Peder with a D

[plays well with others]

Archive for January, 2009

We have to find more ways to make money SAVING the trees …

Posted by Peder on 7 January 2009

Dave was known as a bit of a tree-hugger. Nearly to the point of ridicule would he talk about his love of trees. But no one really made fun of Dave because he was too nice a guy. A teddy bear with his teenaged beard, he didn’t have a mean bone in his body.  Some people would say he didn’t have a backbone either, because he so often gave in to others’ points of view. Not being particularly loud or assertive, he was plagued by the reality that many high school opinions are crafted by whomever is talking the loudest. Or the most derisively.

But ultimately that was merely on the surface, because deep down he was committed to one truth:  We cannot let trees be cut down.

See there we go again,” he pined in 1997, “another corporation trying to make money cutting down all those trees. The spotted owl is gonna be extinct!”

Dave, it’s gonna always be that way. Money rules the world. Nothing’s gonna change until we find a way to make more money by not cutting down the trees.”

I still think about that conversation. I may have gotten some of the details wrong, but the gist is there. Our personalities really haven’t changed much since then either. Dave works in conservation biology and I have an MBA. If there’s prophecy in that conversation, Dave has realized his. And the more I think about it, it’s time for me to start finding money in the not cutting down of trees.

Posted in Environmentalism | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Too Cold to Snow

Posted by Peder on 5 January 2009

Growing up in the upper Midwest, there was a little piece of household wisdom that seemed to always ring true.  When the temps were down in the single digits or colder (Fahrenheit scale, here) it would never snow.  It was too cold to snow. This was pretty much the worst that winter had to offer because the snow was often replaced by wind, and Cold + Wind = Stay Indoors. Stupid Alberta clippers.

But thanks to this presentation of snowflakes (via TYWKIWDBI) I now know it is not quite that simple.  Different kinds of snow are produced by different weather conditions, as depicted by the final slide:

Kind of interesting how they cycle between plate-like and tube-shaped flakes as you go down the temperature scale. If I’m reading this correctly the curved line titled “Water saturation” represents the amount of water molecules in each flake. That is, the big dendrites and sectored plates made around 0-10F contain the most water molecules per flake. And if there’s not enough water vapor in the atmosphere, smaller plates would be made at those temps. When you consider that colder air doesn’t hold as much water vapor as (comparatively) warmer air, it makes sense why so little snow is produced below 15F.  But if we had lots of moisture and cooled it to that level, we’d make the biggest snowflakes possible — as the scientists that made this graph did. That’s how I’m reading this, anyway. I found some more information on the topic here and here.

Generally when snow falls around here and the weather is over 20F, well, that’s the best.  Big flakes, lots of them, and you can stand being outside to enjoy them.  If the weather is down in the teens you get whispy, trace amounts of snow.  The snow looks smaller because it is smaller; the needles, columns and prisms are a lot smaller than the plates and dendrites formed at warmer temps.  Much colder than that and the air doesn’t have the carrying capacity for any real precipitation.  Hence, too cold to snow.  At least in practice, if not in principle.

Posted in Around Minnesota, Stuff That Gave Me Pause | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

on seeing a cold snowy winter again

Posted by Peder on 4 January 2009

An old friend is here,
the snow and ice cover all.
I am home, for now.

Hello winter, my old friend

Hello winter, my old friend

SNOW in June! originally posted by Mazda6 (Tor)

Posted in Haikus | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

the beach is life

Posted by Peder on 3 January 2009

The beach is life, if
you stand too long in one place
waves will bury you.

Beach Feet 1, originally uploaded by Room With A View.

Updated from the original photo, which was removed.

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ShoreBank and Van Jones

Posted by Peder on 1 January 2009

A little while ago I wrote about national spending priorities and the need for investment in “green collar” jobs and infrastructure designed around energy efficiencies.  That post garnered me some attention in the blogosphere and I was contacted by a representative from the ShoreBank Corporation.

greencollareconomyIt’s good that more and more people are talking about these ideas (like me), and more and more are taking action on them (ShoreBank).  And this bank has been at it a long time.  ShoreBank is a community development bank out of Chicago with branches and subsidiaries around the country.  It invests in activities designed to spur economic development in low-income areas, and serve communities oft inadequately served by traditional banks.  You may have heard of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh whose founder, Muhammad Yunus, was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for the bank’s activities.  Same idea.

The representative that contacted me and I shared a few emails discussing their efforts and their partnership with Van Jones.  The bank has recently committed to donating to Jones’ foundation, Green For All, for every new online high-yield savings account that is opened.  I don’t know if you’ve looked into online banking and high-yield savings accounts, but I’ve found their interest rates are often better than what brick and mortar banks offer.  I also shared my alma mater’s program in environmental policy, many of whose graduates are doing similar good works.  I was also excited to sign up for my first electronic press kit through the bank and receive a complimentary copy of Van Jones’ book, The Green Collar Economy, which I am very much looking forward to read!  (Goodreads listing)

I’m very pleased that this is my first blog post of the new year.  It’s the types of business opportunities that these organizations support that we need to look toward as we rebuild our economies and industries in 2009. According to their website, “ShoreBank Corp. is America’s first community development and environmental bank holding company.  Their tagline is, “Let’s Change the World.”  Sounds good to me.

Here’s Van Jones again:

Posted in Environmentalism, Stuff That Gave Me Pause | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »