Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Whaddaya know. I was just talking with a friend about geothermal heat. Seems his brother has a geothermal furnace and it's like an amp that goes to 11. He heats his home. He doesn't pay those 'taller than the guy from Midnight Oil' natural gas bills.
Then I saw a link to 'Geothermal energy a booming business (shameless plug).'
The story says alternative energy mandates and the promise of Obama (cue power chord) have increased interest in geothermal energy as a power source. Requests for drilling permits are way up.
This is technology that creates energy using heat stored in the Earth. Perhaps that devil guy from the Dio videos had the right idea (obscure reference alert).
I did a little digging (pun intended) and found something even better than the free heat mentioned earlier. The feds offer a $2,000 tax credit for installing a geothermal furnace in your home. Not bad. Of course, geothermal furnaces cost more upfront, but think of the potential such a furnace has for sparking conversation.
- Green Mullet.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I know I haven't been around for a while. My last post was Dec. 24. Aren't the holidays great? Relaxing in your pajamas? Having to work the Day After Christmas? Spending too much time playing video games?
Which brings me to my subject for today: Video games use up a lot of energy. The Natural Resources Defense Council recently conducted a study, along with some smart consultants, and found that the PS3 and the XBOX 360 use gobs of electricity. A post at Plenty mag says the consoles "gobble up electricity as fast as Ms. Pac-Man swallows pellets," a little dated reference if you ask me.
Anyway, the PS3 uses about $134 in electricity a year. Sounds like a refrigerator. The XBOX isn't much better, at $103 a year. The Wii, the most awesome of them all (gosh, my shoulder hurts), uses a mere $10 a year. Hell yes.
So if you get Guitar Hero, for the Wii, you could play something by an eco-conscious rocker and feel good about wasting time.
Also, if you follow the instructions on the NRDC Web site, you can enable the power-saving mode for the (wish you had a Wii) PS3 and XBOX and cut your carbon footprint.
- Green Mullet.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Hopefully the days of Great Lakes goodness that I (and Kid Rock) remember are on their way back.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Back when Metallica was cool, before Lars and the gang cut their hair, their songs, sold out, got greedy and generally annoying, they released "... And Justice For All" . I bought it on cassette. The first song, "Battery."
Friday, December 19, 2008
Nah. I'm just kidding. The Volt will be built in Flint (ho ho ho). I'm talking about the first mass-produced plug-in hybrid car, which went on sale Monday ... in China.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This morning, I finished my Christmas shopping. Then I went to the store to pick up some refreshments for a Christmas party at the house tonight. On the way home, "Musta Got Lost" came up on the iPod.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
When my first daughter was first born, I used to drive her around to get her to go to sleep. I'm sure I'm not the first dad to do this.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Everyone loves cows, right? Their yummy milk (especially with Hershey's Chocolate Syrup). Their yummy meat, on the grill with cheese. Sizzle.
How can we reduce emissions from livestock? Scrubbers at farms? Filtered cow pants? Sequestration?
The folks at Huffington Post, reportedly the top enviro blog out there, have a post today on giving the "gift of change" for Christmas.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
This time of year (one family party in the bag, one to go) everyone seems to come out with lists. Best of Lists. End of the Year Lists. Gift Idea Lists.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
And be happy about it!
Monday, December 8, 2008
It's snowing tonight in Northern Michigan. We're supposed to get up to a foot. Maybe there won't be school tomorrow. But work is a sure thing.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
When it comes to music, Elvis is the King. When it comes to the environmental movement, that helm is held by Al Gore, Mr. Inconvenient Truth.
Where are these stories in the summer, when everyone is paying attention?! Oh well.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
As soon as I get the links to work (all I see is blank space right now), you'll see that Green Mullet has completely sold out.
Just kidding. I have enhanced my blog and its reach by joining the Going Green Network. "What is the GGN, GM?" Well, it's a network of cool blogs (duh) that write about green stuff (double duh). Think Treehugger and Yahoo! Green. And think Green Mullet.
Remember, this is the only place on the Internets that recognizes the inherent link between things rock and things green. Where else can you go and read an interesting tidbit (with perspective) on the latest advance in alternative energy and see that tidbit melded with power chords ? Green Mullet, on the Going Green Network. That's it. Here come the hits ...
Monday, December 1, 2008
It's green. It's environmentally friendly, eco-friendly, earth-friendly, planet positive! Or maybe it's bullshit.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Clean Break reports (first, I think) on the death of the GE incandescent bulb. The GE folks have been working on an energy efficient version of the incandescent, without the mercury and with better light than CFLs (which can make you look 25 yrs. older than you really are). But the company told the blogger that they've abandoned that project and are now working on LEDs and something called OLEDs (o for organic).
When it comes to End of the Year lists, green gets the shaft. At least so far.
The word of the year, according to Merriam-Webster, is "bailout," as in help the dinosaur auto companies stay on their feet. Granted, I live in Michigan and I don't want to see the Big Three go out of business and lay off people. But these auto execs have been asleep at the wheel for a long time (good pun, huh?) and they've already received $25B to retool for more fuel-efficient vehicles.
What bugs me more is that another word of the year, hypermiling, didn't get barely any coverage. That word of the year designation was made by New Oxford American Dictionary. A hypermiler is someone who pushes their gas tank to the limit, rolling through stop signs and drafting big trucks to stretch their mpg rating. King of the Road, if you will. But this enviro word of the year was barely a blip on the newscape compared to the consumption-happy word of the year, bailout.
Speaking of consumption-happy, have a Happy Thanksgiving.
(Looking forward to End of the Year lists when it comes to Rock 'N' Roll. Let's hope GNR makes it, or I'll be back here to criticize. Or AC/DC or Motley Crue. The past is back to kick your ... butt.)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It's two days from Thanksgiving. And I have many things to be thankful for:
Friday, November 21, 2008
Sorry about the title. Trying to get more hits.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Ah, Christmas morning. You wake up to the sound of little kids (in my case) tugging on your sleeve. Then comes the unwrapping and the gift opening: the scissors, the box cutters, the untwisting, the swearing (to yourself).
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The death of Bon Scott didn't kill AC/DC and a ruling in Utah by a U.S. EPA panel isn't going to kill coal plants. I live in Michigan (one hand up, middle two fingers down), where there are eight coal plants proposed. I think that's more than in any other state.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
that's a reference to journalism, and the death of it. or the impending death.
by the time my kids grow up, they may never know what it means to read a balanced, unbiased, well-researched story in a newspaper. newspapers are gray and white things that more people used to read before the internets came along. i'm telling you, however, that good journalism won't die if i can help it. the internets figured out how to improve journalism, in ways. all newspapers have to do now is listen. we'll see.
in the meantime, let me pass on some interesting quotes from past presidents, some of whom promised to give us 'energy independence.' on a tangent, i know. bear with me.
Nixon promised it. Then Ford and Carter. Now Obama. Maybe in the era of pesky pajama-ed bloggers and Al Gore, the new guy will succeed. Gas at $2.08 a gallon won't help, however. It's up from $1.89 yesterday. I was hoping (with indigestion) that gas would hit $6 a gallon. Then the U.S. would make some real moves.
If nothing else, Obama is getting tons of advice and support from green groups.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Today has been a great day in America. Nov. 5, 2008, the day after most of the country (in their right minds) voted for Mr. Change, also known as Barack Obama.
Kind of reminds me of when Bill Clinton was first elected. The feeling of hope. The feeling that something better was around the corner. Yesterday was a day when most of the country (in their right minds) stood up and rejected the policies (war) of the past eight years. It was great to see the spontaneous eruptions of joy in the streets.
How long will this feeling last? How long before Democrats are back attacking Republicans, Republicans are back attacking Democrats?
There are high expectations for the new guy. It's up to each of us to pay attention. We don't get to vote once and then sit back for the next four years. Let's demand better from our leaders. Let's say that if Congress doesn't cooperate with our new Commander in Chief that we're not gonna take it. Thanks Twisted Sister! Seriously. Let's take some advice from a classy guy named John McCain.
Monday, November 3, 2008
My daughter says she's voting for John McCain tomorrow, and I couldn't be more upset.
She's only seven, and her vote won't count. But I guess she's voting in a mock elementary school election, and has made up her mind.
Where in the world did she get the idea that McCain is a better choice than Obama? He's got more kids, she told me. He also wants to keep gas prices high, she continued. (Not sure what the benefit is of that, unless you hope it will reduce fuel consumption).
It seems that my daughter knows a lot about McCain. I wonder where she heard it from? Her teacher?! I bet so. She sure as hell hasn't heard me singing the praises of McCain. Four more years of failed Bush policies.
I tried to convince her before she went to bed that Obama is a better choice. He will improve the economy and get our troops home sooner, I told her. He also cares more about the environment, I said, before kissing her good night.
Will you make more at your job if Obama wins? She asked. Yeh, that's right, I told her. Sleep tight.
Friday, October 24, 2008
I've been holding on to this one, a tailor-made piece for yours truly. White lions living in the wild. The Vegas guys are nowhere to be found (White tigers, I know, but close enough).
Remember White Lion, the 80s band? Super blonde singer. Cool slur:
"Are you cryin tonight?
Are you feelin all right?
I told the world that you were dooooooooowwwwwn on your luck
You were one of a kind
One who'd never give it up
Even when they put a priiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice on your head" ...
Turns out the song "Little Fighter" has a green theme. It's about a Greenpeace boat called Rainbow Warrior. (Hmmph. I didn't know this until today. We're all learning!)
Back to the actual white lions, with the sharper teeth: Folks at the Sanbona reserve in South Africa say the gene that causes lions to be born white may be bordering on extinction. The fact that white lions are now living in the wild and sustaining their population is good news, especially when it comes to future VH1 specials.
Monday, October 20, 2008
If you want to know what the future holds, you should be following Doonesbury. The comic's latest storyline revolves around an ex-newspaper guy who's forced to write a blog. Just recently, he lamented that there were 118 million other bloggers out there to compete with.
First of all, there's nothing wrong with blogs. They give a voice to the public. They are not a replacement for the real news media. But the real news media needs to get a clue from these dastardly bloggers. Don't wait on the news. When it happens, get it out there. Don't be afraid to portray life as it really is. Sometimes, people say "Fuck."
And don't be afraid to add some perspective. Don't hide behind the stoopid neutral non-bias mantra (I'm talking to futurists here). That's what gave us years of "Is Global Warming Real?" stories: Quote the experts who say yes. Quote the crackpots or oil execs who said no. Now you have "balance." Don't bother to go the extra step of getting to the truth.
Most blogs are nothing more than commentary on what the real news media says and does. The real news media needs a kick in the pants every so often, and a reminder that there are other perspectives out there besides the ones from the people with the presses and the FCC licenses. Newspapers could be using blogs to their advantage (clicks, commentary, readership) but instead they've tried to brand them as inferior.
OK, I feel like I'm going off on a major tangent. But when it comes to environmental news, you can't beat the blogs. Period. Blogs like Grist and Treehugger and Worldchanging (where folks need to shorten their posts) and Climate Science Watch. I could go on and on. And I'm sure that this post has some holes in its logic. Please feel free to comment. I'm a blogger, remember, without an army of editors staring down on me. It's possible to make a mistake.
Friday, October 10, 2008
We probably won't be so lucky. It seems that V is coming back. Remember the 1980s miniseries about the lizard-like aliens who tear off their faces during that one terrifying scene? You remember if you're 30-something. Like everything, it's being remade.
I wish the premise was an environmental one. Aliens come to save the planet from global warming. Then they kill everybody! How timely it would be.
According to the folks at TV Squad, the original creator isn't involved. It's a guy named Scott Peters, who was involved with The 4400, a sci-fi TV program about 4,400 folks in Washington state.
Whatever. At least I get to post the lizard picture.
See you folks.
- Green Mullet.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Sorry you haven't heard from me in a while. Times are tough. Industries in Michigan are dying. Employees are shopping for coffins. I've been kinda busy.
Meanwhile, Wall Street yacht owners are getting a bailout. Awesome. And here's one parallel I can't help but mention: Folks from the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration (which was created by Dubya years ago) came up with a bailout plan for the Great Lakes in 2005. A $20 billion strategy to clean up toxic sediments, fix aging wastewater treatment plants, combat invasive species, etc.
The cost is now estimated at about $26 billion (thanks inflation). But Congress just hasn't had the money, despite a Brookings study that said the investment would create $50 billion in economic benefits (pdf ).
But as soon as some rich folks lose their ability to buy new $5,000 ties, it's Congress to the rescue. Yee f*ckin haw!
There, I feel better. Kind of like those new Rock Band 2 commercials with folks singing "Let There Be Rock." Aren't those cool? Like a cool dip in a clean lake. Maybe they'll make a video game that will allow folks on Lake Huron to experience such a thing.
- Green Mullet
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
As promised, Kristina and my other loyal followers, today's post is about tapeworms.
This tapeworm can cause weight loss and mortality in young fishes. It primarily infects minnows and carp, but it can also be found in a variety of other fishes including bass. It has also been found in endangered species. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is aware of its significance and lists the Asian fish tapeworm as a 'Pathogen of Regional Importance.'"
What can I say? I wish for the good ol' days of regular native tapeworms. We've got to stop the immigrants from getting in. Maybe a fence?
- Green Mullet
Monday, September 15, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Nice pics on the Hurricane Ike pool on Flickr.
Ike has whalloped Texas. Three dead. Four million without power. Fires. Floods. Bears.
A quick lesson:
"Beginning in 1995, there has been a big upswing in the number of Atlantic tropical storms. According to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the years 1850 to 1990 saw an average of about 10 tropical storms, including about 5 hurricanes. Since 1995, the average has spiked, with the 1997-2006 average at about 14 tropical storms, including about 8 hurricanes. This increase correlates with the rise in ocean temperatures, which in turn is linked to global warming."
Looking forward to the weak rhetoric from the presidential candidates as to what the U.S. is going to do reduce carbon emissions.
- Green Mullet.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
"Carpoolers," one of the funniest (and most environmentally friendly) TV shows has been taken off the air. It starred Jerry O'Connell and was a fresh take on the absurdities of the office, with a little plug for conservation (carpooling). But the show ran for less than a year. The Bush administration, er ABC, pulled it off the air. The last show aired March 4, 2008.
Last night, I watched the debut of another O'Connell project, "Do Not Disturb." This one about a hotel where all the employees are screwing all the guests (Bush administration?) Not as funny, and everyone drives separately to work. Is it a coincidence that this new show is on the Fox Network (Bush administration)?
What kind of shows will Obama usher in? Or, shudder, McCain?
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Go post on their blog and tell them they're full of it.
- Green Mullet
Friday, September 5, 2008
Are there any rock songs about laying an egg? Supposedly Tool has one called "The Eggs of Satan." Seems appropriate.
That's what McCain did last night. Laid an egg. Satanic snore. Thank God for those two or more protesters who shook things up at the beginning of the speech. That at least made it interesting. John McCain, you're a war hero, a great man. That's all. Not a great speaker.
Does it matter? Yup. A leader needs to be able to communicate, not just show the people he meets a box of medals. Was that cruel? Didn't mean it to be. I take nothing away from the man. He just doesn't do it for me. I now think his pick of Sarah Palin was a wise choice. At least she's got some fire.
Let me stand next to your fire.
Do those "Drill Baby Drill" signs make you nervous? Sounds like a porn movie, with the Earth as the star. I can't believe that with energy prices shooting up, the GOPs answer is to dig and suck more finite resources from the planet. Great guys. Wave your cowboy hats.
- Green Mullet.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Hot momma, check it and see.
Those aren't the right lyrics, but me and my brother Randy used to enrage my brother Gary when we would sing the song that way.
Which brings me to last night's speech by Sarah Palin. Hot. OK, the speech was good, too. But is this lady too hot to be VP? I like a Meg Whitman better. Not as distracting. Yes, that sounds sexist, and it's meant to be. I'm not really serious. Palin looked great. She did a good job on her coming out party. She did the requisite amount of ripping on Barack and Biden. But I didn't like her (empty) message: Country First, forget about the last eight years, remember remember remember 911. Famly values, but gimme a break on my pregnant daughter. Wave your cowboy hats.
And since this is an enviro blog, let's take a look at the two VP contenders. An AP story posted by The Trib tears Palin up. Critics call her "the killa from Wasilla." She's fought against protections for polar bears and beluga whales and doesn't believe in anthropogenic global warming. (Note to Sarah: Earth is not flat, either).
She said last night that America (God Bless 'er, by the way) has plenty of oil. This from a woman who took on Big Oil in Alaska, so give her some credit (and then take it away after you read the next line):
"we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas.
And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we've got lots of both."
So much for alternative energy. Drill, baby drill!
Joe Biden's record on the environment looks better (but what about the terrorists?!) Just kidding. It looks better:
"During his 35 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, Biden has earned a lifetime score of 83 percent from the League of Conservation Voters, only slightly lower than Obama’s lifetime score of 86 percent, but over a much longer term of service. Throughout his Senate career, Biden has voted fairly consistently with environmentalists and along party lines on energy and environmental issues, but the strong positions he has taken on many of those issues show a deep commitment to the environment."
- Green Mullet
Friday, August 22, 2008
Gimme your nine. Yeh, that's dirty, but it popped up on my iPod today, so there.
At work tonight, and wondering who Obama is going to pick as his running mate. So I went to obama.com. Not his Website. Yikes. He's a foreigner!
Sorry I disappeared for a while there. Too distraught over Bigfoot hoax. And busy as hell at home. My Google Reader RSS inbox has been filling up, and I have a lot of Starred Stuff to blog on. If I had the time. Been getting ready for new semester of graduate classes, so I can earn a degree in Enviro Sciences and help solve the world's problems (and more importantly, get a master's to hang next to my wife's big fancy master's degree).
One particular story out there got me thinking of AC/DC, as in "I'm on a Highway to Hell." (Which, by the way, uses the "N word" in the third line. Funny that never gets edited out on the radio). Discuss ...
Back to the story, which says that Oregon is finally going to take advantage of those hot asphalt highways. The state, using state engineers and builders, is going to turn a section of sun-soaked highway right-of-way into a solar collector. Good idea. Somebody get over to Oregon and stop them! This is bad for Oil Barons everywhere!
You might say those Oregonians are "Highway Stars" (Best covered by Metal Church ).
It's good to see some innovation like this come out of the U.S. Seems like a good way to light street lights. Charge up the batteries during the day. Light the lights at night. Hope nobody steals the batteries.
Unlike obama.com, this project has its own URL, oregonsolarhighway.com.
- Green Mullet.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Seems it was done for money.
"SearchingforBigfoot.com owner Tom Biscardi paid an "undisclosed sum" to Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, the two Georgia men who say they found the body, for their frozen corpse and the privilege of trotting them out in front of TV cameras."
And the dead Sasquatch in the freezer was a costume. The maker of the costume recognized it.
"It definitely looks like our [Sasquatch] costume," Parrino said after viewing photos of the body." Looks like we'll never know the secrets of Bigfoot. At least not yet. Environmental movement continues ...
"It definitely looks like our [Sasquatch] costume," Parrino said after viewing photos of the body."
Looks like we'll never know the secrets of Bigfoot. At least not yet. Environmental movement continues ...
Friday, August 15, 2008
I love this. Bigfoot has been found. Bigfoots, plural. One body, and a family of other man-apes.
"Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, a pair of Bigfoot-hunting hobbyists from north Georgia, say they found the creature's body in a wooded area and spotted several similar creatures that were still alive.
DNA tests on the body have begun, said the statement, and "extensive scientific studies" will be done on the body by scientists, including a molecular biologist, an anthropologist and a paleontologist."
Does Bigfoot hold the key to solving the global warming crisis, our addiction to oil, the war in Georgia? Probably not, but some BF hunters from Georgia (U.S.) say they have found "his body."
No doubt. Bigfoot has been writing books for years. "I Not Dead" is his best yet.
The New York Times (yes!) has more.
Runnin with the devil!
- Green Mullet
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I can hear Klaus Meine whistling the tune. I'm back from the woods and out to change the world. It takes time, and contacts, and networking.
Meanwhile, I'm looking at a new camper. Went out last night and found a nice long one. Perfect. Expensive. New. Outdoor speakers!
But I really wonder about the carbon footprint of this trailer. No I don't. Trailers are one of the last great products still made in America. And I'll be damned if my kids become nature-deprived. I'll still looking for a used one, though. To lower my credit footprint.
- Green Mullet
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I strongly urge Congress to provide rapid approval of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact."