Energy Burdens

By: John A. Lanier

While my family and I light a fire to create a mood, many in our community are struggling to afford to keep their whole houses warm. What is to be done?

The holiday season is fully upon us, and goodness was I ready for it this year. The cool air, the warm drinks, the twinkling lights, the out-of-office email responses...I’m here for all of it. Okay, maybe not all of it. I’ll still take a hard pass on the excessive consumerism that accompanies the last six weeks of the year. I’ve already recycled that blog a few times though, so I’ll actually write something new this year.

In my family, a big part of our holiday cheer comes from the traditional ambiance associated with Christmas. We put up a wreath, a tree, lights, and stockings. We light candles that smell of spice, fir, and apples. We play music of the season. We make hot chocolate and bake cookies. It’s a five senses affair in our house, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

This year, that includes lighting a fire in our fireplace. We’ve tended not to for the past five years, only because it made us nervous with young children underfoot. We now trust our youngest not to get too close though, and it’s been nice to add the warmth of the fire to our holiday season. Heck, our kids have even gotten good at lighting the fire themselves! Admittedly, all it takes is a flip of a light switch to get our gas fireplace going.

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What Elvis Said

By: John A. Lanier

Thank you even more for caring - about the natural world, about environmental justice, about clean energy and recycling and composting and our rivers and biodiversity loss and being a conscious consumer and whatever other things I write about that resonate with you.

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Farming Squared

By: John A. Lanier

More and more, owners of farmland are going to be presented with the choice of continuing to farm or selling to solar developers. We absolutely need more installed solar on the grid, but we also need productive farms! So ideally, we would be able to do both simultaneously.

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On the Pitch

By: John A. Lanier

From what I can tell, GridBlock is designed to be the “Grand Central Station” for how solar, battery, EV, and microgrid technologies intersect. And it’s what could make it easier for all of those solutions to do their jobs to the maximum of their potential.

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No Lack of Intelligence

By: John A. Lanier

I’m not sharing this report out of a desire to scare anyone. Rather, I share it because it shows just how strong the consensus is that we need climate action.

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Cause and Effect

By: John A. Lanier

I think Rube Goldberg machines reveal something about the human psyche. Our species tends to think linearly - seeing how A can cause B which can cause C and so on. Moreover, we like control, and we convince ourselves that we HAVE control of a full series of events.

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Filling a Gap

By: John A. Lanier

Dr. Maathai was a Kenyan scientist, environmentalist, and activist who in 1977 founded the Green Belt Movement, a grassroots organization that organizes women to plant trees and combat deforestation. According to their website, they have planted more than 51 million trees in Kenya, and they have become more than just a conservation organization.

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David Brower

By: John A. Lanier

“We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.”

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Stewards of the Land

By: John A. Lanier

When land is stewarded by Indigenous People, the land tends to be healthier in terms of habitat preservation, biodiversity, soil health, and water quality.

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Proof of the Pudding

By: John A. Lanier

In the face of so many social and environmental challenges, our species is beginning to face a reckoning on planet Earth. We need businesses to lean in and solve those challenges, rather than hide behind the excuse of returning economic gain to shareholders.

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