Sunday, February 22, 2009

Good livin' is green livin'

So I came across an interesting post on Lifehacker this morning about the most affordable (and least affordable) places to live in the U.S. 

I scrolled down the list and found a category of smaller cities (below 500,000). Four Michigan towns were in the Top Ten: Lansing/East Lansing, Bay City, Battle Creek and Saginaw/Saginaw Township.

The list, from the National Association of Home Builders, got me thinking. I drank coffee and kept on thinking. I wondered to myself, how much of this "most affordable" category has to do with the foreclosure crisis and record high unemployment?

But I thought of a more positive spin. Perhaps it's cheaper to live green, as in a low-energy, high-efficiency home. Low and behold, the Michigan cities on the affordable list are the same Michigan cities that are members of Green Built, a NAHB program.

Of course, this proves nothing, except that the next wave in homes is something to consider, for the cost-savings and piece of mind alone. 

Oh, what the heck. I have more proof. One of the first Green Built chapters was in Grand Rapids, Mich. From there, the program grew into a nationwide effort. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Living the life I was born to live ...

Giving it all I got to give ...

The great, under-rated film "Rock Star" is playing on E (so the kids can watch it, too). I'm sitting by the fire in the living room. Drinking a sort of Long-Island Iced Tea (since we're out of the ingredients for a High Ball).

The movie
is based on articles by Andy Revkin, of the New York Times, one of the best enviro journalists out there (An NYT guy actually e-mailed me for an interview the other day, but that's another story).

Andy writes a lot about global warming on his blog Dot Earth.

So what's my point here? A pretty jarring post I saw today from Bill McKibben, a "Stand Up and Shout" column on protesting coal-fired power.

Bill, an enviro from Middlebury College, writes that he's willing to go to jail to protest the burning of climate change chunks. This is good old-fashioned civil disobedience. Just as good as old-fashioned rock 'n' roll.

- Green Mullet.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Guns 'N' Roses 'R' Red

Sorry I've been neglecting you. But you might have heard, the weather has taken a turn for the better in Michigan. High temps last weekend, almost 60. The snow melted. Then it rained yesterday. Then there were some sewer overflows. Almost spring.

So I've been spending more time outside. The wife and I went to a Guns 'N' Roses tribute concert on Saturday. I looked for some Green Mullet material, but all I could think of was a rant about the guy on the soundboard who was apparently deaf, or at least tone deaf. I mean, I want to hear "Axl," not "Adler," so turn up the vocals and the friggin' bass.

Now, it's almost Valentine's Day. The wife and I are going out again on Friday, to beat the rush. For the folks out there who are celebrating, there are lots of green ways to go.

First off, shower with someone who love, or at least someone you like a lot. Right there, you're saving water and energy.

The other bloggers came up with a bunch of other ideas. Huff Post recommends buying eco-jewelry, abstaining from the holiday as a way of living more sustainably, making a vegan cake (yuck) or sending out naked digital pictures (yuck factor may vary).

I know the Huff Post is allegedly a liberal rag, according to my co-worker, but I've found its enviro coverage to be top notch. Maybe I'm a liberal? Maybe not. Maybe I just value good info. Huff Post has been delivering. Gotta tell ya. Welcome to the jungle.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Who's the next Enviro Villian?

I miss Dubya.

Don't worry. Just a little. Kind of like when Kip Winger retired. It's nice to have a villian to throw darts at (check your Metallica history). Now that George W. is gone, who do we blame for the world's environmental problems?

Oh, I know, the Bush administration! I'm sure that will be a common refrain in coming years, especially in Congress: "We're trying to undue the damage done by Dubya."

With Friday the 13th approaching, and a new (re-imagining of) Friday the 13th coming to theaters, I thought I'd take some votes on who the next environmental villian, environmental killer, environmental horror guy (or gal) should be.

Oh, I got it: Sean Hannity . This guy ... He's just ignorant when it comes to topics like climate change. And I keep listening to his radio show. The show switched from AM to FM in my market, and I keep listening. I guess I just want to know what the Flat Earthers have to say.

Today he was going on about the new energy secretary, Steven Chu, making fun of Chu for sounding the alarm about global warming in California.

Here's Chu, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997, being ridiculed by Hannity, a former bartender and co-host on Fox News. Oh, I know Chu isn't a climate scientist, but he can read (Hannity?) and two recent university studies make similar warnings about the Golden Gate State. OK. I know who to believe.

I vote for Hannity for Environmental Villian of 2009 (at least until I can find someone better). Sen. James Inhofe?

I welcome your thoughts.

- Green Mullet.