Tiny Houses Do Not Equal Happiness – It takes a change of MIND to be HAPPY

A little house for me is 800 square feet. That’s what my wife and I have if you discount the storage space and the plant room in the basement. During the spring, summer, and fall months, we spend a lot of time outdoors in are yard or up until March doing other things in other spaces. Whether its an apartment or a rental house, that’s pretty much the way I have always been. Whether there were one of me or two of us.

The idea that small is better has always seemed to be suspect to me. Anyway, here is one take on the down side of a Tiny House. And yes, I still believe Small is Beautiful.

 

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/tiny-houses-look-marvellous-but-have-a-dark-side-three-things-they-don-t-tell-you-on-marketing-blurb?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Pocket Worthy   –  Stories to fuel your mind.

Tiny Houses Look Marvellous but Have a Dark Side

Three things they don’t tell you in marketing blurb.

The Conversation

  • Megan Carras

Tiny houses are everywhere. They’ve received heavy coverage in the media and there are millions of followers on dozens of pages on social media. While there is no census for these homes, they have seen a surge in popularity in the decade since the Great Recession – witness the prolific growth of tiny house manufacturers, for instance. Originating in the US, tiny homes have also been popping up across Canada, Australia and the UK.

Tiny houses are promoted as an answer to the affordable housing crisis; a desirable alternative to traditional homes and mortgages. Yet there are many complexities and contradictions that surround these tiny spaces, as I discovered when I began investigating them.

I have toured homes, attended tiny house festivals, stayed in a tiny house community and interviewed several dozen people who live inside them. My research took me throughout the US, from a converted accessory unit squeezed between two average size homes on Staten Island to a community in Florida full of cute and brightly coloured tiny structures – appropriately located just down the road from Disney World. Here are three things I unexpectedly discovered along the way.

 

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I am sure there are thousands of people that are happy with their Tiny Houses. Go there and read. More next week.

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Pipeline Defeated – Judge James Boasberg sides with Native Americans and the Environment

We have been fighting this 1000 mile long monstrosity for over a decade. First at the EPA hearing level and the Political Level (Obama), then at the protest and blockade level, and now at the Legal level. While Obama was a great guy on the environment and temporarily halted the pipeline, this ruling is a major step at blocking tar sands and fracking products from coming to Illlinois and then ultimately to the Gulf Coast. It is also a major blow against Koch Industry. We have gone past 1.5 Degrees temperature rise with the current level of Green House Gases, so the Lord better give us a couple more victories.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/06/dakota-access-pipeline-environment-oil

Judge suspends Dakota Access pipeline over environmental concerns

  • US district judge sides with Standing Rock Sioux tribe
  • More extensive environmental review is required – judge
Opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline march out of their main camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in February 2017.
Opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline march out of their main camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in February 2017. Photograph: Terray Sylvester/Reuters

A federal judge has sided with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and ordered the Dakota Access pipeline to be shut down until a more extensive environmental review is carried out.

US district judge James Boasberg had previously said the pipeline, which has been in operation three years, remained “highly controversial” under federal environmental law, and a more extensive review was necessary after an environmental assessment by the US army corps of engineers.

In a 24-page order on Monday, Boasberg wrote that he was “mindful of the disruption such a shutdown will cause” but said he had concluded that the pipeline must be shut down for an environmental impact statement (EIS).

“Clear precedent favoring vacatur [an order setting aside a previous judgment] during such a remand coupled with the seriousness of the Corps’ deficiencies outweighs the negative effects of halting the oil flow for the 13 months that the Corps believes the creation of an EIS will take,” Boasberg wrote.

Boasberg had ordered both parties to submit briefs on whether the pipeline should continue operating during the new environmental review.

 

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Go there and read. Hallelujah. More next week.

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Thank The Dominican Nuns – If you get the chance

It is rare that I have a good thing to say about any religion. Seriously, the sexism, the domination of nature, and the worship of the unknowable leaves little to praise. Same for Morgan- Stanley. When they get it right, they deserve all the praise we can afford them. So:

THANK YOU

Meet the Dominican nuns who created their own climate solutions fund

sister acts

Meet the Dominican nuns who created their own climate solutions fund

It’s been five years since Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si,” the celebrated 225-page encyclical in which the pope called for environmental justice and fundamental social change in the face of global warming. To mark the occasion earlier this month, the Vatican urged Catholics around the world to take practical steps to fulfill this mission — including by divesting from fossil fuel-based industries. And in the U.S., 16 congregations of Dominican nuns (named for their patron saint, Saint Dominic) debuted a collaboration with Morgan Stanley to create a $130 million “climate solutions fund.”

In a press release, the bank called the fund a “first of its kind collaboration … to find investment solutions which focus on climate change and aiding marginalized communities that are disproportionately impacted by global warming.” Examples of the fund’s “holistic” approach to climate solutions could include “early stage investments in energy efficiency software” as well as “more mature opportunities like fruit producers with water-saving hydroponic irrigation systems.”

Sister Patricia Daly, a Dominican nun from a congregation in Caldwell, New Jersey, helped create the fund. The nuns began organizing the fund in 2018 after they pooled $46 million. Daly said the sisters have long wanted to invest in companies and technology that are actively working toward the United Nations sustainable development goals, which include ending poverty, improving access to clean energy, curbing climate change, and more. When they couldn’t find a fund with that focus — most sustainable investment funds do not holistically address all of those goals, according to Daly — the congregations enlisted Morgan Stanley to create a new fund themselves and set a standard for future investing.

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Go there and read. Maybe donate. More next week.

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We Can Make A Change – If we all pull together we can make big change

Periodically I try to be up beat. With the Pandemic and all the doom coming out of the environmental community I thought I would say, “We can do things together”! The place to start is small. Ride your bike. Recycle and reduce your garbage. Compost. Walk places when you can. Take the steps not the elevator. I do all of those things and everyday I try to think of more things I can do. Anyway, here are some thoughts on the things we can achieve. Stay safe out there.

What lifestyle changes will shrink your carbon footprint the most?

Three years ago, Kim Cobb was feeling “completely overwhelmed” by the problem of climate change. Cobb spends her days studying climate change as director of the Global Change Program at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, but she felt paralyzed over how to be part of the solution in her personal life. The barriers felt immense.

She decided to start small. On January 1, 2017, she made a personal climate resolution: She would walk her kids to school and bicycle to work two days a week. That change didn’t represent a lot in terms of carbon emissions, she says, “but it was a huge lesson in daily engagement.”

In the beginning, her modest goal seemed daunting, but she quickly discovered that the two simple activities nourished her physical and mental well-being. She wanted to do them every day. “It’s no longer for the carbon — it’s for the fact that I genuinely love riding my bike and walking my kids to school,” she says. And that made her wonder: What other steps was she thinking of as sacrifices that might actually enrich her life?

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Paradise Coal Plant Closed Down – Is it ok to dance on somebody’s grave

My answer to that is YES! I know in this time of Covid-19 that we are not supposed to wish people ill. Or in general, in the METOO moment say harsh things about the down and OUT! Trust me, this is more exclamation points then I have used in 10 years. The fact that it happens in McConnell’s state and against The Cheeto Burrito’s wishes is just wonderful to me.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iconic-plants-end-spells-doom-051246740.html

Iconic plant’s end spells doom for struggling coal industry

DYLAN LOVAN
Associated Press

DRAKESBORO, Ky. (AP) — President Donald Trump tried to stop it from happening. The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, did too.

Despite their best efforts to make good on Trump’s campaign promise to save the beleaguered coal industry, including an eleventh-hour pressure campaign, the Tennessee Valley Authority power plant at Paradise burned its last load of coal last month.

The plant’s closure — in a county that once mined more coal than any other in the nation — is emblematic of the industry’s decadeslong decline due to tougher environmental regulations, a major push toward renewable energy and a rise in the extraction of natural gas. The shuttering of businesses nationwide and a reduced need for energy amid the global coronavirus pandemic threatens to deal coal yet another devastating blow.

“It’s not just one 1,000-megawatt unit closing; they’re going down all over the place,” said John Rogers, a former mine owner who lives in western Kentucky near the Paradise plant, located in Muhlenberg County.

When coal-burning plants close, coal mining loses its best customer. Since 2010, 500 coal-burning units, or boilers, at power plants have been shut down and nearly half the nation’s coal mines have closed. No U.S. energy company, big or small, is building a new coal-burning plant.

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Go there and YIPPEE. More next week.

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I Love The Coronavirus – Less than a million dead

And it has had a huge positive impact on the environment. Take this as exhibit one. China literally has cleaner air.  We need more viruses like this. Scare the world off fossil fuels.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51691967?utm_source=digg

Coronavirus: Nasa images show China pollution clear amid slowdown

  • 29 February 2020

 

 

Related Topics

Satellite images have shown a dramatic decline in pollution levels over China, which is “at least partly” due to an economic slowdown prompted by the coronavirus, US space agency Nasa says.

Nasa maps show falling levels of nitrogen dioxide this year.

It comes amid record declines in China’s factory activity as manufacturers stop work in a bid to contain the coronavirus.

China has recorded nearly 80,000 cases of the virus since the outbreak began.

It has spread to more than 50 countries but the vast majority of infections and deaths are in China, where the virus originated late last year.

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I know this is being sick. It is sarcasm. Go there and read. More of this next week.

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Greta Thunberg Sailed The Ocean Twice This Year – Why are we making a teenager carry the weight of the world

I find it amazing that she beat The Orange Baby out for Time’s Person of the Year Cover. I find it disgraceful that the Cheto Bureeto then attacked and tried to bully her on Twitter. I find it uplifting that she fought back and made a wannabe President back down. Way to go Grrrl.

https://newrepublic.com/article/156101/passion-greta-thunberg?utm_source=digg

The Passion of Greta Thunberg

The icon of the movement for action on climate change is a teenager. Shouldn’t that worry us?

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Go there and read. More next week.

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We Are Going Over The Climate Cliff – At least these people are trying

Natural Gas will be the death of us. Let me repeat that. Natural Gas will be the death of us. Why? Because Capitalists will sell it as a bridge to renewables and humans will die half way across the bridge. Let’s be honest, METHANE is a much more corrosive long lasting green house gas. While using natural gas will decrease the Volume of green houses gases. It will speed up Climate Change. Humans do not want to face up to what is killing us – Greed sped on by a pernicious economic system. If we stopped venting green house gases tomorrow it would be a 100 years before the effects wore off. We are not stopping today, are we?

Illinois offering affordable solar installation for low-income housing

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Mist Showers Conserve An Amazing Amount Of Water And Energy – How come I never heard of it

I am embarrassed to say that I have never heard of a mist shower. So I am putting this up as a very very long public service announcement. But if everything it says is true, I gotta get me one. It should be amazing.

https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2019/10/mist-showers-sustainable-decadence.html

« How to Make Wind Power Sustainable Again | Main

The Carbon Footprint of the Daily Shower

The shower doesn’t get much attention in the context of climate change. However, like airplanes, cars, and heating systems, it has become a very wasteful and carbon-intensive way to provide for a basic need: washing the body. Each day, many of us pour roughly 70 litres of hot water over our bodies in order to be “clean”.

This practice requires two scarce resources: water and energy. More attention is given to the showers’ high water consumption, but energy use is just as problematic. Hot water production accounts for the second most significant use of energy in many homes (after heating), and much of it is used for showering. Water treatment and distribution also use lots of energy.

In contrast to the energy used for space heating, which has decreased during the last decades, the energy used for hot water in households has been steadily growing. One of the reasons is that people are showering longer and more frequently, and using increasingly powerful shower heads. For example, in the Netherlands from 1992 to 2016, shower frequency increased from 0.69 to 0.72 showers per day, shower duration increased from 8.2 to 8.9 minutes, and the average water flow increased from 7.5 to 8.6 litres per minute. [1]

In many industrial societies it’s now common to shower at least once per day

 

 

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Go there and read and read and read. I may never take a shower again. More next week.

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Tiny Houses Are Not For Everyone – Even if it is pretty nice in a pretty nice town

In a pretty nice part of town even. I like them, so I’ll just let her talk.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90407740/why-i-hate-living-in-my-tiny-house?utm_source=digg

Why I hate living in my tiny house

Small backyard houses get a lot of attention as a solution to the housing crisis, but it’s a different idea in theory than it is when you try to put it into practice.

When I moved from Brooklyn back to the Bay Area a few years ago, I thought, at first, that the apartment I found was charming. It’s also very small: At the end of a long driveway, inside a former garage, it’s 240 square feet, or roughly the size of one and a half parking spaces.

I still live there—partly because rents in Oakland have surged more than 50% in less than a decade, and in a neighborhood where a typical one-bedroom now goes for more than $2,800, I can’t afford to move. I recognize the value of this type of tiny house, called an accessory dwelling unit or ADU, in theory. In built-up cities with little extra land and residents who fight development, adding tiny cottages in backyards is one way to help address the housing shortage. The small size saves energy and curbs my shopping habits, since there literally isn’t any room for, say, another pair of shoes. But I also question how well tiny homes make sense as a solution for long-term housing—and in some cases, as in the even tinier houses sometimes used as housing for people experiencing homelessness, I wonder if they can sometimes distract from other, more systemic solutions that are necessary.

As tiny houses go, mine is larger than some. One nearby shed-like cottage currently for rent on Craigslist is 120 square feet; another, which rents for $1,600 a month, is 200 square feet. A few miles away from me, a village of 8-by-10-foot tiny houses on wheels is under construction for homeless youth, with a separate communal kitchen and communal bathrooms. Hundreds of others are currently living on the street in much tighter quarters in vehicles or tents. While there’s no official definition for a tiny house, they’re generally said to be around 500 or fewer square feet, making my place somewhat medium-size as far as tiny houses go.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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