Business As Usual

I was aghast to see this article in the news today: Global warming opens Arctic seabed to the search for oil and gas. The author is actually trying to say that this is a good thing. Here is the opening paragraph:
The Arctic is rich in natural resources, including hydrocarbons, and rapid thawing due to global warming could make exploiting those mineral resources feasible relatively soon.

The headline is analogous to 'Chain Smoker Hospitalized, Finds More Time For Smoking.' I'm surprised by how often I see headlines that would fit well in The Onion.



The last line negates itself.


Blog Action Day

Today is an arbitrary day set to blog about the environment.

Here are some steps I try to demonstrate are entirely possible for anyone to take if they care about lessening their impact on the environment:
  1. Go car free. I have harboured an active resentment of all motorized vehicles, but this is optional. I would say walk when you can, failing that ride a bike, and ride transit or take a bus / train between cities only if necessary.
  2. Be a vegetarian. This has a similar impact as point one. There is maybe a bit less of a health benefit, but I think on average vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters.
  3. Live in an apartment instead of a house.
  4. Don't use plastic bags. I generally carry a canvas bag or a knapsack.
  5. Proselytize. This is a big one. No matter how much you do, you can only ever reduce your own impact by 100% (which is not even possible, it is just your upper bound. I think that the only way to accomplish this would be to kill yourself in such a way that your corpse falls into a composter). However reaching out to others can have a much more profound impact.
  6. Grow a garden. I converted my parking space into a garden. It pushes cars out and makes some green space an veggies in an otherwise grey and dingy alleyway.
I have some areas for improvement:
  1. I live in a drafty apartment that was built in the 60s. I could easily live in a greener home.
  2. Cheese has the same amount of CO2 emissions in it's production as beef. I have a hard time eating less cheese.
  3. I really should eat more local and organic food. I try to do this, but I have issues with veggies going bad, and money related issues (it costs more).
  4. I could probably become a vegan.
  5. Be more politically active. I volunteered for the Olivia Chow campaign a bit, but I have since become less enthusiastic about the NDP's environmental policy. This is mostly due to the Provincial party's logging and auto industry support (which they have to do because they are backed by the unions).
This was a bit of a screed I suppose.


Bamboo Bike - how To

Here is how I built my bamboo bike:
  1. find an old frame with large diameter tubes.
  2. Cut out the center section of the top and down tube.
  3. Take these cut out portions to your local bamboo retailer. I found a lot of places in Chinatown that sold lengths of bamboo. Find two poles of bamboo that fit snugly in the tubes you cut out.
  4. Cut the bamboo to fit into your top tube and down tube. Aim between the joints in the bamboo, and leave as much room as possible. The farther into your tubes the bamboo goes, the stronger the frame will be when you are done. Sand it down to fit if in necessary.
  5. I used steel reinforced epoxy inside the areas where the bamboo goes inside of the frame. I am not sure if this is necessary, but it can' hurt.
  6. Drill and bolt the points where the bamboo enters the frame.
I have been told that I drilled the holes in the frame a bit too close together and that it may have weakened the design. I am not too worried, as I can't imagine using this bike for anything other than critical mass and other various street party type events.

For the stability of the frame (assuming every bike I've ever ridden is a 10) I would call this a 7. Before I put the bolts in I was using just epoxy, at which point I would say it was a 2.

Thanks to Bike Pirates for help finishing this project.