scharrison's blog

Sustainable Development Part Three: EPA's RTP Campus

(Photo above courtesy of the EPA)

In this installment of the series, I decided to follow up on the recommendations I received from at least five different people over the last few months to feature the EPA’s Campus located in the Research Triangle Park.

Being the intrepid Freelance Internet Journalist (Blogboy) that I am, I dutifully Googled their website to learn some background on this expansive project that was originally dreamed up back in 1984 and completed in 2001. As you can probably tell from the timeline, the years leading up to the completion of the project were filled with planning, research, budgetary headaches, as well as some strident opposition from a few of our less “visionary” North Carolina Senators. The fact that this project was finally approved and completed is a testament to those who do have a vision, and should be a lesson to us all.

Sustainable Development Part Two: RAFI-USA

Those of you who were lucky enough to meet with and listen to Jim Neal last weekend may recall a comment he made about the growing number of definitions for the term “sustainability”, and how it’s getting more and more difficult to ascertain what a person means when they use the term. Not only is this true, but it’s also strong evidence that Jim is staying abreast of this issue and not merely paying lip service to it. I will explore this phenomena later in the diary; for now, we’ll use a temporary definition of, “behavior which can be prolonged indefinitely.”

The First Progressive

As we gear ourselves up for full-on campaign mode, while also preparing to celebrate the birthday of Emmanuel (JC for short), I thought I would reflect a little bit on the words of the Man I consider to be the first progressive to walk the Earth.

And yes, I am a Christian, albeit of the seriously backslidden Southern Baptist variety, and you'd be hard-pressed to find much proof of this if you observed my behavior past and present or (God help you) were able to read my mind. But that's beside the point. :)

Understanding Self In Pursuit Of The Truth

In a brief and guarded recognition of the often misunderstood philosopher John Locke, I want to explore my beliefs concerning the phrase, "The truth is self-evident."

Additionally, and being aware of the thoughts that drove me to write this blog in the first place, whenever you see a place where I've written "we", you can generally translate that to "me", as in: "Steve is basically talking to himself." :)

Sustainable Development Part One: Proximity Hotel

As the first in what (I hope) will be a series of diaries targeting businesses and individuals who "get it right" when it comes to development, I thought I would take a look at the newly completed Proximity Hotel in Greensboro.

It's actually only partially open for now, with only a set number of rooms available, but they were doing quite a bit of business when I was there today.

Also, this is the first time I've tried to use graphics in a blog at BlueNC, so if it's so tiny you can't tell what the picture is, or if it runs off the page and cracks the side of your monitor, you know. "I'm not responsible." :)

Conspicuous Consumption vs Environmental Stewardship

Rain. Blessed rain. There's nothing like a serious drought to make one appreciate the bounty that falls from the sky. I actually stood out in the rain today when it was coming down fairly hard, reveling in the cool wetness of it. Granted, I really don't have enough sense to not do that, but that's beside the point. ;)

I've been planning on posting this (or something like it) for some time now, but I wanted to wait until we had a good rain so I could drive home a few points. Points which are just as important during "wet" times as they are when we are bone dry.

Cap and Trade: Will It Work?

As the arguments against the reality of global warming become less vociferous under the barrage of scientific data, and the certainty of carbon emissions being the main culprit is grudgingly accepted by even the most outspoken deniers, policy makers are (finally) gearing up to begin taking steps.

Seemingly across the board, experts and legislators alike are warming to the idea of adapting the same type of approach to reducing carbon emissions that became the core of the Kyoto Protocols, that being a system of Cap and Trade.

On Creative Misdirection and Pyrrhic Victories

Our system of government is based upon majority rule, with numerous checks and balances to ensure the will of the people guides the hands and minds of those who would separate themselves from the whole to become our leaders.

Unfortunately, there are minority special interests that work vigorously behind closed doors to affect policy decisions that are not in the interests of the majority. When these elements are successful, especially when the general populace is unaware of these machinations, our system becomes...something else entirely.

After speaking briefly with Larry on this subject last night, I decided it was time to revisit the unfortunate decisions the N.C. Utilities Commission has made to address net metering, and the way these decisions can/will serve to stifle the growth of residential Solar power collection.

Use Less, Pay Less, Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

I'm sure most of you consider yourselves at least somewhat diligent in the conservation of electricity in your homes. You know, turn off a few lights here and there, try to avoid messing with your thermostat (unless somebody else already messed with it, and it needs correcting).

But we've also all been conditioned to accept our monthly light bill as a necessary evil, and write our checks to the power company with mostly stoicism with a dash of regret, with possibly some vague determination to "be more conservative" in our daily switch-flicking.


Subscribe to RSS - scharrison's blog