Monday, December 22, 2008

One activist can make a difference

The sale of the leases has drawn criticism from environmental groups who fear the sale would threaten Utah’s wild lands and spoil the view from some of Utah's spectacular national parks with drilling rigs. Robert Redford has led the charge.

An environmental activist disrupted an auction of oil and gas drilling leases Friday by bidding up parcels of land by hundreds of thousands of dollars with no intention of paying for them. The activist, Tim DeChristopher, 27, a University of Utah economics student, said he had accomplished his goal of disrupting the auction by winning the bid on 13 parcels and driving up the price of several others.

The Bureau of Land Management had already pulled some parcels from the sale in response to complaints from the National Park Service and others. Ultimately, the agency dropped more than half of the 359,000 acres first proposed for auction.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Obama Names 4 Top Members of Science Team

Obama stated in a weekly radio address: "It's time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America's place as the world leader in science and technology."

The president-elect picked John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco who are leading experts on climate change. Holdren will become Obama's science adviser as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Lubchenco will head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which does government research on global warming.

Holdren also will direct the president's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. Joining him as co-chairs will be Nobel Prize-winning scientist Harold Varmus, a former director of the National Institutes of Health, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Eric Lander, a specialist in human genome research.

Seems like quite a change from the Bush administration. Will we finally get cap-and-trade for CO2?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Obama will choose Energy Secretary next week

According to CNN, President-elect Barack Obama is likely to name Steven Chu, a Nobel prize winning physicist who runs the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as his energy secretary.

Obama will also name Carol Browner, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the Clinton administration, as the newly created "climate czar" inside the White House.

Energy is one aspect of Obama's one-year goal to create 2.5 million jobs by 2011. His plan willput Americans to work updating the country's infrastructure, making public buildings more energy-efficient and implementing environmentally friendly technologies, including alternative energy sources.

See details of the Obama energy plan at Earth2Tech.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Story of Stuff Re-visited

The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard is a 20 minute movie teaching about the connections between many environmental and social issues. It promotes the idea of sustainable production and consumption. Keep up with activist efforts at the The Story of Stuff Blog.

I just heard this story again on National Public Radio and wanted to share it again, in case you missed it.

Another great piece is environmental writer Terry Tempest Williams who writes about the collision of the human and natural worlds. Listen at NPR.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Al Gore's Call for Change on Climate and Energy Issues

Al Gore presents a five point plan for addressing climate/energy issues in today's New York Times.

1) Congress should offer large-scale investment in incentives for the construction of concentrated solar thermal plants and wind farms.

2) Begin the planning and construction of a unified national smart grid for the transport of renewable electricity from the rural places where it is mostly generated to the cities where it is mostly used.

3) Help America’s automobile industry to convert quickly to plug-in hybrids that can run on the renewable electricity more readily available in the future.

4) Begin a nationwide effort to retrofit buildings with better insulation and energy-efficient windows and lighting since approximately 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States come from buildings.

5)Put a price on carbon here at home, and by lead efforts to replace the Kyoto treaty next year in Copenhagen with a more effective treaty that caps global carbon dioxide emissions.

We are excited to have our students study these ideas and propose changes necessary to save our economy and our planet at the same time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A New Dawn

Today's Wall Street Journal online posted 2 interesting op-ed pieces on climate change:

A New Dawn
As Barack Obama shifts from a waking dream to the real world, he faces the near-virtual reality of climate change and according to Ian McEwan, he has to move decisively.

Copenhagen Business School professor Bjørn Lomborg argues that "Global warming also needs strong leadership. Avoiding the lost decades and misused resources of a Kyoto approach would be paramount, and a focus on 0.05% of GDP R&D would fix long-term global warming at much lower cost and with much higher probability of success. This, truly, would be change we could believe in."

President - elect Obama has pledged to create millions of "green jobs," in fields such as wind and solar energy and has committed to mandating that the U.S. generate 10% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2012, and 25% by 2025. The goals of fighting global warming reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil may not be feasible given the state of our economy. Hopefully Obama and his team will be able to figure out how to best approach both goals.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Top Priorities of an Obama Administration

The first priority for the Obama administration will be "to stabilize the financial system. We don't know yet what's going to happen in January. And none of this can be accomplished if we continue to see a potential meltdown in the banking system or the financial system. So that's priority number one, making sure that the plumbing works in our capitalist system."

"Priority number two of the list have put forward I think has to be energy independence. We have to seize this moment because it is not just an energy independence issue, it is also a national security issue and it is a jobs issue. And we can create 5 million new green energy jobs with a serious program," Obama stated in an interview with CNN as reported by a Boston Globe blog.

New Energy for America

Will Obama's $150 billion energy policy to bolster renewable energy technology and conservation have a chance in this dire economic situation with the recent $700 billion bailout plan?

As Thomas Friedman has argued, many of the nation's top priorites such as the economy, the war in Iraq and terrorism are linked to energy policy. I ordered Flat, Hot and Crowded for the library which explains how critical our energy choices will be for America's future as a world power.

If Obama makes good on promises to pursue cap and trade emissions, that will be one step toward changing the course of global warming.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama and McCain: Key Senate Votes from 2005 through 2008

Here is the Senate voting record on energy for the presidential candidate:

Renewable Energy Tax Breaks

April 10, 2008 -- The U.S. Senate passes -- by a vote of 88-8 -- an amendment to extend expiring tax breaks for renewable energy and energy efficiency for a year at a cost of $6 billion, which would not be offset.

McCain: Did not vote
Obama: Did not vote

Energy Policy Overhaul

December 13, 2007 -- The U.S. Senate refuses -- by a vote of 59-40 -- to limit debate on bill that would overhaul federal energy programs and would include a $21.8 billion package of tax incentives that would be offset in part by eliminating or reducing $13 billion in subsidies for major oil and gas companies.

McCain: Did not vote
Obama: Yea

Drilling in Alaska's Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)

December 21, 2005 -- The U.S. Senate rejects -- by a vote of 56-44 -- a motion to limit debate on fiscal 2006 Defense spending bill that would open Alaska�s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration.

McCain: Yea
Obama: Nay

Energy Policy Overhaul

July 29, 2005 -- The Energy Policy Act of 2005 is passed 74-26 by the U.S. Senate. The act is intended to help U.S. consumers, via tax credits, buy energy-efficient vehicles and appliances.

McCain: Nay
Obama: Yea

(Sources: CQ Weekly; U.S. Senate Legislation Database)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Solar Planes, Superefficient Gliders and the Electric Car

Paul MacCready, aircraft designer, looks at a planet on which humans have utterly dominated nature, and talks about what we all can do to preserve nature's balance. His contribution: solar planes, superefficient gliders and the electric car.

Watch this recent TED TALK: "Nature vs. humans, and what we can do about it"...

Monday, October 20, 2008

UNEP: Atlas of our Changing Environment

The UNEP: Atlas of our Changing Environment has partnered with several federal agencies to facilitate the flow of developing country data to the North American scientific community. Atlas of Our Changing Environment on Google Maps

Through illustrations, satellite images, ground photographs (powered by Google Maps), this interactive media depicts and describes humanity's past and present impact on the environment. The primary focus is on environmental status and trends over the last 30 years, in terms of both physical and human geography. This online atlas allows for visualizing change over time from human impacts on the planet.

Its mission is "To provide the world community with improved access to meaningful environmental data and information, and to help increase the capacity of governments to use environmental information for decision making and action planning for sustainable human development."

See One Planet Many People to download pdf files from the Atlas, as well as Powerpoint presentations and posters. See sample poster of San Francisco.

UNEP uses Google Earth to Put You in the Cockpit --Take a Five Second Flight to Top Environmental Hot Spots. Don't miss this virtual tour.

2008 Library Acquisitions to Support IGSS

500 The best American science and nature writing 2007 /edited by Richard Preston.

621.45 W835 Developing wind power projects : theory and practice /Tore Wizelius.

621.042 Earth, the sequel : the race to reinvent energy and stop global warming / Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn.

363.7 B794 Earth under fire : how global warming is changing the world / Gary Braasch.

630 E12 The Earthscan reader in sustainable agriculture /edited by Jules Pretty.

333.7 N163 Energy alternatives / by Andrea C. Nakaya.

333.72 E61 Environment : an interdisciplinary anthology /ed.Glenn Adelson.

363.7 M158 Fight global warming now : the handbook for taking action in your community / Bill McKibben and the Step It Up Team.

551.6 Fixing climate : what past climate changes reveal about the current threat--and how to counter it /Wallace S. Broecker and Robert Kunzig.

333.72 F721 Forging environmentalism : justice, livelihood, and contested environments / Joanne Bauer, ed.

630.973 H758 From the farm to the table : what all Americans need to know about agriculture / Gary Holthaus.

333.79 E92 Fueling our future : an introduction to sustainable energy / Robert L. Evans.
337 S675
Fugitive denim : a moving story of people and pants in the borderless world of global trade / Rachel Louise Snyder.

697.78 G137 Gaiam Real Goods solar living sourcebook : your complete guide to renewable energy technologies and sustainable living / John Schaeffer.

363.728 Garbage and recycling / Mitchell Young, book editor.

628.4 R892 Garbage land : on the secret trail of trash /Elizabeth Royte.

333.72 The geography of hope : a tour of the world we need /Chris Turner.

172 P746 Global ethics : seminal essays / Thomas Pogge, Keith Horton.

REF 333.72 G562h
Global resources / Clare Hanrahan, book editor.

363.7 B525 Global warming and climate change / by Emma Carlson Berne.

690.83 S314 The home energy diet : how to save money by making your house energy-smart / Paul Scheckel.

363.7 F911 Hot, flat, and crowded : why we need a green revolution-- and how it can renew America / Thomas L. Friedman.

551.6 W179 The hot topic : what we can do about global warming Gabrielle Walker and Sir David King.

613 P771 In defense of food: an eater's manifesto / Michael Pollan.

363.7 N669 The little green handbook : seven trends shaping the future of our planet / Ron Nielsen.

523.2 C797 Lives of the planets : a natural history of the solar system / Richard Corfield.

304.2 N278 Native Americans and the environment : perspectives on the ecological Indian/ Michael E. Harkin and David Rich Lewis (eds).

333.72 F519 The new environmental regulation / Daniel J. Fiorino.

658.827 K64n No space, no choice, no jobs, no logo / Naomi Klein.

333.73 D476
The origins of modern environmental thought
/ J. Edward de Steiguer.

615.9 S399 Poisoned nation : pollution, greed, and the rise of deadly epidemics / Loretta Schwartz-Nobel.

303.49 Z21 The post-American world / Fareed Zakaria.

333.72 W452 Preserving the nation : the conservation and environmental movements, 1870-2000 /
Thomas R.Wellock.

576.82 Q1 The reluctant Mr. Darwin : an intimate portrait of Charles Darwin and the making of his theory of evolution / David Quammen.

636.0832 A545 Rescued : saving animals from disaster : life-changing stories and practical suggestions/ Allen.

577 F236 Saving nature's legacy : origins of the idea of biological diversity / Timothy J. Farnham.

333.95 S559 Should drilling be permitted in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?/David M. Haugen (ed.)

333.72 E26 The sustainability revolution : portrait of a paradigm shift / Andres R. Edwards.

305.40973 Visible women : new essays on American activism /

303.49 V836w Vital signs 2007-2008 : The trends that are shaping our future / Worldwatch Institute.

576.8 N935 Terra: Our 100-year-old Ecosystem and the Threats That Now Put it at Risk/Michael Novacek.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Will Hurricane Ike imact gas prices?

The Dept. of Engery has posted a Gas Price Watch Reporting Form to "make sure American families are being treated fairly." If you are aware of price-gouging, or price-fixing, fill out the online form.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thomas Friedman on Hot, Flat and Crowded

I heard Thomas Friedman on NBC today speaking about his new book: Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America I plan to add this title with its call for action to the library shelves at New Trier.

Friedman argues that global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the expansion of the world’s middle class through globalization have produced a planet that is “hot, flat, and crowded.” Unless the United States takes the lead in a worldwide effort to replace our wasteful, inefficient energy practices with a strategy for clean energy, energy efficiency, and conservation, it will be too late.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

T. Boone Pickens TV Commercial

What is the Pickens Plan?
The Pickens Plan attempts to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil. We currently use natural gas to produce 22% of our electricity. Pickens believes that by harnessing the power of wind to generate electricity, we can shift natural gas away from electricity generation to use as a transportation fuel.

He is convinced that new wind generation facilities combined with natural gas resources can replace more than one-third of our foreign oil imports in 10 years.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ten Questions About Evolution Answered

Intelligent design advocates work to prove the weaknesses in evolutionary theory.
The New York Times has printed those 10 questions, along with responses compiled by the National Center for Science Education.

More questions posed by intelligent design proponents can be found on the Discovery Institute site,

More information about biological evolution can be found at

A related story discusses how Florida schools are currently trying to implement the teaching of evolution as mandated by legislators this year amid a population increasingly advocating the teaching of intelligent design.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ideas to Cool the Earth

Visit Discovery: Project Earth which promotes its newest series Fridays, starting Aug. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. "See what happens when "what if?" meets "why not?" Discovery Project Earth re-engineers the planet's possibilities and literally spans the globe, pinpointing areas of both concern and opportunity in confronting climate change."
Ideas include:
Dr. Jason Box, a glaciologist from Ohio State University, wants to prevent glaciers from melting by covering them with blankets that will reflect the powerful rays of the sun.
Scientist Mark Hodges believes he has devised a way to reforest large areas of Earth from the air by using an aircraft to drop tens of thousands of canisters, each holding a tree seedling.
Atmospheric physicist John Latham thinks that by changing the size of water droplets in a cloud they can increase the cloud's ability to reflect the sun and stop global warming.
Canadian engineer, Fred Ferguson, has designed a revolutionary wind turbine that will use the constant winds that exist at 1,000 feet above sea level to produce energy.
Astronomer and professor Roger Angel thinks he can diffract the power of the sun by placing trillions of lenses in space and creating a 100,000-square-mile sunshade.
NASA physicist John Mankins plans to send thousands of satellites into space, which will gather energy from the sun and then beam the solar energy down to Earth as microwave energy.
Canadian professor David Keith believes we could solve the problem of global warming by just scrubbing the air clean of carbon dioxide, before it has the opportunity to add to the blanket of greenhouse gases smothering the earth.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Global Climate Impacts in the United States

This report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce was released in July 2008. Key findings include information abouot impacts of climate change on various sectors and all regions of the U.S. Response strategies have been summarized.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Portal:Sustainable development

Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future. The term was used by the Brundtland Commission which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." (United Nations) In addition to the regular wikipedia site, there is a wikipedia "portal" which includes up-to-date news and links to more topics in sustainability and energy development.

Encyclopedia of Earth

Be sure to visit the "Climate Change Collection" of articles on climate change, organized by topic from the Encyclopedia of Earth.

This collection brings together some of the world’s leading scientists and organizations and presents the essential knowledge underlying the issue of climate change. — Cutler J. Cleveland, Editor-in-Chief

The Encyclopedia of Earth is supported by the Environmental Information Coalition and the National Council for Science and the Environment. What students will find useful is that "unless otherwise noted, all text is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. Another useful feature are the energy profiles available for many countries, a location-based article search.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pickens Pitches Wind Power to Congress

The Pickens plan starts with wind power and also capturing solar power.

Your Paycheck and Gas Prices

Fill out this simple form from to calculate how many hours you have to work to fill a tank of gas.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

National Parking Day is a celebration of parks and open space

What is Park(ing) Day?
National Park(ing) Day is an opportunity to celebrate parks in cities and promote the need for more parks by creating temporary public parks in public parking spaces. National Park(ing) Day is Friday, September 19, 2008.

Chicago is one of 25 cities which participate annually. Find out what's happening in some Chicago neighborhoods. See a YouTube video that discusses what was done in SanFrancisco to create awareness of the need for more parks and open space. See the photo gallery on Flickr for for National Parking Day. It's an interesting way to promote green activism.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Greenbook on Facebook

Tryout this Facebook application and send free trees to folks you know!
Read the explanation for how it works.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

William McDonough on Sustainability Concepts

If you don't have time to read Cradle to Cradle, take a look at the TED talk by William McDonough on sustainability concepts.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Chicago Resources on Climate Change

Here are some noteworthy resources from the Summer Workshop at University of Chicago on Climate Change:

Chicago's Water Agenda 2003
Save the Source , City of Chicago water conservation leaflet
Plant a Rain Garden , City of Chicago leaflet
Guide to Rooftop Gardening , City of Chicago leaflet
Also, be sure to check out the new Google blog
"Climate change in our world", (Google LatLong blog) Google has teamed up with the British Government to create a couple of really interesting new environmental layers to Google Earth based on climate change estimates for the next century.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash

From The New Yorker
Royte is a journalist with a nose for the "sordid afterlife" of trash, thoroughly at home in the putrid world of "Coney Island whitefish" (used condoms); "disco rice" (maggots); and—the darling of American consumer culture and the nemesis of waste activists—"Satan's resin" (plastic). Her book takes the form of a quest for the surprising final resting places of her yogurt cups, beer bottles, personal computer, and organic-fig-cookie packaging, and leads to an impassioned attack on overconsumption in America. If Royte does not quite demonstrate the muckraking skills of an Eric Schlosser in "Fast Food Nation," she does expose the feculent underside of our appetite for things and challenges her readers to disprove the resigned assessment of a former New York sanitation commissioner: "In the end, the garbage will win."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

Don't miss Author Elizabeth Royte will speak next week in Chicago.

July 19, 2008
Elizabeth Royte @ Chicago Public Library

Journalist and author Elizabeth Royte will read from and sign her book, Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash, at the Budlong Woods Library, 5630 N. Lincoln Ave., at 1pm today as part of the "Chicago Matters: Growing Forward" series.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Green Destinations in Chicago

Smart Home: Green + Wired, Powered by ComEd and Warmed by Peoples Gas, which is open through January 4, 2009.

Tour the “Greenest Home in Chicago!” at the Museum of Science and Industry. The exhibit invites you to explore a real, three-story modular and sustainable “green” home learn about latest innovations in reusable resources, smart energy consumption, sustainable gardens and green roofs,and clean, healthy-living environments in a contemporary setting. Your tour will conclude on the roof, which is covered by a green-roof garden as well as photovoltaic film, which harvests daylight and provides much of the home’s electrical energy. Rooftop gardens not only act as a source of cooling in the summer and insulation in the winter, but also absorb precipitation, which reduces storm water runoff, which can be reused for landscape irrigation.

Another exhibit from the Chicago Architecture Foundation "Green With Desire: Can We Live Sustainably in our Homes?" This installation offers a look at eight desires for home life: permanence, convenience, ownership, affordability, status, privacy, comfort and shelter. Open from June 24 through September 5 at 224 S. Michigan Avenue, this free exhibition explores how homes determine the quality of our lives—and the health of the planet.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Enviromental Skepticism is Pseudo-Science

"A review of environmental skepticism literature from the past 30 years has found that the vast majority of skeptics, often identified as independent, are directly linked to politically oriented, conservative think tanks."

Skeptics on climate change have every right to voice their opinion. "But the statements of a few think tank-supported experts should not be regarded as equal to scientific findings that have been vetted through an intense peer-review process", says a blogger from the WorldWatch Institute. Click here to see the blog article and also find the study of environmental skeptic literature.

Environmental Network News also has a good article entitled "Another Blow to the Pseudo-Science of Global Warming Skeptics -- A Guest Commentary". My conference at the University of Chicago confirmed for me that the skeptics are engaging in pseudo-science every bit as much as the "Intelligent Design" scientists do by challenging the established biological evidence for evolution. It's really no different.

Human Development Reports - 2007/2008 Streaming videos

The Human Development Report 2007/2008 warns that "the world has less than a decade to avoid a climate change crisis that could bring unprecedented reversals in poverty reduction, nutrition, health and education to the world's poorest people".

Connected to this report are a series of worthwhile streamed videos which highlight the summary aspects of the report:Climate Change and Human Development; Climate Change and Human Rights; Climate Change and Effects on the Poor.

In addition there is broacast footage for the Science of Climate Change and videos relating to water, agriculture, Ecosystem Collapse, Adaptation and Mitigation efforts.

These are wonderful teacher resources for teaching the complex topic of Climate Change. I love the Climate Change advocacy posters available for printing in any size. Since our AV department got a new poster maker, I will make these available for the Environmental Club or any teachers who would like them.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Read Green, Live Green: Summer Reads for Adults

The Chicago Public Library, in partnership with Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago Department of Environment, presents Read Green, Live Green: Summer Reads for Adults – a summer long exploration of the environment through a unique combination of great books, author appearances, tours, performances and fun “green” workshops and events designed especially for adults and teens.

See the list of titles and summer programs focused on the environment. The program, which runs through the month of August, will offer books, reading tours and performances for both adults and kids on climate change, energy conservation and even farming.

I attended the Climate Change Conference at the University of Chicago this week. I want to share a great blog published by one of our speakers David Archer, a computational ocean chemist at the University of Chicago. He has published research on the carbon cycle of the ocean and the sea floor, at present, in the past, and in the future. His textbook Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast has been well received. His new book The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate argues that not only are massive climate changes coming if we humans continue on our current path, but many of these changes will last for millennia.

Archer suggested two titles worth reading: Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas and Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dan Seals proposal for Gas Prices and a Response

In a message dated 5/27/2008 2:27:50 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:

* Putting more oil on the market. Diverting oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will help accomplish that. The Reserve is our "rainy day" fund for oil and it is already more than 97% full. Putting that oil on the market will knock off as much as a quarter a gallon.

* Investigating price-gouging charges. Even as consumers have faced record gas prices, the profits of the top five oil companies have hit record levels. While I have no problem with companies making a profit, we should give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to investigate whether the big oil companies are engaging in price gouging.

Sorry Dan, but you are missing the boat on this one.
You are sounding a little to much like those famous panders of primaries past, John McCain and Hillary Clinton; what is next, offering a summer "gas tax holiday"? Let's show a little backbone here.
Leave the oil reserves where they belong, for a true emergency, not trying to shave off an increase in the price of gas which, when adjusted for inflation, is about where it should be compared to 30 years ago. Checked the price of gas in Europe lately?
Today's posted price in the Netherlands: 12.00 US dollars a gallon. France: 10.50 US dollars a gallon.
And do you think there are all the SUVs tooling around the back roads in Europe? Hummmmm. Do you think there is anything we can learn from this? How about if we maybe tax the dickens out of gas until it gets up to a more robust 8 to 10 dollars a gallon or more. That, and only that, will truly put a dent in emissions by significantly reducing driving of the tanks that pass for cars in this glutinous country of ours. If people insist on driving those things fine, but let them pay for them.
And let's not try to blame the oil companies for this in some populist hysteria in an attempt to shift blame to something more comfortable. Ultimately supply and demand will dictate prices and trying to paint the blame for our insatiable appetite for fossil fuels on the providers of it won't solve anything...only curbing our appetite through financial disincentives will.

Bruce Seitzer
1607 Elmwood Ave.
Wilmette, Il 60091

Monday, May 19, 2008

AAA Chicago Fuel Gauge Report of Gasoline Prices

"According to AAA Chicago, fuel prices continue to rise and have climbed more than 40 cents in the Chicago metropolitan area. The most recent Fuel Gauge Report estimates that in Illinois, regular unleaded gasoline has increased 44 cents during the past month, forecasting an average cost of $3.89 per gallon for the month of May, which is 57 cents higher per gallon than last year. This is a daily report where prices from each state are tracked.
Historical prices charts show that some areas are average $4.08 per gallon of regular. This topic seems to continue in importance and it could overshadow the Iraq War as a political issue priot to the November elections.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

28 %of our Energy Use is from Transportation

With gas prices hovering around $4.00 per gallon, even affluent folks are starting to take public transportation and are considering fuel efficient cars for their next purchase. Here are some Department of Energy statistics.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Irish Tax on Plastic Shopping Bags 33 Cents Per Bag

Since 2002, when Ireland passed a tax on the use of plastic bags, Irish consumers have adopted cloth reusable bags. Within weeks, thanks to an ambitious advertising campaign, plastic bag consumption dropped 94 percent. The U.S. should adopt a similar program so that plastic does not linger in landfills forever.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Reduce Reuse Recycle

Since the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year Magee’s Closet and several Special Education students have been working on a project to keep New Trier green. Now we want you to join the effort!

WHO: Special Education students and Magee’s Closet.

WHAT: Scratch Pads from recycled paper printed on one side.

WHEN: Since September, 2007 and ongoing.

WHERE: Special Education and Magee’s Closet.

WHY: New Trier wants to get greener.

HOW: Contribute your paper to “Magee’s Closet” to be converted.*

HOW: Ask for a supply of scratch pads for use in your classes, on your desks, and elsewhere.**

HOW: Eschew fancy scratch pads and adopt our recycled pads. They come in ¼ page and ½ page sizes. Each pad has about 10 sheets.

* Paper should be full sized 8 ½ x 11 sheets of non-confidential information printed on one side only.

** Call x2335 or email

New Trier Organic Garden