May 22 2012

I hate backtracking, but I will – only a little

Much of what I talk about is the soundness of the principles involved.  Nuclear Energy is sensible, clean, and gets rid of filthy, rotten coal and oil.  But we live in a flawed world.  I don’t pretend to completely understand just how bad the regulatory capture is at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but I can imagine.  I’ve been seeing a lot of stories about how screwed up it is.  I continue to be a proponent of responsible nuclear energy – like Thorium reactors. We need to get the lobbyists out of Washington.  I think it will take an Amendment to the Constitution, but it’s worth it.  We can’t run this country yet on wind and solar alone.  People won’t sacrifice quality of life to save a few kilowatts.  So, we have to find the power – and nuclear is the only viable alternative to nasty fossil fuels.  As soon as there is a workable fusion reactor design, or a working space-based solar platform, believe me – I will be onboard to shut down all fission reactors.

Video Below:

 


Mar 30 2010

Buy antiques to lower your carbon footprint

photo by kotomigd on Flickr

One of the easiest ways to go green is to reuse old home furnishings.  The United States and Canada ship huge amounts of wood to China where it is processed into furniture and furnishings made primarily from particleboard.  Not only is this a giant waste of energy, but quite often the stuff sold in retail outlets is of inferior quality – it’s cheap-looking and cheaply-made.  Particle board contains melamine, expands if exposed to water, and chips easily.  Particle board has it’s uses, but I’ll take solid wood, real glass, and metal for my furniture any day.

When I buy something like an antique coffee table, I know I’ll probably have it for at least 30 years – maybe more.  I have found that many antique furniture items are really no more expensive that the furniture you would get in a big furniture store – most times they are less expensive – especially if you haggle!  I have seen new dressers selling for $1000 that use particle board underneath or hidden away somewhere.  I’d rather spend the $1000 on a much nicer antique.

Bottom line: By purchasing an antique, you are recycling and therefore lowering your carbon footprint.

So, later this week I’ll be headed out to Roundtop Texas for the quadrannual Antique Festival.  For those who don’t know, this is a huge event.  The large shows are in the spring and fall, with ‘smaller’ shows in the summer and winter.  Dealers come from around the country and setup in massive tents all over the Roundtop area.  It’s gotten so big that ranchers rent out their pastures.  I hope it’s going to be a good trip.  I’m hoping to find great deals on nice reusable furniture.  If I see enough interesting items related to energy, or energy efficiency, I’ll post another gallery.