Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for the ‘cities’ Category

Wednesday Afternoon News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 1, 2009


— The burst of the suburban/exurban housing bubble that was holding up the US’ economic house of cards has had one good effect: Many core cities are starting to grow again as the suburbs empty out. In the meantime, those cities that aren’t growing are getting rid of their depopulated outlying areas. The general effect is the same: More people concentrated in less space, with corresponding reductions in carbon and other footprints.

Idiotic wingnut Senator James Inhofe calls Senator-elect Al Franken a “clown”. Considering that the word “clown” originally meant “ignorant and uneducated doofus”, and considering that Al Franken graduated cum laude from Harvard with a degree in political science whereas Inhofe got his BA from the University of Tulsa, I think we might be seeing a bit of projection here.

— And just for fun: Play him hence, Lute Cat!

Posted in Al Franken, cities, eedjits, Flying Monkey Right, Just for fun, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off on Wednesday Afternoon News Roundup

Wednesday Morning Renewable Energy News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 18, 2008

— As mentioned earlier, China is heavily investing in wind power, from Beijing to Mongolia, to the point where it’s already the fifth-largest wind power in the world. Makes sense: Building wind farms is cheaper than building Three Gorges Dam, and far less harmful to all concerned. It also helps China start to clean up its air and water and soil.

This story on offshore wind farming has a lively comments section.

— Stop your blubbering, or at least put it to good use: Tyson’s looking to go the biodiesel route, turning a waste product into a revenue stream and/or a source of internal power.

— “Next Gen” biodiesel (biodiesel that uses non-food crops for feedstocks) is catching on in the US. As mentioned earlier, Pittsburgh and other cities are using non-food biodiesel crops like sunflowers to clean up brownfields, thus solving two problems at once and providing jobs to local residents. The cleaned-up former brownfields of Braddock Farms now provide tasty organic strawberries, among other things, for folks to eat.

— Other Rust Belt towns like Cleveland are following Pittsburgh’s lead in going from brown to green.

Posted in China, cities, doing the right thing, economy, energy, environment, Good Things, infrastructure, international | 5 Comments »

Things A Brain-Damaged Lynx Could Have Predicted

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 21, 2008

Looks like the collapse of the housing market is most severe in — surprise, surprise — the exurbs and other “white-flight” communities, the very places hardest hit by high gas prices, whereas real estate markets inside core cities are actually holding their own for the most part:

Economists say home prices are no where near hitting bottom. But even in regions that have taken a beating, some neighborhoods remain practically unscathed. And there’s a pattern emerging as to which neighborhoods those are.

The ones with short commutes are fairing better than places with long drives into the city. Some analysts see a pause in what’s long been inexorable—urban sprawl.

Realtor Danilo Bogdanovic surveyed two rows of neat new brick town homes on Falkner’s Lane. “These were selling for about $550,000 at the peak, which was about August 05, and they’re selling right now for about $350,000,” Bogdanovic said.

“So $200,000 in a year and a half and fifty 50 of this community has been ether foreclosed on or is facing foreclosure.”

For residents who work in the city, their commute is around an hour on trouble-free days. But that could extend upward toward two hours very quickly.

But construction in town has held steady. Goldberg sees other cities rebounding too, including Baltimore and Philadelphia.

“Philadelphia was losing downtown housing and in town housing until very recently,” Goldberg said. “And now that’s the hottest part of their market.”

This is something I’d predicted way back in January of 2005, when the boom was still booming:

…We acquired cheap oil just as millions of blacks were leaving the South to escape Jim Crow. The migrating blacks settled in big cities — and when they did, white people started moving to the ‘burbs as soon as they could afford to do so. (It’s why most conservatives vastly prefer building roads to supporting mass transit. Mass transit might bring more of those people into their lily-white ‘burbs and rural areas.) The End of (Cheap) Oil is going to force a lot of these people to have to make some tough decisions about where they live and why they live there. Who knows? They might decide that living next to black people isn’t so bad, after all.

It looks like that’s exactly what’s happening.

Once the former white-flighters get over their Fear of the Brown, a large reason for their voting GOP disappears.

Posted in 'starving the beast', cities, climate change, energy, environment, Good Things, infrastructure, Oil, racism, Republicans, saving the earth | 4 Comments »

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