Do you ever just get outside and look in the sky? Last night, it was about 10:15 pm here and I could still see light peeking through the clouds on the horizon. I can dig that, light until 9:30 pm. Moving across the country, I’ve had the opportunity to watch the clouds and weather from early morning until late night. It’s fun. I think this is why I like The Daily Green‘s feature called the Weird Weather Watch: the photo blog of climate change. It’s important to recall the concept that weather is not climate, but weather over a period of time is climate. To my knowledge, there’s nothing on the world wide web like this feature that gets so many diverse, quality, and unique images specifically on odd weather. It’s pretty cool.
Here’s what it’s all about: "Calling all backyard environmentalists, cell phone climatologists, citizen photojournalists, weekend bird fanatics and others in The Daily Green community! The warmed climate is throwing us surprise after surprise, and Weird Weather Watch is your destination for the photos that capture the moment and your conscience. While it may be impossible to scientifically link any one weather event to global climate change, Weird Weather Watch will collect photos of everyday weather-related changes that concern our community. Help us create THE photo blog of the new environmental movement."
"It’s better to be ahead of the ‘green’ curve than to play catch-up. A proactive program to modify your development methods clearly represents an opportunity to increase competitive advantage in civic development projects. This is the case for Federal Realty where Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings and other environmentally based requirements are mandated by a number of jurisdictions in charge of civic projects."
–Donald Wood, President & CEO
Federal Realty Investment Trust
Real Estate Portfolio, May/June 2007
I’m in the middle of trying to find a nice little home in Salt Lake City and don’t think I’ve ever seen the words ‘bungalow’ or ‘rambler’ so much in my life. Many (not all) of the places here are run down, beat up, smelly, oozing with latent mold and lead issues, and very expensive. There’s not much in the way of modern or contemporary offerings either, but there’s a small community of developers starting to turn that around. For example, if we were in the position to buy, we’d go after this place being developed by Blue Conservancy called Rowhaus.
Located at 1130 South West Temple, Rowhaus is a community of 24, 3-story, townhouse-style condominiums. With prices starting at $299,000, Rowhaus is one of the nascent green offerings in the urban housing market here in Salt Lake City. Some of the green features include the following: quiet, insulated concrete partition walls; large, thermally broken operable windows in all rooms; Energy Star appliances; and two minute walk to rail transportation. Each unit is about 2,000 sf, with separate 2-car garages and a private yard. Also, from what I understand, Blue Conservancy is a Salt Lake City Green certified business. Nice.
Actually, my new city, Salt Lake City, feels a lot greener than my old city, Dallas (but it’s always my first home). The population in SLC is edgy, kind of like Portland and Austin, but there’s also a substantial conservative undercurrent. I’ve found that the conservatives (myself included) really care about the environment as much as the liberals, and that issues relating to the environment are fairly bipartisan. Here are a few tidbits about Utah and SLC that I know about right now:
- Utah Governor Huntsman joined the Governator and five other states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Huntsman signed the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative.
- Salt Lake City and Mayor Rocky Anderson approved a LEED ordinance to promote green construction for projects funded by city money.
- Many of the area’s leaders came together and agreed that building green is the direction Salt Lake City and Utah is going to take.
- A 38-acre Park City Community called Newpark received LEED-ND pre-certification.
- Speaking of Park City, the Sundance Channel and Robert Redford are really going in the green direction also.
- The Utah Department of Transportation, in conjunction with research performed at Utah State University, has devised a plan to grow biodiesel crops on the freeways.
- The City Council is working on a way to invest money into greening its zoo, arts, and parks projects.
- A major Salt Lake City law firm, Holland & Hart LLP, announced the opening of its new Climate Change Practice Group.
- The University of Utah Sustainability Practicum and several students came together to design eco-friendly features for a new building scheduled to open in 2009.
Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg in Salt Lake City. There’s a lot of good green things going on and I’m excited to be here.
Well, I’m a little behind on posting because I’ve just moved from Dallas to Salt Lake City. It was a good two-day road trip. We saw lots of two things: sunny land and road kill. We saw a few wind farms as well. We started thinking about the drama over birds being killed from turbine blades. Why doesn’t the same standard apply to cars? Think of how many dead squirrels, deer, cow, dogs, birds, snakes, etc., one sees on the road. It’s okay for cars to run over animals, but it’s not okay for turbine blades to catch the occasional bird? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a problem either way and life is valuable, but I wonder about the sincerity of the anti-wind debate. Any thoughts?
I’ll be up and running soon, just looking for a place to live. Right now, the blogger at Equity Green is putting me up.