Tags >> resources
Jul 08
2009

Urban Permaculture

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , teens , seniors , resources , parks , nonprofit orgs , Ideas , food , families , environment , education , conservation , community engagement , climate change , children , carbon , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

Permaculture - an idea that began around sustainable agriculture - is moving into the urban environment.

  You can also learn more about this subject at the Oakland-based Urban Permaculture Guild.

Dave Henson, Executive Director of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (right), explains that interest in permaculture arose in part in response to the widespread dominance of "monoculture," or large-scale farming of a single crop.

One of the enduring examples of crop integration is indigenous to Mexico and the American southwest, and known colloquially as the "three sisters."

 

Jul 06
2009

Landfill Leak

Posted by Bruce Robinson in waste , transportation , toxic , Sonoma , resources , politics , government , garbage , finances , environment , conservation , chemicals , budget

Bruce Robinson

Although the Sonoma County dump, west of Cotati,  has been closed for more than three and a half years, the former manager of the facility says the issues behind its closure are political, not environmental.

 

Ken Wells (right), the former manager of the Sonoma County landfill says the  "leak" discovered beneath the dump back in 2004, has taken on an exaggerated significance due to subsequent regulatory conflict between the county and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. The actual contamination was quite minor, he contends, and was easily contained and repaired, so that no pollutants escaped into the local groundwater.

  County officials won't say, but indutry observers say Waste ManagementInc. is the only potential buyer for the Meacham Road dumsite that meets the criteria set forth in the county's Request for Proposals.

Ken Wells is also among those who would prefer that the county retain ownership of the landfill, perhaps contracting with a private firm to operate it. As the county's waste diversion rate-currently at 64%-goes up even more, the volume of trash going into the dump will contuine to shrink, he predicts. That's part of his overall vision of a long-term future for the facility.

 

Although the Sonoma County dump (seen from the air, above) is no longer accecpting trash, all other services there are continuing. There's a list of them, and related operation, such as local transfer stations, available here.

Jul 01
2009

Climate One debate

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , speaker , solar , Science , resources , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , media , legislation , jobs , Ideas , government , events , environment , economy , corporate responsibiliyt , climate change , carbon , alternative energy , air quality , activism

Bruce Robinson

 An oil industry leader and a major California environmentalist agree on the steps the United States must take to address climate change and increase national energy independence-but they have markedly different ideas about how long it will take to reach those goals. Today's North Bay Report is a preview summary of their conversation.

Chevron and the Sierra Club both see renewable fuels as a growing part of our future. Yet as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, they have different views on how that change should occur and who should bear the costs. Higher taxes? Voluntary conservation and efficiency? Government mandates? In their first-ever public conversation, Chevron CEO Dave O'Reilly and Carl Pope, Executive Director of the The Sierra Club, discuss balancing energy and the environment in the 21st century.  The conversation,  which was recorded live on June 10, 2009, was moderated by Alan Murray, Deputy Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal. Hear it in full here.

 

 

  Although the climate protection legislation passed by the House of Representatives includes a cap and trade provision, to "monetize" co2 emissions, both speakers said they favor a simple carbon tax or fee instead. Dave O'Reilly (left)  offered several reasons why that would be preferable.


Pope (right)  and O'Reilly were also in agreement on the desirability of quickly reducing our national dependence on coal to generate much of the country's electricity. Pope was adamant about the need to more strictly regulate the coal industry in many respects.

While O'Reilly agreed with Pope's forecast that this country and the world will need to move toward renewable fuels for vehicles and transportation, he expects the transition will take far longer than Pope's projections.
 

 

 

 


 

Jun 21
2009

Fungi

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , technology , Science , resources , policy , ocean , media , Marin , Ideas , Health , food , environment , business , author , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Fungi are the oldest living things on land, and among their estimated two million varieties, they may hold many yet-to-be-discovered medicinal uses and other benefits.

Paul Stamets, founder and president of Fungi Perfecti , has written six books on mushroom cultivation including Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator. In this audio lip, he offers a short history of fungi:

As a dedicated mycologist for more than 30 years, Stamets has discovered or identified four new species of mushroom. Here, he talks about how it feels to make such a discovery.

 Among the many fungal processes that hold great promise for addressing human needs, Stamets points to one that could herald important changes in ethanol production.

 


 

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