Sun Sep 25th, 2016 at 11:44:00 PM EST
NYC Farm condo for the High Line?
NYC World's Fair NY State Pavilion reimagined as greenhouse bubble
LEED for vertical farms
Tulsa, OK's urban farming to reduce food desertswww.theguardian.com/cities/2016/aug/25/tulsa-oklahoma-community-garden-urban-farming-oasis-f
Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Planning for Parks and Urban Forests in Los Angeles County
hat tip Gil Friend
Editorial Comment: My observation from years of listening to major journalists talk at Harvard's Shorenstein is that sometimes there are also people who can't see the forest for the leaves.
Mobile green living room touring Europe
3 "forests" for London Design Festival
Fruit walls and urban farming in the 1600s
Proposal for Brussels Botanic Center renovation as plant-covered and smog fighting building
Spherical Growroom to demonstrate urban farming in Copenhagenwww.space10.io/journal/growing-sphere-exploring-how-cities-can-feed-themselves-through-advan
Agro Food Park for the "Silicon Valley of Agriculture" in Aarhus, Denmark
The Hanging Gardens now being built in Copenhagen will allow residents to grow, buy, and sell their own vegetables without leaving the building
Editorial Comment: Do these three links mean an eyewitness report from Denmark is necessary?
Williamsburg Brooklyn's 15,000-square-foot public rooftop park atop the new William Vale Hotel.
Local food can go too far
Sun Sep 11th, 2016 at 02:16:12 AM EST
Phineas Taylor (PT) Barnum was not only a show business producer and early mass marketeer but also a politician. He was elected to two terms in the Connecticut state legislature (1865 and 1866) representing the town of Fairfield as a member of the Republican Party. A decade later, he was elected by acclamation as mayor of Bridgeport, CT. His political career was very different from the candidate he is being compared to this 2016 Presidential season.
At the end of the Civil War, Barnum ran for the state legislature expressly to ratify the 14th Amendment to the USA Constitution and extend Connecticut state voting rights to African-American men as he stated in his speech to the legislature on May 26, 1865:
Mr. Speaker: I am no politician, I came to this Legislature simply because I wished to have the honor of voting for the two constitutional amendments--one for driving slavery entirely out of the country; the other to allow men of education and good moral character to vote, regardless of the color of their skins. To give my voice for these two philanthropic, just, and Christian measures is all the glory I ask legislativewise. I care nothing whatever for any sect or party under heaven, as such. I have no axes to grind, no logs to roll, no favors to ask. All I desire is to do what is right, and prevent what is wrong. I believe in no "expediency" that is not predicated of justice, for in all things--politics, as well as everything else -- "I know that honesty is the best policy." A retributive Providence will unerringly and speedily search out all wrong doing; hence, right is always the best in the long run. Certainly, in the light of the great American spirit of liberty and equal rights which is sweeping over this country, and making the thrones of tyrants totter in the old world, no party can afford to carry slavery, either of body or of mind. Take down the blinds from his intellect, and let in the light of education and Christian culture. When this is done you have developed a man. Give him the responsibility of a man and the self-respect of a man, by granting him the right of suffrage. Let universal education, and the universal franchise be the motto of free America, and the toiling millions of Europe, who are watching you with such intense interest, will hail us as their saviors. Let us loyally sink "party" on this question, and go for "God and our Country." Let no man attach an eternal stigma to his name by shutting his eyes to the great lesson of the hour, and voting against permitting the people to express their opinion on this important subject. Let us unanimously grant this truly democratic boon. Then, when our laws of franchise are settled on a just basis, let future parties divide where they honestly differ on State or national questions which do not trench upon the claims of manhood or American citizenship.
Barnum was also instrumental during that session in keeping the "railroad ring" from selecting the Speaker of the Connecticut House and appointing the head of the railroad commission, fighting against Commodore Vanderbilt who had raised the price of tickets on the Hudson River and Harlem railroads from 200 - 400% and was about to do the same with the New York and New Haven road in which he was also a major stockholder. The fight lasted all through the legislative session and was so bitter that the railroad interests' main proponent on the commission took to his bed "sick" ten days before the close of session and stayed there until the legislature adjourned.
"Through Barnum's efforts a law was passed that no person in the employ of any railroad in the State, should serve as railroad commissioner."
"In March, 1875, the nomination for Mayor of Bridgeport was offered Barnum, but he refused it, until assured that the nomination was intended as a compliment, and that both parties would sustain it." The city of Bridgeport usually voted Democratic but Barnum ran on the Republican ticket and was easily elected. He campaigned against public intoxication, closed the bars on Sunday, and crusaded to lower utility rates, improve water supplies, and eliminate the city's houses of prostitution.
During 1875, he was also on the lecture circuit with a talk titled "The World and How to Live in It," that he gave 30 times around the eastern United States and traveled to Niagara Falls and Akron, OH to visit his Hippodrome which was on tour as far east as Thomaston, Maine and west to Leavenworth, Kansas that season.
When he was 81, he grew ill. At his request, the New York Evening Sun newspaper published his obituary in advance so he could enjoy it. Two weeks later, April 7, 1891, PT Barnum was dead.
There seems to have been a lot more to Phineas Taylor Barnum than we usually remember.
Fri Aug 5th, 2016 at 09:52:46 PM EST
I'm noticing a cross-over now between zero net energy building and city agriculture, two subjects I follow and publish links lists on. The archive of the city agriculture links list is at cityag.blogspot.com
Net Zero Plus
The NetZero Plus Electric Training Institute (NZP-ETI), opened recently in Los Angeles, and is the largest net-zero plus commercial building retrofit in USA which "will function as a living laboratory, educational facility and demonstration center for advanced and emerging clean energy technologies."
I've built a version of this for myself and it seems to work although mine is just a small test model
All terrain off the grid survival vehicle
New home construction moving towards net zero
Retrofit home in Whatcom County, Washington produces twice the energy it now consumes (in an area with solar insolation of 3.5 - 3.0 kWh/square meter/day)
Virginia Beach,VA 10,500-square-foot Brock Environmental Center turns rainwater into drinking water, produces 83% more energy than it uses
Net Zero Energy Vermont - blog focusing on making Vermont the first zero energy state
Net zero energy feasibility study for Vermont buildings (and beyond)
Net zero downtown Montpelier design competition
Siemens new Munich headquarters, using 90% less electricity and 75% less water than the building it replaced
Los Angeles net zero solar powered 20 unit apartment building: Hanover Olympic
Nanjing China zero net energy Green Light House
Net Zero community in Salt Lake City
Telus Gardens in Vancouver, LEED Platinum with indoor gardens
LIAR Living Architecture
"This project will develop blocks able to extract resources from sunlight, waste water and air. The bricks are able to fit together and create `bioreactor walls' which could then be incorporated in housing, public buildings and office spaces."
Floating House - 100 sqm residential unit, 12 m in diameter and 4 m high, made entirely of recycled laminated timber on a recycled aluminium hull.
Fri Jul 29th, 2016 at 03:20:13 AM EST
I like direct action, positive protest that has immediate, practical, social and economic use.
That's why I say, Solar IS Civil Defense - light, phone, battery can be supplied by a few square inches of solar electric panel. The solar bike lights on my backpack over the last decade have proven the concept to my satisfaction (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/6/30/352476/-).
Light, phone, battery are also entry level electricity for the 1.4 billion or so of us around the world who don't yet have access to reliable electric power. Emergency preparedness at home, entry level solar power to the people who've never had it is essentially the same thing.
Bare minimum solar electricity for all, as long as the sun shines and the batteries hold out, is technically and practically feasible now.
It is rapidly becoming affordable too.
I know of one company that is reaching the price point of $1 per unit production costs for solar rechargeable lights (http://www.thriveenergy.co.in) and believe that there are others that are doing the same or better. That's $1.4 in production costs (or less, given economies of scale) to supply everyone among the presently powerless or $200 million if we start with one solar lighting system per family at a global average of 7 people per family.
How much more for delivery and setting up the infrastructure? The Dominican Light Project (http://www.esencialessrl.com) is beginning to provide solar lights for every family in the Dominican Republic at a proposed cost of $5 each to the customer's door. They raised some of their money through crowdfunding (https:/www.indiegogo.com/projects/dominican-light-project-by-esenciales-j-s-srl--2#)
Bare minimum solar electricity for all, as long as the sun shines and the batteries hold out, is not only technically feasible but also affordable and practical now.
in 2015, the world's military forces spent $1,676.0 billion or $4.59 billion per day
2016 USA Presidential election spending to July 22, 2016:
Amount raised by candidates: $904 million
Amount raised by Super PACS supporting them: $492
Just for reference.
Conceivably, there could be an ad hoc popular movement for crowd funding the end of electrical energy poverty within the next 3 to 5 years. A day of what we spend on warfare or a US Presidential campaign could give everybody who needed a light, light.
This is solar electric power to the people.
Now, add a bicycle or a hand-crank and you have two reliable sources of electricity day or night, by sunlight or muscle power.
Thu Jul 28th, 2016 at 03:22:51 AM EST
Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
NY: The Library of America, 1990
Sherman went to West Point in 1836 and graduated in 1840, 4th in his class academically. He served in Florida, South Carolina, and California, and was at Sutter's Mill as the Gold Rush began. He resigned his commission in 1853 and became a banker in San Francisco and later a lawyer in St Louis before teaching engineering at the Louisiana Seminary of Learning and Military Academy in 1860, from which he resigned in January 1861 to accept a commission in the US Army in May.
After his memoirs were first published, he included a long appendix in the second edition consisting of letters from interested parties correcting mistakes and offering different recollections of the events he covered.
The first time he was in battle was the first Bull Run and he remembered
"...the whole scene of the affair at Blackburn's Ford, when for the first time in my life I saw cannonballs strike men and crash through the trees and saplings above and around us, and realized the always sickening confusion as one approaches a fight from the rear; then the night-march from Centreville, on the Warrenton road, standing for hours wondering what was meant; the deployment along the edge of the field that sloped down to Bull Run, and waiting for Hunter's approach on the other side from the direction of Sudley Springs, away off to our right; the terrible scare of a poor negro who was caught between our lines; the crossing of Bull Run, and the fear lest we shoudl be fired on by our own men; the killing of Lieutenant-Colonel Haggerty, which occurred in plain sight; and the first scenes of a field strewed with dead men and horses."
General Sherman knew that "Generally war is destruction and nothing else."
His letter to the mayor of Atlanta is remarkable and may be read at
Along with all my other notes from the book.
Fri Jul 15th, 2016 at 09:54:31 PM EST
We have all these wars and conflicts happening now. When do we practice peace?
As the great bluesman Willy Dixon, a conscientious objector in WWII, sings
It Don't Make Sense If You Can't Make Peace
List of Ongoing Conflicts Around the World as of July 3, 2016
67 countries at war
715 groups involved
A map of current world conflict with "impact on U.S Interests" from USA Council on Foreign Relations
(29 Countries and 209 between militias-guerrillas, terrorist-separatist-anarchic groups involved)
Hot Spots: Central African Republic (often there are armed clashes between muslims and christians), Democrati Republic of Congo (war against rebel groups), Egypt (war against islamic militants of Islamic State branch), Libya (civil war), Mali (clashes between army and rebel groups), Mozambique (clashes with RENAMO rebels) Nigeria (war against islamist militants), Somalia (war against al-Shabaab islamist militants), Sudan (war against rebel groups in Darfur), South Sudan (clashes with rebel groups)
(16 Countries and 165 between militias-guerrillas, terrorist-separatist-anarchic groups involved)
Hot Spots: Afghanistan (war against islamist militants), Burma-Myanmar (war against rebel groups), Pakistan (war against islamist militants), Philippines (war against islamist militants), Thailand (coup d'etat by army May 2014)
(10 Countries and 80 between militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved)
Hot Spots: Chechnya (war against islamist militants), Dagestan (war against islamist militants), Ukraine (Secession of self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic), Nagorno-Karabakh (clashes between Azerbaijan army against Armenian army and Nagorno-Karabakh army)
(7 Countries and 236 between militias-guerrillas, terrorist-separatist-anarchic groups involved)
Hot Spots: Iraq (war against Islamic State islamist militants), Israel (war against islamist militants in Gaza Strip), Syria (civil war), Yemen (war against and between islamist militants)
(5 Countries and 25 between drug cartels, terrorist-separatist-anarchic groups involved)
Hot Spots: Colombia (war against rebel groups), Mexico (war against narcotraffic groups)
Wed Jun 15th, 2016 at 12:03:26 AM EST
Nostalgia Isn't What It Used to Be by Simone Signoret
NY: Penguin Books, 1978
(31) At about that time [1933-34], she noticed one day that a toothbrush she had just bought herself said "made in Japan." We returned to the store and there faced the owner, who wore a Basque beret and was probably a Croix de Feu militant [French neo-fascist movement]. Very politely, my mother said, "I would like to exchange this toothbrush. You see, it's made in Japan." "So?" "Well, you see, monsieur, the Japanese have just signed an agreement with the Germans and Italians so any Japanese merchandise, even a little toothbrush, becomes armaments for Japan, Italy, and Germany. Fascist countries." I wished the ground would open and swallow me up. The man replied, "So you want a French toothbrush, is that it?" "No, I'm not a chauvinist. No, all I want is a toothbrush that is not German, Italian or Japanese.' We went home with a toothbrush that was made in England. My mother considered her day to have been well spent, and today I agree with her. But at twelve or thirteen one gets terribly embarrassed.
(94) So that was the end of that. It has taken a long time to tell it all, 1940-44. It seemed like twenty years.
That was the end of it for us. But it wasn't finished for those who were in the camps. And it wasn't finished for the soldiers. And it was just beginning for the collaborators. And it had been finished a long time for those who had died.
Sun May 15th, 2016 at 11:15:58 AM EST
On May 2, 2016, Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics spoke at Harvard:
The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change
Monday, May 2
Harvard, CGIS-S020, Belfer Case Study Room, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
The Energy History Project hosts Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics, who will discuss "The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change."
These are some of the numbers for the greenhouse gas context he laid out:
We are at 450 CO2 equivalent [CO2e] now [400 ppm CO2 and another 50ppm equivalent in warming potential in other greenhouse gases like methane]
The rate of increase is increasing. It was
.5 ppm per year from 1930-1950
1 ppm per year from 1950-1970
2 ppm per year from 1970-1990
and is 2.5 ppm per year increase now.
We are at the edge of the temperature range in our present geologic era, the Holocene, with about 1º C of heat cooked into the atmosphere from our industrial greenhouse gas emissions already. The 2015 Paris agreement is designed to keep the globe below 2º C, and 1.5 º if possible. Paris anticipates and tries to avert a looming catastrophe.
Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger
Thu Apr 28th, 2016 at 10:57:32 PM EST
I read Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals (published 1971) in the 1990s and wanted to remind myself of what my thought was then of what Alinsky wrote long before his name became a conservative slur.
Alinsky was a successful organizer and a seasoned tactician. Alinsky, however, was not a strategist. The difference between strategy and tactics is often confused: Tactics are the means used to gain an objective and strategy is the general campaign plan or goal.
Here are some of the tactically radical rules of Saul Alinsky that I noted then and now note again:
Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
Never go outside the experience of your people.
Whenever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy.
Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
Keep the pressure on.
The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.
The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
Pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
The real action is in the enemy's reaction.
The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction is your major strength.
Tactics, like organization, like life, require that you move with the action.
For a different take on community organizing, my notes on Grace Lee Bogg's The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century are at http://hubeventsnotes.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-next-american-revolution.html
Tue Mar 29th, 2016 at 01:40:59 PM EST
Found this while going through my archives and thought that it stood the test of time and, unfortunately, might be useful again after Paris and Brussels and Baghdad and Lahore, especially evil with its targeting of children and women, and on and on and on and....
Augury of Two Towers
Now I know what we must do.
We must be as united in our humanity
as we were when we watched
our brothers and sisters falling, dying, burning,
recognizing our own mortality and the Hell
at the heart of those who would do such a thing.
We must be as stern and courageous as the firemen were
in those first moments, running up the stairs
to get the people out before the towers fell.
We must be as gentle with each other
as we were in our first grief and unbelief,
strangers sharing sorrow and tears
until we were strangers no longer.
We must not forget
We must not forget
We must not forget that we are all together.
Now we are united in horror at the terror
a few have wreaked upon us.
They used their own deaths as the fuse
to our destruction.
We must be at least as smart as they were.
We must be at least as determined as they were.
We must never be what they were,
in love with
hate and death.
September 26, 2001
Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 01:35:08 PM EST
The Sustainable Design Lab at MIT has built a model which estimates the gas and electricity demand of every building in Boston for every hour of every day of the year, nearly 100,000 buildings in total.
Next the MIT team will be validating the model against actual energy consumption data. "We'll do this using any building-level energy dataset that we can get our hands on, so the models become more and more accurate," Professor Christoph Reinhart explained. "Ultimately, our goal is for every city in the world to rely on a citywide energy model to meaningfully manage its future energy supply and carbon emissions." As Boston has an energy reporting and disclosure ordinance, Prof Reinhart and his team should have a lot of data to work with.
More at http://news.mit.edu/2016/mit-researchers-create-citywide-building-energy-model-boston-0222
The Boston city government will also be using the energy model in its energy planning process and MIT's Sustainable Design Lab is now working on energy models for Lisbon, Portugal and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Christoph Reinhart and his team had previously built a solar map which shows the solar electric potential of every roof in the city: http://web.mit.edu/SustainableDesignLab/projects/CambridgeSolarMap/
Disclaimer: I know Christoph and like him. He is doing some great work.
Sun Feb 7th, 2016 at 12:58:21 PM EST
Cooling towers into green communities
Aker - snap together kits for urban ag
One of the POC [Proof of Concept] ideas from COP 21
Agritecture: "Your source for vertical farming and urban agriculture news, business, and design."
Local Roots Farms - local produce anywhere
Bell Book and Candle - NYC farm to table restaurant, rated as one of the best in the country. "SOME ITEMS WE PRODUCE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR FROM OUR AEROPONIC ROOFTOP GARDEN LISTED BELOW: Sage, Chive, Chervil, Cilantro, Dill, Genovese Basil, Opal Basil, Italian and Flat Leaf Parsley, Spearmint, Rosemary, 4 varieties of Nasturtium, Cheddar Cauliflower, Purple Tomatillo, Tomatillo, Japanese and Kermit Eggplant, 2 varieties of Arugula, 4 varieties of Cherry Tomato, Great White Tomato, Bibb Lettuce, Red Oak Leaf, Red Romaine, Green Romaine, Lola Rosa, Frisee, Green Crisp, Poblano Pepper, and Fennel."
SPREAD, a Japanese company, will open the world's first robot-controlled farm in Fall 2017, producing 11 million heads of lettuce each year
Pilgrim's Market to grow its own produce in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho
Risk of lead poisoning from urban gardening is low, new study finds
Bright Agrotech - Zip Farms, Farm Walls, and more/brightagrotech.com
Urban Agriculture? Only 1 Percent Of Seattle Residents Could Eat Locally Even With All Viable Space In Use
Year round growing in Alaska
Southeast Asia's largest green development with extensive green roofs and terraces
Wed Jan 20th, 2016 at 03:46:09 PM EST
"Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous behaviors that will avoid extinction." R Buckminster Fuller
MOOC [Massive Open Online Course]: Power Agriculture: Sustainable Energy for Food
Feb 1st - March 27, 2016
"Details: Around one third of the energy used worldwide goes into the production and processing of food from field to table. Given the current energy system mix, the agrifood industry sector is however heavily dependent on fossil fuel inputs for production, transport, processing and distribution, and contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. With a continuously growing world population the need for food and for energy to produce it is increasing. At the same time millions of farmers and processors in developing countries and emerging economies lack access to clean energy technologies for irrigation, drying, cooling, storage and other processes. Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development (PAEGC) seeks to identify and support new and sustainable approaches to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy solutions for increasing agriculture productivity and/or value in developing countries."
There is now technology to show this and other MOOCs' proceedings on, among other things, a dynamic spherical screen like the iGlobe (www.iglobeinc.com/...). Currently, MIT's Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences is hosting a two foot diameter iGlobe.
"If you have data or interactive models you'd like to see visualized on the sphere... learn how it can be done and to figure out better ways and how to present information using the iGlobe. Or try to make a compelling environmental movie using the sphere, an auxiliary screen, and sound. Or come if you'd just like to experiment with the way things look projected on a spherical surface."
There are open sessions with the IGlobe display every Thursday in January 2016 from 11am to 12pm at MIT, Building 54-1827, 21 Ames Street, Cambridge, the Green Building, the tallest building on campus. Glenn Flierl, Professor of Oceanography, is the host.
NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] also has a program called Science on a Sphere http://sos.noaa.gov/ ...,
"a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed Science On a Sphere® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages."
These ongoing activities approach R Buckminster Fuller's idea of a World Game:
The goal of the World Game is to "make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone." It's usually played on a large map of the Earth and was designed by R Buckminster Fuller.
Today, we have the technology to play the World Game online in real time with interactive maps and satellite images updated frequently. Imagine World of Peacecraft or the Final Fantasy of a sustainable, restorative economy and ecology for everybody, all 100% of the human population with a significant number of that 100% participating as co-designers, for the benefit of all who will allow the benefit of all.
Sat Jan 9th, 2016 at 10:35:03 PM EST
Greenbuild Unity Home - prefab, affordable net-zero home can be built in less than three days to LEED v4 Platinum and net zero-energy standards and with the largest collection of Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified building products ever used in a residential project.
zHome: the first net zero energy townhome complex in the United States (built in 2011 in Issaquah, WA) with benchmarks of net zero energy use, a 70% reduction in water use, a 90% construction recycling rate and the use of only low- and non-toxic materials among other specifications
Net Zero Energy Buildings Technical Reports
DOE's A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings
Presentations from Building Carbon Zero California 2015
Net zero 1910 school to lofts conversion in Amsterdam
Architecture at Zero 2015 winners
Zero Net Energy Roadmap for local governments (California)
Zero net energy building controls report/docs.google.com/forms/d/1crmcXoJe0MI4J8E4KLp1lLURr2Ms9F4odN0KJn_-rzU/viewform?c=0&w=1
Market Data: Zero Net Energy Homes (paid access only it seems)
Zero net energy laboratories
Seattle region near net zero community (including one HERS -1 rated, net positive house)
From energy efficiency lighting expert Fred Davis:
http://www.netpositiveconference.org/ - February 18-19, 2016 in San Diego, CA
Sidmore Owings and Merrill build a net zero energy school in Staten Island, NYC's first
Thu Dec 24th, 2015 at 12:02:32 PM EST
Homefarm - a conceptual proposal for the next generation of urban retirement housing. It presents a living and farming typology for Singapore (or elsewhere) that combines apartments and facilities for seniors with vertical urban farming
Urban Algae Folly designed by ecoLogicStudio is an interactive pavilion integrating living micro-algal cultures, a built example of architecture's bio-digital future. Microalgae, in this instance Spirulina, are exceptional photosynthetic machines; they contain nutrients that are fundamental to the human body, such as minerals and vegetable proteins; microalgae also oxygenate the air and can absorb CO2 from the urban atmosphere ten times more effectively than large trees.
Tinyfield Roofhop Farm grows organic hops for craft breweries in Brooklyn, NY
Gangster gardeners in South LA
Washington DC building mobile urban farms
From Mumbai: Urban Farming & Gardening Goes Online With `Ugaoo.com'
Flat pack pop up urban garden
Detroit urban ag startup growing insects
Urban farming data collection toolkit, now in use in over 40 cities
Renting chickens and bees
UrbanFarmers' 14,000 square-foot urban rooftop farm in The Hague will be the largest in Europe
American Society of Landscape Architects on The Edible City
Mon Nov 30th, 2015 at 12:25:34 AM EST
Update: This event has been cancelled as of November 30, 2015.
350 Maine, 350 Vermont, 350 Massachusetts, 350 New Hampshire & 350 Connecticut are organizing a Boston Climate Defense Carnival on Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 3:30pm - 5:30pm at Fanieul Hall, 1 Faneuil Hall Square, Boston, MA.
I'd like the Boston Climate Defense Carnival to demonstrate that
Solar IS Civil Defense
that by using simple Solar Principles
you can discover that
A South-facing Window Is Already a Solar Collector
and see at least six basic solar devices in a single plastic bottle
Wed Oct 21st, 2015 at 11:27:58 PM EST
Zero net energy is a growing body of practice in which buildings produce all the energy they consume. It is the application of high efficiency construction in combination with renewable energy, usually solar or geothermal. Sometimes it is also called net zero energy building.
I began to collect links to various zero net energy building projects around the world back in 2013 soon after, in the story I heard, Cambridge City Councillor Minka Van Beuzekom proposed it as a building standard for a large development MIT is planning in East Cambridge. That idea didn't fly (the development is part of an ecodistrict instead, as I understand it) but did lead to a task force which has prepared a path to zero net energy standards in the city.
The EU has adopted the building energy target of nearly zero and all new public buildings must be nearly zero-energy by 2018 with all new buildings, public or private, constructed to nearly zero-energy standards by the end of 2020.
CA has a 2020 zero net energy goal "focused on new residential construction, including single-family and low-rise multifamily (3 stories or less) buildings, as well as low and moderate income housing within these categories."
The knowledge and materials to build buildings that are comfortable without outside energy inputs through advances in energy efficiency and energy production on site have made zero net energy buildings practical and affordable. They will only become more so as time goes on, examples accumulate, and experience grows.
Since we build about a million new residential units a year, nearly 1% of the units available, these changes in the way we shelter ourselves will have increasingly significant effects on our energy usage in the years and decades after 2020 in, at least, Cambridge, CA, and the EU.
Thu Oct 1st, 2015 at 03:32:17 PM EST
Meteor Blades recently (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/09/28/1425368/-Open-thread-for-night-owls-Mobilizing-for-the-clim
ate-crisis) wrote about The Climate Mobilization (http://www.theclimatemobilization.org) which is asking people to sign a pledge to
Reduce our country's [USA's] net greenhouse gas emissions 100 percent by 2025 and implement far-reaching measures to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere...
Establish the following imperatives as our nation's top foreign policy priorities: A 100 percent reduction of global net greenhouse gas emissions at wartime speed, and the deployment of comprehensive measures that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere until a safe climate is restored.
Zero emissions of greenhouse gases is a necessary mental step to take and it is good to see that people are beginning to organize around it. I've been writing about a zero emissions economy for at least 20 years and that means EVERYTHING not just greenhouse gases. Zero emissions as an approachable goal as zero defects on a production line in Total Quality Management is an approachable goal. Zero emissions for all materials and resources within an ecological design framework like Bill McDonough's simple ecological design principles:
waste equals food
use only available solar income
love all the children
We should be doing this as at least a thought experiment now and, I believe, that thought experiment would have enormous benefits as we transition to a new ecological economy where the throw away society begins to realize there is no such place as away.
Recently, I had the opportunity to raise these ideas with the Dr Lynn Orr, DOE Undersecretary for Science and Technology, at MIT as both a public question and in private conversation. Perhaps I planted a seed.
I'm also glad to see that The Climate Mobilization is taking on another part of the climate question which is not often addressed. Zero emissions of greenhouse gases is good but it addresses only the source side of the issue. There are sinks as well. As systems dynamics teaches, a working system contains both sources and sinks. John Wick is a CA rancher who has measured for the last 5 years a ton of carbon per hectare per year sequestered on his grazing land and computer models estimate that he can do this for 30-100 years. See http://www.marincarbonproject.org He says there are 35 soil carbon sequestration methods now recognized by USDA. Soil scientist Rattan Lal believes that increasing soil carbon on agricultural lands globally could reverse climate change within a decade or two.
I also mentioned this to Undersecretary Orr.
On October 16-18, 2015 there will be a conference at Tufts University on Restoring Water Cycles to Reverse Global Warming (http://bio4climate.org/conferences/conferences-2015/tufts-2015-restoring-water-cycles/). Last year, the same group held a conference on soil carbon cycles (http://bio4climate.org/conferences/conference-2014/). You can watch the proceedings on their webpages. You can also participate in Soil Saturday on October 10 (https:/www.facebook.com/events/559598744189515) to help raise awareness about these issues and practical solutions to reverse climate change now while improving the soil and rebuilding our agricultural systems.
Zero emissions of greenhouse gases is a radical idea in the present context. A zero emissions economy and reversing climate change through natural soil and water carbon cycles are even more radical and far-reaching. They are also very much within our grasp if we want to reach for them.