Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My new tree!

I planted my new Shadblow Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis, purchased at the Parks and People fall tree sale) tree last week! It was sad to see the old crabapple tree go, but I'm learning to embrace the tenets of good gardening: if something doesn't work, compost it and try something else.

When the tree guys came to remove my old tree, I asked what they would do with it... did you know that there are so many tree removal services in the Baltimore area these days that they have to pay to dump all the mulch they accumulate? Make this work for you! Call a local tree service or utility company (I've heard that BGE will drop off free loads of mulch in both Baltimore city and county) when you need mulch - why pay when you can get it free?

They tell me that Treegators are a good idea to keep newly-planted tree roots moist and healthy, so I got a small tube type that rests on the ground from my local garden center. They also make a tall bag type, but my tree isn't big or sturdy enough for that type. With a Treegator, you fill the 15-gallon bag once or twice a week and it gradually dispenses the water over a span of 5 to 8 hours... which sounds much better than forgetting to turn off the garden hose after the prescribed 15 minutes and flooding the whole yard (which is what I would have done otherwise).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Clean coal my foot

If I hear a politician utter the oxymoronic phrase “clean coal” one more time, I will scream! I mean really.

I grew up in West Virginia: good luck trying to tell me there’s anything *clean* about coal. Granted, there is no perfect solution to the world’s energy dilemma, but it really irks me when politicians blatantly greenwash an issue like this.

You want the truth? Solar and geothermal are expensive, wind doesn’t blow all the time, hydroelectric power requires enough water to dam, toxic nuclear waste will remain so for thousands of years, oil reserves won’t last forever… and coal is dirty in both the extraction and burning phases.

However, faced with a growing shortage of fossil fuel resources controlled by volatile governments, I think that renewable energy sources are worth pursuing. It doesn’t matter if you believe in global warming or not. The fact of the matter is that fossil fuels will someday be depleted, and we’d be foolish not to prepare for this inevitability.

I hate politics. That’s my two cents.

More articles about "clean coal"...

Sierra Club

Washington Post



Coal is dirty