White House pushes oil amid code red climate crisis

August 16, 2021 by  
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President Joe  Biden , that supposed proponent of green infrastructure, surprised many environmentally conscious folks on Wednesday. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan issued a statement asking for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to pump more oil. Why? In a classic wish for instant gratification, Biden’s White House is choosing the short-term goal of keeping  gas  prices down over the long-term goal of an inhabitable planet. Related: It’s code red for Earth, says new UN study “Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery,” Sullivan’s statement read, in part. “The price of crude  oil  has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.” So, can you increase  fossil fuel  production while simultaneously cutting emissions? Uh, no. Expanding fossil fuel capacity is not part of any plan to reach net zero by 2050. We can’t have it both ways. But the problem is that it’s hard to focus on long-term planet goals when so many Americans are a few hundred bucks away from disaster. In May, the national average gas price increased to over three dollars per gallon for the first time since 2014. As gas prices rise, households have less  money  to spend on other useful things, like food and bills. Sarah Hunt, CEO of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy, tweeted that Biden’s OPEC request is an example of the fact that “we are not going to choose a habitable planet tomorrow over quality of life today.” In another tweet, she said, “People want cheap  energy  more than they want clean energy. People don’t want cheap energy produced in their backyard.” Biden also managed to irritate conservatives, who want energy jobs in the  U.S.  rather than increasing reliance on overseas fossil fuels. According to Hunt, the only answer “is to innovate for better energy with fewer externalities.”  Via The Guardian , Huff Post Lead image via Pixabay

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White House pushes oil amid code red climate crisis

A modern desert retreat for the eco-conscious cowboy

August 16, 2021 by  
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It’s the kind of thing movies are made of, but Hollywood isn’t the only one to get inspiration from this region of the vast and open Mojave Desert . Dubbed the Cowboy Modern Desert Eco-Retreat, this home pairs old west inspiration with modern eco-friendly features. Jeremy Levine Design was in charge of the project, a 1,200-square-foot family vacation home on a plot of protected desert between Joshua Tree National Park and Pioneertown, CA. The home includes two bedrooms, two baths, a great room with a kitchen, living and dining space, porches on three sides and a well-developed outdoor space where decks expand the living area and a path leads to a hot spa and cold cowboy tub. Related: Self-sufficient Sail House by David Hertz Architects looks like a ship The property came with limited access and no infrastructure, so Levine drew on his experience in  green design  to connect the indoor living space with expansive views and sustainable features. The Cowboy Modern Desert Eco-Retreat relies exclusively on locally reclaimed lumber for the interior and exterior wood surfaces. Steel, prefabricated offsite, was used to frame the home. Levine chose these materials in response to the area’s harsh weather conditions and a desire for quick, low-impact construction.  Copious large windows frame the Black Hills and Sawtooth Mountains in the distance while allowing in  natural light . Concrete floors and an open floor plan aid in keeping the home cool. The structure is situated to capture breezes as they are channeled through the canyon, and porch overhangs provide temperature control through shading. The orientation also minimizes solar heat gain.  During construction, the team took special care to avoid unnecessary grading for minimal site impact with respect to the fact that the project sits in a zone with Resource Conservation Protection. This not only minimized soil and plant disruption but required an inspection from a biologist to ensure no desert  tortoises or owls  would be affected by construction. All Joshua Trees were also preserved.  To further minimize the environmental footprint, the home uses a zero-waste system. All water from sinks, showers and washing is recycled and used for irrigation.  Solar panels  are scheduled to be installed soon. The interior design includes western-inspired leather, a fire table made from leftover construction materials and a vanity made from reclaimed lumber .  + Jeremy Levine Design Images via Lance Gerber and Tali Mackay

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A modern desert retreat for the eco-conscious cowboy

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