February 23rd, 2017: What Sounds Like Nothing Is Really Something!

Net Zero. Sounds like … well, nothing. Nada, zip, zilch … you know, ZERO. But in the energy world, Net Zero has a very specific meaning and is becoming the new target for home-owners, institutional buildings and projects, and even entire communities. What exactly is Net Zero? When a building/project/community reduces it energy needs as […]

January 12th 2017: Hurry Up and Wait

After two and a half years (a half year of preparation and two years of competing), the semi-final round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize is over. Your South Burlington Energy Committee is busy preparing the final report of our community’s efforts, and sometime this Spring we will know if we have been chosen to […]

December 22, 2016: The Times They Are A’changing

Finally! Almost 50 years after my college roommates and I would put a stack of Bob Dylan records on the phonograph and listen to them for hours as we pulled all-nighters to study for an exam or finish typing out a term paper, Mr. Zimmerman (yes, that is his name from birth) gets his Nobel […]

December 1, 2016: Frenzy, Part One

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving holiday and had a chance to be festive and thankful with family, friends, and neighbors. For those not fortunate enough to be festive and have less to be thankful for, I hope this time of year is not too difficult to navigate and that life will get […]

November 10, 2016: Long Lost Limericks

The literary world was rocked and the energy/environmental community shocked by the Dead Poet Society Limerick Division’s recent release of a trove of energy related limericks by some of America’s most famous and beloved poets. Below are four examples from this new find, along with annotation by world renowned energy poetry expert Fred Kosnitsky, author […]

October 27, 2016: What We’re Fighting For Now Is Each Other: Part Two

Last week I started a review of Wen Stephenson’s book of the title above and promised tie-ins with Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. The author views climate change as more than an environmental issue: it is an existential crisis (in the sense that our very existence is at stake) that demands a […]

October 20, 2016: What We’re Fighting For Now Is Each Other

Over the past couple of weeks I reviewed a book that dealt with how the climate crisis is being messaged and how many people are actually distanced from, rather than drawn to, this pressing issue by reports of imminent catastrophes and increased costs and the necessity of significant social and economic change. I even jokingly […]

October 13, 2016: Fears, Frames, and the Future – Book Review Part Two

Last week we started our discussion of “What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming.” Author Per Epnes Stoknes, a Nowegian psychologist and economist, drives home the point that communication about climate change from scientists and climate activists has often been counter-productive. Too much scientific detail leaves us confused or […]

September 29, 2016: Litmus, Lines, Lenses

It’s election season, and for many of us this is a time to consider candidates at many levels. From local select boards and councils to the state legislature, from statewide offices to the U.S. Congress, and all the way to the Presidency, for those of us who vote (does that include you?) it is a […]

September 22, 2016: Traffic

So I am picking up my daughter at the Middle School to take her to an orthodontist appointment. The parking lot is jammed. Trying to get out and turn left has a line about twenty cars long, so I get myself out by turning right on Dorset Street and finding a way to U-turn – […]