Articles by JMG
Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay.
If Georgia would consider restricting coal, maybe we are stumbling toward a new economic/energy paradigm?
The U.S. Postal Service demands that I discard perfectly good, used Tyvek Priority and Express Mail envelopes, and I am tired of it.
Their concern seems to be that people will grab these envelopes, turn them inside-out, and use them for regular first-class or media rate mailings, which effectively costs the Post Office money. In fact, they have threatened dire consequences if I try to reuse them for media mail.
But my theory is that it is both environmentally unsound and illegitimate for the Post Office to forbid this reuse as the envelope is no longer USPS property once it is delivered to me with proper Priority or Express mail postage -- the sender paid the Express or Priority postage. Once the carrier gives me the delivery, that Tyvek envelope -- which is nearly indestructible and should be reused scores of times -- it is mine to use as I wish, which includes the noblest reuse of this very sturdy material: mailing books at the media rate.
I've been trying to explain why I'm ready to quit calling myself an "environmentalist," and this latest missive from the Friends of the Columbia Gorge, calling not for the shutdown of the coal-fired power plant that is ruining this national treasure, but for hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent on it, has just about put me over the edge.
So I wrote my own version of the Friends' canned letter to reflect what should really change.
In the '70s, the right-on-red wave passed through the states as drivers were increasingly frustrated by idling at red lights devoid of cross traffic. When one is stopped at a red light on a timer, a right-on-red and the even more daring left-on-red -- permitted in Oregon in some situations -- make sense.
What makes even more sense is to let bicyclists treat stop signs as yield signs so they can roll through or stop when appropriate. Adopting a similar rule from Idaho, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance is trying to get the laws changed in Oregon to make biking easier while imposing no downside for automotive traffic.
This is an idea that should spread to all 50 states; it's the right-on-red movement of the 21st century.