The New York Times reports this as a section from President Obama’s farewell address:

Take the challenge of climate change. In just eight years we’ve halved our dependence on foreign oil, we’ve doubled our renewable energy, we’ve led the world to an agreement that (at) the promise to save this planet.


But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change. They’ll be busy dealing with its effects. More environmental disasters, more economic disruptions, waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary. Now we can and should argue about the best approach to solve the problem. But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations, it betrays the essential spirit of this country, the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our founders.

Going right from “the challenge of climate change” to “halved our dependence on foreign oil” draws our attention to the weird dynamics of climate change politics.

U.S. oil and gas production has exploded because of fracking during the Obama years, but it’s dubious to claim that this is good from a climate change perspective. Huge new fossil fuel production is not good news.


redacted at the subject's request




in Photo of the day



The battle for the future is precisely between those who are willing to engineer every organism for our convenience , who will countenance the radical change of our climate rather than risk any damage to our cosseted and swaddled Economy, and those who are willing to say there is something other than us that counts. Wilderness and Gandhian nonviolence were the two most potentially revolutionary ideas of the twentieth century, precisely because they were the most humble: they imagine a whole different possibility for people.

McKibben, Bill. Wandering Home: A Long Walk Across America’s Most Hopeful Landscape. St. Martin’s Press; New York. 2005, 2014. p. 103 (paperback)




in Writing

trump·er·y — ARCHAIC

  • n. (pl. -er·ies) attractive articles of little value or use.
  • <SPECIAL USAGE> practices or beliefs that are superficially or visually appealing but have little real value or worth.
  • adj. showy but worthless: trumpery jewelry.
  • <SPECIAL USAGE> delusive or shallow: that trumpery hope which lets us dupe ourselves.

<ORIGIN> late Middle English (denoting trickery): from Old French tromperie, from tromper ‘deceive’.

The New Oxford American Dictionary

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Ideal Coffee chess


LED bulbs are dramatically more efficient than incandescent or halogen lamps, and beat out compact fluorescent bulbs in terms of how quickly they turn on and avoiding toxic contents.

These bulbs, which are now widely available in large hardware stores, plug directly into a socket that would previously have taken an incandescent bulb and include all the electronics necessary to run the LEDs.

Two things to watch for: if you have any dimmer switches or if you’re wiring or electricity supply are a bit unreliable, make sure to get bulbs that are advertised as dimmable. Others will buzz at you and may die rapidly, whereas ordinarily LED lamps should last for five years or more.

In addition to how much light they put out (expressed as lumens or watt equivalents) and the colour temperature (roughly how yellow or blue the light looks), make sure to check the color rendering index for the bulbs. I just replaced some buzzy old 100-watt equivalent LEDs with four of FEIT Electric’s 800 lumen / 60W equivalent “enhance” series bulbs. Perhaps on account of their 90+ CRI rating, they give the room a more natural look.

One other thing: I would really avoid ‘smart’ lightbulbs that connect to the internet. These are multiple serious indications that they are desperately insecure and may compromise your home network.




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Waffles with April


Kensington market graffiti