Tweet Everyone is slowly talking openly about climate change, as if it just sprang up on the world without any real thought of where and how this came to be. We’ve seen the hottest years and the worst storms we … Continue reading
Tweet Do you trust your food and how should you eat it? If you read today’s news, you realize not all food is created equal. In fact, much of today’s industrial food production is focused on engineering food for you to … Continue reading
I just reread my 8th grader’s high school application. I was amazed at two of the essays she wrote: The first was in response to this question, “What one thing do you wish was never invented and why?” And the second was, “What is one course you wish to take that we do not have?” My daughter’s responses were stunning: “Fracking” and “Social Capitalism”. Wow! She must be listening and learning from what I am doing, although I don’t remember talking much about these topics. Yet, she was spot on. Continue reading
It costs well over $200k to attend a quality private college or university today. This kind of an investment should produce a return. The world needs high functioning young people that can make a difference. There is so much talk about the expense of a four-year college degree versus the value of the outcome (e.g. high paying jobs and career), and the reality that few graduates can ever justify cost of their education. Yet no one is willing to change the educational system, whose costs have risen 12 to 18% per year, while inflation has been rising at 3-4% annually. This system is, by most measures, not very effective at achieving a desirable outcome. Continue reading
The New York Sunday Times did not paint a pretty picture of life in the future for major cities in the US. In the article, “Is this the End?” the author paints a scary view of what happens when the water rises across the country. Not just the kind of water rise shown by Hurricane Sandy, that laid waste to Lower Manhattan, but much more over a broader area. Just a 5-foot rise (which they argue is probable in the next 100 years) would permanently change most of our major cities. Continue reading
Reading the Wall Street Journal this week, I came across an opinion piece by Matt Ridley, that basically says the data on global warming statistics are off and we will probably only heat up one degree Celsius in the next 80 years. He goes on to intimate that this is good for us and we should stop all the fuss.
This reminded me of the Stanford paper that claimed organic food has no more nutritional value then industrial agriculture produced food. Of course, the paper neglected to really state the issue of chemicals in the food, the soil, the water and the air. Continue reading
At our house, we have a wonderful well that pumps out enough water to irrigate our lawn and all our beautiful plants and flowers. However, the challenge we have had for the past 10 years is how to get a greener, more weed-free lawn.
When we first arrived at this house the lawn was a mess; it was basically dead. Lawn experts suggested chemically killing off the entire lawn, again. Even though I was not up-to-speed on good agricultural practices, this suggestion didn’t sound right and we ignored this advice. Instead, we reseeded with a nice soft blue grass variety and just added fertilizer (sounded like a good idea). As far as care and maintenance went, I even knew enough to use our lawn mulching mower and weed when needed. Continue reading
I read a recent article in Outside Magazine about how being outside in thewilderness improves your mood and reduces stress in your life. The article highlighted many ways on how connecting with nature is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle. This is news?
It is as if I was watching a commercial for a good psych drug, where the guy is walking in a field of flowers with butterflies and birds fluttering about his head. And of course there is a lake and a rowboat paddling about in the background. Do we really need a drug if we where doing this every day? I would think everyone would be in a great mood if we were out in nature, with the sun shining and birds singing.
A while back I wrote about my sustainable household. Mind you, we never went so far as the “No Impact Man” and his effort to have zero impact on the world, but we have done some good things in our effort to be more responsible with our resources.
- We have our own water source that waters all of our landscape and then some,
- We built a solar energy complex to power our house,
- We built and nurtured an abundant garden to feed our family, and
- We have managed to get down to one garbage can of refuse per week.
Batteries, however, have been our biggest challenge. Continue reading
I just finished touring some great east coast universities with my daughter. Her interests of study are in Environmental Science and Public Policy. I don’t know where these came from: Maybe her summer internship at The Nature Conservancy? Perhaps my constant dinner conversations on how we need to work harder, faster and smarter to get our natural resources managed for the long term?
Either way, my daughter benefited from some great meetings with several professors at each of the schools we visited. In almost every case, the conversations turned to what these educators see in Mongolia, Antarctica, the Arctic, and all around the world in terms of crisis and need: Many of the world’s natural systems are becoming unstable and that can cause huge issues. These professors love what they do and are passionately teaching students about the dire issues they are seeing in hopes of inspiring the next generation to get active and create change.