Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's exciting to me...

At $1 per Watt, the iTunes of Solar Energy Has Arrived | Annotated

A Silicon Valley start-up called Nanosolar shipped its first solar panels -- priced at $1 a watt. That's the price at which solar energy gets cheaper than coal. Curious that this story is not on every front page.

While other companies have been focusing their efforts on increasing the efficiency of solar panels, Nanosolar took a different approach. It focused on manufacturing.

Nanosolar has developed proprietary process technology that makes it possible to produce 100x thinner solar cells 100x faster.

Nanosolar - 7 Areas of Innovation Annotated



New Forms of Life

Check out the video in this Treehugger post!



Monday, December 17, 2007

a nice word

Michael Pollan's latest NY Times article on sustainability & food.

Our Decrepit Food Factories

Published: December 16, 2007

The word “sustainability” has gotten such a workout lately that the whole concept is in danger of floating away on a sea of inoffensiveness. Everybody, it seems, is for it whatever “it” means. On a recent visit to a land-grant university’s spanking-new sustainability institute, I asked my host how many of the school’s faculty members were involved. She beamed: When letters went out asking who on campus was doing research that might fit under that rubric, virtually everyone replied in the affirmative. What a nice surprise, she suggested. But really, what soul working in agricultural science today (or for that matter in any other field of endeavor) would stand up and be counted as against sustainability? When pesticide makers and genetic engineers cloak themselves in the term, you have to wonder if we haven’t succeeded in defining sustainability down, to paraphrase the late Senator Moynihan, and if it will soon possess all the conceptual force of a word like “natural” or “green” or “nice.”

Confucius advised that if we hoped to repair what was wrong in the world, we had best start with the “rectification of the names.” The corruption of society begins with the failure to call things by their proper names, he maintained, and its renovation begins with the reattachment of words to real things and precise concepts. So what about this much-abused pair of names, sustainable and unsustainable?

To call a practice or system unsustainable is not just to lodge an objection based on aesthetics, say, or fairness or some ideal of environmental rectitude. What it means is that the practice or process can’t go on indefinitely because it is destroying the very conditions on which it depends. It means that, as the Marxists used to say, there are internal contradictions that sooner or later will lead to a breakdown.

For years now, critics have been speaking of modern industrial agriculture as “unsustainable” in precisely these terms, though what form the “breakdown” might take or when it might happen has never been certain. Would the aquifers run dry? The pesticides stop working? The soil lose its fertility? All these breakdowns have been predicted and they may yet come to pass. But if a system is unsustainable — if its workings offend the rules of nature — the cracks and signs of breakdown may show up in the most unexpected times and places. Two stories in the news this year, stories that on their faces would seem to have nothing to do with each other let alone with agriculture, may point to an imminent breakdown in the way we’re growing food today.

The first story is about MRSA, the very scary antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus bacteria that is now killing more Americans each year than AIDS — 100,000 infections leading to 19,000 deaths in 2005, according to estimates in The Journal of the American Medical Association. For years now, drug-resistant staph infections have been a problem in hospitals, where the heavy use of antibiotics can create resistant strains of bacteria. It’s Evolution 101: the drugs kill off all but the tiny handful of microbes that, by dint of a chance mutation, possess genes allowing them to withstand the onslaught; these hardy survivors then get to work building a drug-resistant superrace. The methicillin-resistant staph that first emerged in hospitals as early as the 1960s posed a threat mostly to elderly patients. But a new and even more virulent strain — called “community-acquired MRSA” — is now killing young and otherwise healthy people who have not set foot in a hospital. No one is yet sure how or where this strain evolved, but it is sufficiently different from the hospital-bred strains to have some researchers looking elsewhere for its origin, to another environment where the heavy use of antibiotics is selecting for the evolution of a lethal new microbe: the concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO.

The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that at least 70 percent of the antibiotics used in America are fed to animals living on factory farms. Raising vast numbers of pigs or chickens or cattle in close and filthy confinement simply would not be possible without the routine feeding of antibiotics to keep the animals from dying of infectious diseases. That the antibiotics speed up the animals’ growth also commends their use to industrial agriculture, but the crucial fact is that without these pharmaceuticals, meat production practiced on the scale and with the intensity we practice it could not be sustained for months, let alone decades.

Public-health experts have been warning us for years that this situation is a public-health disaster waiting to happen. Sooner or later, the profligate use of these antibiotics — in many cases the very same ones we depend on when we’re sick — would lead to the evolution of bacteria that could shake them off like a spring shower. It appears that “sooner or later” may be now. Recent studies in Europe and Canada found that confinement pig operations have become reservoirs of MRSA. A European study found that 60 percent of pig farms that routinely used antibiotics had MRSA-positive pigs (compared with 5 percent of farms that did not feed pigs antibiotics). This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study showing that a strain of “MRSA from an animal reservoir has recently entered the human population and is now responsible for [more than] 20 percent of all MRSA in the Netherlands.” Is this strictly a European problem? Evidently not. According to a study in Veterinary Microbiology, MRSA was found on 45 percent of the 20 pig farms sampled in Ontario, and in 20 percent of the pig farmers. (People can harbor the bacteria without being infected by it.) Thanks to Nafta, pigs move freely between Canada and the United States. So MRSA may be present on American pig farms; we just haven’t looked yet.

Scientists have not established that any of the strains of MRSA presently killing Americans originated on factory farms. But given the rising public alarm about MRSA and the widespread use on these farms of precisely the class of antibiotics to which these microbes have acquired resistance, you would think our public-health authorities would be all over it. Apparently not. When, in August, the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition asked the Food and Drug Administration what the agency was doing about the problem of MRSA in livestock, the agency had little to say. Earlier this month, though, the F.D.A. indicated that it may begin a pilot screening program with the C.D.C.

As for independent public-health researchers, they say they can’t study the problem without the cooperation of the livestock industry, which, not surprisingly, has not been forthcoming. For what if these researchers should find proof that one of the hidden costs of cheap meat is an epidemic of drug-resistant infection among young people? There would be calls to revolutionize the way we produce meat in this country. This is not something that the meat and the pharmaceutical industries or their respective regulatory “watchdogs” — the Department of Agriculture and F.D.A. — are in any rush to see happen.

he second story is about honeybees, which have endured their own mysterious epidemic this past year. Colony Collapse Disorder was first identified in 2006, when a Pennsylvanian beekeeper noticed that his bees were disappearing — going out on foraging expeditions in the morning never to return. Within months, beekeepers in 24 states were reporting losses of between 20 percent and 80 percent of their bees, in some cases virtually overnight. Entomologists have yet to identify the culprit, but suspects include a virus, agricultural pesticides and a parasitic mite. (Media reports that genetically modified crops or cellphone towers might be responsible have been discounted.) But whatever turns out to be the immediate cause of colony collapse, many entomologists believe some such disaster was waiting to happen: the lifestyle of the modern honeybee leaves the insects so stressed out and their immune systems so compromised that, much like livestock on factory farms, they’ve become vulnerable to whatever new infectious agent happens to come along.

You need look no farther than a California almond orchard to understand how these bees, which have become indispensable workers in the vast fields of industrial agriculture, could have gotten into such trouble. Like a great many other food crops, like an estimated one out of every three bites you eat, the almond depends on bees for pollination. No bees, no almonds. The problem is that almonds today are grown in such vast monocultures — 80 percent of the world’s crop comes from a 600,000-acre swath of orchard in California’s Central Valley — that, when the trees come into bloom for three weeks every February, there are simply not enough bees in the valley to pollinate all those flowers. For what bee would hang around an orchard where there’s absolutely nothing to eat for the 49 weeks of the year that the almond trees aren’t in bloom? So every February the almond growers must import an army of migrant honeybees to the Central Valley — more than a million hives housing as many as 40 billion bees in all.

They come on the backs of tractor-trailers from as far away as New England. These days, more than half of all the beehives in America are on the move to California every February, for what has been called the world’s greatest “pollination event.” (Be there!) Bees that have been dormant in the depths of a Minnesota winter are woken up to go to work in the California spring; to get them in shape to travel cross-country and wade into the vast orgy of almond bloom, their keepers ply them with “pollen patties” — which often include ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup and flower pollen imported from China. Because the pollination is so critical and the bee population so depleted, almond growers will pay up to $150 to rent a box of bees for three weeks, creating a multimillion-dollar industry of migrant beekeeping that barely existed a few decades ago. Thirty-five years ago you could rent a box of bees for $10. (Pimping bees is the whole of the almond business for these beekeepers since almond honey is so bitter as to be worthless.)

In 2005 the demand for honeybees in California had so far outstripped supply that the U.S.D.A. approved the importation of bees from Australia. These bees get off a 747 at SFO and travel by truck to the Central Valley, where they get to work pollinating almond flowers — and mingling with bees arriving from every corner of America. As one beekeeper put it to Singeli Agnew in The San Francisco Chronicle, California’s almond orchards have become “one big brothel” — a place where each February bees swap microbes and parasites from all over the country and the world before returning home bearing whatever pathogens they may have picked up. Add to this their routine exposure to agricultural pesticides and you have a bee population ripe for an epidemic national in scope. In October, the journal Science published a study that implicated a virus (Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus) in Colony Collapse Disorder — a virus that was found in some of the bees from Australia. (The following month, the U.S.D.A. questioned the study, pointing out that the virus was present in North America as early as 2002.)

“We’re placing so many demands on bees we’re forgetting that they’re a living organism and that they have a seasonal life cycle,” Marla Spivak, a honeybee entomologist at the University of Minnesota, told The Chronicle. “We’re wanting them to function as a machine. . . . We’re expecting them to get off the truck and be fine.”

We’re asking a lot of our bees. We’re asking a lot of our pigs too. That seems to be a hallmark of industrial agriculture: to maximize production and keep food as cheap as possible, it pushes natural systems and organisms to their limit, asking them to function as efficiently as machines. When the inevitable problems crop up — when bees or pigs remind us they are not machines — the system can be ingenious in finding “solutions,” whether in the form of antibiotics to keep pigs healthy or foreign bees to help pollinate the almonds. But this year’s solutions have a way of becoming next year’s problems. That is to say, they aren’t “sustainable.”

From this perspective, the story of Colony Collapse Disorder and the story of drug-resistant staph are the same story. Both are parables about the precariousness of monocultures. Whenever we try to rearrange natural systems along the lines of a machine or a factory, whether by raising too many pigs in one place or too many almond trees, whatever we may gain in industrial efficiency, we sacrifice in biological resilience. The question is not whether systems this brittle will break down, but when and how, and whether when they do, we’ll be prepared to treat the whole idea of sustainability as something more than a nice word.

Michael Pollan is a contributing writer. His new book, “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” will be published next month.



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Dad Hates Left Turns!

Left-Hand-Turn Elimination - New York Times  Annotated

It seems that sitting in the left lane, engine idling, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear so you can make a left-hand turn, is minutely wasteful — of time and peace of mind, for sure, but also of gas and therefore money. Not a ton of gas and money if we’re talking about just you and your Windstar, say, but immensely wasteful if we’re talking about more than 95,000 big square brown trucks delivering packages every day.

The company employs what it calls a “package flow” software program, which among other hyperefficient practices involving the packing and sorting of its cargo, maps out routes for every one of its drivers, drastically reducing the number of left-hand turns they make (taking into consideration, of course, those instances where not to make the left-hand turn would result in a ridiculously circuitous route).

Last year, according to Heather Robinson, a U.P.S. spokeswoman, the software helped the company shave 28.5 million miles off its delivery routes, which has resulted in savings of roughly three million gallons of gas and has reduced CO2 emissions by 31,000 metric tons. So what can Brown do for you? We can’t speak to how good or bad they are in the parcel-delivery world, but they won’t be clogging up the left-hand lane while they do their business.



Monday, December 10, 2007


check this website out, a friend told me to take a gander at it and I'm just passing it along.

Social Way



Sunday, December 09, 2007

Chemical Dangers from Nalgene?

A Canadian retailer has just banned Nalgene bottles from being sold in its stores until more is known about the effects of a chemical used to make Nalgene plastic are bettern known.

Read Article



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Google Energy

Google Invests in Green with Renewable Energy Initiative | Epicenter from  Annotated

The new iative, dubbed Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal, will primarily target energy sources like advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies and enhanced geothermal, according to Google co-founder Larry Page, and the company plans to shell out tens of millions of dollars in 2008 on R&D and related investments.

Google also said it anticipates investing hundreds of millions of dollars in other renewable energy projects which the company also hopes will generate positive returns.

Being Google, it's not just about helping the environment. The company said it also expects the new iative will be pretty good for its bottom line as well.

Google´s Goal - Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal  Annotated

Depending on how fast Google spends its money, its investment could rival the federal government's investment in renewable energy. A Government Accountability Office report found that Department of Energy spending on research and development of biomass, wind and solar energy sources totaled just $65 million in 2006. (Since this was posted this morning, the folks over at reddit have identified other Department of Energy budget documents that make the GAO estimate seem far too low, with $1.16 billion being appropriated for energy efficiency and renewable energy in 2006, and $1.24 billion requested for 2008.)



Monday, November 26, 2007

Magnetic Wind Energy

Inhabitat » THE MAGLEV: The Super-powered Magnetic Wind Turbine  Annotated

The MagLev wind turbine, which was first unveiled at the Wind Power Asia exhibition in Beijing, is expected take wind power technology to the next level with magnetic levitation.

Maglev, wind turbine, chinese wind power, wind power, wind turbine china, big wind turbine, magnetic levitation wind turbine, magnetic wind power, levitation wind power

Magnetic levitation is an extremely efficient system for wind energy. Here’s how it works: the vertically oriented blades of the wind turbine are suspended in the air above the base of the machine, replacing the need for ball bearings. The turbine uses “full-permanent” magnets, not electromagnets — therefore, it does not require electricty to run. The full-permanent magnet system employs neodymium (”rare earth”) magnets and there is no energy loss through friction. This also helps reduce maintenance costs and increases the lifespan of the generator.

they’re able to use winds with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second (m/s). Also, they could operate in winds exceeding 40 m/s.

one large maglev wind turbine could generate one gigawatt of clean power, enough to supply energy to 750,000 homes

the maglev wind turbines will be operational for about 500 years!

Construction began on the world’s largest production site for maglev wind turbines in central China on November 5, 2007. Zhongke Hengyuan Energy Technology has invested 400 million yuan in building this facility, which will produce maglev wind turbines with capacities ranging from 400 to 5,000 watts.

In the US, Arizona-based MagLev Wind Turbine Technologies will be manufacturing these turbines.

The estimated cost of building this colossal structure is $53 million.



Sunday, November 11, 2007

Top 10s

Like top 10 lists? Here are a couple of interesting ones I found this week.

Top 10 Most Bicycle Friendly Cities

Go here for the criteria

1. Amsterdam
2. Portland, Oregon
3. Copenhagen
4. Boulder, Colorado
5. Davis, California
6. Sandnes, Norway
7. Tronheim, Norway
8. San Francisco, California
9. Berlin
10. Barcelona
11. Basel, Switzerland

Source: TreeHugger

Top 10 Farmer´s Markets in the U.S.

  1. Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco
  2. Union Square Greenmarket, New York City
  3. Santa Fe Farmers Market, New Mexico
  4. Boulder Farmers Market, Colorado
  5. Berkeley Farmers Market, California
  6. Dane County Farmers Market, Madison, Wisconsin
  7. Portland Farmers Market, Oregon
  8. Seattle University "U-District" Market
  9. Austin Farmers Market, Texas
  10. Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market, Honolulu
Source: Green Light



Friday, November 09, 2007

Instead of googling it, blackle it!

The above link describes exactly what Blackle is, and the following link is the actual website. Check it out! Take a small step and save energy while you search the world wide web.



Monday, November 05, 2007


"The ecological crisis--or Gaia´s main problem--is not pollution, toxic dumping, ozone depletion, or any such. Gaia´s main problem is that not enough human beings have developed to the postconventional, worldcentric, global levels of consciousness, wherein they will automatically be moved to care for the global commons. And human beings develop to those postconventional levels, not by learning systems theories, but by going through at least a half-dozen major interior transformations, ranging from egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric, at which point, and not before, they can awaken to a deep and authentic concern for Gaia. The primary cure for the ecological crisis is not learning that Gaia is a Web of Life, however true that may be, but learning ways to foster these many arduous waves of interior growth, none of which are addressed by most of the new-paradigm approaches."

-- Ken Wilber - Integral Psychology (pgs. 137-138)

I came across this in my reading today and found it to strike a real chord. I have posted similar passages before, but I felt like this concisely does the job in one short paragraph.

What do you think?



Monday, October 29, 2007

Colleges Graded on Sustainability

It was a nice weekend at K-State with Homecoming and another K-State football victory.

On environmental business, it looks like we have much work to do about getting our campus moving toward "green" and sustainable.
As the following article indicates, of 200 US colleges evaluated, K-State rates with a D+.
Of interest, SEA is mentioned in the K-State profile. Now is an essential time for students to step forward and make a change for something better on campus.

Daily Grist 10/26/07

Wondering which colleges are greenest? The Sustainable Endowment Institute has released its second College Sustainability Report Card, grading the environmentaliciousness of the 200 U.S. colleges with the largest endowments. Two-thirds of the schools got better grades this time than last; the average overall grade was a C+, and six schools received an overall A- for their efforts -- Carleton College, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Middlebury College, University of Vermont, and University of Washington. The colleges were graded on transportation, administration, climate and energy, food and recycling, green building, and investment priorities, as well as endowment transparency and shareholder engagement (both of which most schools solidly failed). Among the encouraging statistics: Around half of the schools have committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, more than two-thirds have green building policies, and more than 80 percent source at least some cafeteria food locally.

K-State's profile:

sources: The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, PR Newswire
straight to the report: College Sustainability Report Card 2008
see also, in Gristmill: College Sustainability Report Card 2008 released
see also, in Grist: 15 Green Colleges and Universities
see also, in Grist: College and university presidents sign on to climate pledge



Friday, October 26, 2007

Power Shift 2007

Hi Students for Environmental Action,

I just came across your blog and website, and first off: impressive
site. Pretty spiffy!

I'm a fellow blogger and a young climate activist. I live in Oregon,
but I blog on climate change and energy issues regularly at my blog,
Watthead and at It's Getting Hot In Here (the youth climate
movement's blog). I thought you'all might be interested in a couple
of recent posts on the upcoming Power Shift 2007 national youth
climate summit, Step it Up 2, and the growing strength of the youth
climate movement. Feel free to repost these at your blog. Hopefully
I'll see some of you at Power Shift

Also attached is a short news blurb on Power Shift.

Power to the (young) people!

Jesse Jenkins
WattHead - Energy News and Commentary

Type the rest of your post here.



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lou Douglass Lecture

An activist dubbed one of the most powerful people in the nonprofit sector will be the next Lou Douglas Lectures speaker on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 7:00 pm in Forum Hall of the K-State Student Union.

Robert Egger, founder and president of the D.C. Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C., which combats hunger and creates jobs for unemployed and homeless men and women will speak on “Our 40 Year Journey from Charity to Change.”. His talk is free and open to the public.

At the D.C. Kitchen, unemployed and homeless men and women learn marketable skills by turning foods donated by restaurants, hotels and caterers into balanced meals and then serving them at the D.C. Central Kitchen. Since opening in 1989, the Kitchen has distributed 17.4 million meals and helped more than 605 men and women gain full-time employment.

Egger is also developing the Campus Kitchens Project, which brings colleges and universities together with student volunteers, dining service workers and community organizations to combat hunger across the country.

Valerie Coltharp
Special Projects Coordinator
UFM Representative Payee
UFM Community Learning Center
1221 Thurston, Manhattan, KS 66502
(785) 539-8763
(785) 539-9460 (fax)

Type the rest of your post here.



Sunday, October 21, 2007

Copy Co. in Manhattan

I would like to direct you to the following message that was sent to SEA via multiple mediums. If you would like to pick up the discussion, please click on the "Message Board" tab above which will take you to the SEA Message Board (Google Group). This is a great example of what can happen with the host of tools incorporated in the Coblog. Brittany found us on her own...

"Hello to anyone who cares to read this::

I work at copy co, and when I started we were recycling, or at least
we had recycling boxes full of paper.

When my old manager left, and the owner came in, he pilled up about 10
boxes of paper that we had been saving to recycle and promptly threw
it in the dumpster. I was quit upset when I found out!!

No one really cares to help me recycle it seems, and I was hoping that
there was someone out there who would like to share my view with me to
this Aggieville business (Copy Co).

As a company that goes through hundreds of messed up sheets of paper a
day, I believe this copy company has an obligation to recycle.

It really makes me sad, if anyone would like to help me. Please e-mail


Brittany Smith "



Friday, October 19, 2007

Interesting Dichotomy

It´s interesting the dichotomy that occurs here.  On the one hand you have this really cool design and concept of a sustainable sky-scraper.  On the other you have it being financed and built in the location of the most audacious and arrogant example of wealth and exploitation in the history of human kind.  Exciting or terrifying?

Zero-Energy Tower for the Middle East  Annotated

BURJ AL-TAQA: Zero-Energy Tower for the Middle East, Burj Al-taqa Energy Tower for the Middle East, Burj Al-Taqa, Middle East, Architecture, Energy Tower, Eckhard Gerber, Riyadh, Dubai, Bahrain, zero emission skyscraper, zero emissions tower, zero energy tower, green tower



Thursday, October 11, 2007

Field School for Environmental Organizing

Green Corps is the non-profit Field School for Environmental Organizing,
founded by leading environmentalists in 1992 to train environmental
organizers. Our program includes intensive classroom training, hands-on
experience running urgent environmental campaigns, and placement in
permanent positions with leading environmental and social change groups.
Jesse Littlewood
Recruitment Director, Green Corps
Celebrating 15 Years: Green Corps, Field School for Environmental

** Applications due Oct. 26, 2007 - apply online today at **

Green Corps is the non-profit Field School for Environmental Organizing,
founded by leading environmentalists in 1992 to train environmental
organizers. Our program includes intensive classroom training, hands-on
experience running urgent environmental campaigns, and placement in
permanent positions with leading environmental and social change groups.

Classroom Training. Our intensive classroom training combines issue
briefings, workshops and skills trainings to prepare you to run a
campaign. Issue briefings include Clean Cars, Renewable Energy, Forests
Endangered Species. Strategy workshops include The Legislative Process,
Social Change Methodology and Effective Media: Messaging and Framing.
Finally, hands-on skills trainings include Leadership Development,
Volunteers and Running Effective Meetings. Training is run by the Green
Corps Central Staff, as well as environmental and social change experts
as John Passacantando, Executive Director, Greenpeace USA, Bill
author and climate change expert, and Wendy Wendlandt, Political

Field Training. Our field training puts you on the front lines of
most urgent environmental campaigns. With Green Corps, you will work in
multiple cities nationwide, chosen for their ability to make an impact
critical environmental problems. Potential locations include, but are
limited to, San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; Washington, DC and Boston,
You must be willing to relocate during your year with Green Corps.

Dates. The program begins in August 2008 and concludes with graduation
August 2009.

Responsibilities. Plan and implement a series of critical environmental
campaigns with groups like Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club and
Greenpeace. You will secure media coverage, recruit and manage
train new leaders, and mobilize grassroots activists.

Career Development. Upon completion of the training program, Green Corps
will connect you to organizations that are seeking full-time
staff. Green Corps graduates hold positions with, Sierra
Greenpeace, Global Exchange, Endangered Species Coalition, Global Trade
Watch, Corporate Accountability International, ForestEthics, and many
environmental and progressive groups.

Qualifications. Each year we select 35 recent college graduates to join
Green Corps. We are looking for people who are serious about saving the
planet, have demonstrated leadership experience, and want to work for
over the long haul at the grassroots level.

Salary & Benefits. Salary of $23,750. Optional group health care
paid sick days and holidays, two weeks paid vacation, and a student loan
repayment program for qualifying staff.

To Apply. To apply to Green Corps, fill out our online application by
Early Application Deadline of Oct. 26, 2007. Deadlines, 2nd round
locations and our online application are at

Contact. Jesse Littlewood, Recruitment Director, at,



Monday, October 08, 2007

Step It Up 2007 for Climate Change

On November 3rd, Americans will demand real leadership on global warming. From coast to coast, we'll rally in our communities and invite our politicians to join us. We'll see who rises to the occasion and who has a real plan to tackle the defining challenge of our time.

With a month to go, people by the thousands have begun inviting presidential candidates and members of Congress to come speak about climate change at Step It Up events on Nov. 3 -- and we've started getting some RSVPs.

Article at Daily Grist...
Step it Up

Bill McKibben is organizing Step It Up 2, a national day of climate action. A scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, the first book for a general audience on climate change, and, most recently, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. He serves on Grist's board of directors.



Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Green Bliss Fest



Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Organic Beer

Last week I was at the liquor store and I happened upon an interesting discovery. New Belgium is temporarily distributing an organic beer here in Manhattan. It is called "Mothership Wit" and I do say it is quite delicious.

"A delicious and certified organic balance of citrus and sour flavors"

If you´re a beer drinker, go pick up a six pack to taste the organic goodness and support one of the most enviro friendly companies around, and a somewhat local option for alcohol. I found it at Library Liquor in Aggieville; I am not sure if it is elsewhere in town.



Thursday, September 27, 2007

What do you believe?

Check this out. If you haven't already.



Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tonights Speaker: Sarah Hill-Nelson

Here is a link to There is a published chat, "Chat about Lawrence sustainability with Sarah Hill-Nelson," and it talks a little about what Sarah does and some of the pros and cons of 'green tags' and other sustainability issues. Give it a look-see and come to the SEA meeting tonight and she can answer any questions.



Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Seminar September 20th

This is tomorrow - sorry - but it looks very interesting. 4:00 pm in 201 Trotter Hall

A seminar by Craig Beech will be presented in 201 Trotter Hall (at the
vet school) on Thursday Sept. 20 at 4 p.m.

The title will be:

Peace Parks, AfricaĆ¢€™s great (un)divide: Using international
conservation to join regions and peoples
Craig Beech is the GIS manager of the Peace Parks Foundation, the
people behind the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas in
Africa, which joins countries in cross-border conservation efforts. The
countries involved include South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe,
Namibia, Angola, Lesotho, Zambia and others. This is a significant
development in Africa with far-reaching implications for conservation,
land use options, political science and geographic science,
international trade, and biosecurity concerns such as possible impacts
on important diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease. GIS was and is used
throughout the process of transfrontier conservation planning and



Friday, September 14, 2007

Report from the World Watch Institute

This is a sobering report from the World Watch Institute. See the whole story at:

Window to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change Closing; EU Should Press for Immediate U.S. Action

By Worldwatch Institute
Created Sep 13 2007 - 1:00pm

The warming climate is undermining biodiversity by accelerating habitat loss, according to Vital Signs 2007–2008.

Washington, D.C.— Consumption of energy and many other critical resources is consistently breaking records, disrupting the climate and undermining life on the planet, according to the latest Worldwatch Institute report, Vital Signs 2007-2008.

To see the rest of the report:

Type the rest of your post here.



Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Designer's Challenge

David Orr, a member of the Center for Ecoliteracy board of directors,
is Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and
Politics at Oberlin College, and the James Marsh Professor at Large,
University of Vermont.

This talk was delivered as the commencement address to the School of
Design, University of Pennsylvania, on May 14, 2007.

The Designer's Challenge

By David W. Orr

Dean Hack, distinguished faculty of the School of Design, honored
guests, and most important, you the members of the class of 2007: It
is a great privilege to stand before you on your graduation day.

As a Penn alumnus I feel a deep sense of affection for this
institution and for this place. My own interest in design was kindled
here long ago by Ian McHarg, who as much as anyone was the founder of
modern landscape design and the larger field of ecological design. His
book Design with Nature remains a classic statement of the art of
intelligent inhabitation. From its founding, the city of Philadelphia
has been home to a great deal of innovative urban design and
experimentation now carried on here in the School of Design. You are a
part of a great history and have inherited a legacy of which you may
be justly proud. But the work of designers is now entering its
critical and most important phase.

It is said that we are entitled to hold whatever opinions we choose,
but we are not entitled to whatever facts we wish. Whatever opinions
you may have, there are four facts that will fundamentally shape the
world in which you will live and work.

The first is the fact that we spend upwards of 95 percent of our time
in houses, cars, malls, and offices. We are becoming an indoor species
increasingly shut off from sky, land, forests, waters, and animals.
Nature, as a result, is becoming more and more an abstraction to us.
The problem is most severe for children who now spend up to eight
hours each day before a television or computer screen and less and
less time outdoors in nature. Author Richard Louv describes the
results as "nature deficit disorder" — the loss of our sense of
rootedness in place and connection to the natural world. In some
future time, it is not farfetched to think that disconnected and
rootless we would become unhinged in a fundamental way and that is a
spiritual crisis for which there is no precedent.

Second, when Benjamin Franklin walked the streets of Philadelphia
there were fewer than one billion of us on Earth. The human population
is now 6.5 billion and will likely crest at 9 or 10 billion.
One-and-a-half billion live in the most abject poverty, while another
billion live in considerable wealth. One billion suffer from the
afflictions of eating too much while others suffer from malnutrition.
When I was a graduate student at Penn the ratio of richest to poorest
was said to be 35:1. It is now approaching 100:1 and growing. The
problem of a more crowded world is not just about what ecologists call
carrying capacity of the Earth. It also a problem of justice with more
and more people competing for less and less.

A third fact has been particularly difficult for a society built on
the foundation of cheap portable fossil fuels to acknowledge. We are
at or near the year of peak oil extraction, the point at which we will
have consumed the easy and better half of the accessible oil. The
other half is harder to refine, farther out, and deeper down, and
mostly located in places where people do not like us. We are not
likely to run out of oil or liquid fossil fuels from one source or
another, but we are nearing the end of the era of cheap oil. We have
known this for decades, but we still have no coherent or farsighted
energy policy. In the meantime the penalty for procrastination grows
daily along with the risks of supply interruptions and volatile energy

There is a fourth fact. When the University of Pennsylvania was
founded the level of CO2 in the atmosphere was about 280 parts per
million. But now the level of all human-generated heat-trapping gases
is 430 parts per million CO2 equivalent. We have already warmed the
Earth by .8 degrees C and are committed at least to another .6 degrees
C. According to the scientists who participated in writing the Fourth
Report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change we are not
just warming the Earth, but destabilizing the entire planet. Climate
scientist James Hansen says that we are close to making Earth a
different planet and one that we will not much like.

Four facts.

One has to do with the largeness of the human spirit and our capacity
to connect to life.

The second has to do with justice, fairness, and decency in a more
crowded world.

The third has to do with our wisdom and creativity in the face of
limits to the biosphere.

The last is about human survival on a hotter and less stable and
predictable planet.

In the face of the remorseless working out of large numbers do you
have reason to be optimistic? Frankly, no. Optimism is a prediction
that the odds are in your favor — like being a Yankees fan with a
one-run lead in the ninth inning and two outs and a two-strike count
on a .200 hitter and Mariano Rivera — in his prime — on the mound. You
have good reason to believe that you will win the game. That's
optimism. The Red Sox fans, on the other hand, believing in the
salvation of small percentages, hope for a hit to get the runner home
from second base to tie the game. Optimism is a bet that the odds are
in your favor; hope is the faith that things will work out whatever
the odds. Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up. Hopeful people
are actively engaged in defying the odds or changing the odds. But
optimism leans back, puts its feet up, and sports a confident look
knowing that the deck is stacked.

If you know enough, you cannot honestly be optimistic. But you have
every reason to be hopeful and to act faithfully and competently on
that hope. And what does that mean for you as designers?

My message to you is this. As designers you hold the keys to creating
a far better world than that in prospect, but only if you respond
creatively, smartly, wisely, and quickly to the four facts described
above. Your generation does not have a choice to solve one or two of
these problems. You must solve them all — rather like solving a
quadratic equation. And you have no time to lose. As designers you
must design so artfully and carefully as to help reconnect people to
nature and to their places. You must design to promote justice in a
more crowded world. You must design a world powered by efficiency and
sunlight. You do not have the option of maintaining the status quo — a
world dependent on ancient sunlight. And since Nature is a ruthless
and unforgiving bookkeeper, you must do your work in a way that
balances the carbon books. How will you do such things? The answers,
fortunately, are many, but the principles of design are few. Let me
suggest three.

The first has to do with the scope of your work. You must see design
as a large and unifying concept — quite literally the remaking of the
human presence on Earth. Design in its largest sense has to do with
how we provision ourselves with food, energy, materials, shelter,
livelihood, transport, water, and waste cycling. It is the calibration
of human intentions with how the world works as a physical system and
the awareness of how the world works to inform our intentions. And
good design at all times joins our five senses (and perhaps others
that we suspect) with the human fabricated world. When designers get
it right, they create in ways that reinforce our common humanity at
the deepest level.

Ecological design is flourishing in fields as diverse as architecture,
landscape architecture, biomimicry, industrial ecology, urban
planning, ecological engineering, agriculture, and forestry. It is
gathering momentum, driven by necessity, better technology, and
economic opportunity. Designers in diverse fields are learning how to

* use nature as the standard, as Ian McHarg proposed;
* power the world on current sunlight;
* eliminate waste;
* pay the full cost of development;
* build prosperity on a durable basis.

Design as a large concept means, in Wendell Berry felicitous words,
"solving for pattern," creating solutions that solve many problems.
When you solve for pattern you will also have created resilience,
which is the capacity of systems to persist in a world perturbed by
human error, malevolence, and what we call "acts of God." And by
solving for pattern you are also likely to learn the virtues of
reparability, redundancy, locality, and simplicity.

Here is an example of good design: Last week I took a class to a farm
in Virginia in which the farmer raises poultry, cattle, and hogs so
artfully that each element enhances the others while improving soil
fertility and making a substantial profit by selling directly to a
large base of local customers. As a designer, he has designed out
chemicals, pollution, genetically modified organisms, pharmaceuticals,
and most of the fossil fuels necessary to transport food long
distances. The result is health in the large: of land, animals,
people, and economy.

As a corollary, you must see yourselves as the designers, not just of
buildings, landscapes, and objects, but of the systems in which these
are components. That means that you must reckon with economic,
political, and social aspects of design. And the hardest but most
important object for designers is the design of what Peter Senge calls
learning organizations, in which designing ecologically becomes the
default setting, not an aberration.

Second, you will need a standard for your work, rather like the
Hippocratic Oath or a compass by which you chart a journey. For that I
propose that designers should aim to cause no ugliness, human or
ecological, somewhere else or at some later time. That standard will
cause you to think upstream from the particular design project or
object to the wells, mines, forests, farms, and manufacturing
establishments from which materials are drawn and crystallized into
the particularities of design. It will cause you, as well, to look
downstream to the effects of design on climate and health of people
and ecosystems. If there is ugliness, human or ecological, at either
end you cannot claim success as a designer regardless of the
artfulness of what you make.

As a corollary, you, as designers, ought to think of yourselves first
as place makers, not merely form makers. The difference is crucial.
Form making puts a premium on artistry and sometimes merely fashion.
It is mostly indifferent to human and ecological costs incurred
elsewhere. The first rule of place making, on the other hand, is to
honor and preserve other places, however remote in space and culture.
When you become accomplished designers, of course, you will have
mastered the integration of both making places and making them

Third, as designers, you will need to place your work in a larger
historical context — what philosopher Thomas Berry calls, your Great
Work. No generation ever asks for its Great Work. The generation of
the Civil War certainly did not wish to fight and die at places like
Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg, or the Wilderness. But their Great Work,
the end of human bondage, required just that of tens of thousands of
them...and they rose to do their Great Work. Those now passing from
the scene that Tom Brokaw calls "The Greatest Generation" did not wish
to fight and die in places like Iwo Jima or the battlefields of
Europe. But their Great Work, the fight against Nazism, required them
to do so and they rose to the challenge to do their Great Work as
well. Your Great Work, however, is not one of fighting wars, but of
extending and speeding a worldwide ecological enlightenment that joins
human needs and purposes with the way the world works as a biophysical

Your Great Work will be no less demanding and no less complex than
that of any previous generation. But in outline it is very simple.
Your Great Work as designers is to:

1. Stabilize and reduce all heat trapping gases
2. Make a rapid transition to efficiency and renewable energy
3. Build a world secure by design for everyone...a world in which
every child has a decent home, food, water, education, medical care
4. Preserve the best of our history and culture
5. Enable us to see our way forward to a world that is sustainable
and spiritually sustaining

This challenge, your Great Work, is neither liberal nor conservative;
neither Republican nor Democrat. It is, rather, the recognition that
the present generation is a trustee standing midway between a distant
past and the horizon of the future. As trustees we are obligated to
pass on the best of our civilization and the ecological requisites on
which it depends — including a stable climate and biological diversity
— to future generations. The idea that we are no more than trustees
was proposed long ago by Edmund Burke, the founder of modern
conservatism (1790), and by one of the founders of modern
revolutionary politics, Thomas Jefferson (1789), as well. It is a
perspective that unites us across our present divisions in service to
our posterity.

Your Great Work is a sacred trust given only to your generation. If
you do not rise to do your Great Work, it will not be done. We know
enough now to say what no other generation could rightfully say: the
price for that dereliction — not rising to do your Great Work — will
be high and perhaps total. Your Great Work as designers is to honor
wholeness, health, and the great holy mystery of life. No other
generation before you ever had a greater challenge and none more
reason to rise to greatness.

My charge to you is to do your work so well that those who will look
back on your time — the beneficiaries of your Great Work — will know
that this was indeed humankind's finest hour.

Copyright(c) 2007 David W. Orr

David W. Orr, a member of the Center for Ecoliteracy board of
directors, is Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental
Studies and Politics at Oberlin College and the James Marsh Professor
at Large, University of Vermont. Nationally recognized as a leader in
environmental education, ecological literacy, and environmental
design, he is a contributing editor to Conservation Biology, the
author of The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment
in an Age of Terror, The Nature of Design, Earth in Mind, and
Ecological Literacy, and coeditor of The Global Predicament and The
Campus and Environmental Responsibility..



Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Walk Score

Check out this site I ran across that calculates the walkability of where you live. It was designed for real-estate purposes to help people find a good place to live, but I think it works well for the enviro crowd too. It is a complete google maps mash-up, using multiple sets of semantic data and an algorithm to calculate how easy it is to get places from any location. My house scored an 88, what does yours score?

Perhaps this would be a good tool to demonstrate to people how silly it is to drive most places in Manhattan, or at least that you don´t need to drive to campus if you live close.



Monday, September 10, 2007

Your Diet and the Environment

I received my monthly issue of Co-Op America recently, which mainly consists of information concerning investments and ways to cool the earth through them. This month however, there was an interesting article concerning the diet and it's effects on the environment, specifically meat diets. A 2006 study conducted by Drs. Pamela Martin and Gidon Eshel of the University of Chicago, http://geosci.uchicago.edul~gidon/papers/nutri/nutri.html, provided a neat graph that compared different meat (and non-meat) diets with their average annual greenhouse gas emissions. The results: Vegan: 0 tons, Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: .8 ton, Poultry: .9 ton, Avg. American: 1.485 tons, Fish: 2 tons, Red Meat: 2 tons. These diets are based on a 3,774 calorie diet. All diets including meat are calculated as 72 percent plant-based, 14 percent meat, 14 percent eggs and dairy. The lacto-ovo diet is 90 percent plant based, 10 percent eggs and dairy, reflecting the actual animal product consumption o the average lacto-ovo vegetarian. You might be asking yourself, why such an outrageous amount of calories when the usual average is 2000? Well- this 3,774 number is an "FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) figure that represents the number of calories produced and distributed per person in the US, meaning that while we don't necessarily eat that much on average, we eat or waste that much at grocery stores and at home." This study took into account the entire life cycle of these diets. How much energy it took to grow, harvest , transport , and prepare them. The FAO released a report this past February stating livestock accounts for 18 percent of our world global warming emissions. Switching from a Toyota Camry to a hybrid Toyota Prius would save 1 ton of greenhouse gases annually while making the switch to a vegan diet would save 1.5 tons! After reading this article, it only reaffirms what I heard on Real Time a couple of weeks ago; "One can't be an environmentalist and a meat eater." These words spoken by a representative of PETA. What really surprises me is that the fish diet is equivalent to the red meat diet in avg. annual ghg emmisions. "I am a vegetarian, but I still eat fish" doesn't cut it anymore.



Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Underground Railroad Bus Tour

Upcoming Tour of the Underground Railroad by local good guy and director of the Wonder Workshop Richard Pitts. The bus tour is September 16, 2007 from 3-6 p.m.

The Underground Railroad Bus Tour

Lead by Richard Pitts, the author of "A Self-Guided Tour of the Underground Railroad in Kansas" & Executive Producer of the DVD Documentary "The Kansas Underground Railroad"


Arrive early to get a seat on the bus otherwise you will have to drive your own vehicle

Date: September 16, 2007 Time: 3 – 6 pm, Where: Triangle Park in Aggieville

Co-Sponsored by CCHW at K-STATE & USD 383

The year is 1858. The Fugitive Slave Law was passed just eight years ago; bad news for you and your small group who just managed a narrow escape from slavery's doorsteps in Missouri. Alas, you thought your adventure was over now that you are in Kansas. You now are going to carefully navigate your way through to get your passengers to Canada on the Underground Railroad.

Richard Pitts, Executive Director of the Wonder Workshop, proudly presents a journey back in time to Underground Railroad sites in Riley and Wabaunsee Counties. This tour will travel to various sites within fifteen miles of Manhattan. At each site, (there will be seven stops made on this tour) participants will be presented with information regarding its historical significance. You should plan to spend at least 3 ½ hours to complete the entire route. Travelers will learn about the famous Beecher Bible and Rifle Church, Captain Mitchell, Strong Farm, Reverend Blood, and others who helped to make Kansas a free state! Your group will take part in interactive activities along the way. This adventure will place you in the shoes of enslaved Africans, Slave Owners, and Abolitionists as you learn about the true meaning of strength, courage, and endurance experienced by those early "Human Rights" activists whose broad shoulders we all stand upon!


How long is the tour? Between 3 - 5 hours to complete




Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Another Global Warming Scare

Loss of Arctic ice leaves experts stunned | Environment | Guardian Unlimited  Annotated

A melting iceberg

Experts say they are "stunned" by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as the UK disappearing in the last week alone.

If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030.

Dr Serreze said: "If you asked me a couple of years ago when the Arctic could lose all of its ice then I would have said 2100, or 2070 maybe. But now I think that 2030 is a reasonable estimate. It seems that the Arctic is going to be a very different place within our lifetimes, and certainly within our childrens' lifetimes."

The sea ice usually melts in the Arctic summer and freezes again in the winter. But Dr Serreze said that would be difficult this year.

"This summer we've got all this open water and added heat going into the ocean. That is going to make it much harder for the ice to grow back."



Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How big is Greenland?

Fun clip- Aside from West Winger's ignorance of the world as it actually is, the lack of Geography in grade school is unfortunate. Not that Geography is solely maps...

Type the rest of your post here.



Lecture of Interest

Lecture: Why Are Humans so Willing to Bite the Land that Feeds Them? 5:30 p.m., 2414 Throckmorton Hall. Presented by Ken Warren as a continuation of the Sustainable Dialog



Saturday, August 18, 2007

Irish Cobbler Potatoes and the heat woes of Summer...

The Irish Cobbler Potatoes should be ready to harvest. Champ, if you want to call me and setup a time to come over with your pitch fork, or just drop it off, that would be great.

Megan: I still have frozen homemade marinara sauce for you. Maybe some tomatoes, plenty of cayenne and jalapeno peppers.

There are plenty of peppers for everyone, so feel free to stop by and just pick some, or come collect some that are in the house.

The heat has really hit the garden,
and I'm not sure if either of the cucumber plants, one of the eggplants, and quite a lot of the tomato plants will actually make it. The heat has been intense, and even though I've been watering at night, the heat is too much. We've also had ant problems with the back melon patch. Fortunately, we should have plenty of butternut squash, and if any would like, I could post a very simple butternut squash lasagna recipe that is delicious and filling. The corn seem to be hanging on, and ~ dozen husks are visible. On a bright note, the sun flowers seem to be basking up the sun.

After the garden has stopped producing this year, I'd like to have a workday to try to flatten and better irrigate an area of the yard for next year's garden. This could possibly involve a trip to the dairy farm to apprehend some poo. Trust me, its great fun at 8 o'clock on a saturday morning.

Anyways, I hope everyone is doing well as they get back into town. Stop by and say hi if you haven't in a while :-)

~Sir Knabe



Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Energy Efficient Renting

Top 10 Tips for Renters : ENERGY STAR  Annotated

  • My question is, why don´t we as renters have rights to request greater energy efficiency from our landlords? Especially for students in Manhattan, KS, of whom a large number rent old, outdated homes that have had little or no repairs in 30 years. I have been following each of these tips at least to the extent they recommend, if not more so, and I still pay out the ass in utilities. At what point do we, as a society, deem energy inefficiency to violate safety and thus to be against code? Could there be government subsidies allocated for this purpose? Especially since those worse off economically are going to be stuck in the least energy efficient homes, thus furthering their financial burden. Wes Jackson once outlined that efficiency actually increases usage. By this account, it is easy to see why. Those who have, get more efficient, so they can have more.  - post by kjc6688

Top 10 Tips for Renters!

Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ENERGY STAR qualified lights can save more than $60 a year in energy costs. ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) provide high-quality light output, use less energy, and last 6–10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs.

Considering purchasing a room air conditioner? Consider an ENERGY STAR qualified model. They use at least 10 percent less energy than standard models.

If possible, install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home's temperature settings when you're away or sleeping.

  • Consumer electronics play an increasingly larger role in your home's energy consumption, accounting for 15 percent of household electricity use. Many consumer electronics products use energy even when switched off. Electronics equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR helps save energy when off, while maintaining features like clock displays, channel settings, and remote-control functions.

  • A ten minute shower can use less water than a full bath.

    Make sure all air registers are clear of furniture so that air can circulate freely. If your home has radiators, place heat-resistant reflectors between radiators and walls. In the winter, this will help heat the room instead of the wall.

  • During cold weather, take advantage of the sun's warmth by keeping drapes open during daylight hours. To keep out the heat of the summer sun, close window shades and drapes in warm weather.

  • Save water by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading in the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air-dry option if available.

  • Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible. To save water, try to wash full loads or, if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately.

    Don't over dry your clothes. If your dryer has a moisture sensor that will automatically turn the machine off when clothes are done, use it to avoid over drying. Remember to clean the lint trap before every load. Dry full loads, or reduce drying time for partial loads.



    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    First SEA Event Fall 2007

    Believe it or not, the first SEA event of the fall semester starts even before the semester does!  This is the environmentally themed version of the Movies on the Grass series this year and thus, SEA is a sponsor.  SEA will need to set up a booth and help set up and pull down the event.  Since it is before school actually begins, this is the most difficult film to pull attendance for.  So, tell your friends and colleagues to come on out, and don´t forget to come yourself!

    K-State Libraries: What's the Haps?: Movies on the Grass 08/19/07

    K-State Libraries: What's the Haps?: Movies on the Grass 08/19/07  Annotated

    That´s right, Movies on the Grass is back!  For it´s third year running, Movies on the Grass (sponsored by K-State Libraries and the Dow Chemical Multicultural Resource Center) is putting on four free socially conscious movies in Coffman Commons on the south side of Hale Library.  The first showing will be the film "Who Killed the Electric Car?", which will feature a pre-event Electric Car Show!  The car show will begin at 7pm, followed by the film at 8pm (or when it gets dark enough).  For more information about this and other Movies On the Grass events, follow Me

    This edition of Movies on the Grass is before the semester officially starts, so make sure to get the word out and tell all your friends!



    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Birthday Party

    Hello people. Just wanted to post my birthday plans on the blog. Tomorrow night, Thursday the 26th at 10ish (really whenever), it is going to be at Kevin's. There will be libations but you may want to bring your own too. Midnight, I am officially legal to enter official alcohol selling at 12 that is what is happening. Hoorayy!!!!

    Type the rest of your post here.



    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    DiCaprio-produced series will rebuild tornado-ravaged Kansas town

    From the Daily Grist if you missed it...
    It's official: Nine months after the rumors began, Leonardo DiCaprio has confirmed that he and a partner will give birth to ... a reality series on green building. DiCaprio will executive produce the 13-part Eco-Town on the Discovery Channel's Planet Green arm, launching in 2008. The original notion was to upgrade Anywhere, USA, for a show called E-topia, but the new series will focus on rebuilding a Kansas town that was hit by a tornado in May.

    The tornado caused 10 deaths, displaced almost all of the town's roughly 1,500 residents, and leveled homes, a hospital, and other buildings. And we're not saying Leo and his peeps are crass, cold-hearted vultures, but how excited do you think they were when Mother Nature wiped out a town called -- wait for it -- Greensburg? "This is not about a TV show and about a cable channel that reaches 50 million homes," says Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav. "We're the number one non-fiction media company in the world, but we also want to make a difference."

    straight to the source: CBC News, 15 Jul 2007

    straight to the source: The Washington Post, Reuters, Kimberly Nordyke, 13 Jul 2007

    straight to the source: E! Online, Natalie Finn, 13 Jul 2007



    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Deuce update

    I think we've decided on the payment system for the garden: pay $10 and you'll get a portion of the produce for as long as the garden is growing......which, with the tomatoes growing like they are, shouldn't take very long to make this a good deal!

    Let me know if you're interested, or if your friends are; we probably can't have more than about 10 or 12 people, and we already have 2 signed up. So either post here, email me, or call me!


    Sir Knabe



    Friday, July 13, 2007

    Deuce veggies + workday Sunday


    The Deuce Gardens finally has some tomatoes! We also have a healthy share of cucumbers, and I think that the garlic and onions are probably ready to be harvested.

    So, I haven't firmly said anything about money yet, but here's what I was thinking: Jeffers, Ugolini and I are the only people who have spent any money on the garden (no one else has been asked). Therefore, to make some of the money back, I was thinking about offering the veggies for a discounted price for those who have helped out with the garden (or offering them to everyone, but giving precedence to those who've helped out). I'll check on average prices in the super market, and make sure that we are comparable, if not lower.

    Another option would be to make salsa and/or marinara sauce out of the tomatoes, and sell the salsa.....

    Anyways, I'm open to options, so let me know what you'd like to do!

    As always, we need help weeding this Sunday around 2pm, and we'll be digging and placing some posts.

    ~Sir Knabe



    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    How a singular/individual action produced plural thinking of the internal and external

    Fasting – Re-Thinking The System That Is Food (TreeHugger)  Annotated

    Last week I spent a whole week fasting, on a Jiva retreat in France. I should probably call it cleansing because not eating for a week is one means to the whole process of totally rejuvenating my system and re-thinking my framing of food, happiness and wellbeing. The process is very reflective, not only in the first person ie, how I consume food and drink and the patterns that rule my life, but also a good look at the system that provides me with nourishment –industrial farming – and the global commodity that is food. I cannot tell you how powerful the week was, in many ways: it was personally re-energizing and empowering, and globally relevant, challenging the systemic insanity industrial farming and globalization has led to. I am a lucky, hard working, middle class chick who can afford the luxury of a week away fasting, but I would love to see the principles of the retreat, and the fast ideally, experienced by the wider Westernized world. It should be promoted through corporate businesses, schools (perhaps not the fasting part), culture, and health services... I think it would change so much and put us well on the way to a sustainable world.

    That bagged lettuce is washed in Chlorine. Let me say that again. Bagged lettuce in washed in Chlorine. That we seem more worried a small insect will infest us with germs than we are about inducing Chlorine.

    That animal produce is grown on corn, hormones and antibiotics. Animals should eat grass, which is 2-3% saturated fat, instead corn-feed is a concentrated 30-50% fat.

    that cows are fed hormones to induce Mothers’ milk around the clock and that these hormones are significantly altering the development of children in our overfed Western world.



    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    Duece Community Gardens 06/20/07



    Wednesday, July 04, 2007

    More Chicago Green Fest News

    Chicago Green Festival Attracts Huge Crowds
    Our first-ever Chicago Green Festival, held over Earth Day weekend, broke records and exceeded all expectations. With more than 30,000 people attending, it was our biggest launch of a new Green Festival yet. Setting an example for other large-scale events, we recovered more than 92 percent of the Green Festival's waste through recycling and composing, and we offset all carbon emissions associated with the festival.
    Co-op America Quarterly

    I must add, some of us SEAers helped accomplish that! Even though Mariel and I couldn't convince a man to buy the "perfect scarf, the only one with just the right amount of orange fabric", all 10 or 12 of us helped out in numerous other ways.
    Upcoming festivals this year:
    Washington, DC Oct. 6-7, 2007, San Francisco, CA Nov 9-11, 2007, Seattle, WA April 12-13 2008 (I think the Seattle one is new) and Chicago, IL (TBA).

    I vote our nations capitol this year...

    Type the rest of your post here.



    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Vertical farming in the big Apple

    Graphics courtesy of Chris Jacobs, Rolf Mohr, and Dean Fowler of and
    Is this how farms will look in the future?

    Jeremy Cook
    BBC News , New York

    Professor Despommier lists many advantages of this revolutionary kind of agriculture. They include:

    • Year round crop production in a controlled environment
    • All produce would be organic as there would be no exposure to wild parasites and bugs
    • Elimination of environmentally damaging agricultural runoff
    • Food being produced locally to where it is consumed

    Read Full Article



    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Deuce Update


    The garden is in full bloom! Included are some pictures. We need help weeding! On wednesday of this week (the 20th), we'll be tending to the garden, so if you want to help out, please stop by! We probably won't start until about 6:30, and we'll work until sundown.


    Sir Knabe
    404 S. 18th St.



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