The Lone Star state may be warning Elon Musk “Don’t mess with Texas” thanks to its newest Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) sales ban, but Musk doesn’t exactly seem to be running scared. In fact, his company just recently erected a new Supercharger station right on Texas grounds, conveniently halfway between Austin and San Antonio and behind the San Marcos Outlet Mall.
YNN reports that the Supercharger is the first of its kind in Texas, marking just one more benchmark in Tesla’s ultimate goal of constructing charging stations that span the nation’s roads and thus allowing Model S drivers to make coast-to-coast road-trip plans without having to worry about an uncharged sedan.
As of now, there are 18 Superchargers across the country, clustered mostly on both the West and East Coast. But this new charging station, smack-dab in the heart of Texas, proves that more and more Superchargers will soon make an appearance, whether U.S. states agree with Musk’s selling techniques or not.
Musk has his eye on Texas because the Lone Star state was the first of its kind to ban sales of the Model S within its borders. Texas lawmakers don’t like that Musk has removed the middlemen in the car-buying experience; the electric vehicle maker instead sells it product directly to consumers.
From the inbox (From Neil Drobny, Director of Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability at Ohio State):
of the project teams in my Energy & Sustainability class last spring was
challenged by Alcoa to come up with a new idea for building awareness and
changing behavior that would increase the recycling rate of aluminum cans stuck
at 60% for many years to a level of 75%. They came up with the idea of a
reality TV show around the life and work of “canners” who scavenge aluminum
cans for a living. They made an 11-minute video to convey the idea. The
team entered the video in an annual, nationwide student film contest sponsored
by the Professional Recyclers Organization of Penna. Last week they found
out they placed second. The video is on YouTube where it has had over 200 views
since being posted last week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB4c72VHkZw.
Whodathunk that shirtless college students generate so much economic opportunity?
The honey bees are dying—and we don’t really know why. That’s the conclusion of a massive Department of Agriculture report that came out late last week on colony collapse disorder (CCD), the catch-all term for the large-scale deaths of honey bee groups throughout the U.S. And given how important honey bees are to the food that we eat—bees help pollinate crops that are worth more than $200 billion a year—the fact that they are dying in large numbers, and we can’t say why, is very, very worrying.
The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a single smoking gun behind CCD. The USDA report points at a range of possible causes, including:
A parasitic mite called Varroa destructor that has often been found in decimated colonies.
A bacterial disease called European foulbrood that is increasingly being detected in U.S. bee colonies
The use of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, a neuro-active chemical
As Brad Plumer pointed out over at the Washington Post, it’s not that the E.U. necessarily has more evidence about the role that the chemicals might be playing in CCD. This is a classic case of policymaking by the precautionary principle. The pesticides are considered guilty until proven innocent, and so they’re preventively banned, even before the scientific case is rock solid. That’s not unusual for European environmental regulation, especially in regards to chemicals. In the U.S.it’s the reverse—before the federal government is likely to take the step of banning a class of pesticides, and pissing off the multi-billion dollar chemical industry, you’re likely to see a lot more science done.
So what we may get in Europe and the U.S. is a de facto field test of the real impact of neonicotinoids on CCD. In two years, if American bees are still dying and their European cousins are thriving, we might just have our answers. And if not, well, I hope you don’t like cashews, beets, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, chestnuts, watermelons, cucumber, fennel, strawberries, macadamia, mangoes, apricots, almonds or any of the other dozens of food crops pollinated by our hard-working, six-legged, unpaid farm workers.
While the Ohio State men’s basketball team was competing in the NCAA Tournament, other members of the university community were working toward a different championship title.
OSU was crowned the winner of the second annual Environmental March Madness Tournament early Tuesday, defeating other schools in the “Sustainable 16” after filing out initial surveys.
The tournament pitted universities against one another based on each college’s environmental curriculum and sustainability efforts and was organized by Enviance, an environmental software company.
As the 2013 national champion, OSU will be awarded a $5,000 grant for its Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) program. Its director will also get an all-expense paid trip to San Diego to attend the 2013 Enviance User Conference and be a part of a discussion panel in April.
EEDS is a joint major/partnership between 'my' department (Agricultural, Environment and Development Economics) and our School of Environment and Natural Resources with other partners around campus like the Business School. Visit eeds.osu.edu for more information.
I know many of you are wondering to yourself 'Where is Tim and why hasn't he posted in a few days. I enjoy Tim's posts so much more than John's." Well, I'm in England (Plymouth to be precise) for a three day workshop on trends in U.S. and U.K. appraches to ecosystem valuation--I'm representing the U.S. perspective in case you were wondering. Anyway, I will have more on the workshop later, but for now I wanted to give you things I've learned about traveling to England. Please keep in mind, as if you needed reminding, I am a stupid American.
Thoughts (In chronological order):
Getting up at 3:30AM to catch a flight sucks.
Getting up at 3:30AM to catch a flight after staying up until 12:00AM the previous night sucks more.
Getting up at 3:30AM to catch a flight after staying up until 12:00AM the previous night on the night when the the U.S. decides to still observe daylight savings time (or goes off daylight savings time, I can never keep that straight) sucks worse.
Getting up at 3:30AM to catch a flight after staying up until 12:00AM
the previous night on the night when the the U.S. decides to still
observe daylight savings time (or goes off daylight savings time, I can
never keep that straight) only to learn upon landing at Dulles airport that your flight to London has been cancelled...well you can fill the rest in.
Twelve hours in an airport is boring.
I can actually sleep on a plane.
But I chose to first watch a movie (The Life of Pi), because 1) it was free and 2) I'm stupid.
At Heathrow airport they make you walk approximately 5K (3.1 miles American--see how I slipped in the European metric there?) to get to customs. That's a long way after sleeping only 5 hours total in the previous 48.
Paddington Station does look like the kind of place a cuddly bear in a blue raincoat would really want to hang out.
People in Paddington Station seem as though they are all in a hurry.
Everything around Paddington Station looks the same. It is hard to tell the houses from the hotels from the dentist office.
Light switches--down is on, up is off? Can we get a little uniformity please?
You have to turn on the outlets or your computer, cell phone and ipad won't charge. Just sayin'.
You have to turn on the outlets?
Again, Down is on, up is off.
Even if a shower has a faucet on the wall, and even if you stand to the side, it doesn't mean that if you turn on the water you won't get an unexpected freezing shower from the other facucet on the ceiling.
The open bus tour is a great way to see London if you only have a few hours.
Correct that. The open bus is a great way to see London if you only have a few hours and it is above 0 degrees Celsius (That's 32F for you Americans). Otherwise, it's freaking cold up there.
A lot of buildings in London are very old and remind me of that movie Mary Poppins or those books by that Charles Dickens guy.
Fish and Chips is really just fried fish and French Fries. I think they named it something fancy to trick us stupid Americans.
Riding trains is fun. Especially if you have a backwards seat.
Sheep. A lot of them. Just an observation from the window of the train.
Not sure why England has a reputation for dreary weather with sunsets like this...
Here is the answer the survey revealed at the end of the survey:
Sustainable development has a triple bottom line (AKA "the Three Es") -- a healthy environment with functioning ecosystems, economic development that engages local populations, AND social justice and equity.
I like to buy local as much as the next guy (well, maybe, not AS much, but see my Local First card here), but it seems a bit mercantilist to say that autarky is needed for sustainability. Or, am I overreacting?
The panel of judges — comprised of an education author and
expert, as well as representatives from the Natural Resources Defense Council,
Environmental Defense Fund, Walmart, Forbes, Norfolk Southern and Enviance—
chose the “Sustainable 16” schools from a competitive group of institutions
that showed commitment to the environment through both their environmental
studies programs and on-campus initiatives.
The contenders are, in alphabetical order:
State University School of Environment and Natural Resources
The Sustainable Development Student Alliance will hold another free market Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Multicultural Room of the student union.
Take a quick lunch break from finals and come trade things for something new. This is a great opportunity to clean out before the New Year, or get Christmas gifts for friends. Bring clothes, books, CDs, artwork, or anything else to trade. This is a free market, so no money will be exchanged, just old items for new. Get creative. Give massages. Play music. Teach something. Take something home.
Everything that remains after 2 p.m. will be saved for the next market.
Let's exchange and get to know each other.
Sustainable Development students aren't required to take an economics course.
"This blog aims to look at more of the microeconomic ideas that can be used toward environmental ends. Bringing to bear a large quantity of external sources and articles, this blog presents a clear vision of what economic environmentalism can be."
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
"... I try and read the blog everyday and have pointed it out to other faculty who have their students read it for class. It is truly one of the best things in the blogosphere." -- Anonymous