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Living Off the Grid vs. in Town

Green Acres

Carbon Footprint. Peak Oil. Energy Independence. All of these are different ways to talk about how fossil fuels are a finite resource and supplies are running out, quickly*. Given that crude oil, dirty coal and natural (methane) gas reserves are at, or near, peak production how will you prepare for short supplies and high prices? In other words - Do you move off the grid or stick it out in town? Doug Fine has staked his claim on the Funky Butte Ranch in the backwoods of southwestern New Mexico while I'm here in suburban Santa Fe, NM.

High Speed Rail from Texas to Colorado

Santa Fe R.R. Freight Train

Could New Mexico be on the path of a new High-Speed Rail Corridor running from Texas to Colorado? Imagine being able to take a bullet train from El Paso, TX north to Denver, CO with stops in between at Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Colorado Springs. You could catch a dedicated, high-speed passenger train instead of spending hours driving by car or trying to book a flight that doesn't connect through Phoenix, Dallas or even further away.

On not turning on the oven

Oh I felt so clever last night. I had radishes and pearly barley to use and, strangely enough, I found a recipe that used both. Thumbs up! But it involved turning on the oven to roasted some very pretty cubes and slices of vegetables. Thumbs down! It was hot yesterday evening and the house had not cooled off yet. But when I get an idea in my head...

Bike to Work Week 2009 - No More Excuses

Bike to Work Week Santa Fe 2009

Welcome to Bike to Work Week 2009! This is your annual reminder that bicycling is a great way to get in shape, save money on gas, explore your neighborhood and reduce your carbon footprint. To top it all off, riding a bike is fun too! Below is a schedule of Santa Fe Bike to Work Week free events to check out. Enjoy the warm spring weather and pedal on down to the Railyard Friday morning for a festive Bike to Work Day fun and giveaways. You know you want to ride your bike, so the question is what is stopping you?*

Bike to Work Week - May 11-16, 2009

Good Book, Bad Cover

Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air, book cover

Don't judge a book by it's cover, especially when the cover is this bad. Fortunately the book 'Sustainable Energy - without the hot air' by David JC MacKay is a much better book than its wrapping suggests. Professor McKay makes a case for, of all things, a fact and number-based energy policy. The idea that rational decision-making should drive energy policy shouldn't be a radical idea, but strangely enough it is.

Creative Frugality and Intelligent Efficiency

Pinched Penny

America has been known for years as a 'Land of Plenty'. Yet, even the Land of Plenty is not immune from economic recession. But, there may be a silver lining to this darkly clouded economy. The very American ideals of frugality and efficiency have reappeared after years of extravagant waste. I've heard that everything old is new again, including our grandparent's values of thrift and conservation. But just maybe there are some NEW frugal and efficient ideas we can try out too.

Whither Comes the Energy to Run the World?

Global New Energy Summit

What: Global New Energy Summit
When: March 22 - 24, 2009
Where: Buffalo Thunder Resort, Pojoaque, NM

Heating Bill Before and After Attic Insulation

Natural Gas Flares

In December 2008 we insulated our home's attic to about R-50 with blown-in cellulose insulation. There was an immediate and noticeable increase in comfort and a reduction in how often the furnace ran. While I appreciate the qualitative improvement, I decided to run the numbers and find the actual quantitative difference in our natural gas heating bill.

You Say You Want a Revolution

Revolution 45rpm label

Are you ready for a transition away from fossil fuels? Are you or your town ready to live sustainably? What do local resilience, powerdown, and permaculture mean? There is a revolution afoot and it is called the Transition Town movement. The Transition Town movement is helping villages, towns, and cities like Santa Fe prepare themselves for a future without fossil fuels.

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