Healthy Soil, Healthy World

The Union of Concerned Scientists released a new report that analyzed the federal funding for “Sustainable Nutrition Science” – a field of research and education that is at the intersection of nutrition, food production and climate & environment – and found levels to be abysmally low, amounting to less than 25 cents out of everyContinue reading “Healthy Soil, Healthy World”

Biodiversity and Pollinators!

Doing our part for biodiversity and pollinators!

It was a real thrill a few weeks ago to spot this creature, likely a hummingbird or sphinx moth, on our little grapefruit tree. I’ve never seen one in our garden before. It made me wonder how it found us only days after we planted the tree. Maybe it was the incredible and enticing aroma of the blossoms. This indication of biodiversity in our urban garden in Austin was so encouraging.

Good News on Renewable Energy

There is good news on renewable energy. And this one is funny, too. A company called Vortex Bladeless, based near Madrid, has developed a small, pillar-shaped wind energy generator that can be used in small communities. Unlike a turbine, it has no blades. Instead, the entire body, a little over 9 feet tall (3 meters),Continue reading “Good News on Renewable Energy”

Maintaining Power in Texas

The Business section of today’s Houston Chronicle leads with Chris Tomlinson’s commentary. The headline (print version): Lawmakers are more talk than action on electricity reforms.  Unless you’ve been on a media fast for Lent, you probably heard about Snowmageddon here in Texas last month. In Central Texas, 5” of snow fell on Valentine’s night. ThatContinue reading “Maintaining Power in Texas”

The Beauty of Walkable Places

What’s so great about walkable places? Walkable places give you better health and a lower cost of living. Freedom from your car means lower gas and maintenance bills, and more free time. Truly walkable places are mixed-use areas, generally with narrower lots, that feature shops and services along with residential housing. Ideally, they also offerContinue reading “The Beauty of Walkable Places”

Carbon Dioxide makes Carbohydrates: Climate Change means more Sugar, less Food

In the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of Mother Jones, Tom Philpott writes that increasing atmospheric CO2 is having a detrimental effect on our nutrition, along with all our other woes. Referring to research by Irakli Loladze, a mathematical biologist, Philpott reports that plants surrounded by air with more CO2 synthesize more carbohydrates (starches and sugars) inContinue reading “Carbon Dioxide makes Carbohydrates: Climate Change means more Sugar, less Food”

Open letter to George Monbiot

A recent newsletter from the Organic Consumers Association contained an article about remarks made by George Monbiot (environmental reporter for The Guardian) at the Oxford Real Farming Conference. According to the article, ‘Monbiot was there to argue in favor of replacing farmers with “fermentation farmers, bioengineers, protein engineers, metabolic engineers, cell biologists, computer scientists, ITContinue reading “Open letter to George Monbiot”

Car-free neighborhoods!

Fast Company recently reported on a new walkable development planned to open in fall 2020 in Tempe, Arizona. Culdesac Tempe will be a car-free neighborhood in which residents will have to agree not to own a car at all. “Though residents will be banned from owning or parking a car onsite per their lease, theContinue reading “Car-free neighborhoods!”