On Trading Off (May 9, 2011)

. . .

X          “I gave a neighbor a few dollars a few years ago not to cut a tree on his property that provided ample shade for my house and a sylvan view for me.”

Y          “You paid for what they call ‘borrowed landscape.’  You receive a pleasing view that someone else funds and maintains.”

X          “He pays the taxes and I rake the leaves within the drip zone.”

Y          “Anything in writing?”

X          “Just a handshake deal that has worked so far.  The tree shades the house from the sun and lowers the electric bill.  Now I need the energy from the sun to hit the house and lower the electric bill.  The solar panels are wired in series and when even small areas of a few panels are shaded they produce less electrical output.  I plan to approach him and see if he will let me cut the tree.  He installed a back up wood stove last year and may now allow me to cut it if I give him the wood in sixteen inch lengths.  That would work for me.”

. . .

Z          “We debated the proposed microhydro project last week.  It is hard to be in favor of microhydro at the public forum on alternatives and then against microhydro at the fly fishing club meeting.”

Y          “Hard to have hydro without hydro.”

. . .

Z          “It looks like I am saving the planet until you look at all the costs.  ‘Emergy’ is all the embedded energy in an item.  The measure incorporates all the energy to produce and consume it not just my cost of acquisition and consumption.  Weighing everything, the decision is not as clear.”

. . .

X          “The community council seeks to impose height restrictions on buildings and also require more substantial setbacks from the street.  A building must go up or go out.”

Y          “They may be against buildings.  A building can’t go up if it can’t go up or go out.”

. . .

Z          “Do you support a local farmer who occasionally indulges some pesticides or a distant organic farmer?”

. . .

Y          “Providing fewer parking spaces won’t reduce the number of cars.  Providing more sidewalks may increase the number of pedestrians.  However, aren’t you simply substituting concrete for tarmac?”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Medium Is Beautiful

Eat Mangoes Naked

Sawgrass Is Popeye’s Spinach On Crack

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