Christmas Economics and our National Character – EcoFacts V.9 n.50

christmas economics

In one sense, the Christmas season gives us another definition of "purchasing power", as it is, after all, a season of giving and sharing, a time when we think more of others. If we get a charge buying things and spending money, the pleasure is even greater doing this for family, friends, and charity. And the big boost to our market economy can't be ignored, the workings of which are viewed as … [Read more...]

Abundance vs. Gluttony – Ecofacts V.9 n.49

abundance vs. gluttony

It's holiday time. Abundant food, drink, things purchased, and then the requisite gluttony and abundance of waste that follows. Americans have the highest calorie intake in the world, not surprising, at 3770 per day, but it is only 110 more per day than bread-pasta-gelato loving Italians. This number is a bit misleading, though, because it includes waste, as they can only count what is produced, … [Read more...]

Abundance vs. Scarcity – Ecofacts V.9 n.48

abundance vs. scarcity

The nature of abundance vs. scarcity is fascinating to me, and this time of year brings it to the fore, when giving and receiving are in focus. Decisions to buy things or services as gifts, and for whom, the temptations to buy for myself, when I need nothing.  Materially, I have a bit of scarcity mentality, realizing this when I feel I must be sure to have more than just enough of something, which … [Read more...]

Is Fast Fashion Waning? Ecofacts V.9 n.47

fast fashion

Is the fast fashion trend waning?  We can hope so. People in the U.S. spend more on clothes than ever before, an average of around $900 per person and 64 garments bought in a year (average price $14 each). They are sometimes poorly made and with fabrics that have toxic levels of phthalates another chemicals, but that is a whole other issue.  Fast fashion has been big in the last decade or more - … [Read more...]

Abundance vs. Waste – Ecofacts V.9 n.46

abundance vs. waste

As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, I hope to explore our notions of abundance and waste. Just a little bit! The word waste plays a huge role in recent human civilization. It is meaning-full -  as a noun - trash or garbage,  or a failed opportunity; and as a verb, to squander or destroy.  Archaeologists and anthropologists of the future will find much to say about human … [Read more...]

Good Wood Governing & Logging – Ecofacts V.9 n.45

forestloss

So now that Republicans have much more control around the country than they have had for a long while, it will be interesting to watch both the constructive and dismantling forces at work, since generally this party supports efforts to build business and wealth, and cutting regulations that might infringe upon those efforts. Not there will be massive change. People tend to resist that. Speaking … [Read more...]

Down to Earth & Pavement – Ecofacts V.9 n.44

Pavement

This morning I am wishing for rain here in Southern Cal. and thinking about pavement.... I suddenly realized, this is not an oxymoron!  The connection is ground. I heard the depressing news the other day, that China has poured more concrete in the last 6 years than we in the U.S. have in 300. That is one hell of a lot of concrete, whose emissions are as much as 10% of global CO2. -  there is the … [Read more...]

How to Fix the Food System – EcoFacts v. 9 n. 43

How to Fix the Food System

All of us living creatures are sustained by food, water and air. And we determine the quality of these, little us (really big 7 billion strong us) , in one way or another. We seem so small and insignificant, but as an engaged citizenry - no, we are not. Unengaged, we give the power to others to decide things for us. The food writer, Mark Bittman, wrote recently: "To a large extent, you can fix … [Read more...]

Fracking Away Our Future? – Ecofacts v.9 n.42

bp-oil-spill-gulf-of-mexico-governor-jindal-louisiana-c1ef43ff0f158c8f_large

Steadily increasing attention on fracking, and regulation thereof, can ONLY be a good thing. This "less conventional" method and associated ones for extracting oil and natural gas was employed for many years with little notice. In the last 15 years, the amount of gas obtained here in the U.S. from fracking has gone from 1% to 25%, much higher by some estimates. Of oil, the increase has been … [Read more...]

LED Lighting the Way to a Better World – EcoFacts v.9 n.41

LED lighting from Livingreen

Nobel prizes were awarded this week to the inventors of blue LED lighting, including Shuji Nakamura, a professor here at UCSB. You may ask what the significance is. Red and green LEDs were invented in the 60s. It took until the 90s for these fellows to create higher energy blue light from a light emitting diode, which, when combined with red and green form white, enabling multi colored and white … [Read more...]