Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mayor's Climate Pact

Yesterday, my mayor supposedly signed the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement (Though there wasn't a peep of it in today's paper.... Might help to mention that I live in a gun-toting/hunting/red-neck, Republican state) If it actually happened, then he'd be the 280th in the nation to sign the agreement designed to reverse global warming.

This is the Mayor's big quote in the paper yesterday:
"Even if non-human factors are involved, addressing human emission sources is most within our control and thus provides the best opportunity to address the problem." What is your reaction to this mamby-pamby quote?

Anyhow, my city's goals are:

1. Try to reduce greenhouse gases by 7 percent by 2012 from 1990 levels. (Don't set your sights too high now!)

2. Urge the state and FEDERAL governments to meet a similar goal. (Think this is as important as Terrorism? hmmm....tough question, let me talk to my advisors)

3. Advocate a federal emissions-trading program aimed at reducing greenhouse gases.

The scientists say this about my city, "Climate change has made the snow melt and run into rivers earlier, reduced hydroelectric generation, and increased the size and frequency of forest fires."

That's for sure. I've lived here most of my life, and I can tell you there has been an indisputably significant climate change. BIG time. I remember several "snow days" in the winter months where the school busses couldn't get through even if they really HAD to. Giant snow drifts as tall as me along the road side once the plow finally came through. Always carrying giant bags of rock salt in my trunk just in case I had to melt some snow & also to weigh it down in the back. We built an igloo in our backyard January 1974 because there was sooo much snow in our backyard -- the snow didn't melt right away -- it stayed for weeks or months. Winter was White. No more. Nope, even if it does snow, it melts before the day is over. I shudder to think what this world will be like for my young girls if this dramatic trend continues at this rate, or God forbid, at a faster rate.

Has your mayor signed?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pat on the Back for Lucy's (& like-minded coffee shops)

Local gardeners can get grounds from Lucy's (near BSU) to mulch and compost. Stevens (the owner) saves all the used grounds -- which usually fills up a five-gallon bucket in just two or three days -- until a customer picks them up. "I had to do it because I really feel strongly about it," he said.

Tips on Gardening with Coffee Grounds:

Use up to three cups of coffee grounds per plant. Azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, dogwoods and conifers benefit the most from adding coffee grounds to the soil.

Using coffee grounds also will turn your hydrangeas blue because they are pH sensitive for bloom color

Use coffee grounds on top of the soil in the form of a mulch. Mix it with something like shredded leaves or pine needles so it won't mat.

When planting, place grounds in the bottom of the hole to give the plant an immediate boost.
(source: Edwards Greenhouses)

Friday, August 04, 2006

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike, I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like

We used the bicycle trailer for the second time yesterday, and we loved it! The girls enjoyed the breeze, view, and adventure. I liked passing cars, not looking for parking spaces, the exercise, feeling of freedom, and knowing that there was one less car on the road. This is actually my neighbor's trailer. She is loaning it to me while she is pregnant and unable to use it herself. Nice huh? I've been wanting to do this for such a long time, but the girls just weren't old enough. If you're looking to get one, may I suggest Craig's List.

In "An Inconvenient Truth" on page 311, it states:

The average car in the United States releases about one pound of carbon dioxide for every mile driven. Avoiding just 20 miles of driving per week would eliminate about 1,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.

Perhaps we could learn to get around on less. Reduce the number of miles we drive by walking, biking, carpooling, or taking mass transportation whenever possible.
My goal is to use the bicycle trailer for going to the park, library, destination picnics, the discovery center, zoo, & museum. Basically, anytime that I don't need to go a long distance, or need to carry things back (like groceries), or when time isn't of the essence (pre-planning helps here).
Link here for better biking conditions.

Link here for a free national service to coordinate your travels with other commuters.

Link about how to use & support the expansion of mass transit.

Link for advice on how to lobby for better pedistrian conditions.

From reading other blogs, I know that many others ride their bikes for pleasure and transpo. Do you have any tricks of the trade to share? Anybody else use one of these child chariots?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Planetary Emergency Of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It

Back Cover:

Our climate crisis may at times appear to be happening slowly, but in fact it is happening very quickly - and has become a true planetary emergency. The Chinese expression for crisis consists of two characters. The first is a symbol for danger; the second is a symbol for opportunity. In order to face down the danger that is stalking us and move through it, we first have to recognize that we are facing a crisis. So why is it that our leaders seem not to hear such clarion warnings? Are they resisting the truth because they know that the moment they acknowledge it, they will face a moral imperative to act? Is it simply more convenient to ignore the warnings?

Perhap, but inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen. Indeed, when they are not responded to, their significance doesn't diminish; it grows.

See the movie. Buy the book.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bush bypassed for global warming talk

California governor, British prime minister call for collaboration on research

Long Beach, CA --- British Prime Minister Tony Blair and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced an agreement yesterday to bypass the Bush administration and work together to explore ways to fight global warming.

Global Warming is "long-term, the single biggest issue we face," Blair said. Arnold added later in a statement that "California will not wait for our federal government to take strong action on global warming."

Environmental groups questioned the value of the agreement, calling it little more than a symbolic gesture. Schwarzenegger, a Republican in a mostly Democratic California, has been trying to distance himself from Bush administration.

Craig Noble of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that "the time for talk is over. The bottom line is, voluntary is not enough, promises to do something about global warming are nothing more than a lot of hot air."