March 12, 2011

What do climate change, farming and hipsters have in common?

wind farmPhoto by Snurb via Flickr

While searching for articles more in-depth on the first issue here, I came across some interesting finds. If you can read between the lines, you'll figure out my headline. (Unintentional cheesy rhyming.)

The nuclear plant explosion caused by Japan's magnitude 8.9 earthquake, and potential of further danger, reminds us just how risky and costly nuclear power is, says Greenpeace. Writes Ariel Schwartz for GOOD, "Nuclear power plants aren't cheap, either. Reactors cost billions of dollars to build, which is why there are only 104 operating in the entire country [US] and why they're all old — all of these plants began construction in 1974 or earlier." And I think we can all agree a wind or solar farm is far more attractive than a nuclear power plant. Speaking of solar farms, this farmer is harvesting the sun along with his wheat.

UBC is doing interesting things to reduce its GHG. Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts a world powered by solar in 20 years. I wish it were sooner. If we combined solar with wind power, which is now competitive in price with coal in certain regions (I'm flabbergasted to think coal power is "cheaper" than wind power), geothermal, and solar thermal, I wonder how quickly we could get off fossil fuels? Fifteen years? Ten years? The sooner we get started, the sooner that day comes. It may start with telling Prime Minister Harper to stop giving handouts to oil companies, something most Americans support doing in the US, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Add to that how much money we save by going car-free. On a related note, Grist asks, does climate change mean more tsunamis?

The Tyee's Christopher Pollon asks how smart is Power Smart?

I adored this brilliant man's talk a few years ago. Grist interviews James Howard Kunstler about urban density, peak oil and sprawl, and he takes a hit at the thesis put forward by the author I wrote about last night, David Owen.

Pointing back to my post about food the other day, "every year, the United States wastes 40 percent of the food it produces." GOOD offers tips on how to stop wasting food. And while we're at it, let's create a better food system, one dinner at a time.

Farming is the new hipster occupation of choice, as evidenced by these hipster farmer band names. Radicchiohead. Hilarious!

Speaking of hipsters, how sustainable is your clothing?

Finally, a bit of love for Japan: this is beautiful. (I wish it were my homepage photo.)

75th graphicAre you concerned about climate change and want more green energy? Please consider donating to the David Suzuki Foundation by sponsoring this daily blog challenge. Don't forget to write a 75th birthday message for David Suzuki when you do!
Note: I am writing solely on my own behalf, and do not claim to represent the David Suzuki Foundation or its views here.

Comments (2)

Do not discount nuclear too quickly — Stuart Brand was in town for Gaining Ground back in October talking about small nuclear plants alongside a number of other environmentalism boogeymen as covered in his book. He makes a compelling argument, though I think it’s rooted in the assumption that we are married enough to our energy intensive lifestyle to warrant more nuclear. It depresses me to think he might be right, but my computer says I might be a hypocrite.

Karen Fung | March 13, 2011

Thanks, Karen. I think we can and should do better than nuclear, no matter the size of the plant. We can also stand to use a lot less energy!

Erika | March 13, 2011

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Erika photo

I am a communication designer in Vancouver, BC. Most of my writing and community activism are in the interconnected issues of public transit, local eating and food security, politics, health, environment, and sustainability in general. At heart, I'm a geek and a total treehugger. Nature, tea, good food and great company make me happy.

Currently reading:
The Golden Spruce
John Vaillant

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