy use. Most residential solar panel systems in the city cost from $15,000 to $20,000. The city would pay the contractor for the system and its installation, minus any applicable state and federal rebates, and would add an assessment to the property owner’s tax bill to pay for the system.

The extra tax would include administrative fees and interest, which would be lower than what the property owner could obtain on his own, because the city would secure low-interest bonds and loans, officials say. The tax would stay with the property even if the owner sold, although the owner would have to leave the solar panels. The property owner would save money on monthly electricity bill because electricity generated by the solar panels would partly replace electricity delivered by the utility.