August 19, 2022

Flip: Interactively Documenting Factory Farms

  Among the priority hazards of joining capital and technology the way we do in the 21st Century is that it can blow up the ordinary and familiar — a farm, for instance — into shapes and sizes that are extraordinary. That is what’s happening in Michigan and in many other states in animal agriculture. American meat, poultry, and milk, increasingly, are produced on immense sites that have come to be known as “factory farms.” For those who haven’t followed …

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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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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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Flip: Markets Are Key To Farmland Conservation

Here’s a great example of how to deploy Internet technology and interactivity to conserving farmland. The Michigan Land Use Institute just posted the latest version of our Taste The Local Difference Web site, which links buyers of local farm products to sellers. Here’s a new facet of the site that enables wholesale suppliers and buyers to connect very quickly on the Web, an online wholesale market as it were.   Just great work by the Institute’s …

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Big Green’s Silent Spring For Rachel Carson — Take Two

On the day late last month that Rachel Carson would have turned 100 years old I posted a piece on Mode Shift that focused on the surprising failure of the nation’s major environmental organizations to defend the mother of modern environmentalism. The free market right has set out on a deliberate path to diminish Carson, and by extension the American environmental community, as credible in responding to the consequences of industrial technology. The attack on Carson is …

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Pangea’s Biodegradable Package; Just Plant and Grow

Here’s a name worth paying attention to in the space where sustainable business practices and the non-profit sector cross. He is Joshua Scott Onysko, a 30-year-old native of Rhode Island who turned a bonding experience with his mother making organic soap into Pangea Organics, a very successful Boulder-based manufacturer of organic body and skin care products. I first learned of Onysko and Pangea Organics from a friend in Saugatuck who was as enthusastic about the company’s all …

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At $5 A Gallon, Gas Prices Will Be The Issue In 2008 Campaign

Remember in the 2004 presidential campaign when George W. Bush and John Kerry briefly sparred over the price of gas? Democrats predictably blamed “Big Oil” and promised Congressional investigations. Republicans blamed Democrats and environmentalists for blocking efforts to build more refineries and drill for more oil, especially in Alaska. The tussle failed to attract more than the attention of a couple of political reporters. Why? Gas prices nationally were $1.80 a gallon, and only in California did they …

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On Her 100th Birthday: Big Green’s Silent Spring For Rachel Carson

Across the country this weekend, and especially today, thousands of Americans honored Rachel Carson, the author of “Silent Spring,” who was born 100 years ago on a 65-acre farm in Springdale, Pennsylvania, northeast of Pittsburgh. Carson’s legacy was extolled by grassroots activists, lauded by newspaper writers, and commemorated by institutions. She also was villified as a cause of global genocide by conservative free market critics, and a Congressional resolution honoring the centennial of her birth was blocked by …

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Circle of Blue

Not long after he earned a graduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University Carl Ganter made a name for himself here in Traverse City, his hometown, as a young writer and photojournalist with an unerring grasp for great stories, and a superb eye for color, light, character, and drama. He could make an ordinary windmill, its blades lit against a dramatic dawn sky, look like the most exotic piece of energy technology ever invented. His wife, Eileen Ganter, …

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