New Development East of Austin

I thought this new development was interesting. On the one hand, I generally bristle at anything that might generate urban sprawl. The last thing I want Austin to look like is Dallas or Houston. But on the other hand, this will probably eventually mean good things for my inside-the-loop property values, and they’re building green and with large green spaces in an area that was formerly a gravel mine, so that’s nice. I do think it’s funny, however, that they allow the phrases “15 minutes from downtown” and “8,000 houses” to exist in the same story, as if those two things could exist in the same universe. A large suburban area 15 miles from downtown will only be 15 minutes from downtown on Sundays after 10pm. No matter how green you make a community, sprawl equals traffic, and traffic decreases air quality and overall quality of life. Or maybe they’ll have a MetroRail line going out there. That’d be cool.

MIT amps up solar cells

MIT is developing a new solar cell technology that results in a tenfold increase in power conversion, takes up less space, and can be added to existing solar panels.

Photo caption:

Organic solar concentrators collect and focus different colors of sunlight. Solar cells can be attached to the edges of the plates. By collecting light over their full surface and concentrating it at their edges, these devices reduce the required area of solar cells and consequently, the cost of solar power. Stacking multiple concentrators allows the optimization of solar cells at each wavelength, increasing the overall power output.

Obama and Ethanol

Obama Camp Closely Linked With Ethanol – NYTimes.com

Not long after arriving in the Senate, Mr. Obama himself briefly provoked a controversy by flying at subsidized rates on corporate airplanes, including twice on jets owned by Archer Daniels Midland, which is the nation’s largest ethanol producer and is based in his home state.

No big surprise he won Iowa. E85 as a solution to our fuel crisis is a red herring. If Obama hasn’t heard this yet, it’s because he has corn-money stuffed in his hears. If he’s elected, keep an eye on his energy policy to see if he’s making good decisions free from political influence. Our food prices and environment depend on E85 getting shot down, as it should.

Baptists fight climate change

Church to step up climate fight

Leaders of the influential Southern Baptist community in the US have declared their churches have a duty to stop climate change.In a statement, senior figures in the movement said evidence of man-made global warming was “substantial”. Southern Baptists are the largest protestant group in the country.

Anti-climate change republican politicians and conservative pundits, start your backpedaling … now!