Saturday, December 2, 2017

Montana Senator Jon Tester on Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017

OK to use the D-word for Trump?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sustainability, Hurricane Irma, Race, and Book Club

Ah Tom Paine's Ghost, I've been neglecting you to broadcast my thoughts more directly through Facebook and twitter. At least I syndicate the later here on the sidebar.
As we are now in the late third trimester of the Trump administration I want to get back to my roots on the web, reconnect with my blogging, and re-enter with some broader dialogues on Climate-Change and how the manifestations like Hurricane Irma bring the land ethic preached by Wendell Berry, Edward Abbey, and Aldo Leopold smashing (both metaphorically and physically) into the people-centered ethic preached by Dr. Martin Luther King and the long list of philosophers who hold human rights, and social justice at the top of the reformers to-do list. This ethical crossroads is grossly apparent when regions of the United States affected most dramatically by ensuring climate chaos are those regions who simultaneously experience the legacy of racial injustice.

So why talk about sustainability in a moment of immediacy, a moment when thumbing your nose at bottled water seems blithely out of touch with the immediate needs of flood victims?  Well, a deep ecological consciousness-raising followed by a massive political movement is the only way I can see to grab hold of the wheel and turn this ship around.  So where to start? If you like podcasts I have a recommendation - Think Sustainability -  this Austrailian podcast is a non-pretentious incredibly entertaining show with very doable advice. Last year while on a cross-country road-trip my wife and I listened to a bunch of episodes. One of our favorites was this one guiding listeners on home-compost best practices.

Remembering how impactful listening to this podcast was on me is inspiring and makes want to kick off my own podcast.   For the last year, I have been organizing a Men's Book Club.  I am considering spinning off some of our conversations into a monthly podcast.  Stay tuned for the premiere of "Chlorathropolis" podcast!

Comment here in if you'd like to be a guest and get on our first-year schedule.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Donld J. Trump State Park

Con-Artist in Chief bought this 496 parcel of land in Westchester County, New York in 1998 for $2 million, then after the locals barred him from developing it as a golf course he graciously donated it to the State of New York. In doing so he estimated the property value at $100 million and wrote the whole thing off on his taxes.

A Visit to Donald J. Trump State Park from Jacob Tanenbaum on Vimeo.

Alex Jones v. John Oliver

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua...

"What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua...that's the only name I can think of for the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, this America, the one that we are now in, an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks. In this Chautauqua I would like not to cut any new channels of consciousness but simply dig deeper into old ones that have become silted in with the debris of thoughts grown stale and platitudes too often repeated. "What's new?" is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question "What is best?," a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. There are eras of human history in which the channels of thought have been too deeply cut and no change was possible, and nothing new ever happened, and "best" was a matter of dogma, but that is not the situation now. Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating its own banks, losing its central direction and purpose, flooding the lowlands, disconnecting and isolating the highlands and to no particular purpose other than the wasteful fulfillment of its own internal momentum. Some channel deepening seems called for."
                            ~Robert M. Pirsig
                                  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fighting the Good Fight

I recall my father undergoing a major change in attitude about climate change 10 years ago after he attended a screening of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth at the Chautauqua Institution. The data combined with Al Gore's persuasive argument led my Dad to give up his vision of signing natural gas leases on his 114-acre plot in Cattaraugus County and instead sign a lease with a wind-turbine development company. 4 years after my dad has passed and our family is sill benefiting from this legacy. And now, Al Gore has an update for us.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tesla taking orders for solar shingles April 2017

Since the moment Elon Musk announced TESLA would be offering solar-power generating roof shingles for houses last fall I have had a "solar shingles" Google-alert set up to notify me when news about this comes online. This morning I got an e-mail with a link to a Tech Times story claiming Elon Musk had announced on Twitter that TESLA would be taking solar roofing orders next month (April 2017). I have not been able to find these tweets.  If you have any information on this alleged announcement please let me know in the comments. Also, what are the implications of getting on the waiting list?  If the current administration is successful in gutting subsidies for home energy upgrades (including solar panel installation) will it be beneficial to get on the waiting list while Obama era subsidies are still in effect?

I spoke with a Solar City representative at Home Depot a few weeks ago and she was pretty dismissive of the solar shingle roll-out, telling me that they will only be available initially in some test markets in regions (Hawaii and southern California) with no annual snowfall because the current version of solar shingles are not designed to handle snow.  If this is the case I would rather sign up for traditional solar panels. I also thought the new TESLA plant in Buffalo, New York would be focussed on these solar shingles, but according to the Solar City rep, the main production at the Buffalo plant will actually be traditional solar panels made in collaboration between Panasonic and TESLA.

Any clarifying information would be helpful.  Please comment below.