A summer at URI: Like a Clockwork [Osage] Orange

“Nature is a language and every new fact one learns is a new word . . . I wish to learn this language, not that I may know a new grammar, but that I may read the great book which is written in that tongue.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, November 5, 1833

While many of my fellow colleagues moved away from New Haven immediately after graduation, I needed a bit of time to unwind and contemplate the last two remarkably grueling years volleying bombardment by new ideas, amazing people, creative projects to take on, and additional problems to solve, while peppered with the latest news on the rapidity and enormity of environmental and social

Last week was a watershed moment for the Massachusetts solar market.  Governor Deval Patrick joined Greenfield, MA Mayor William Martin and Paul Curran, Executive Vice President of Axio Power, in signing two contracts for the Greenfield Solar Farm – a 2 megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) project on Greenfield’s capped landfill.  Greenfield Community Television published a video of the event, which is available on their WEBSITE.

I am interning with AXIO POWER for the summer to assist with their solar projects in the Northeastern markets, with a specific focus on Massachusetts.  Prior to the announcement of the Greenfield Solar Farm, the only significant, larger-scale solar developments in Massachusetts were completed by the regulated utilities, especially National Grid.  Other commercial and residential…

A typical backyard in Patillas

At Yale, I am a joint masters student between the schools of Forestry and Public Health interested in the relationships between ecology, environmental health, and human health outcomes.  My internship, as groundwork for the thesis that I will write next year, hastaken me to Patillas, Puerto Rico.  In Patillas, the Center for Disease Control Dengue Branch has ongoing research on the mosquitoes that transmit the dengue viruses. The story of dengue, how it has emerged and how it is propagated as an urban disease, provides a powerful illustration of how many of the feats of modernization can lead to the spread of disease.

The trap we use to catch the adult mosquitoes

By Andy Barnett.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published this essay online. It is from the heart:


Note that the comments fall into two categories:

1) Vitriolic climate skeptics who sound VERY similar to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the right-wing noise machine.
2) People who think climate change is an urgent problem that requires global response.

When the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy sponsored “Global Warming’s Six Americas” they suggested that Americans fall into these categories

“Alarmed (18%),
Concerned (33%),
Cautious (19%),
Disengaged (12%),
Doubtful (11%), and
Dismissive (7%).”

I’m fascinated by the Op-Ed comments on the Star Tribune site. Seems like the “Dismissive” group was fired up as soon as they read the essay. While they…

There is little encouraging news from inside the Bella Center today. Last night some drafting groups continued but with little progress. In parallel sessions at the high level, heads of state met from 24 countries with broad regional representation and there was consensus that some sort of deal should be possible. Working off of the Danish text, technical drafters worked through the night, hoping to arrive at a deal to present to regional constituencies for this morning. Unfortunately they were unable to come to any agreement and stopped work at paragraph 3 of 13.

Rumors are that another high-level group based on the so-called “Copenhagen Commitment Circle” convened by Australia and the UK have also come up with a text. The problem is that the process for producing this…

By Andrew K. Barnett

Dear friends,
After many sleepness nights at Copenhagen’s climate talks, I write to you with an urgent sense of hope. Not the ‘bury your head in the sand’ kind of hope. I’m talking about the ‘roll up your sleeves, put on a rally cap, batting in the bottom of the ninth’ kind of hope. Ultimately we must acknowledge that important work happens before, during, and after these talks. And it is this forward work that Minnesota can engage. If you’re following the news and wondering what you can do, here are some ideas.

First, global warming is undeniable, unforgiving, and urgent- and you can have this conversation. Distinct and multiple data sets indicate that human emissions are trapping heat in the atmosphere at unprecedented…