Infrastructure

Politics

Obscure-but-awesome energy law getting shivved by natural gas lobby

George W. Bush signed a law requiring that new federal buildings gradually eliminate consumption of fossil-fuel energy by 2030. Now the natural gas industry is trying to kill the rule.

Cities

Meatpacking plant turns into net-zero-energy vertical farm

Soon, a former meatpacking plant in Chicago will replace carcasses and rendering vats with bakers and brewers and fish farmers and mushroom growers. The Plant (ho ho, a double meaning!) is gathering together a bunch of food-makers to create a self-sustaining system in the 93,500-square-foot abandoned space. As Fast Company reports, a former meatpacking plant is the perfect place to start a food business of this kind: It already contains “food-grade materials” which are safe for food preparation.

Business & Technology

Ad men illegally hack down trees for billboards

Watch one episode of Mad Men and you’ll see just how shady the advertising biz can be. But apparently the red-headed stepchildren of the advertising industry — outdoor billboard companies — are taking douchebaggery to new lows. An investigative report from Fair Warning details how billboard agencies illegally chop down trees to ensure that potential viewers get unobstructed looks at their signage. Don Draper’s womanizing and debauchery isn’t looking so bad now, eh? Take Robert J. Barnhart, a former employee of Lamar Advertising Company, the largest outdoor billboard company in America. When trees got in the way of the company’s Tallahassee, …

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