Category Archives: Rants

Whatever You Do, Don’t Promote Sustainable Development in Kansas

In case you missed the flap in Kansas, Bloomberg reported on a a proposed bill in Kansas that would outlaw “sustainable development.” Here’s the way it’s described.

“House Bill No. 2366 would ban all state and municipal funds for anything related to “sustainable development,” which it defines as: “development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come.”

Still scratching my head on this one.

I’m Really Tired Of Seeing Beverage Companies Plastered All Over The Check-in Services

It’s amazingly rare to see any companies that actually have some societal impact featured on Foursquare and other geo-location services. Do we really want our kids bombarded with ways to cheaply purchase more sugar water? I’m a techie at heart and really like the potential of these types of apps, but I’d challenge all of us to consider what we’re promoting.

Is Big Business Greed Killing High-Speed Rail In The United States?

I’m not trying to be anti-business here, but c’mon Big Rail. We love the fact that you’ve invested billions in your land and infrastructure to get all those goods to us from China, but how about seeing the big picture?

The Wall Street Journal reported recently on the apparent standstill happening around high-speed rail.

Instead of collaborating with stakeholders pushing for more efficient ways of getting around – not to mention removing cars from the road – we’re stuck again with a shortsighted focus from an industry hell bent on the status quo.

And it doesn’t appear the Feds and state policy makers are being unfair.  Case in point from The California High Speed Rail Authority.

According to the WSJ, the California group even proposed to deploy more than 200 miles of new track along Union Pacific’s existing rails. Not good enough, however.
 

“..a Sept. 2 report by the authority said Union Pacific, the largest U.S. railroad, insisted in letters to the authority that "no part of the high-speed corridor" be located on the railroad’s right-of-way or near it. The railroad said it would fight any attempts to take its land—or that of its customers—by eminent domain, according to the authority.”

So let’s get this straight. We can’t build new rails near your rails and you think Federal Stimulus funds are chicken feed? Actually, I think the economic chief at the Association of American Railroads summed up it up best.
 
"It is interesting money perhaps," he said of the federal funds. "But is it the kind of thing you sell your soul for? No."
Pin that one to the wall.
 

Greenpeace V. Nestle Typifies The Real Value of Social Media

Nestlé's logo used until 1970s.

Image via Wikipedia

The campaign against Nestle‘s Kit Kat once again sent a very loud message to companies — don’t sacrifice the environment to make a profit. If you do, you might get some short-term wins but the internet’s mass distribution will ultimately defeat you.

"Corporations in particular are learning that people can vote with their pockets, and they do not want to buy environmental destruction."

“With this example on hand our Executive Director Kumi Naidoo appeared on CNN yesterday to talk about a crucial element of Greenpeace campaigning: you. ‘The collective power of the Internet and social media’ is as much a part of campaigning to protect the environment as taking peaceful direct action. “

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Wind Turbines And The View From The Beach

wind energy is good

Image by George Dearing via Flickr

Because my wife works in wind power, I’m pretty tapped into the industry. Unfortunately, I haven’t been that close to any towering wind farms – at least not as close as Kwok W. Wan, an energy correspondent for Reuters. This morning Wan posted an account of a recent offshore excursion to E.ON’s offshore Robin Rigg wind farm in northwest England.

If you’ve followed the wind sector for any of amount of time you’re probably familiar with the ongoing challenges of offshore development in the states, led by press coverage of Cape Wind. It’s no secret the U.S. is way behind in wind power. But I digress.

The quote below is what got me sort of tweaked.

With Britain pushing to install 32 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020 – equating to around 177 Robin Rigg sized farms or 10,000 turbines at current technology – let’s hope the imaginary giants stay orderly and remain out of sight from our beaches.
We hear the stories about bird migration paths, noise and slew of other things, but the view from the beach?
 

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