December 3, 2020

Low Great Lake

It’s an odd sight to venture to the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan’s upper peninsula and see dry dirt where there used to be water. Lake Superior, which holds 14 percent more water than the four other Great Lakes combined, is 18 inches below normal, lower than it’s been since 1926. We’re sort of used to low lake levels out here in the upper Midwest. Not long ago Lake Michigan was so low that …

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Two Conversations on Energy in America; and Everything Else

You may have missed this little note out of Wall Street last week but many of the renewable and alternative energy funds are doing very well. The New Alternatives fund is up nearly 37 percent the last 12 months and 20 percent so far this year. The Guinness Atkinson fund is up 17 percent and 27 percent while the Wilder Hill funds, which launched last fall, are each up about 11 percent this year. By …

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Apology: A Little Crash

So just in case you’ve been wondering where I been, you need look no further. I spent Monday night and half of Tuesday in the Munson Hospital ICU recovering from taking a pretty nasty spill — that I do not remember — off my road bike. The details aren’t grim. I apparently hit a patch of sand and went down hard enough for my helmeted head to bounce. A friend and witness who owns a …

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The Unforeseen: A Terrific Movie

Earlier this month I attended the New York opening for The Unforeseen, Laura Dunn’s new documentary about the clash of values and struggle to protect Barton Springs in Austin from the consequences of sprawling exurban development. I also met Laura and her husband, Jef Sewell, a well-known executive for an entrepreneurial fulfilment company that serves entertainment Web sites.  [youtube]24-6U5FK470[/youtube] David Brancaccio, the host of PBS’s Now program, also has taken an interest in Laura and the film and …

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Flip: CFR.org Sets Multi-Media Trends for Non-Profits

Mike Moran, a journalist, editor, and multi-media specialist who spent nine years of his career at MSNBC.com, an incubator of great talent and technique in the late 1990s, has been executive editor since August 2005 of CFR.org, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Internet site. CFR.org, one of the best sites in the non-profit universe, is doing a lot of things very well in making the complex world of foreign affairs simpler to understand, easier to access, …

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Public Opinion on Energy Bill: Conservation Trumps Production

Ruy Teixeira, a journalist who does a very good job keeping track of public opinion at the Center For American Progress in Washington, published this analysis of where citizens think the energy bill being debated in Congress ought to go. The verdict: Towards green, efficient, conservation measures and not to new production.  The money quote: “The public is also quite clear on its priorities when it comes to promoting energy conservation versus increasing the supply …

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Toronto Transit City

In 1954, the year that Detroit was busily completing the Lodge Freeway and starting construction on the city’s other major highways Toronto (see pix) opened 12 stations on the Yonge Street subway line, the city’s first. Since then Toronto has built three more regional rapid transit lines, 69 stations, and nearly 43 miles of subway and rapid transit track. The city’s subway and surface streetcar system carries 1.2 million passengers a day, many of whom …

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With Richardson Promise on Transit, Mode Shift Idea Enters 2008 Presidential Race

  Democrat Bill  Richardson, a member of President Bill Clinton’s cabinet and the current governor of New Mexico, this week became the first 2008 presidential candidate to formally introduce a Mode Shift idea into the national race. Richardson was in West Hollywood on Monday, and according to the Associated Press promised “to create a partnership to build a light rail network and help untangle the Los Angeles region’s notorious traffic. With gas prices rising and …

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What Will Shrink Metro Areas? Household Size and Transportation Costs

  If you travel to Las Vegas, Knoxville, Chicago, and Salt Lake City one of the surprising trends you’ll see is the abrupt shift in housing markets. Downtowns in these and other cities are outpacing the suburbs in new home construction and existing home sales. Two of the critical reasons for both are the shrinking size of American households — not a new trend — and the fact that transportation costs exceed housing expenses in household budgets. Though …

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Hey! Energy Bill Debaters Look At New York

  NEW YORK — Early this morning, before the sun peaked over the roofs of the grand old apartment buildings of the Upper East Side, I followed the road bikers and dog walkers and joggers over to Central Park for a splendid four-mile run. New York is full of young people now, bright, educated, trim, and ambitious. A whole bunch of them are up just after dawn to clear their minds and keep their bodies tuned sufficiently to compete …

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