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One Answer to Carbon Woes: Blowin’ in the Wind May 20, 2008

Posted by Sarah Todd in Environment, General.
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An article in Salon points out,

“For under 2 cents a day per household, Americans could get 300 gigawatts of wind by 2030. That would:

  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by 25 percent in 2030.
  • Reduce natural gas use by 11 percent.
  • Reduce cumulative water consumption associated with electricity generation by 4 trillion gallons by 2030.
  • Support roughly 500,000 jobs in the U.S.”

All we need is an administration that will let it happen.

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350 May 12, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Environment.
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Spread the word. More here.

Everybody Loves Wendy May 9, 2008

Posted by Sarah Todd in Books, Environment, Zen.
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Who’s the greenest of them all? Our vote gets cast for Tricycle columnist and Zen gardener Wendy Johnson, the subject of a big splashy ol’ profile in the New York Times Home and Garden section (“Dharma in the Dirt,” May 8, 2008). Wendy’s “On Gardening” column has been a prize rose of the Tricycle garden for over ten years, and with the publication of her new book, Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate, she’s getting a wave of much-deserved attention.

In the Times article, Wendy discusses her lovingly cultivated garden near Green Gulch Farm and the path that led her to appreciate the Buddha-nature of hemlock and lilacs alike. Basically, her life is awesome: meditating with trowel in hand, serving visitors homegrown lemon verbena tea, teaching, composting, writing… We want in! In the meantime, we can always content ourselves with reading about it. Check out one of Wendy’s columns for free here, and learn about upcoming readings and events on her website.

Death Toll Rises Again from Storm in Burma; Karmapa visit; Beijing Accuses TYC of Terror Ties May 6, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Burma, Environment, News, Tibet.
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More than 22,000. The junta allows aid to trickle in.

The Karmapa’s visit to the U.S. is coming up. His schedule is on this site. At Tricycle we’re obligated to mention the controversy over who is the 17th Karmapa, and that there are duelling Karmapas, but this site, which of course has an agenda, says it’s a non-issue. It is true that the Karmapa who is coming to the U.S. has a bigger following here, which may explain why he is coming. This is not to stoke controversy or push an agenda — this visit is a big deal for Buddhism in America.

Beijing says the Tibetan Youth Congress has ties to Al Qaeda. They must be angling for funding from teh Department of Homeland Security. Of course, our government would have to borrow the money from Beijing to pay Beijing anyway

Environmental Conundrum May 1, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Environment.
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By now it’s commonplace to take about biofuels driving up the price of food (though some say this effect is overstated since food prices are rising all across the board) and encouraging deforestation. Similarly, the price of silicon is dropping, which means cheaper solar energy — But silicon production creates large amounts of very toxic waste.

Earth Day April 22, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Environment.
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Meatpaper April 21, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Environment.
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A magazine about meat — the idea of meat, that is.

Earth Day April 17, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Environment, Events.
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(Don’t forget Earth Day next week!)

World Food Crisis; Street Zen April 17, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Environment, Zen.
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The world food crisis:

Scientists and economists worry that the reallocation of scarce water resources — away from rice and other grains and toward more lucrative crops and livestock — threatens poor countries that import rice as a dietary staple.

The global agricultural crisis is threatening to become political, pitting the United States and other developed countries against the developing world over the need for affordable food versus the need for renewable energy. Many poorer nations worry that subsidies from rich countries to support biofuels, which turn food, like corn, into fuel, are pushing up the price of staples. The World Bank and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization called on major agricultural nations to overhaul policies to avoid a social explosion from rising food prices.

With rice, which is not used to make biofuel, the problem is availability. Even in normal times, little of the world’s rice is actually exported — more than 90 percent is consumed in the countries where it is grown. In the last quarter-century, rice consumption has outpaced production, with global reserves plunging by half just since 2000. A plant disease is hurting harvests in Vietnam, reducing supply. And economic uncertainty has led producers to hoard rice and speculators and investors to see it as a lucrative or at least safe bet.

And a street retreat in British Columbia:

Jordan and 13 other volunteers will live on the street from July 31 to Aug 3, avoiding shelters so they do not take beds from those who need them, but eating in soup kitchens and mingling with the street population.

Under the leadership of Zen Sensei Genro Gauntt, the group will meditate twice a day, and, in a non-judgmental way, bear witness to what is going on.

“Most people think it is odd, but sort of odd-good,” Jordan said.

Others accuse them of being no more than tourists, but even tourists gain some understanding of the places they visit, he said.

The first thing each volunteer has to do is raise the $400 cost of the retreat by going to friends, family or associates and asking for donations.

“To sincerely engage in this experience we need to humble ourselves at the outset, attempt to explain to others our reasons for participating and beg for their support,” say the instructions.

Ths Cost of Going Green April 15, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Environment.
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An appeal is made to the E.U. to slow down on using biofuels, which can be worse for the earth per gallon than fossil fuels.

But on the other hand it’s a little frightening that India (along with many other countries) is building huge coal-burning plants as fast as they can. As Andrew Revkin writes:

The decision [to build the coal-burning plants] powerfully illustrates one of the most inconvenient facets of the world’s intertwined climate and energy challenges — that more than two billion people still lack any viable energy choices, let alone green ones.