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Posts Tagged ‘mother nature network’

I just got a great lead from Erik. It seems that Sweden has run out of garbage for running its waste-to-energy program. Fortunately, Norway has garbage it can spare. (I wonder if Erik’s buddy Svein knows that.)

Check out Matt Hickman at Mother Nature Network:

“Sweden, birthplace of the Smörgåsbord, Eric Northman, and the world’s preferred solar-powered purveyor of flat-pack home furnishings, is in a bit of a pickle: the squeaky clean Scandinavian nation of more than 9.5 million has run out of garbage. The landfills have been tapped dry; the rubbish reserves depleted. And although this may seem like a positive — even enviable — predicament for a country to be facing, Sweden has been forced to import trash from neighboring countries, namely Norway. Yep, Sweden is so trash-strapped that officials are shipping it in — 80,000 tons of refuse annually, to be exact — from elsewhere.

“You see, Swedes are big on recycling. So big in fact that only 4 percent of all waste generated in the country is landfilled.

“Good for them! However, the population’s remarkably pertinacious recycling habits are also a bit of a problem given that the country relies on waste to heat and to provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes through a longstanding waste-to-energy incineration program. So with citizens simply not generating enough burnable waste to power the incinerators, the country has been forced to look elsewhere for fuel. Says Catarina Ostlund, a senior advisor for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency: ‘We have more capacity than the production of waste in Sweden and that is usable for incineration.

“Public Radio International has the whole story (hat tip to Ariel Schwartz at Co.Exist), a story that may seem implausible in a country like garbage-bloated America where overflowing landfills are anything but scarce.” Read more.

Photograph: Smath/Flickr

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Here is Middle America at 7 a.m. waking up in Boston’s financial district after a cold, rainy night in a tent — and wondering why its college degrees have not led to jobs. It’s not Hooverville. But I think it represents something real.

There is actually a wide array of causes represented. No obvious central theme has emerged. End the War, Tax the Rich, Socialism … .

Every day I get tweets from the Equal Exchange coffee trike. With the Occupiers of Boston, the curiosity seekers, the media, and the police, there has been a steady demand for coffee. Today’s message was  “EEFreeRange EE Free Range Cafe: So busy I can’t get a tweet in edgewise! Trikes are at Charles/MGH and Dewey Sq. Come see us!”

At the Washington Post, Ezra Klein is trying to figure out what it all means. He decided it probably does mean something after he started reading a Tumblr blog called We Are The 99 Percent. He describes the blog as all “grainy pictures of people holding handwritten signs telling their stories, one after the other.

‘I am 20K in debt and am paying out of pocket for my current tuition while I start paying back loans with two part time jobs.’

“These are not rants against the system,” Klein continues. “They’re not anarchist manifestos. They’re not calls for a revolution. They’re small stories of people who played by the rules, did what they were told, and now have nothing to show for it. Or, worse, they have tens of thousands in debt to show for it.” Read more.

In the afternoon I went over and read a few signs. Would love your comments on this one: “I couldn’t afford my own politician, so I made this sign.”

It’s 11/6/11, and I just learned about another great source of Occupy signs, at Mother Nature Network. Check out “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one” here.

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