The Pink House house is made of rammed earth, and heated by geothermal energy – through in-floor water pipes. The floor is concrete, which is the best conductor for in-floor. The heating is supplemented by a Tempcast masonry stove, the latter the greenest cheapest way to heat a house, its radiant heat used in pre-electricity Europe. For the first year, we only used the masonry stove, and it kept us warm, despite the 12 foot walls, and massive central hall.
The cost savings of geo-thermal were substantially less than advertised.
October 13, 2010
Published The Globe and Mail, 13 October 2010
I spent the first three weeks of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison sitting in his back garden. “Smile, young lady!” he’d call and, eventually, he let me follow him around like a dazzled puppy as he loped through Soweto. “Are you in love with Zwelakhe?” he’d tease. Zwelakhe Sisulu was his press gatekeeper and I’d stare fixedly at him because I wanted an interview. Once in, though, things ...Read more September 1, 2010
How Big Brother came to the Gulf Islands
The Islands Trust has turned the region into a museum exhibit for wrong-headed conservation
BY ELIZABETH NICKSON, SPECIAL TO THE SUN JULY 6, 2010
Last Sunday, suitably enough July 4th, the 13 communities of the Gulf Islands threw Salt Spring Coffee into Ganges Harbour and kicked off a rebellion.
With the Islands Trust’s refusal of the coffee company’s development application, the iron-fisted conservation government now finds itself in more trouble with ...Read more July 13, 2010
On a more positive note, while I have been in the trenches, the inestimable Dr. Timothy Hulsey has been auditing the U.N.’s Biodiversity Sky is Falling 33% of the World’s Species Are Going Extinct Report, Summer 2010. To date he has found that only 29% of the citations used are peer-reviewed. Less than one-third. And we know just how reliable those are. Conservation biologists who quarrel with the sky-is-falling, the earth- beneath-our-feet-is-collapsing agenda do ...Read more May 21, 2010
This blogger asserts that just as global warming has created a whole warehouse of scandals, and politicized science to the point where reason has lost its moorings, conservation biology is equally as corrupt. Over the past thirty years, our natural resources have been locked away from us by environmental NGO’s who have sold us a bill of goods about species and biodiversity loss, equally as bogus as the warming scam. As a result, prices for ...Read more May 20, 2010
It’s spring and some days I have to chain myself to my desk. The broom is calling you see, and not a witches’ broom either – though witches’ brooms must have been made with the stuff I routinely slaughter. It’s stiff and green and tough as steel wire and this month, the bright ghastly yellow flowers surround the house – 150 meters away, but nonetheless, it will go to seed in a month, and then ...Read more May 11, 2010
Finally, a film about how the California Coastal Commission created the great fires of the last few years in California.
“We are suffering a crisis of authority. The California Coastal Commission has subordinated public safety creating a hazardous fuel preservation program, amending state fire code without the approval of the State fire Commission as is required by law.” Ann Hoffman, President of Land Use Preservation Defense Fund, Governor’s Blue Ribbon Fire Commission. 7 January 2004
People are ...Read more January 1, 2010
The meadow around the house belongs to the Man of Reason – the name in tribute to Elizabeth Von Arnin’s Man of Wrath. He will, like his mother and the rest of his Arterazi clan, who are more than a little competitive in the garden arena, create Shangri-la, a jaw-dropping, mouth-watering array of perfection. And I will spend a few minutes each day thinking up praise-filled sentences to bestow on its creator.
But twenty feet below ...Read more December 16, 2009
Today, in torrential rain, Siouxie, the younger Jack Russell followed me down into the lower meadow, across the fallen tree bridge, around the teepee platform into the forest. We haven’t been down here for two years, and today, in the dark of December, – both of us already wet to the skin – it is at its most beautiful. The leaves from the big maples are as big as platters and coloured Hermes orange. the ...Read more