March 13, 2012, 1:01 pm
It’s raining and 53 degrees, and the office is 12.5 miles away by way of the Los Gatos Creek bicycle trail, but I can’t wait to go to work. I like riding in the rain. I like riding, period. But above all I like riding to work. The exercise is part of it. With a four-year-old boy and a pregnant spouse, there’s always a really good reason to skip the gym.
It’s a state of mind more than anything else. The hours in the office are bracketed by life and not the containerized living death of the car. It’s a nice car. Nonetheless I experience driving to work, even on some of the most beautiful freeways on the planet, as at best one big pause before being disgorged on campus. At its worst, car commuting offers the most irritating kind of physical experience–inert and cocooned and even entertained, while being intermittently adrenalized.
As I mentioned in an earlier post on green machines: …
September 1, 2011, 1:10 am
Back in 1997, when H. and I both worked at the coal-burning University of Louisville, we found it relatively easy to adopt a relatively green lifestyle—we walked to work and put five or six thousand miles a year on a shared car, mostly in the summer. We all but eliminated lawn surface in favor of trees and perennials and the climate did the watering.
Ironically, after moving to the far more green-talking Silicon Valley, our personal carbon production soared—two cars, driving to work, chauffeuring the youngster to swim lessons and soccer practice, a dozen flights a year back East for lectures and family visits, plenty of flat grass for the aforementioned junior athlete. Much of the change is beyond our control—geography plus a Skype-resistant profession, not to mention a growing family—but it has bothered us.
So last year we agreed to make some changes. The biggest last…
July 20, 2011, 4:08 pm
American Electric Power announced recently that the company is abandoning its plan to build a full-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) demonstration plant. While the Department of Energy initially promised to fund half the cost of the project, they have reneged on their support now that the cost of carbon won’t make expensive energy production cheaper by comparison.
The problems are not all at the federal level. In addition to the loss of federal support, AEP was also informed that state regulators would not allow them to increase consumer utility rates to cover the cost of carbon-free energy production. In these tough economic times, it is hard to tell people that their utility rates will increase substantially—as much as 40 percent or more—regardless of their personal concerns about oil dependency or the environment.
Carbon capture and sequestration is a…