I stand in the path of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. I will resist efforts to build any project that violates the science of climate action, the rights of Tribes and the will of the people.
I am in the process of starting a company that makes biochar. I make biochar through gasification of wood and inoculate it so that it will immediately benefit plant growth when added to soil.
In our Watershed Stewards Academy class visit to Elms Environmental Education Center, our host, +Kurt Reitz showed us a freshwater pond that was walled in halfway around with deep stands of phragmites australis(the common reed), an invasive shoreline plant so tenacious that it requires herculean efforts to eradicate it. Typically, eradication requires cutting, spraying with glyphosate, burning the stubble, and repeat treatments a few years later. The toil and trouble associated with this regimen deters most attempts at restoration, so owners and environmentalists have essentially acceded to allowing phragmites to rob our ecosystems of their natural biodiversity.
The way phragmites dries up in the fall makes it a tempting target for conversion to biochar. Controlled open burns of phragmites risk turning into conflagrations that could touch off fires in surrounding areas. I wonder, though, if it may be feasible to avoid much of the cutting and spraying and make very hot fires out of phr…
In Maryland, the Environmental Site Design (ESD) standard for water runoff is that it should mimic woods in good condition. This is difficult when impervious surfaces are being added, since the water collected and treated in stormwater management devices must then exceed what would be impeded and filtered if woodlands completelycovered the unbuilt portions of the site, i.e. the additional effectiveness required increases with the amount of impervious surface introduced. The Design Manual qualifies the standard to require that it be achieved to the Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP). This is not as big of an escape clause as it may appear, since the manual also includes a checklist that helps determine whether the design process demonstrates a sincere MEP effort.
The idea of using wooded areas as the standard for all sites is very suitable for Maryland, as a glance at Google Earth will show how very wooded our state is. Yet, rumor has it that the next update to the manual will not be so …
There is an urge many of us feel to attribute benevolence to our highest leaders. When Donald Trump says his job creation and economic performance is going to be a beautiful thing to watch, we want to believe that he is thinking of his people, like Santa working hard all year round so everyone down below will get to enjoy the surprises he has to bring.
Well, boys and girls, I hate to have to tell you that there is no such thing as Santa Claus -- but there may be a Grinch. You can put aside any notions of Trump or his administration working on your behalf. He and many of his crew don't believe in that. They are objectivists, followers of the Ayn Rand philosophy that we should all be out to maximize our own happiness under laissez faire government with an economy in which "the lazy" fare not well at all.
Objectivism deplores the idea of sacrifice, so don't count on Trump or many of his cabinet to give up ongoing business interests in order to remain objective for the c…