Reframing “renewable energy” & “bioenergy”

Popular usage of the term "renewable energy" is problematic, because it includes two distinct classes or sub-categories of energy sources: On the one hand, forms of bioenergy that serve as fuels for vehicles, feedstock for power plants (i.e., biomass, biofuels, etc.), and all the way down to firewood for cookstoves; and on the other hand, a set … Continue reading Reframing “renewable energy” & “bioenergy”

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Earth Day 2018: One family’s small example

This Earth Day I'd like to share some small measures my household has taken and/or does take for the environment. These are not that special (well they were a little bit to us), but such efforts small though they be are not insignificant, especially on the very local level, and if joined by those of … Continue reading Earth Day 2018: One family’s small example

Earth Day 2017: Let’s stop industrial-scale burning of wood for energy

This year's Earth Day (22 April 2017) has as its theme "Environmental & Climate Literacy." In that spirit, I'd like to suggest that environmental and climate literacy require attention to the impact of industrial scale burning of forests, and the question of whether it makes sense as an investment in reducing carbon emissions. Yesterday there were articles in … Continue reading Earth Day 2017: Let’s stop industrial-scale burning of wood for energy

Settlements on Mars? Start in Earth’s deserts

Elon Musk's introduction of SpaceX's plans to go to Mars was long on the how to get there, but short on the "now what?" once passengers land. What would cities on Mars look like, and how would they solve the material and social challenges they would encounter from the moment they arrive at their destination? … Continue reading Settlements on Mars? Start in Earth’s deserts

Terralingua’s Langscape, CFP extended

Terralingua has extended the deadline for submission of proposed articles for the next edition of its Langscape magazine until 1 August 2016. This is for a second issue on the theme of "Voices of the Earth" (Vol. 5, #2, Winter 2016). See earlier post on this blog about the previous issue for discussion of the … Continue reading Terralingua’s Langscape, CFP extended

Mountainbiking in the Futa Jalon, 1986-87 (a Peace Corps retrospective)

A recent story in Wired magazine, "The Roots of Dirt: How Mountain Bikes Went From Clunkers to Global Phenomenon," brings to mind a brief personal experience with the genre in Guinea, West Africa in the mid-1980s. Since bicycling in the Vienna, Virginia area was a topic on this blog previously, I thought it would be … Continue reading Mountainbiking in the Futa Jalon, 1986-87 (a Peace Corps retrospective)