Clean Edge just published their annual report on clean energy trends. The trends are upward: According to Clean Edge research, biofuels (global manufacturing and wholesale pricing of ethanol and biodiesel) will grow from $15.7 billion in 2005 to $52.5 billion by 2015. Wind power (new installation capital costs) will expand from $11.8 billion in 2005 to $48.5 billion in 2015. Solar photovoltaics (including modules, system components, and installation) will grow from an $11.2 billion industry in 2005 to $51.1 billion by 2015. And the fuel cell and distributed hydrogen market will grow from $1.2 billion (primarily for research contracts and demonstration and test units) last year to $15.1 billion by 2015. In total, we project these four clean-energy technologies, which equaled $40 billion in 2005, to grow fourfold to $167 billion within the coming decade.
Did you know that New York Times reporter Andy Revkin has a band that plays Americana and bluegrass? Me neither.
When I read this bit of George Will's recent column -- The 1930s paradigm [of poverty] has been refuted by four decades of experience. The new paradigm is of behavior-driven poverty that results from individuals' nonmaterial deficits. It results from a scarcity of certain habits and mores -- punctuality, hygiene, industriousness, deferral of gratification, etc. -- that are not developed in disorganized homes. -- I had to choke back a little vomit. And then I started composing an appropriately caustic, dismissive post in my head. As Kevin Drum too-gently points out, the notion that the poor are poor because they're lazy and shiftless is hardly a new paradigm. It's very, very old. But rather than heaping scorn on Will's head, I just refer you to Ezra Klein's substantive dismantling of the claim -- and, while you're at it, Klein's longer piece on poverty.
I photographed this little guy in a small village in Costa Rica. He spent much of his day, ball in hand, staring wistfully out the front window of his tiny home, which also served as a used clothing store. Most homes in this village did double or even triple duty. Our friends stayed with another family in their guestroom, which was above their living room, which also served as the village motorcycle repair shop. David Horsey wrote a refreshing and hopeful piece yesterday titled Liberating women from macho culture frees all. In it, he describes how the women of an impoverished village in Mexico have improved their lives and the lives of their children.
Amy Sullivan has a piece in Washington Monthly called "When Would Jesus Bolt?" It's about growing strain between the evangelical Christian community and the Republican Party for which it has so long been a loyal foot soldier. There's lots of juicy stuff in the piece, but Gristies will be particularly intrigued to hear some of the backstory surrounding last month's climate declaration by evangelicals:
As a community organizer, Tomasita González of the SouthWest Organizing Project empowers and -- what else? -- organizes her community in Albuquerque, N.M., to battle environmental and economic injustice. As this week's InterActivist, González shares her thoughts about challenging mainstream green groups, being called crazy, and fighting back against polluters. Send her a question of your own by noon PST on Wednesday; we'll publish her answers to selected questions on Friday. new in InterActivist: González in 60 Seconds
Several readers have independently sent in word about this: "L.A. South Central Farm Receives 3-Day Eviction Notice." Over 13 years, 350 families have been growing organic produce in a 14-acre garden plot in South Central Los Angeles. But now: Two days ago the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department unceremoniously posted an eviction notice on the farm's gate calling for the farm to be vacated by March 6th (next Monday). That would leave current crops in the ground to be plowed under by a developer's bulldozers. The intended replacement for the farm is a warehouse intended to serve (primarily) Wal-Mart. The linked story has information on how you can help, if you so choose. You can also check out the South Central Farmers website. I believe protests are ongoing -- if anybody in the area has an update, let me know.
I thoroughly enjoyed this short piece by a writer recently hit by a carelessly tossed cigarette butt. Here's a taste (emphasis mine): What I failed to appreciate is that as a smoker, you are, by nature, a rebel. You laugh in the face of polyps and emphysema. Yes, it's a hacking laugh that ends in a series of frightening coughs, but you do laugh. And unlike the rest of us scared little non-smoking hamsters who docilely put our garbage in garbage cans, you, brave puffer of toxic chemical additives, are not bound by something so arbitrary and frivolous as a trash receptacle. The world is your trash can. You defiantly blow plumes of noxious gas into its air. You nonchalantly toss crumpled cigarette packs into its waters. And, as you showed me, you disdainfully throw your used-up smokes onto its ground, even if they must first bounce off another human being before reaching land. Ha. Good reading, but sadly, so true.
Long, long ago (November) and far, far away right here in Gristmill, I facilitated a debate between Fred Hutchison, über-conservative RenewAmerica columnist, and atmospheric scientist cum Gristmill reader mihan (mihan, are you out there? You're gonna want to see this). Never one to let things go, Fred has written an "issues analysis" of his Gristmill conversation (it's also about his conversation with another scientist who dared to defend Einstein). Highly entertaining. Check it out. But be aware that Fred warns: As I summarize these debates for our readers, there will be moments that will be embarrassing for the two scientists, if they condescend to read this review. Steel yourselves.
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