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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Michael Sellenberger Is A Lying Fool – He is a huge supporter of Nuclear Power

As one of the commenters on Peak Oil said, “yah and smoking cures cancer”. Or as another said. ” a deniers denier, whose paying him”? His editorial is so wrong in so many ways. Yes, we ARE causing the next big extinction by habitat destruction and this pandemic is a perfect result of that habitat destruction and it’s results. Global warming IS the biggest crisis facing humans. Its true – not the biggest crisis facing the Earth cause after we are gone and all the smoke gets reabsorbed the Earth will be just fine. This guy is raising money by spreading feel good skepticism (and that’s all it is) and making himself famous by telling lies.

https://environmentalprogress.org/who-we-are

On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare

The author in Maranhão, Brazil, 1995

The author in Maranhão, Brazil, 1995

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

  • Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”

  • The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”

  • Climate change is not making natural disasters worse

  • Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003

  • The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska

  • The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California

  • Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s

  • Netherlands became rich not poor while adapting to life below sea level

  • We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter

  • Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change

  • Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels

  • Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture

 

 

 

 

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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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Americans Would Not Know Good Design If It Bit Them ON The Ass

These people have been conserving massive amounts of energy for years. Americans, Russians and Chinese, NOt So MucH. You know – energy exuberance and all that poppycock.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/a-design-concept-is-transforming-the-energy-efficiency-of-buildings.html?utm_source=digg

How a decades-old design concept is transforming the energy efficiency of buildings

 

Key Points
  • The buildings we live and work in have to meet a wide range of needs.
  • Could a shift in the way they are designed make them more energy efficient?
H/O - Goldsmith Street Norwich
Goldsmith Street, in the English city of Norwich, won the RIBA Stirling Prize for 2019.
Tim Crocker

The buildings we live and work in have to meet a wide range of needs, whether it’s an office block in the middle of the city or a small house in the suburbs.

Think of a building’s temperature: It can be regulated by radiators, fans and air conditioning systems, while basic actions such as opening and closing a window or door can also be effective. Today, smart technology allows many of these appliances to be controlled remotely using smartphones.

You only need to look at your monthly utility bill to know that living in a building — be it large or small — costs money.

The impact of buildings on the environment is also a concern. According to the IEA, final energy use in buildings hit approximately 3,060 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2018, up from 2,820 Mtoe in 2010.

Fossil fuels’ share in buildings’ energy use was at 36% in 2018, the IEA says, a small drop compared to 38% in 2010.

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Go there and read. Its all you’ve got to do, right? More next week.

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Could Coronavirus Save The Planet – Well it certainly has reduced pollution

Oil prices are actually at an all time low as supplies are on at an all time high. This article argues however that the oil corporations are so big that they will just diversify as climate change looms larger. In the end they will sell worthless reserves off to unregulated startup oil companies and oil will become like drugs.Those startups will function like drug cartels function today. Selling oil to those addicted to oil. Pretty picture? NO. Our future. Maybe.

PS – this is an enormously loooooog read.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/shell-climate-change.html?utm_campaign=nym&utm_source=tw&utm_medium=s1?utm_source=digg

Business

Shell Is Looking Forward

The fossil-fuel companies expect to profit from climate change. I went to a private planning meeting and took notes.

We think democracy is better,” said the jet-fuel salesperson. “But is it? In terms of outcomes?”

In a conference room overlooking the gray Thames, a group of young corporate types tried to imagine how the world could save itself, how the international community could balance the need for growth with our precarious ecological situation. For the purposes of our speculative scenarios, everything except for carbon was supposed to be up in the air, and democracy’s track record is mixed.

A graph from Chinese social media showing how many trees the country is planting — a patriotic retort to the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg — had a real effect on the room. Combine that with the Chinese state-led investment in clean-energy technology and infrastructure and everyone admired how the world’s largest source of fossil-fuel emissions was going about transition. That’s what the salesperson meant by “outcomes”: decarbonization.

Regional experts from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East–North Africa also entertained the democracy question, pointing to Iraqi disillusionment with voting and economic growth in Rwanda under Paul Kagame (“He’s technically a dictator, but it’s working”). The China expert said the average regional Communist Party official is probably more accountable for his or her performance than the average U.K. member of Parliament, a claim no one in the room full of Brits seemed to find objectionable. The moderator didn’t pose the question to me, the American expert, presumably because our national sense of democratic entitlement is inviolable.

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

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I Am Not Having Kids – Some people get way to carried away with environment issues

There are people that live their lives to right environmental wrongs. Then there are people who live their lives according environmental principles. Sometimes the two meet in a happy medium. Then there are people who over do it. To those people I say stop. (no exclamation mark) Don’t be vegetarian to “save the planet”. It will not. Don’t have children to make the “world a better place”. It will not. Do those things if they make you feel good and you will have a better life. But if you want to have 3 kids- and you can love them and afford them,  then do that thing.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/2/13/21132013/climate-change-children-kids-anti-natalism

Having fewer kids will not save the climate

Some say you shouldn’t have children in the era of climate change. Don’t buy it.

A growing contingent of young people are refusing to have kids — or are considering having fewer kids — because of climate change. Their voices have been growing louder over the past year. UK women set up a movement called BirthStrike, announcing that they won’t procreate until the world gets its act together on climate, and high-profile US figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez amplified the question of whether childbearing is still morally acceptable.

One of the main worries cited by this contingent is that having a child will make climate change worse. Their logic is that anytime you have a kid you’re doing something bad for the planet. You’re adding yet another person who’ll cause more carbon emissions, plus their children, plus their grandchildren … and so on, in a never-ending cascade of procreative shame.

Driving this logic are studies claiming to show that having a child leads to a gargantuan amount of carbon emissions — way, way more than the emissions generated by other lifestyle choices, like driving a car or eating meat. Media reports have trumpeted the takeaway that if you want to fight climate change, having fewer children is far and away the best thing you can do.

But that’s just not true, according to a new report by Founders Pledge, an organization that guides entrepreneurs committed to donating a portion of their proceeds to effective charities.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Louisiana Is Drowning In Toxic Pollution – Propublica chronicles it all

This is kinda funny because my blog is an accumulator blog and these guys are the maximum accumulators. Having lived in New Orleans for 12 years you can smell it, you can taste and there are days when you just should stay inside. Then there is the urban detritus, it rained 110 inches one year and the flooding was horrid. Walking through the water everyday I faced motor oil, gasoline and even used syringes.

https://www.propublica.org/series/polluters-paradise

Polluter’s Paradise

Environmental Impact in Louisiana

The petrochemical industry has grown in Louisiana, with more plants on the way, but the state’s environmental regulations haven’t kept up.

the first Article:

https://www.propublica.org/article/how-oil-companies-avoided-environmental-accountability-after-10.8-million-gallons-spilled

How Oil Companies Avoided Environmental Accountability After 10.8 Million Gallons Spilled

Louisiana still hasn’t finished investigating 540 oil spills after Hurricane Katrina. The state is likely leaving millions of dollars in remediation fines on the table — money that environmental groups say they need as storms get stronger.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, while stranded New Orleanians flagged down helicopters from rooftops and hospitals desperately triaged patients, crude oil silently gushed from damaged drilling rigs and storage tanks.

Given the human misery set into motion by Katrina, the harm these spills caused to the environment drew little attention. But it was substantial.

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Go there and read at least 15 articles. More 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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Go See Broken Ground – The Southern Poverty Law Center’s new Podcast

This pretty cool and I can’t explain alot more. Listen to one and you will listen to more.

 

https://brokengroundpodcast.org/?utm_source=Digg&utm_medium=Homepage&utm_campaign=Kingston

About Broken Ground

Broken Ground is a podcast by the Southern Environmental Law Center digging up environmental stories in the south that don’t always get the attention they deserve, and giving voice to the people bringing those stories to light. Named a “New & Noteworthy” podcast by Apple for 6 weeks in a row.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

Years of storytelling for public radio and through her award-winning video productions prepared Emily well for crafting podcast-sized stories for Broken Ground. Some podcasts she’s currently listening to include Radiolab, This American Life and On the Media.

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Go there and listen to the 5 episodes. 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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