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Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:23 AM PST

What is Sustainable Landscaping?

by NoMoreLies

Let us step back for a while from the fiscal cliff follies and the debt ceiling debacles, and the supine stupidity of inaction from the elites at the highest levels of power and look at something all of us can do in our backyard to make our planet a better place, save money, reverse the trend of diminishing homeland for our fellow creatures and plants, clean our ground and surface waters, and help fight global warming.  And, it might actually save money. What would that be, may you ask?  What that would be is sustainable landscaping. Follow me below the filigree for some tasty tidbits...

Is it too early in the year to plan your landscaping choices?

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Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM PDT

Circling the Drain, Part II

by NoMoreLies

But where is part one? Like the Star Wars movies, we will get into part I, the background later on...however I digress.

Its time to add my story to the heap of troubles that the right-wing economic policies of the Depression (don't use the Recession euphemism) of the Twenty-Teens has visited on a once great nation from sea to shining sea

Downward mobility has taken me, have no place to go. Bad luck has taken me, have no money to show...

Go below the fold filigree to witness a tale of a formerly well off elite college degreed professional, from a family that once was able to afford an upper middle class lifestyle, held creative professional positions, now about to hit the floor due to a combination of 30 years of economic decline,  a family that has shrunken now to wife and kids, a few bad choices on my part and my family's, and a rotten system that has rewarded sycophancy, financialization, and anti-intellectualism.  I am one of the "formerly well offs" that have been discussed at length, a walking wounded casualty from James Howard Kunstler's shrinking middle class, and few hopes of digging out of the hole...without help.

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Scott Walker's myriad attacks on middle and working class Wisconsinites, unions, educators, voters rights, and government employees have been discussed at length, and are reason enough to recall him. Add the gross corruption, perp walks, and arrests of Walker aides which have even been featured in mainstream corporate media, and we begin to get a picture of a politician who is unfit to hold high office.

However, even without these egregious moves of self-aggrandizement and sycophancy to the likes of the Koch Brothers, Scott Walker's retrograde assaults on environmental programs, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation in the public good demonstrate that he is a clear and present danger to the state's citizenry, and an affront to the state's proud tradition of environmental leadership and clean, progressive politics. Rather, we shall see that Scott Walker's anti-environmental policies hew to the basest and most corrupt elements, which are another strain of Wisconsin's history that has been largely sent down the memory hole.

Follow me below the filigree for the sordid details...

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Normally, I wouldn’t spill guts on a personal level,  and I would rather be discussing sustainable landscaping, ecological restoration, or restoring our nation to a sustainable transportation system, but just as the insane right wing is foreclosing on these things and has stopped Obama’s tentative steps towards these things, the awful economy and a considerable amount of crappy luck has also foreclosed many options for my family, which has pushed us into survival mode, despite my professional prowess and design and implementation of award-winning projects. One thing I have come to realize is that it is more expensive to be poor than it is to be middle or upper class for the same services.

As the last dying hours of 2011 wind down as a capstone to an awful year, one in which my mother in law died, my daughter contracted Lyme disease, one of our cats got kidney stones and required a very expensive operation, I totaled my car, the washing machine broke requiring a major repair, multiple electronic devices failed in the house, including my laptop, I fought and failed to get a loan modification through Bank of America and was served a foreclosure notice on Thanksgiving weekend, and weather and economic conditions, along with a bad economy and job losses, have caused my family income to fall through the floor. As a 99er forced into contract work for income, I have not had W-2 employment since working for the Census in 2010, and my wife lost her job with home health care after her patient died and Scott Walker canceled further enrollments in the program, among other ways in which he began to systematically destroy Wisconsin's economy and hopes.  I’d discuss further, but that is the subject of another diary.
However, I digress…follow me below the filigree to see one way I tried to cope with these horrid  circumstances in these times of hanging on by one’s fingernails. At least I still had, and still have my health…without which I would not have had the option of selling bodily fluids for compensation…

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Your humble diarist posted a diary on June 4, 2008, nearly 9 months ago. Did word get back to our illustrious governor? Seems like he might have picked up on my idea to retool the Janesville GM plant for rail. Go beneath the fold to see how...


Do DailyKos bloggers inspire the Governor of Wisconsin

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Cross posted at Sustainable Walworth

Last Saturday, my wife had an epiphany. She has discovered the fact that I have been railing about (pun intended) that economies that do not adapt to peak oil by adopting sustainable transportation in the form of trains are losers. Up to yesterday, my daughters and her laughed at my obsession with rail transport and the history of our once strong southeast Wisconsin rail transportation network that has disappeared or fallen into branch line freight rail only decrepitude. My family’s first ride to downtown Chicago on Metra commuter rail changed that quickly.

Daughter and Friend at Harvard Illinois Metra Station.

A scene you won't see in Wisconsin, the state of Automobiles uber Alles.

More below the fold to see how trains can help our local economies in an age of expensive oil.

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Cross posted at Sustainable Walworth

As we all know, GM has announced that Janesville's manufacturing plant will be closed in 2010, thanks to the runup in fuel prices and demand destruction for the guzzling SUVs made by it. Before we gloat and say "I told you so, you should have known it was coming" about GM's short sighted business decisions, we should look at the implications of this closing and an alternative approach below the fold.


Should we care about Janesvilles car plant?

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Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:27 PM PDT

Landscaping as if Water Mattered

by NoMoreLies

Cross posted at Sustainable   Walworth

On this Earth Day, it's time to take another look at how our landscape choices are impacting the planet. Last year I posted a diary here  taking our default landscape choice, the lawn, to task over its extreme dependency on petroleum, and accompanying waste of this dwindling resource.  It is not only oil, however, that our landscapes waste. They waste productive human labor, money (over 45 billion dollars per year in the United States), fertilizers that could be better directed to crop production, but most of all, they waste and abuse water. Water is the basic resource upon which life depends, but our current landscape choices behave as if it were limitless.  The current turf-dominated landscape both attempts to get rid of water, and to introduce it at the same time, thus contributing even further to squandering of water resources.   Below the fold, we talk about how landscaping affects our water resources and explore sustainable, water conserving alternatives to the wasteful dominant landscape paradigm.


Are you ready for (non) concrete landscape solutions to save water?

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As tax time approaches, it is time to take a progressive whack at the tax code. It seems like us liberals and progressives treat taxes like some sort of third rail, ceding debate to the cheap labor conservative greed heads. There is no reason do this when progressive tax reform can level the playing field, balance the budget, provide economic disincentives for unsustainable activities, and help Middle America. In short, government expenditures that enhance and protect our natural and man-made infrastructure, provide social services such as retirement, disability protection and health care, and build the economy, benefit everyone. It is only fitting that we paraphrase one of our favorite cheap labor conservatives that we love to hate, Phil Gramm, that there are those who are pulling the wagon, and those riding in it. Of late, it appears that the wealthy, by benefit of the regressive tax code, are the ones riding in the wagon by not paying their fair share. It is way past time to change this situation, and we will look at an alternative tax code below the fold:


Should us progressives wade into tax policy

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cross posted at Conceptual Guerilla

Now that I have your attention, suffice it to say that our default landscape choices, turf grass and non-native trees and shrubs, increase our dependency on Middle Eastern oil, increase our patronage of Big Oil,  and by extension indirectly supply Middle Eastern terrorist organizations, including Al
Quaeda with petrodollars. Not only that, but they contribute millions of pounds of greenhouse gases, promote weeds and undesirable invasive plants, contribute to the destruction of the protective wetlands along the Gulf Coast, and other natural areas, contaminate ground and surface water with pesticides and excess nutrients, waste scarce groundwater resources, waste money, and contribute to increased surface water runoff and flooding. With spring just around the corner and people thinking green, we will touch on the costs of our current landscape paradigm and discuss an alternative sustainable landscape model that heals the land, conserves scarce resources, and is arguably more attractive.


What are you doing for sustainable land use?

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In my  previous diary I outlined the reasons why Bush’s budget is a weapon of mass destruction for Middle America, the American environment, and ultimately, the planet. At the end of that diary, I touched upon five major budget solution items that counter the premises of the Bush regime’s warped priorities. With that, I will discuss the first solution item, the Sustainable Infrastructure Act, and how it fulfills five essential elements of spending priorities that benefit all Americans, below the fold.

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Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 11:04 AM PST

Breaking the Box of the Bush Budget

by NoMoreLies

Breaking the Box of the Bush Budget: Why we should not Compromise with a Weapon of Mass(es) Destruction.

Cross-posted at Conceptual Guerilla

What the corporate media have failed to acknowledge, and yet we all know, the 2008 Bush budget is more of the same, failed over-expenditures on the national security state and wars, and on favorable treatments of his cronies. The budget does not get serious about critical issues of the day, notwithstanding the platitudes Bush has mouthed about "compromise", "energy independence", "health care reform", and others. Actions and numbers speak louder than words, and it is evident in Bush’s budget proposals. We must stop and reverse this budget dead in its tracks, for myriad reasons below the fold.

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