Tags >> carbon
Sep 29
2009

Bill McKibben and 350.org

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , technology , Santa Rosa , resources , policy , ocean , international , Ideas , events , environment , climate change , carbon , author , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

Global warming has moved from a looming problem to an imminent crisis, warns environmental writer Bill McKibben, and the international campaign to demand action rests on a simple three digit number.

The urgency that underscores the 350 campaign is tied to the newly realized effects of the well-documented one degree increase in the temperature of the world’s oceans. Noted environmental writer Bill McKibben says that until recently, it was believed that was not enough of a difference to trigger the cascading changes that are now being documented.

 

Even if humankind is successful in tempering the worse effects of global warming, McKibben says it will take generations to bring atmospheric carbon levels back down to 350 or less.

 

  Bill Mckibben is the author of The End of Nature and numerous other books on environmental issues, including the newly published Bill McKibben Reader. He’ll be talking about the 350 campaign  on Friday, October 2 at Sonoma County Day School in Santa Rosa.

 

 

Aug 13
2009

Guitar makers

Posted by Bruce Robinson in recreation , music , design , carbon , arts

Bruce Robinson

A whole world of handmade guitars are on display in Santa Rosa this weekend, as dozens of instrument makers showcase their individual variations on this traditional craft.

Cotati guitar-maker Mark Berry was a longtime furniture maker when he got the itch to try making a guitar soon after his 50th birthday.



Which comes first in the guitar-making process, the neck or the body? For Mark Berry, it's a  chicken-and=egg question; it's not the sequence that matters, but how they come together. The images at right are a sampling of his finished instruments.

 

 

Duane Noble is seen above in his workshop with both a conventional acoustic guitar and a harp guitar on the right. To find out more about these instruments, you can read an exhaustive history of harp guitars.

Michael McCarthy (above in his workshop in Berkeley) used computer technology to develop his design for the underside of his arched top acoustic jazz guitars. He also employs a computer-driven router to carve the single-piece spruce guitar top, seen below with the interior side exposed.

 

These three luthiers are among the dozens of craftsmen who are showing their creations this weekend at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. Click here for a schedule of events.

 

Aug 11
2009

Oil Vulnerability

Posted by Bruce Robinson in waste , transportation , policy , nonprofit orgs , legislation , government , economy , climate change , carbon , California , budget , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

Compared to other states, Californians are only moderately vulnerable to changes in the cost of oil, but we’re leading the list in taking steps to reduce our use of gasoline.

{mp3remote}http://media.krcb.org/audio/nbr/8-12-09.mp3{/mp3remote

You can read the full 21-page report here, or  a two-page summary here.

Percent of Income Spent on Gasoline by the Average Driver, 2008

Map of U.S. Oil Vulnerability by State

 important way to reduce oil vulnerability is by adopting public policies to reduce across the board consumption of fossil fuels. Deron Lovass, the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Transportation Policy Director, says those policies tend to fall in one of three general areas.

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Oil Vulnerability Rankings by State 2008

Amount Spent on Gasoline by the Average Driver
Rank State Percent
of Income
Dollar
Amount
1 Mississippi 9.14% $2702.00
2 Montana 8.07% $2762.94
3 South Carolina 7.59% $2419.61
4 Oklahoma 7.50% $2766.65
5 Louisiana 7.00% $2540.66
6 Kentucky 6.84% $2178.30
7 Texas 6.80% $2622.05
8 New Mexico 6.79% $2177.51
9 Georgia 6.71% $2278.92
10 Arkansas 6.68% $2089.00
11 Utah 6.61% $2002.07
12 Indiana 6.44% $2195.73
13 Maine 6.36% $2250.80
14 Tennessee 6.25% $2146.47
15 Idaho 6.20% $1991.41
16 Missouri 5.94% $2091.62
17 South Dakota 5.93% $2216.13
18 North Carolina 5.93% $2041.98
19 Kansas 5.86% $2226.64
20 Alabama 5.68% $1911.72
21 Arizona 5.65% $1863.13
22 North Dakota 5.64% $2217.39
23 West Virginia 5.62% $1733.11
24 Michigan 5.58% $1971.02
25 Minnesota 5.50% $2353.87
26 Ohio 5.50% $1951.67
27 Rhode Island 5.40% $2214.95
28 Delaware 5.37% $2195.27
29 Wyoming 5.36% $2662.83
30 Iowa 5.25% $1924.73
31 Hawaii 5.19% $2101.98
32 Wisconsin 5.18% $1931.33
33 California 5.16% $2202.09
34 Virginia 5.14% $2205.13
35 Oregon 4.91% $1764.68
36 Illinois 4.78% $2027.43
37 Nebraska 4.69% $1769.97
38 Nevada 4.66% $1880.38
39 Vermont 4.66% $1810.06
40 Florida 4.65% $1817.84
41 Pennsylvania 4.56% $1836.94
42 New Jersey 4.49% $2286.44
43 Washington 4.43% $1875.42
44 Alaska 4.33% $1874.92
45 Colorado 4.29% $1817.47
46 New Hampshire 4.21% $1802.59
47 Maryland 4.19% $2015.49
48 Massachusetts 3.66% $1856.18
49 New York 3.44% $1654.17
50 Connecticut 3.24% $1824.58
Jul 13
2009

SMART's Railcar Decision

Posted by Bruce Robinson in transportation , technology , Sonoma County , policy , planning , nonprofit orgs , Marin , government , finances , environment , energy , economy , design , construction , community , carbon , business , budget , air quality

Bruce Robinson

The Sonoma-Marin commuter train faces a pivotal decision this week, as its directors choose the type of rail cars they will design the rest of the line to match.

The SMART Board of Directors Meets on Wednesday, July 15 at 12:30 pm in the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors chambers to consider the railcar purchase and other business.

 The regulatory standards set by the US Federal Railroad Administration are the biggest single factor shaping SMART's choice for new rolling stock (as railroad cars are often called). SMART General Manager Lillian Hames explains those standards are especially stringent in situations where freight and passenger trains share the same set of tracks.

 The global financial woes of the past year are also affecting SMART, Says Hames, particularly their plans to issue bonds against future sales tax revenues. They are hoping to bridge the funding gap with grants, cost savings in planning and construction, and other measures.

One of the variables tied to the choice of rail vehicles that SMART will use is the height of the floor height above the tracks, which is a function of such design considerations as fuel tank placement and structural engineering. The difference could be 24 inches or more, but either way, the passenger loading platforms at each of the 15 stations along the line will have to be built to match the train's floor level, so that wheelchair users can easily access the cars. These new platforms, says Hames, will likely look quite different than the wooden decks seen along historic train stations.

{mp3remote}http://media.krcb.org/audio/nbr/platformsremote}

 

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