Recession Slows Wind

I felt following up on my last post was important when I read, “Recession Slows Wind,” in USA Today last week. Despite $950,000,000 in cash from stimulus money being pumped in to help it seems many power-producing projects are being put on hold because of the slowing economy. It is doubtful wind power growth will even reach 2008 levels according to industry data and before the crash hit 2009 was supposed to be a growth year for alternative wind energy. This fact begs the question, is wind power the engine that drives sustainable alternative energy or is the economy the engine that drives wind power?

Wind farms are a great form of alterative energy that needs to continue to grow and be explored since only 1.25% of all U.S. electricity generation comes from wind power but how will we ever get to 5% unless we have the economic engine running and healthy? Mega watts from wind need mega bucks and a flourishing market with confident lenders and healthy businesses generate those dollars needed. The top five states for wind power include Texas, Iowa, California, Minnesota, and Oregon and in states like California where the economy and deficits are in worse shape than in many other states it appears even with new legislation the thing that can really help renewable energy will be a renewed economy.

Sustainable Sustainability

Recently I read an article with the headline, “Loss of grants squelches conservation efforts.” The article described how the Governor of North Carolina was taking $100,000,000 from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund to help solve the state budget shortfall. This type of thing is happening all across America and highlights a few key realities about sustainability; the economy must be flourishing for environmental initiatives to flourish and to be truly sustainable our efforts should not have to be capital intensive.

No matter how much people want the world to be more sustainable, we won’t do it at the expense of feeding our families, taking care of our children and making sure we have a healthy place to live. People and businesses become very philanthropic when there is extra money available and everyone is cared for but when companies, institutions and governments are slashing jobs, cutting benefits and eliminating opportunities the extra money for the environmental movement often goes straight to the landfill. This means that we must do two key things to make the sustainability movement more sustainable.

First, we must not hurt business and individuals with our green goals. If taxes on people and businesses for environmental products and initiatives become too heavy it will choke the engine of prosperity and growth and it will eventually hurt the cause. Sustainable initiatives should help companies reduce cost, reuse materials and improve profits, not take them away. Offering tax credits and exemptions for individuals and companies that take steps to help our environment in sustainable ways will become an engine for growth and green. This would be a positive idea and not a punitive one.

Second, we should find ways to teach corporations and individuals to implement sustainable initiatives in their homes and companies that are not capital intensive. Organizations like USGBC should look at significant ways to reduce costs to become LEED certified so companies can do the right thing without paying huge fees. Many large corporations are not becoming LEED certified because of the costs, yet they are trying to do the same things that those who spend the money for certifications. This should not be looked down upon but rather we should find more ways to help everyone do the right thing at a lower cost and even for free for certain types of companies. This would help more companies implement environmentally sustainable practices sooner rather than later.

The bottom line is the bottom line. Some might call it a focus on the 3 P’s; People, profit and planet. Some call it sustainable sustainability. Either way, it is evident that the money green helps the environmental green flourish.


Is Blogging Sustainable?

I have been out of touch on blogging for a while for a few reasons; first I think my computer caught the Swine Flu. And no, I won’t call it H1N1 or (Hi-knee) as my friends call it. My computer caught a pig virus and had to have its colon cleansed or whatever it is my geeks did to it to make it run again. Second, I was doing some green research and in the process I came up with the third and main reason I did not blog for a while. Blogging might be unsustainable. I don’t mean that a human being can’t post blogs daily and sustain that I mean quality blogging is unsustainable. It might even cause “babble waste” to increase across the globe and what earth loving environmentalist really wants that to happen.

Think about it for a minute. Isn’t blogging just another word for babbling? Have you ever listened to a 3 year old talk when they really just want to hear themselves talk and then words come of their mouths out but they don’t really mean that much? I have. They just keep spewing babble to hear themselves pronounce words but they repeat themselves over and over and then the words become like language just flowing over you. I think that is what is happening in the blogging, or babbling world. People just like to hear themselves speak (or in this case, watch themselves write). Ask yourself; do we really need to hear from anyone on a daily basis about anything? I know reduce, reuse and recycle is a great way to think when it comes to green products but when bloggists and babbler's do it in blogs it just wastes our time. So maybe bloggers might want to focus on the "reduce" part of the mantra.

Henry David Thoreau said it best when he said, “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” So I’m thinking that reading babble every day is just a waste of time and as a sustainability blogger I think we should cut out ALL waste. As I was doing some LEED and other in-depth study on environmental issues I started wondering if I could blog, or babble, every day about sustainability in floorcovering and have something of real value to say. Then I wondered if any person or expert could and the answer became very clear to me. No. Nobody can provide meaningful and quality babble daily and if you fall into the trap of just reading babble daily you will clutter your life with babble and waste your valuable life away.

So my conclusion is this; it is not sustainable for any individual to provide daily insight on anything of real value. The only way to babble daily is if you just babble and who needs that in their lives. Stop the waste! Cut the babble! Be more sustainable as a blogger. I have decided that I will put more valuable content on my blog for access and as a resource when it is needed. I will try to not babble just to hear myself babble and will commit to thinking before just writing and will endeavor to provide more valuable and helpful information on my blog. And I commit that if I am just babbling I’ll let you know.