Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Energy Winners/Losers & Gardener/Farmer

1) An excellent article from Joel Kotkin about the impact high energy costs will have on certain cities and areas of the country.

An excerpt.

“On the plus side there are some undoubted winners -- those areas that produce energy and those with energy expertise. What’s working for Moscow, St. Petersburg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Dubai is also working for the U.S. energy regions as well. Not surprisingly, many are located deep in the heart of Texas. This includes not only big cities like energy mega-capital Houston but a host of smaller ones, like high-flyers Midland, Odessa and Longview.

“But it’s not just Texas cities that are winning. A host of other places have strong ties to energy production and exploration -- Salt Lake City, Denver, and the North Dakota cities of Bismarck, Fargo, and Grand Forks. And it’s not just oil: The U.S. Great Plains have also been described as “the Saudi Arabia of wind.” If the right incentives are put in place, a wind-belt from west Texas to the Canadian border could be produce new jobs, both in building mills and also for the industries -- manufacturers, computer-related companies -- that will harness the relatively cheap energy.

“Alternative renewal energy producers in biofuels, thermal, and hydro-electric will also become big business. The Sierra Nevada cities like Reno could benefit from thermal; the Pacific Northwest’s hydro-power gives places like Portland, Seattle, and a host of smaller communities -- Wenatchee, Bend, Olympia -- a great competitive advantage in terms of dependable, low cost and low carbon energy.”

2) This is one of those ideas that many gardeners—with a need for a little extra cash—are going to say, Why didn’t I think of that?, and many of them probably will.

What a great idea…creating and tending food gardens for those folks who don’t have the time, inclination or skill, to do so themselves; American entrepreneurism at its best.

An excerpt.

“Eating locally raised food is a growing trend. But who has time to get to the farmer’s market, let alone plant a garden?

“That is where Trevor Paque comes in. For a fee, Mr. Paque, who lives in San Francisco, will build an organic garden in your backyard, weed it weekly and even harvest the bounty, gently placing a box of vegetables on the back porch when he leaves.

“Call them the lazy locavores — city dwellers who insist on eating food grown close to home but have no inclination to get their hands dirty. Mr. Paque is typical of a new breed of business owner serving their needs.”