August 15, 2009 Pittsburg, Pa: Netroots Nation.
This is a story about the good, and a lot of tough love between communities.
To date the Portage lakefront is the only location where progress toward realizing the Marquette Plan is visible, and there are significant reasons why this is the case. The predominant reason is that Portage is a solidly white middle-class suburban community with middle-class values and an intact civil society. That is not the case with East Chicago or Gary. The Marquette Plan comes out of middle-class desires to access and utilize the commons on our lakefront.
<Quick History Lesson>
Unlike Hammond, Whiting, East Chicago and Gary, Portage’s industrial history only goes back to 1959 when National Steel opened a plant along Lake Michigan on the very site where the new Portage Lakefront Park now resides. In 1961 the Port of Indiana at Burns harbor, a deep water port, was opened. And in 1963 Bethlehem Steel Company started construction on their large integrated steel facility.
This eastern expansion of heavy industry along Lake Michigan’s southern shores prompted Senator Paul H. Douglas of Illinois to establish the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in an effort to preserve portions of Indiana’s natural shoreline, including its biodiversity, and unique landscape left thousands of years ago by the receding glaciers of the ice age.
In a few short years Portage went from a farming community with ancient dunes and swales and an expansive lakefront to an industrial community with no lakefront access. While Gary experienced a hollowing-out of its neighborhoods due to “White Flight” and massive disinvestment by Industry, Gary’s new neighbor, Portage was a fast expanding brand new, and mostly white, industrial community. Today, Portage has an estimated population of 36,000, the largest city in Porter County and the third largest in Northwest Indiana, behind Gary and Hammond. Portage is still mostly white with 92% white, ~8% hispanic, and <.2% black. Like most developments during this era Portage was designed on a suburban pattern model.
</Quick History Lesson>
Portage’s civic leaders not only adopted the Marquette Plan immediately, they expanded on it with their City’s Northside Master Plan. Of the five lakefront communities included in Phase I of the Marquette Plan, Portage is the only community to take advantage of JJR’s (award winning) work. You can see from the diagrams below how Portage has benefitted from a consistent visioning and planning process. Like East Chicago, Portage suffers from very little public access to the lake, and yet they propose to gain additional access by recovering existing brownfields along its waterway - the same strategy proposed in the Marquette Plan for East Chicago. You can see from these plans how Portage is looking to maximize what little they have by leveraging its waterways and River front. Clearly they have a long way to go, and not all the solutions are the most ideal, but this is a very good beginning. It is a testament to what can be done.
|Marquette Subarea Conceptual Plan for Portage Lakefront||Portage Master Plan for Lakefront and Riverfront|
In contrast to Portage, East Chicago has traded against the plan for a private development along the lakefront for one of the Mayor’s largest fundraisers (a family member was chief of staff and is now chief of police) and branded it as the Marquette Plan with no public input. The Mayor’s plan completely abandons the Marquette Plan which, like Portage, aimed to recover abandoned brownfields along its waterway - The Indiana Harbor Shipping Canal. Both the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) and the Regional Development Authority (RDA) have not only allowed this to occur without objection, but are encouraging and funding it. I will leave this story for another post.
It is important not to down play Portage’s regional identity as a white community as a contributing factor for its success. Unfortunately, “white” is still an important factor in identity politics in this challenged region. I don’t mean in any way to take away from the hard work that went into Portage’s successes, but to clarify the impediments the other communities face. It is just as important to acknowledge Portages ability to pull together a professional staff capable of realizing opportunities, attracting investment dollars, managing resources, and implementing solutions. And this is exactly why Portage poses a formidable challenge for the highly blighted older minority and urban communities along the lake. Because the leaders of Portage are more capable of forging the right relationships to produce results through an efficient process they are afforded more opportunities. Portage isn’t sitting still, in fact, they have begun to cherry pick opportunities slated for the other shoreline communities.
As an advocate for the older urban Lakefront communities, which dominate the Southern Shores of Lake Michigan, there is a part of me that is insulted that this project spearheads the redevelopment efforts as envisioned in the Marquette Plan. There is also a reality that money’s from the other minority communities, through the RDA, help finance this project. Now that Portage has completed this catalytic project, and jump-started its market by bringing valuable brownfields into productive common recreation use, Portage is set to realize its broader vision. Unfortunately, now that they have realized all this they no longer have a need to contribute to the RDA.
What Portage is able to realize is exactly what we had hope would happen when we first set out to develop the Marquette Plan. That is why we developed catalytic projects in each of our urban lakefront communities. The blighted conditions that remain in East Chicago and Gary are waiting for someone to implement their catalytic project as outlined in the Marquette Plan.
While regional entities praise the Portage project for reclaiming valuable though contaminated lakefront property, they also sight contamination as an impediment to redevelopment in my community. When it comes to redeveloping the Brownfields in East Chicago, all too often we are treated as if East Chicago were Chernobyl. If East Chicago is Chernobyl, and I am serious about this, then the USEPA ought to make this perfectly clear so we can begin abandon our properties and all our industrial facilities. If East Chicago is not Chernobyl then lets get to work and stop avoiding the impediments to change.
With the Portage project success has been gained, but now we need greater success.
This past spring we went out to Portage to take a look at the new lakefront park. Finding the entrance and then realizing that it was the entrance was just plain weird to say the least. It required entering and traversing a poorly marked U.S. Steel facility adjacent and across the river from the park. I suspect this was only a temporary solution, at least until they can construct a more formal and appropriate entrance. The most striking feature of the park besides the feeling of trespassing on industrial property when you enter is the pavilion. The Pavilion provides a very strong silhouette dominating the site and the visual field. By its design it begins to inform your experience in this rather strange setting.
The NWI Times posted a wonderful video introducing the new lakefront and laying out the awesomeness of its achievement:
Former Portage Mayor Doug Olson and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Superintendent Costa
<Build it and they will come>
via the [ Post-Tribune ] August 27, 2009
PORTAGE — The park that replaced the former steel mill sewer plant and acid pools at the mouth of Burns Waterway has become a sought-after destination, according to preliminary figures from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
The Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk — a former toxic waste site — was dedicated in November as a first-of-its-kind federal-local partnership between the Lakeshore and the city, which manages the 60-acre location under a formal agreement.
Lakeshore Superintendent Costa Dillon said 50,000 people have visited the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk this year. Park Service public information officer Lynda Lancaster gave a figure of 35,000 for the number of cars that have crossed the traffic counters at the gate from March to July.
The National Parks statistics Web site gives a raw number of 52,094 for the first seven months of 2009, making it one of the Lakeshore’s most visited areas.
But Lancaster cautions that it’s too early for firm totals or comparisons until surveys are done to develop a “multiplier” that can come up with a visitor total.
“The raw numbers are reduced for things like cars entering and leaving and local residents (in Beverly Shores and other parts of the park where people live), and increased for average number of passengers in each vehicle,” she said.
In any case, it’s clear the number of spring and summer visitors to the Lakefront and Riverwalk — the Park Service discourages calling the site a “park,” because it’s inside the Lakeshore — is at least equal to the city’s population.
The summer Lakeshore newsletter “The Singing Sands” lists “What is Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk and how do I get there?” as one of the most frequently asked visitor questions.
Besides educational programs like the spring No Child Left Inside hike and meeting in the “green” pavilion by regional planners and the newly formed Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, people come to swim and stroll along the paved trails and breakwater. They also fish, birdwatch or photograph the dunes.
“We get surfers for the major waves when the wind is from the northeast,” said city park staffer Kate Mitchell, working at the “healthy snacks” concession stand that opened in May.
“It’s amazing. People start coming at 9 or 10 in the morning and leaving around 4 or 5, and then other people come to watch the sunset or take the Riverwalk,” said manager Cindie Cassebaum.
She said the tables on the patio are popular with millworkers at lunchtime and waitresses on break from restaurants on U.S. 20, less than five minutes away.
</Build it and they will come>
My wife and I lived at the “Spice Factory” (building on the right) for four years. Its nice to see Chicago promoting it as a Creative Industrial District.
Cermak Road Creative Industry District.
The Cermak Road Creative Industry District is a landmarked historic district comprised of 4 warehouses totalling 800,000 square feet nestled along the Chicago River between Chinatown and Pilsen. It has been re-zoned to include creative industry uses, such as Artist Work Space, Restaurant, Retail, Entertainment, High Tech Office, and Artisan Manufacturing.
Imagine recording your music in the factory where Muddy Waters worked. Mounting a theater production where The Untouchables was filmed. Creating and manufacturing your fashion line in a shared workspace overlooking the Chicago River, with a view of downtown Chicago outside your window.…
Two open houses will provide opportunities to view the district and learn more about leasing and investment opportunities, financial incentives and other developments. City officials will be present to learn more about what your creative business needs.
Saturday August 15 and Sunday August 16, 2009, 2:00 - 5:00 pm.
Begin at the Wendnagle Warehouse
600 W. Cermak
via the [ Chicago Tribune ]
Artists courted for idea factories
By Angie Leventis Lourgos
Historic warehouses that helped launch Chicago’s industrial boom more than a century ago could house the city’s first “Creative Industries District,” sheltering artists and artisans of various media in one spot.
Four factories on Cermak Road once provided the nation with coffee, spices, window treatments, water barrels and wholesale groceries. Thousands of employees crossed the Cermak Road bridge each day to earn their pay at the W.M. Hoyt, Thompson and Taylor Spice, Wendnagle, and Western Shade Cloth buildings.
But the factories once known as the Spice Barrel District dwindled as the industrial age came to a close. The area was designated a landmark district in April 2006, restricting its buildings to industrial uses.
Now the city is trying to turn the corridor into a haven for the arts, centered on creative industries like film production, engineering, fine arts, fashion, and information specialists.
A $15,000 study commissioned by the city found a need for more affordable arts-related space. Roughly 80,000 artists are in Chicago and about 5,000 art students graduate every year, offering a steady stream of new creative workers. Arts-related enterprises add around $1 billion to the city’s economy, according to the study.
“We hope that over the years this can grow organically to become popular, vibrant — a great resource for the creative community,” said Julie Burros the city’s director of cultural planning
But the project hinges on luring artist-tenants — a tough crowd to serve.
What is remarkable about this statement is there once was a thriving artist community here 15 years ago, before the city started their annual eviction campaign of artists for many reasons including using their space as live / work spaces. It was such a wonderful place. I met Jesse Bercowetz, Chester Alamo, Nick Nuccio and an array of other creative people. I remember going down to the 3rd floor theater and being mesmerized by the Michael Clarke Duncan’s performance in ”A Soldiers Story.” It is still one of the greatest performances I have ever seen.
Despite the persistent recession, Mumford and Burros were upbeat about the prospect of attracting tenants, though Burros said it might take 10 to 20 years for the entire area to thrive.
With the right people and the right policies, I could guarantee a thriving artist community with in 12 months - EASY
The city rezoned the district in February 2007 to include office, retail, restaurant, entertainment and other uses beyond industrial.
But residential use won’t be permitted, barring tenants from combining studio and living space — a popular lifestyle among artists.
This is counter productive. It appears they are not trying to create a workable space for artist to develop their craft, but an artist / gallery district for the performance of art making. For those who are already highly capitalized.
The project was modeled after other successful warehouse district reinventions in North America. The old saw mills and steel factories of Granville Island in Vancouver were converted to a public market with galleries and shops. Nineteenth Century factories in MassMoCA in North Adams, Mass., house visual, performing and new-media arts. The Distiller District in Toronto offers 168 predominantly arts-related businesses — including a studio where the movie “Chicago” was filmed.
I find it amazing that this project isn’t modeled after the many successful Chicago or New York models. It’s not even modeled after the once thriving Podmajerski (John Podmajerski II) Artist’s spaces in neighboring ”East Pilsen”
Jazz vocalist Agnes Payne, who lives on the city’s West Side, said a central artistic community could help her look for work. Rather than running around the city, she could reach prospective employers on Cermak Road.
“The idea of the city designating this area for artists is great,” she said. “Now it’s dispersed all over the city. … This would give art one focal point.”
Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) is conducting a 2040 plan for Northwest Indiana. This includes Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties. On July 15th, 2009 they issued a DRAFT VISION STATEMENT with an outline of goals, objectives, and strategies. I was asked to comment on its 44 pages, which takes a little commitment of time to review it in its entirety. The following is the first page, “A Thriving Economy” along with my comments. My additions and comments are in red.
Mythological - - - - Dystopic - - - - Anarchic - - - - Leviathan - - - - Criminal Underworld
Kowloon Walled City has received a significant amount of attention in recent years on the internet, perhaps more than before it was demolished in 1993. It is the kind of place that provokes the shock and the imagination of organized society.
Kowloon Walled City was a tiny Chinese enclave located in the middle of British Hong Kong for decades occuping 6.5 acres with a population reaching as high as 50,000. At some point it evolved into a living, growing, and decaying organism, known for attracting unlicensed Dentists, Doctors, Surgeons, Restaurants, Brothels, Illegal trade, manufacturing, etc. The only physical limits to growth were its 6.5 acre footprint, its fourteen stories due to an adjacent Airport, and perhaps its quality of life.
[ Greg Girard ]
Greg Girard’s book “City of Darkness - Life in Kowloon Walled City” probably gives us the best insight into what life was like. I think we are bound to learn more about this remarkable place in the coming years.
Weighing Health Benefits against Risks
(Managing the Grey)
We have become familiar with weighing the obvious benefits of fish consumption against its risks. Since we know fish bio-accumulate contaminants that humans put into the eco-system, it follows that most of the risks we face in consuming fish is the product of our own doing. This risk is mostly associated with the externality of 100+ years of industrial production. This is just a fact that we need to accept. I don’t like it just as much as many industrialist. Granted there are some who continue to deny their practices as a cause, but we are no longer concerned with them.
For the most part public policy for determining acceptable levels of contamination has been led by the most unscientific measures - comfort level. As a form of public opinion measuring comfort levels for risk factors is vulnerable to manipulation. This has produced sub-environmental markets for risk, and a perfect opportunity for a certain specialized class of professionals to manufacture consent for dirty industrial projects in impaired communities. It is no surprise that our poorest, and least sustained communities would receive the highest concentrations of these dirty projects.
Like global warming, eventually we all share in the risk. Sure, for a while, the wealthy will be able to afford fish from other more healthier regions. But is that what anyone wants especially when we’re sitting on the Great Lakes, with nearly 20% of the worlds fresh water? What is happening to the inhabitants of these waters is happening to the waters. Could you imagine if we were to damage the rich agriculture soils of the midwest to such an extent that we produce only contaminated grains that require rationing to keep us statistically safe. Yet that is what we are doing with our waters. No one wants our waters to be unsafe, that is not the problem.
The October 18, 2006, issue of JAMA includes an article outlining the health benefits and risks of eating fish. On that same day the Washington Post published “Benefits of Fish Exceed Risks, Studies Find.” concluding that the benefits of fish consumption were so great that they “outweighed the danger from mercury and other contaminants even for pregnant women and children.” It would be a shame if the risk associated with our human made contaminants begins to outweigh the natural benefits of consuming fish.
Are the Risks beginning to Outweighing the Benefits?
Only three years after the above articles were published a new study prompts new questions:
- Are we beginning to see a cultural shift in the benefit-to-risk equation?
- Are we moving out of our comfort zone when it comes to public policy on fish consumption?
- What impact could this have an commercial fishing in the Great Lakes, a billion dollar industry?
- What impact could this have on the Great Lakes diet?
A new University of Illinois study links a pesticide, DDT, in fish to diabetes. DDT has been banned in the U.S. for more than 35 years.
“Even though we haven’t used DDT in decades, its metabolites are still detected in almost everyone in the country,” said lead researcher Mary Turyk, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s School of Public Health.
According to David O. Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the State University of New York, Albany.
“Most people have not thought of diabetes as a disease related to environmental exposure,” he said, “and these studies show that it is. The science has been growing very, very rapidly, and to my mind, it’s one of the most exciting developments in the study of diabetes.
”For the most common type of diabetes, Type 2, obesity and lack of exercise play a key role. The bulk of studies searching for a cause have focused on lifestyle factors, while research on environmental influences hasn’t been prominent in journals devoted to the disease, said Henry Kahn, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Diabetes Translation.
“…But maybe it should be. It would be foolish to overlook pollution as a factor,” he said, adding that he and colleagues have lately taken a greater interest in the role of pollutants. “We recognize it’s possibly a very important thing,” he said. “We agree it’s on the list of things worth studying.”
Oliver Jones, a biochemist at the University of Cambridge, wrote in the journal Lancet last year that “if there is indeed a link” between contaminants and diabetes, “the health implications could be tremendous. There has been almost no consideration for the possible influence of environmental factors such as pollution.”
Among the reasons to believe that the environment might be involved in diabetes, according to Carpenter, is that its prevalence varies across geographic areas, and people who move to places where it’s more common become more likely to get sick. Kahn, however, said that effect could be due to people migrating to more developed areas, where a richer diet and more sedentary lifestyle are the norm.
This chart doesn’t bode well for the southern shores of Lake Michigan. I suppose if the data and conclusions from the U of I study are validated we will be adding DDT as a contaminant to the chart. Is there not a certain level of absurdity in having to refer to pages and pages of similar charts to determine if you can eat a certain fish caught in a certain reach of a river or lake? Wouldn’t it also make sense for all commercially sold fish to identify the location of the catch, with an associated risk factor.
As evidence mounts as to the extent of the damage to our natural systems and and pressures gather to increase production, competition for commercial use of the Great Lakes will become more intense. We already know what Tom Easterly, Commission of IDEM, thinks about commercial fishing in the Great Lakes.
“there is no need for recreation or commercial fishing in the Great Lakes because there were never any natural fisheries here. The Great Lakes are no better than stocked ponds.”
Mr. Easterly expresses well the sentiments of heavy Industry (BP, ArcelorMittal, USS) on the Southern Shores of Lake Michigan. They would like to call the commercial fisheries dead and be done with them as a competitor and advocate for healthy waters on the Great Lakes.
Environmental Justice calls for setting minimal requirements for allowing for a sustainable community.
Jorge Garcia “Streader”: 1958 - 2009
I just heard the news of Streader’s passing. My heart goes out to Sherry and his kids.
Rarely have I photographed the moment of meeting someone whom I will befriend. This was the moment I met Streader. Politics brought us together. He was standing in the entry way just out side the hall at Club Ki Yowga. A story had just broke in the NWI times of Streader resigning his position with the City and blowing the whistle on unscrupulous activities at City Hall. This ignited a shock wave through the City - one of George Pabey’s inner circle was talking. He had worked along side George Pabey to overthrow the Pasterick regime, who had been in power for more than 30 years. Now Streader was putting everything he had into replacing Pabey. In so doing he showed himself to be larger than politicians. He always enjoyed himself.
As those in East Chicago know, the outcome of 2007 Mayoral race was a disaster, Pabey won big. Streader was very upset with the outcome. Since then we met occasionally to talk political strategy and future elections. I even learned he hung with the Rakoczy family when he was young. He threw himself deeply into his brothers race for County Engineer. Jorge never tired from it all. Your friends in East Chicago are going to miss you.
The Clunker Stimulus and Emerging Markets
Could the Obama administration be seen as a major turning point in environmental and economic history because of something called the “Cash for Clunkers” Program?
“In virtually no time, the clunker program has become a national pastime. It has captured the public’s imagination in a way that no other federal stimulus has. Everyone is talking about it. And I truly believe that consumer spirits have been buoyed by the prospect of going out and buying a new car — even with federal assistance, and even under the duress of federal mileage standards. After a very dreary year or two, people might just have fun trading in their clunkers and buying something new,”
Now that everyone seems happy with Obama’s Clunker Program, it’s time to look at maximizing the benefits. A very clear and obvious question has to do with using tax payer money as a loss leader to finance the program. Certainly the program was meant to kick start a faltering auto industry, and begin to replace older inefficient and environmentally suspect products, but if we take this opportunity we could kick start emerging markets as well. By privatizing the clunker programs we could potentially open a number of new cradle to cradle markets to incentivize the reuse and recycling of materials.
Granted this model wouldn’t replace the regime of “design obsolescence,” but it would replace basing design obsolescence on the production of inferior materials, manufacturing processes, and technology, with superior materials, manufacturing processes, and technology. This is exactly what we accomplished in the computer industry these past thirty years.
Yesterday I heard on NPR how “Clunkers” are being “killed” and then recycled. As it turns out only the ferous metals are being recycled back into production, everything else is sent to land fills - not a very sustaining prospect for an ecologically minded Administration.
In my mind, it no longer makes sense for governments to clean up behind dirty and wasteful industries to maintain the balance of a sustainable earth. We have lived through the abundance of managing scare resources to having few remaining resources, and now we must manage through a determination of risk. The public burden of excess pollution and waste has become too large to be sustainable. The costs of clean-up projects and waste storage facilities are too taxing on the public wallet, and for those who would like to see lower taxes and a smaller government, they may find shrinking what we put into our land fills as one way to go.
Beside expanding the salvage market a Clunkers market could lead to the creation of a whole new manufacturing model that incentivizes the design of materials and processes for their life-cycle use and reuse, while limiting waste. In so doing auto manufacturers have the opportunity to expand the resell and reuse of materials from used vehicles. Who knows, some one may even develop a business plan to mine our land fills for used raw materials.
via [ Treehugger ]
[ RecycleBank ] sets up pilot program in Chicago.
The idea is simple - instead of mandating recycling, or charging people for throwing out trash, RecycleBank offers rewards for what and how much you recycle.
Starting in wards 5, 8 and 19, recycling bins will be retrofitted with an ID tag that will be scanned each time a pick up is made - with credits appearing on the household’s RecycleBank account depending on how much they recycle. Points can redeemed for rewards, gift cards, groceries, and products at more than 1,900 local and national RecycleBank Reward Partners, including Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Target.com, Ruby Tuesday’s and CVS/pharmacy, as well as local participating Chicago businesses, such as Leona’s, Moo and Oink, ‘city sponsor’ Carson Pirie Scott, County Fair, Treasure Island, the Chicago White Sox and the Children’s Museum. RecycleBank Points can also be donated to local school environmental programs, charities and non-profits. If that weren’t incentive enough, the White Sox are giving away 2 free tickets to the first two hundred households to activate their RecycleBank rewards account - which should prove a popular incentive in the windy city.
Of course the deep greenie in me worries that folks are still getting rewarded for the amount of trash they produce - even if that trash is recycled - and those rewards are redeemable for more consumer goods which will in turn generate more trash. But sometimes I have to tell the deep greenie in me to shut up. As with most things, this program is not the answer in and of itself, but it is a step in the right direction. The more we can get our markets and social structures to reward and encourage more sustainable behaviors, the sooner we’ll get to where we need to go.
- Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
by William McDonough, Michael Braungart
- Cannibals with Forks: Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business
by John Elkington
- Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid
by Jimmy Carter
- Globalization and Its Discontents
by Joseph E. Stiglitz
- Privatization: Successes and Failures
by Gerard Roland and Joseph E. Stiglitz
- The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means
by George Soros
The Bucket Brigade is the brain child of Denny Larson of the Community Global Monitor.
“The “Bucket Brigade” is a simple, but effective, tool that dozens of communities are using to find out for themselves what chemicals are in the air. Armed with their own data and information about the health effects of chemicals, these communities are winning impressive reductions of pollution, safety improvements and increasing enforcement of environmental laws.
The “Bucket Brigade” is named for a easy to use air sampling device housed inside a 5 gallon plastic bucket. The “Bucket” was developed in Northern California in 1995 by an environmental engineering firm in order to simplify and reduce the costs of widely accepted methods used for testing toxic gases in the air”
The Bucket Brigade was brought to East Chicago by the Calumet Project to help monitor the discharges from the construction of a confined deposal facility (CDF), the dredging of the Indiana Harbor Shipping Canal (arguably the most polluted waterway in the country), and the long term management of the site. They have also looked at BP discharges.
[ Post-Tribune ]
A group of East Chicago residents hope to convince the government to do better air quality monitoring in their neighborhood and will lobby for better pollution control.
The so-called Calumet Project Bucket Brigade took an air sample on July 10 near the intersection of 129th Street and Indianapolis Boulevard in East Chicago. The result was 14 chemicals. Five of them — acrolein, acrylonitrile, carbon disulfide, styrene and 1,4-dichlorobenzene — registered well above what other states list as “levels of concern.”
- via [ Infrastructuralist ]
“7 Urban Freeways To Tear Down Today–And What Tomorrow Might Look Like If We Do”
- via [ Jetson Green ]
Unlocking Energy efficiency in the U.S. Economy, a McKinsey & Company Report
[ Full Report ]
- via [ NY Times ]
“White Roofs Catch On as Energy Cost Cutters”
- via [ Pruned ]
“The Wetland Machines of Ayala” - designing and building artificial wetlands to treat contaminated water from agriculture, industries and urban areas so that it could be reused
- via [ Phil Gyford's Website ]
“Graphs that Lie”
In business there is a saying “throwing good money after bad.” The idea is that it is better to cut your losses and go with something else than to continue a losing strategy that drains your resources. for the energy sector it follows that it would be better to cut losses with oil and go with some other alternative, but like our banking sector, the U.S. government seems to have the same boneheaded belief that our commitment to oil is too large to give up on. But unlike the banking system, oil is a limited resource. At some point in the near future America has to move forward with an alternative resource. The question today is at what cost to the environment are we going to continue our relationship with oil?
I found this article this morning about throwing good energy after bad, or clean after dirty. I suppose adding Palin’s name to the title is suppose to appeal to some obvious instinct.
via [ www.solveclimate.com ]
by Abby Schultz - Jun 29th, 2009
Environmentalists fear at least half of the relatively clean-burning Alaskan North Slope gas will end up fueling tar sands operations in Alberta, where the pipeline will end, instead of coming to the lower 48 states to replace carbon-intensive coal in power plants. The tar sands operations already consume about 20 percent of Canada’s natural gas, and they are expected to need as much as twice that by 2035.