Chelsea Green Publishing

The Blogging Community at Chelsea Green

So much for zero-emission cars?

So much for zero-emission cars (for now, anyway). Unfortunately, Scientific American is running an article in its July issue exposing the myth behind electric cars. Basically, the electricity you are plugging your car into comes from sources that are still pretty dirty (think: coal). The dirtiness of your car’s footprint depends upon where you plug in and what the sources of electrical generation are used in that region. On balance, the article concludes that driving a plug-in electric car (such as Nissan’s soon-to-be released Leaf) will be more carbon-costly than driving a hybrid electric vehicle (and yes, that hybrid part includes some gasoline). So it looks like the next big step should not be for everyone to start driving electric cars and hope this will slow global warming. Instead, we must focus on getting some massive clean energy sources online to power the grid into which those cars are plugged. That includes solar, wind, wave, and (like it or not) probably nuclear. Plus we’ll need a great deal more conservation and improved efficiency, both of which will cut down on the need for so much dirty power. So wherever you live, push your power company and whatever government regulator/entity grants its authority (state, county, city, etc.) to move toward more clean energy sources. And even during this difficult economic time, we all need to be ready to pay a little more for electricity and use a less, because those are the only ways this transition toward more sustainable energy use has any chance of occurring. Link: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-dirty-truth-about-plug-in-hybrids


Furniture from Mycelium

The house is filled with the earthy smell of mushrooms cooking. It’s not a welcome-to-winter soup simmering or a ragout thickening; I’m baking a little mushroom footstool in the oven. That’s not all that’s baking in that house, you may be thinking… Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden/article/Philip-Ross-crafts-furniture-from-mycelium-4116989.php#page-1 Read More..

Roasted Squash Soup (Recipe)

Roasted Squash Soup This recipe makes some delicious squash soup, which is a healthy way to keep yourself warm as the evenings turn cool. If you like a creamy, herby, or spicy soup, there are some flavor variations included below. I recommend using a sweet, dense-fleshed winter squash such as butternut, buttercup, or kabocha. Alternatively, […] Read More..

Grameen is installing 1000 solar home systems a day…in rural Bangladesh!

In one of the poorest countries on the planet a renewable energy service company is installing one thousand solar home systems – a day. Not in its capital or busy urban centers, but where 80 percent of the population lives – in rural Bangladesh. The company, Grameen Shakti, literally translates as rural energy. By the […] Read More..

Long Orange Firecrackers

In our home garden, we just picked carrots this week. From one raised bed, my kids unearthed an armload of long orange firecrackers. Picking carrots, potatoes, and root/tuber vegetables is such a satisfying harvest. There is something special about bringing up buried treasure: you’re never quite sure what is hidden until you pull it out […] Read More..

Some Sick Chickens and Eggs in Your Food Supply

The U.S. government is attempting to cut the jobs of 1,000 poultry inspectors to save $85 million per year. The new plan is to have the poultry industry “self inspect” themselves (after all, the same concept worked well with Wall Street, right?). One poultry industry inspector will now be responsible for “inspecting” the dizzying number […] Read More..