Musings



House on Fire

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in All Posts | 0 comments

House on Fire

“Watch out you might get what you’re after Cool babies strange but not a stranger I’m an ordinary guy Burning down the house Hold tight wait till the party’s over Hold tight We’re in for nasty weather There has got to be a way Burning down the house” Thus read the first two stanzas of the hit rock song, “Burning Down the House.”   Despite the driving, clanging beat that obscure the lyrics, I’ve long been fascinated and slightly troubled by these words. A sense of significance has smoldered in the back of my mind for a...

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Some Thoughts at the Barstool of Sustainability

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in All Posts | 0 comments

Some Thoughts at the Barstool of Sustainability

Some Thoughts at the Barstool of Sustainability; The Growth of a Good Idea In October of 2013, I was privileged to pull up a barstool at New Belgium Brewery, in Fort Collins, CO, to contemplate sustainability.   The discussion and brewery tour were conducted for Naropa University graduate students (and me, their professor) by New Belgium’s Sustainability Specialist, Katie Wallace.   Our class was inspired by the visit and often referred back to what we had learned and experienced.  It’s been awhile since that fieldtrip, but New Belgium...

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In Praise of Human Energy

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in All Posts | 0 comments

In Praise of Human Energy

In Praise of Human Energy! The evolution of American society in coming decades will almost certainly include an expanded role of human labor – greater movement, muscular exertion, physical activity – in jobs and daily work.   This is a good thing, for a measured and healthy engagement of our human energy will improve our lives and prevent undue hardship.   Today, in most countries of the world, we have an unparalleled and privileged window of opportunity to make transitions from one period of comfort and health to another, without great human...

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Life, Education and a Garden

Posted by on Oct 12, 2013 in All Posts | 0 comments

Life, Education and a Garden

The following is adapted from “A Sweet and Sublime Enigma” by Martin Ogle, 2006. Xlibris.   It is offered here to encourage discussion on the philosophy underlying educational gardening.  The essay was originally written as an article in the Potomac Overlook Regional Park newsletter in 1995, as schoolyard gardening was becoming popular in Arlington. *** “Why, mommy . . . why?” asked the little boy as he tugged on his mother’s sleeve. He seemed to have a hundred questions as they meandered through the garden that day, but...

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Loosening Up Our Minds; Musings on a Stealth Toilet

Posted by on Sep 1, 2013 in All Posts | 0 comments

Loosening Up Our Minds; Musings on a Stealth Toilet

“I’ve got 250, do I hear 275? Do I hear 275? Hey, bida, bida, bida . . .” The auctioneer’s voice rat-a-tatted through the ballroom. What the crap was I doing? My arm rose involuntarily, tugged by an unseen puppeteer. “Yes sir, I’ve got 275, I’ve got 275 from number 118, do I hear 300?” Unbelievable! I had just bid $275 on a toilet. A toilet! People at my table were cheering me on! (Or was that laughter? ) By now, I was flush – yes, flush – with excitement at the prospects of owning this “stealth toilet,” this crème de la crème of commodes,...

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The Inherent Value of Now

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in All Posts | 0 comments

The Inherent Value of Now

Consider the joke about a city-slicker who was driving down a rural road on his way to a meeting when he happened by a certain farm. As he drove by the house in the early afternoon, he saw the farmer sitting on the porch smoking a pipe. The city-slicker was amazed and a little indignant that the farmer should be lazing there with so many hours left in the day. He drove up near the porch and asked “The day is so young, Mr. farmer; don’t you have any work that needs to be done?” The farmer drawled, “Well, I got my planting and hoeing done for...

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On the Evolution of “Community Ecology Centers”

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in All Posts | 2 comments

On the Evolution of “Community Ecology Centers”

Come take a tour with me. See that family enthralled with a snapping turtle? The ancient reptile fans its webbed feet and meets the kids nose to nose at the aquarium glass. Check out this exhibit on local real estate and community events. While we’re standing there, a delighted child whooshes down a slide past a mural of a local stream. Over on the bookshelf, titles on local human and natural history are interspersed with novels, classics, games and puzzles. Take notice of the people coming and going – business executives, teenagers, families from across the socio-economic spectrum, and groups from all over the city are constantly in and out …[Read More]

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A Case for Electric Bikes

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in All Posts | 1 comment

A Case for Electric Bikes

In 2012, 92% of all electric bicycle sales in the world were in China – about 20 million e-bikes, with 120 million already on the road. About one million sales took place in Europe during the same year. In the United States, sales of electric bikes were about 89,000 in 2012 and about one million e-bikes are now estimated to be on the road in this country.

As the owner of two of those million e-bikes, I now dismount from my bike seat and climb upon a soapbox to make a case for the expansion of e-bike ridership in the U.S….[Read More]

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Rudder on the Left; Perspectives on Slowing Down as we Turn

Posted by on May 9, 2013 in All Posts | 0 comments

Rudder on the Left; Perspectives on Slowing Down as we Turn

Canoeing has long been a favorite pastime for me. Until 2012, when I retired from my job as Chief Naturalist for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, I led public canoe trips into the tidal marshes near Washington, D.C. As part of these trips, I gave paddling lessons and tips to participants. It occurred to me one day, after a preventable spill, how negotiating a stream on a canoe has its lessons for everyday life . . . [Read More]

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Sustainability and Habitability on a Living Planet

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013 in All Posts | 0 comments

Sustainability and Habitability on a Living Planet

Like many other newspapers, the pages of the Boulder Camera have recently been populated with articles about sustainability. These have delved into water, energy, and biodiversity and discussed technology, efficiency, and “externalities.” No matter the topic or lingo, however, these exposes are, ultimately, explorations into the relationships between people and planet. What are energy and material flows on Earth and how do human beings co-opt, affect and influence them? How do these processes determine the habitability of our planet for some or all of us? [Read More]

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