7th Gen blog

By way of introducing the new blog from eco-home-product maker 7th Generation, let me just say that I'm happy to read this. It's about time somebody put the brakes on the Godin worship.

A third party?

In today's New York Times ($), the Mustache of Understanding sounds the plaintive lament of the pundit class: the need for a third party. I'm hoping for a third party. The situation is ripe for one: America is facing a challenge as big as the cold war -- how we satisfy our long-term energy needs, at reasonable prices, while decreasing our dependence on oil and the bad governments that export it -- and neither major party will offer a solution, because it requires sacrifice today for gain tomorrow. Now, practically speaking, the institutional barriers to a third party in today's political milieu are insuperable. But as always, the Mustache trusts his "gut" on this issue. And as always, his gut tells him that the American public is right on the verge of lining up behind the Mustache Plan. Insuperable obstacles aside, does Friedman have a point? Is it true that "neither major party will offer a solution"? Well, no.

Demand answers

This Oil Drum post goes a long way toward explaining why oil prices have risen so sharply over the last couple of years. According to international oil agencies, global oil production has been fairly flat since the middle of 2004, even as economic growth around the globe has boosted demand. The chart below, derived from U.S. Energy Information Administration figures, shows OPEC production only, but world figures are much the same. Of course, the global petroleum system is so huge, and some production poorly enough tracked, that there's a lot of uncertainty in the graph above. But it's hard to escape the notion that high prices are being caused by actual global supply limitations, not by oil-company malfeasance or somesuch.

O’ Canada, where have you gone?

Seems Canadians who thought they were so different from their southern neighbors have to take another look at what their new government just proposed to do to Canada's climate funding. Going south, so to speak.

A Wendell Berry poem for Wednesday

We Who Prayed and Wept We who prayed and wept for liberty from kings and the yoke of liberty accept the tyranny of things we do not need. In plenitude too free, we have become adept beneath the yoke of greed. Those who will not learn in plenty to keep their place must learn it by their need when they have had their way and the fields spurn their seed. We have failed Thy grace. Lord, I flinch and pray, send Thy necessity. ----- from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

So Much for Our Plans to Get Chip on Rushmore

NPS won’t loosen ad guidelines; Yellowstone contemplates wireless A National Park Service proposal to accept money from tobacco and alcohol companies and engrave donor names on benches and bricks was shot down when new marketing …

Dirty Deeds Done Crappily

Hanford nuclear-waste site is a big ol’ mess The cleanup effort at the nuke-waste-riddled Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state is looking like one big fustercluck. The finish date has been delayed from 2011 to …

Webby or Not, Here We Come …

Vote for Grist in the Webby Awards! It’s down to the wire, folks: voting in the Webby Awards — “the only award show for internet sites that matters” — ends at midnight PDT on Friday, …

Umbra on herbicides and lawns

Dear Umbra, My husband just spread some very toxic weed-killer on our lawn, and I told him there must be a safer way to get rid of weeds. Our children and pets were not allowed …

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