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Friday, October 26, 2007

We put a man on the moon in 8 years. We can reach 35 mpg by 2020

This summer, members of the House and Senate each worked hard to pass energy bills. Now it’s time for Congress to finish the job and pass a comprehensive bill – one that will bring the nation’s fleet of cars and trucks to an average of 35 mpg and 15 percent of our electricity coming from renewable energy by 2020. This is a critical step in the fight to break America of its addiction to fossil fuels and a down payment in combating global warming.

This is our chance to make our country more energy independent, create good jobs, save consumers money, protect our natural resources, and reduce the growth of global warming pollution.

This legislation would be a monumental step toward stopping global warming. Unfortunately, there is a real chance it will not make it through to the final bill. Do not let Congress back down. Please go to http://www.energybill2007.org and join me in signing the petition to keep this bill alive.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Carnegie Mellon team stands out at the Solar Decathlon

The CMU team built it's solar powered modular house nicknamed TriPOD down at the Solar Decathlon in Washington DC. According to several web sites, the CMU team has been a standout in its design and also utilization of technology, such a system that runs student written software that will display energy usage information and allow automation of the house's lighting and cooling. Pretty neat. I'll post more when we find out the results but in the meantime check out CNet which has a slideshow and some video coverage of the event.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pittsburgh residents protest their neighborhood's blight problem

I've been trying to make some noise about Pittsburgh's increasing blight problem. The week before last I sent a link to my previous blog post to Rich Lord of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Yesterday, Mr. Lord wrote a nice piece on the blight problem in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood.

Roger Washington doesn't let his kids out on the front porch because of the disaster area a few feet away.

That would be 566 Rosedale St., Homewood, a building that has been condemned for 20 months and wide open for just as long, its front portal an invitation often accepted by rats, raccoons and sometimes people, according to neighbors.

"The people that come and go, they could grab one of my kids," said Mr. Washington. "[The kids] could get bit by one of the rodents."

The home became a symbol yesterday for Homewood's frustrations, as a dozen members of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, protested out front. It also served as a reminder of the city's futile attempts to catch up on its backlog of condemned buildings.

That backlog, which had hovered at 1,200 buildings, has crept up to 1,400, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said in August. He has promised that his forthcoming capital budget will "significantly increase" demolitions.

I am glad Mr. Lord has finally brought this problem to light through the mainstream media. Blight makes our neighborhoods unsafe, unhealthy, and unlivable. Our city needs to do more about this problem, especially if they want to continue to brag about Pittsburgh being named the most livable city.