Tag Archives: environment

What is cool? How about this 20-Story Hotel in Sweden Is Made Almost Entirely from Wood?

It exists:

Standing 20 stories tall, The Wood Hotel is the world’s tallest hotel mainly made from wood. Located at the birthplace of cross-country skiing, Skellefteå in Swedish Lapland, the 205-room property was built from locally harvested spruce and pine which smells awesome and absorbs more CO2 than it uses.

Now that’s cool. Would love to stay there. Would love to see more tall buildings built this way.

For more on it, see this: This 20-Story Hotel in Sweden Is Made Almost Entirely from Wood


On the stupid gas stove wars, and some other things regarding climate

Last week a small report leaked and set off an explosion of culture war nonsense, with people on the left advocating for getting rid of gas stoves and people on the right insisting they’ll never give them up. That the report had nothing to do with banning gas stoves was besides the point.

Regardless of how you feel about the matter, a gas stove ban could help climate and health problems. But it won’t happen because…well, for many reasons. One is the natural gas industry is fighting back with influencers and many things. I don’t know if this will be enough for them. In time they could end up looking like Big Oil or Big Tobacco. Maybe. As for me, I think the switch will happen if there is enough incentives for it to happen.

In the meantime, here’s a reminder that there’s nothing inherently good about “natural” gas. Indeed, natural gas is a dangerous name for a climate pollutant.

Speaking of incentives, governments everywhere are doing what they can to change. Here in Canada the government has put out a climate action incentive payment. The U.S. has also provided incentives. All good. One problem though: the contractors needed to do it, so says VOX.

When it comes to climate change and global warming, how well are we doing overall? There are a few encouraging signs. For example, US greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2022 but GDP grew faster. But there are also the usual discouraging signs, such as this: The last eight years have been the warmest on record researchers found.

It’s easy to get discouraged, it’s better to take action. For example, Smile Plastics Turns Yogurt Pots Into Terrazzo-Like Surface Panels. Smart. Also smart: companies are turning to alternative construction materials, like wood. Not smart is the fact that we could be using garbage dumps and landfill for solar farms but we aren’t. We need to strive to be smart and do more.

As for the rest of us, let’s pledge to waste less this year. This can help: New Year Less Waste. Remember and act on the three Rs.

Last but not least, here’s a mix of stories on climate change and the environment I thought were worth getting into:

What do Bernie Sanders, billionaires, global warming and you have in common?

What Bernie Sanders, billionaires, global warming and you all have in common is this: you are all mentioned in one or more of these articles I found on economics. All good pieces.

  1. Sanders & Socialism: Debate Between Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman & Socialist Economist Richard Wolff | Democracy Now!
  2. Free exchange – Why Americans and Britons work such long hours | Finance & economics | The Economist
  3. Billionaires should be taxed out of existence, says Thomas Piketty
  4. The technological and economic prospects for CO 2 utilization and removal | Nature
  5. Daily chart – How much would giving up meat help the environment? | Graphic detail | The Economist
  6. The Flaws a Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Wants You to Know About Yourself
  7. Frederick Douglass Railed Against Economic Inequality

(Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash)


How to think of climate change/the environment in terms of economics

Forget what Steven Mnuchin said about Greta Thunberg needing to study economics before offering climate change proposals. That was an asinine thing for him to say.. But read that article in the Washington Post for the ideas. They spoke to an economist about climate change and how economics comes in and it’s worthwhile for that.

People might argue that we need to do something about climate change, but we can’t afford it. If you want to argue back, the article can help.


The new IKEA in Vienna is going to be amazing

And not just amazing visually, either. There are a number of new and better ways this new IKEA will be operating in Austria’s capital. To really get an appreciation for it, see this: IKEA is building a big new store in Vienna with no parking | TreeHugger


The problem with hand me down cheap clothing?

Is simple: it’s wanted less and less. As this piece shows, No One Wants Your Used Clothes Anymore. 

What’s changed? Well…

For decades, the donation bin has offered consumers in rich countries a guilt-free way to unload their old clothing. In a virtuous and profitable cycle, a global network of traders would collect these garments, grade them, and transport them around the world to be recycled, worn again, or turned into rags and stuffing.

Now that cycle is breaking down. Fashion trends are accelerating, new clothes are becoming as cheap as used ones, and poor countries are turning their backs on the secondhand trade. Without significant changes in the way that clothes are made and marketed, this could add up to an environmental disaster in the making.

I think there is no easy remedy for this, unless you’re someone happy to wear a limited number of pieces of clothing over and over again. But something will have to change. If you thought all those clothes you put in the donation bin are going on people’s bodies and not to the garbage dump, then read the piece.