Post Hurricane Sandy Real Estate Deals: ‘The Great Sandy Sell-Off’ Video.

“If the storm was just isolated to Rockaway, I would understand the fear. But this wasn’t isolated to Rockaway – this happened throughout all 5 boroughs [of New York] and I think that’s why people feel this isn’t going to happen again. This was the perfect storm.”
Lisa Jackson, Rockaway Properties

Yes, the damaged homes of Rockaway are selling at a discount but what do you do when the ‘Perfect Storm’ becomes an annual event? Deal or not, I can’t understand why home buyers would actively seek out homes that not only suffered significant damage but are still in harm’s way. Oh wait, I found an old Far Side comic that explains it:

Far Side - School for the gifted.

[Climate Desk via Guardian]

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If Keystone XL Pipeline Is Approved, I’m Blaming LA Kings’ Coach Darryl Sutter.

Darryl Sutter - President ObamaI don’t follow NHL hockey much but if I did, my team would be the Vancouver Canucks. Now, assuming the Canucks were my team, and President Obama approved the Keystone XL pipeline project, the first shirt I would buy would say:

“My favorite team is the Vancouver Canucks. My second favorite team is whoever is playing the LA Kings.”

Why? Because yesterday, President Obama met with the two Los Angeles teams that won their respective league titles – MLS’s LA Galaxy and the NHL’s LA Kings – and one member of the party, LA King’s coach Darryl Sutter, wanted to lean on the Prez a little and talk about the Keystone XL pipeline. Alberta-born Darryl Sutter owns a 3000 acre ranch near Viking and he wants to see the pipeline get built. From The Globe and Mail:

“I’m gonna ask him about it – damn rights I am. It’s 20 feet underground. How can we not want to keep North America [energy self-sufficient]? Why does the border have to separate that? It doesn’t make sense. For sure, I’m going to ask him.”

I hope Coach Sutter wasn’t as successful with the President as his team was in the Stanley Cup finals – we don’t need Canada’s dirty tar sand oil.

So if by some miracle, President Obama decides against the KXL pipeline, I think there’s an opportunity for TransCanada to domestically refine their own tar sand oil in Alberta and they can do it on 3000 acres of land near the town of Viking. Sorry coach. [The Globe and Mail]

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Nutrition Battle: Kraft Mac & Cheese VS Annie’s Mac & Cheese VS Reduced Fat Cheez-Its?

Kraft Mac & Cheese VS Annie's Mac & Cheese VS Reduced Fat Cheez-Its?Yellow dye 5 and 6 aside, what delivers more nutrition – Kraft Mac & Cheese, Annie’s Mac & Cheese or Reduced Fat Cheez-Its with a glass of milk? After comparing the offerings, Mother Jones concluded that it’s basically a dead heat.

Thanks MJ; dinner in my house just got a lot easier. [Mother Jones]



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The ‘Xeriscaping With Burton Knight’ Show Canceled Too Early In Hotter And Drier Dallas Texas.

Burton Knight - XeriscapingBurton Knight, resident of Junius Heights in East Dallas, decided to proactively deal with Texas’ water shortage by xeriscaping it; he removed his lawn and replaced it with rocks and native low-water consuming plants and cacti. Unfortunately, his neighborhood’s Landmark Commission voted on March 4th that Mr. Knight had to bring back the grass because they didn’t like how his lawn looked and he has said that he’ll comply. According to city planner Carolyn Horner: There are historically appropriate and acceptable ways to save water, she said. “This isn’t it.”

Nuts! Imagine if every law and ordinance was guided solely on the idea that there are historically appropriate and acceptable ways to… deal with food safety? Healthcare? Witches? I think the land commission in Dallas needs to update their thinking and consider revisiting Mr. Knight’s lawn-free, low-water consuming yard. His case might be the jolt they need to help keep Dallas from completely drying up and turning back into Mr. Knight’s xeriscaped yard. [Dallas Morning News via Treehugger]

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Superheadz’s Sun & Cloud Solar And Hand-Cranked Powered Digital Camera.

Sun & Cloud Self-Generating Digital CameraSuperheadz’s $200 Sun & Cloud 3 megapixel solar and hand-cranked powered digital camera has unfortunate written all over it. Here’s a description from Gizmodo:

“As its namesake implies, what really sets the Sun & Cloud digital camera apart from its competition is the inclusion of a solar panel on top, and a retractable generator crank on the side. So with a lot of sunlight and/or elbow grease, you can perpetually keep its battery charged. Besides a microSD memory card slot and 15 built-in digital filters, the camera unfortunately mostly disappoints with its limited photo resolution and basic 640×480 video capabilities.”

So the first unfortunate is the Sun & Cloud’s $200 price tag, the second unfortunate is its limited resolution and the last unfortunate is the manufacturer’s questionable nameSuperheadz?

Etón FR160B Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone ChargerA better option might be to use the higher-resolution camera on your current mobile phone and keep it juiced via solar power or hand-cranking with a $30 Etón FR160B Microlink with AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio, Flashlight and USB charging port. [Gizmodo]

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Utah Div. of Oil, Gas & Mining’s Earth Day Poster Contest Theme: Where Would WE Be Without Oil, Gas & Mining?

Clean energy rally in UtahStealing a page from the Westboro Baptist Church’s handbook on being dickish, the Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining is now promoting a poster contest for elementary school age kids with a “Where Would WE Be Without Oil, Gas & Mining?” theme and the winners will be announced at (drum roll)… an Earth Day Awards luncheon on April 26. The timing is no accident and the contest sponsor list is a veritable who’s who of the fossil fuel industry operating in Utah (Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Arch Coal Sufco Mine etc.). Here are more details about the contest from Climate Progress:

“Any child in Utah between Kindergarten and sixth grade is eligible. The contest’s primary objective is ‘to improve students’ and the public’s awareness of the important role that oil, gas, and mining play in our everyday lives. Last year’s contest winners made posters that detailed how dependent we have become on fossil fuels. To their credit, the grand prize winner detailed both ways we use products created by fossil fuels and ways we can reduce our consumption.

The children were not asked to make posters about the climate impacts caused by those same fossil fuels: drought, wildfires, and warmer winters.”

Fair enough. The contest by itself is not too extreme – especially when Utah’s economy depends so heavily on the fossil fuel industry. But what is unfortunate is that they’re making it a state-sponsored Earth Day Poster Contest that is about everything Earth Day isn’t – the benefits of oil, gas & mining. It’s like they’re attempting to hijack Earth Day. Why do it? Maybe they’re just dicks.

In related news: Monty Burns wants to promote the positives of nuclear power with a poster contest for the schoolchildren of Springfield. Finalist will be announced on August 6 and the winners will be announced on August 9. [Climate Progress]

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