This Halloween, what if the scariest costume wasn’t a ghost or goblin? On Halloween we’re supposed to be frightened by haunted houses and jack-o-lanterns (or annoyed by our friends who find a way to cleverly dress up as the Government Shutdown); but what if we were frightened by one of the really truly scary things out there, like climate change? What scary environmental problem could you be for Halloween this year?
Although North Carolina might not seem like a “beer destination” like Oregon or Colorado, the craft beer industry is booming. Asheville, NC is consistently rated one of America’s best beer towns, and major craft beer industry participants such as Sierra Nevada and New Belgium have chosen the state as their east coast hub; also, other craft breweries and smaller “nano” breweries are popping up throughout the state at a rapid rate. In particular, one NC craft brewery has been making waves among beer aficionados on the east coast: Mother Earth Brewing (MEB) located in Kinston in NC’s “Inner Banks.” Not only have its beers been winning awards at prestigious competitions, MEB has also been on the forefront of using organic and recycled materials throughout their brewery, becoming one of the first US breweries to earn LEED status. Additionally, brewery management and staff have been working within the community of Kinston to revitalize sections of a city that has fallen on hard times.
From the Ground Up: The Story of A First Garden by Amy Stewart is a must read for anyone interested in gardening. I have talked about gardening a few times before and this book was just what I needed right now. At the beginning of the season (March/April) I am all excited to plant seeds and dream about the produce I will be receiving at the end of summer; by August I am over it. After weeding, watering, harvesting, dealing with the heat etc. for the entire spring and summer I am over the garden. I just want to forget about it and move on. But there is still harvesting to do and plants to take care off before winter sets in. Otherwise there is that much more work the next year.
This Thursday, communities throughout the country will talking about Real Food. Thursday is Food Day, a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food. Your first thought might be to disparage another “day” aimed to raise the profile of one issue or another. But before you get too cynical, remember, awareness might not save lives, but it’s a very good place to start.
In a recent post I wrote about commitments made by APEC member economy ministers in their October 5 joint statement to implement a set of actions intended to facilitate the deployment of renewable and sustainable energy resources. Although the APEC Leaders Statement issued on October 8 did not include new breakthroughs related to sustainable energy, it is worthwhile exploring the recent activities of APEC members in this area.
APEC has long served as a platform among Asia-Pacific economies for sharing best practices across priority policy areas, and energy is no exception. Earlier this year, APEC’s Expert Group on New and Renewable Energy Technologies submitted a report to the organization’s Energy Working Group on best practices in combining energy efficiency and renewable technologies in the industrial sector.
Though Americans frequently look to the European Union as a model to increase vehicle efficiency and regulate emissions, Germany, which is the EU’s largest economic power, used its clout to postpone a meeting intended to finalize rules restricting vehicle emissions to just 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.
The measure, which would kick in by 2020, translates to 57.6 miles per gallon (mpg) U.S., an increase of just over 7 mpg compared to the EU’s current 2015 mandate. For comparison, the U.S. is aiming for 54.5 mpg under the CAFE structure by 2025.
The benefits of urban agriculture are too many list. In its most basic form agriculture produces food, sustenance. But as a part of the urban fabric, agriculture in urban space brings food into the public realm, helps combat the food desert issue, and provides a space for education, all while allowing cities to promote sustainability. In other words, urban farming is a viable, productive use of land. At least in California it is, but not so much, at least according to Dan Gilbert, in Detroit. What California gets about urban agriculture that Gilbert doesn’t is cause for alarm.
Saturday, October 12 was the final day of the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), and it was also the day that most of the brewers and breweries had been waiting for most with nervous anticipation: Awards Day. Each year the GABF and its panel of expert judges blind taste all of the submissions, and award the top three beers in each category with a medal. This year, there were 84 beer categories covering 138 different beer styles (encompassing subcategories), and winners were chosen from 4,809 competition entries from 745 breweries, from 49 states, plus Washington, D.C. Of note this year, there were 230 self-identified first time competitors.
I arrived in Denver on Thursday, October 10 to attend my first Great American Beer Festival (GABF). The GABF has grown extensively since its inception in 1982, and is now the Brewers Association’s largest event. In addition to tasting beers in the main hall, the week surrounding the festival is filled with meetings, media briefings, and outside events that seek to draw in industry professionals, and beer enthusiasts alike. I’ve made a few more extensive notes on the events from Friday, which included a Sam Adams Media Brunch, the GABF Media Luncheon, North American Beer Writers Guild (NABWG) Meeting, Denver Rare Beer Tasting, and a leisurely stroll around the conventional hall. You can also get timely updates by following me on Twitter @RevoSpirits. (This is also the second incarnation of this, as the first was eaten by the ghost in the machine when I tried to save it.)