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Chelsea Green Blog

A Liquified Natural Gas Terminal Near You!

There is a phenomenon I call “civic Novocain.” I experience this numbing when faced with local newspaper articles about the raging internal debate over my town’s purchase of the hydroelectric dam. I want to know about it, and certainly I should be conversant in the details, but the most I’ve gleaned is that there is a raging internal debate over my town’s purchase of the hydroelectric dam. It is a feeling reminiscent of returning home from having a tooth filled: I am standing in front of the open refrigerator door, milk carton to my lips, poised to enjoy a cold swallow, but my mouth flatly rejects the offer. This is never attractive. So it has been with federal energy policy and the debate over liquefied natural gas (LNG). I don’t believe that I’m alone in having read the article about Tucker Carlson’s ongoing bow-tie saga in Sunday’s New York Times over the many articles which dealt head-on with the urgency of energy policies. China’s growing energy appetite, for example, includes a pretty strong taste for natural gas, a commodity that it has preliminarily agreed to buy in conjunction with oil from Iran for a trifling $70 billion. Ignorance in the face of such numbers is exceedingly unattractive, more so, for sure, than milk dripping off my shirt and onto the floor. The United States has a pretty healthy appetite for LNG, too, which is only growing in the name of diversification, and, oddly, non-reliance on foreign sources of energy (the largest reserves of natural gas can be found in Qatar, Iran, Russia, Angola, Yemen, and Algeria). On June 15 the Senate voted to give federal regulators authority over the location of LNG terminals (as opposed to the states that will host them), fearing that lengthy approval processes by individual states would trip-up the economy. There is a lot of time, money, and political muscle being invested in an extremely finite resource. Why? Read the excellent reports on this byThe Los Angeles Times, andThe Environmental News Network. Check out Julian Darley’s book High Noon for Natural Gas for the whole story. Did you know that: -Natural Gas (NG) is the second most important energy source after oil; -In the U.S. alone, NG is used to supply 20% of all electricity and 60% of all home heating; -NG is absolutely critical to the manufacture of agricultural fertilizers; -In the U.S. the NG supply is at critically low levels, and early in 2003 we came within days of blackouts and heating shutdowns; -Matt Simmons, the world’s foremost private energy banker, is now warning that economic growth in the U.S. is under threat due to the looming NG crisis?

Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day happened on August 8—the day when we’ve exhausted the planet’s resources for the year, and are essentially borrowing from future years to maintain our existence today.Perhaps you celebrated this day with a counter-solution: a vegetarian meal, telecommuted, or turned off the air conditioning. There’s a lot more you could be […] Read More

Save Energy & Money This Winter: Seal Up Your Drafty House

Unless you’ve taken special preventative precautions, it’s likely that on cold days much of your house’s heat pours out through your (closed) windows. Most houses—especially old houses—have drafty, uninsulated windows that do little to prevent heat from dumping out into the cold night. Even if your windows aren’t drafty, the expensive heat your furnace has […] Read More

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More
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