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Sustainability & solutions - Nov 19

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Urban permaculture issue
Permaculture Activist (hardcopy magazine)
The Winter 2005-6 issue is devoted to urban permaculture. Some of the articles:
  • Urban and Rural Futures Revisited - Toby Hemenway

  • Zones and Sectors in the City - Bart Anderson
  • Plant a Revolution: Growing Food in the City - Craig Hepworth
  • Detroit Urban Visionaries - Christopher Shein
  • Rebuilding New Orleans and Everytown USA - Richard Register
  • The Enduring Chinampas of Mexico - Nik Bertulis
  • City Form, Country Venue: A Village for the Ages - Peter Bane, Albert Bates and Keith Johnson
  • Permaculture and Community Transform a Military Base - Doug Biggs
  • Beverly Doty: A Permaculture Campaigner in Suburbia - Susan W. Clark

(November 2005 issue)
Sadly, none of the articles are online. There are some older articles, as well as other permaculture resources, posted at the Permaculture Activist website

According to the editor Scott Horton, their next issue will be devoted to Peak Oil, with a writer's deadline of December 1. If you are interested in submitting, contact [email protected] . -BA


Berkeley: Cal dorm room showcases eco-friendly living

Charles Burress, SF Chronicle
From the fertile campus that gave us atom-smashing and fruit cocktail now comes another contender for innovation. The eco-friendly dorm room of UC Berkeley sophomore Rachael Robertson is being called the nation's first "green room."

"I'm so happy I found it," enthused Robertson, holding a bottle of deodorant made only of alcohol and scent of sage. "It's much better for your body and for the environment." No pore-clogging aluminum compounds.

The room is blooming with brightly colored green room explanatory signs next to each of the appliances -- all Energy Star rated for low electricity usage -- and the environmentally sensitive personal-care products such as Tom's of Maine natural bar soap, Seventh Generation facial tissue and Avalon Organic Botanicals shampoo.

Several universities are installing Energy Star rooms with electronic devices and lighting that reduces electricity use.
(18 November 2005)


The Basel pilot region of the 2000 Watt Society

Canton of Basel website (Switzerland)
Since 2001 the canton of Basel-Stadt has been involved with the Basel pilot region project, part of the 2000 Watt Society, in pursuit of sustainable urban development. This work has been carried out in close cooperation with Novatlantis (Sustainability in the domain of ETH - the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology, Zurich).

...The 2000 Watt-society represents an important point of orientation for Novolantis. This means that today's energy requirements of 6000 Watts per Swiss citizen have to be reduced by a factor of 3. Of the 2000 Watts - the average global need - only 500 Watts should be provided from non-renewable resources. The remainder should come from renewable energy. These figures are in accordance with the needs of a sustainable society. This vision can only be achieved by contributions from diverse fields of activity: ecological, economical, and social.

Projects which are being executed in the framework of the Basel pilot region project are based on long term considerations and should initiate in a visionary way procedures and technologies which are not yet competitive, but do however hold the potential to reach their ambitious goals.
(1X November 2005)
Article submitted by reader AB. For more articles on Switzerland, see the editorial comments at the end of Swiss energy perspective on the EB site.


Electric cars get another jolt of interest

Jim Mateja, Chicago Tribune via Seattle Times
LAS VEGAS — If at first you don't succeed, and electric cars didn't succeed the first time around, is it worth trying again?

General Motors brought out a battery-powered car that it leased between 1996 and 2000. Because only 800 motorists signed up for one, GM scrapped that venture into an alternative-fuel, nonpolluting machine.

While the industry has turned to gas/electric vehicles to conserve fuel and clean the air, battery power alone may be poised for another run.
(18 November 2005)


Gas prices push some to torch their SUVs

Janet Yee, CBS
Gas is costing more, as much as thee bucks a gallon in recent months.

So if you are driving a gas-guzzler, you may be feeling a pinch. For some the answer is torching the vehicle. Investigators say they have their hands full with claims for stolen SUV’s, many of those cases may simply be fraud.

"People end up getting backed up against the wall financially,” says Dale Banda, of the California Department of Insurance.

Experts say that the owner often reports the vehicle stolen, only to have it found within hours, looking like a pile of melted metal. A completely burned out car raises a red flag for Dave Roccaforte, a special agent with the auto task force. He’s seen suspicious vehicles all over the Peninsula, and in the South Bay. He says the only person who really stands to gain from a burned out vehicle is the owner, because the car would be much more valuable to a crook if it was not destroyed.
(16 November 2005)


Julian Darley and The Relocalization Movement

Dave, The Oil Drum
...Here we'll describe Darley's thoughts on how dire our situation is and the specific recommendations he made to Boulder's relocalization chapter.

Even within the peak oil community, Darley is a radical. He believes we must start preparing now for the end of the Fossil Fuels Age, the "post carbon" world. As he said at a panel at ASPO-USA, "big energy is destroying the planet", a remark he repeated in the smaller setting. Darley believes the 200 year old Industrialization pathway has been a huge mistake which our descendants will pay for. We must start rectifying that mistake immediately. Humankind has moved too far away from Nature and no longer knows how to live in local, sustainable communities.

Talking to the small Boulder Valley Relocalization group, Darley emphasized the importance of reduce & produce-- the need to reduce comsumption--especially of energy--you use and produce whatever you need to live locally as far as that is possible.
(18 November 2005)

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