October, 2006 Archive

Betrayed by NPR

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

To All Things Considered
Your story on the controversy about the ballot intiative on the shopping center in San Luis Obispo California (All Things Considered October 27) was sadly underresearched. The angle on the story came straight out of a feature in the L.A. Times a few weeks ago that emphasized butterfly viewing—one of the trivial trinkets promised by the developer’s public relations firm. It ignored the serious negative consequences of the proposed development that have been clearly delineated in the ballot arguments, the impartial analysis and public opposition by the Council of Local Governments, the Arroyo Grande City Council, and dozens of public officials. Shame on your reporter for not even reading the opposition website (http://nomeasurej.org) that would have made the important issues of traffic impacts and infrastructure financing obvious, and instead producing a puff piece for the developer.

LA Community Colleges to produce solar energy

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

LA Community Colleges go solar. Los Angeles community college officials have announced a plan to take campuses “off the grid” by having each school generate its own electricity.

Being and Nothingness

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Monday night, on a whim I decided to make a campfire in the backyard to burn pieces of a broken lawn chair and barbecue chicken and vegetables. We’d picked up our grandson at preschool as usual and kept him till his dad came by to take him home after a long day at work installing fire sprinklers. I invited him to stay for dinner.

We chattered while cooking the meal on hand grills in the warm light of one of the last evenings of daylight-saving time. After hearing about how he almost came to blows with a fellow worker who had punctured his 64 oz bottle of Mountain Dew, Jan asked how his aunt was doing now that she’d moved down south.

“Not too well,” he said. “She’s not getting along with her relatives.”
“She wasn’t happy here either,” said Jan.
“Life’s what you make of it,” replied my ex-son-in law.

Spoken by him, that tired old proverb took on depth. Our fractured and happily reconstituted family was testimony. It struck me that this was a more direct way of saying what seemed terminally hip during my adolescent days in Greenwich Village: “existence precedes essence.”

Bill McKibben

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

How Close to Catastrophe?  An upcoming piece in the New York Review by Bill McKibben. Cutting edge on Global Warming.