Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2011

Water: Too Much, Too Little

May 31, 2011 – Hope everybody enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend. It was and is majorly hot and sticky here in southwest Ohio, so I spent a lot of time indoors reading over the weekend. Gardening has become an evening pastime, accompanied by a lot of perspiring and panting.
My reading included the latest issue of Permaculture Activist. I always look forward to receiving PA, because it’s absolutely packed with highly relevant information. They outdid themselves this time, however: Designing for Disaster was this issue’s theme. If food storage is something you’re still just considering, take my advice and purchase this issue ( There’s a lot you need to know about what, where, and how, and Matthew Stein’s article will give your confidence a huge boost. I intend to copy it, and post the copy on the basement closet door, close by my stocks. (Perhaps Stein’s most interesting suggestion? Don’t forget the mouse traps and rat poison!)
Peter Bane makes a suggestion i…

One from Column A, One from Column B

May 23, 2011 – The world not having ended on Saturday, let’s turn our attention to more important matters. Funny, isn’t it: Congress requested the climate reports known as America’s Climate Choices (, but something tells me they will work very hard at ignoring the report’s conclusions. Why? Because incorporating the report’s recommendations into laws, policies, and regulations would mean acknowledging we now live in a radically changed world. Doing that just doesn’t sound like the Congress we all know and love.
Perhaps more to the point, expecting Congress to take this very serious document seriously presupposes that members of Congress remember how to compromise. They do not, besides which, global warming ranks as one of the most rancorous subjects Congress periodically attempts to take up. With weather on the warpath this year, climate change denier ranks may be thinning. That, sadly, does not equate to a willingness to do som…

No Need to Water

May 16, 2011 – The weather in Loveland continues astonishingly cool and rainy. Generally I’d have to say my vegetable garden is loving it. My poor tomato seedlings are finally looking like they may yet be salvageable – between the cat eating the foliage, which led to a move to the laundry room, where they didn’t get enough light, which led to a move outdoors, where they’ve been pounded by rain, it’s been touch and go. The six survivors loved the fertilizer I gave them, so they’re leafing out. In the meantime I’ve stuck some store-bought’s in the ground. The homegrown’s will have to be put in containers, assuming they make it that far.
The clematis clearly has been longing for abundant rain, lo these many years, because it’s looking stunning these days – better than it ever has before. The weigela bushes are in full bloom, as are the iris. I’ve planted lots of colorful annuals to fill in bare spots, and sprayed the various hosta with pepper spray – in some cases rather belatedly – to ke…

Changing Climate, Changing World

May 9, 2011 – A very important report was issued by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) today. The 2200 member scientists of the U.N.-sponsored organization have found renewable energy sources to hold the key to the future. (We might actually have one if we use them!) The report targets 450 ppm of greenhouse gases as the upper limit, beyond which life as we know it would not be sustainable. This level of GHG concentration exceeds the more ideal level of 350 ppm considerably, perhaps a tacit admission on the part of the report’s authors that they no longer think the lower concentration is achievable.
The IPCC believes that 80% of the world’s energy needs can be met by renewable energy sources, and that the financial investment required would amount to only 1% of GDP, or approximately five trillion dollars over the next decade. The very plain implication of such numbers is that failure to make the small investment needed would be nothing short of criminal. The lack of fo…

The Rich Get Richer

May 4, 2011 – It used to be, if someone called you “brazen,” it was an insult. It meant you went ahead and did bad things without any regard to what others thought of you. Because it described what, at the time, was uncommon behavior, it was held up to children for illustrative purposes, the gist of which was “don’t ever let me catch you doing” whatever was being described as brazen. Lots of things have changed since those innocent days: it’s become more acceptable to “act out;” to share parts of our lives with relative strangers that used to remain strictly private; to bend the rules, then bend them a little more. When I lived in the South, I heard it said you ”shouldn’t never do nothin’ you wouldn’t want yer mommy ner yer daddy to know about.” It was a rule that made a lot of sense.
I guess by now we all know that mommies and daddies have become a lot more permissive. At least the mommies and daddies of oil industry executives have. Otherwise, those executives wouldn’t have had the c…