Thursday, May 26, 2005

Pedestrian Crossing

I can't take credit for this one --

OK. Say we take some big ball bearings, grease 'em up, and put the crossbar of that giant 110-foot cross (see below post) on permanent rotation. Presto! The Christians get their symbol (well, at certain points in the rotation anyway), AND we environmentalists get a viable, renewable energy source. How ecumenical. Now if only we can keep Don Christ-hote and his sidekick Sancho Peter from driving down from Ohio to tilt at it on their way to play Hillbilly Golf.

Thanks, Jake!

Who sucked out the feeling?

According to a post today on the SK Bubba Blab, the Knoxville News Sentinel ran an article today by Greg Johnson in which Mr. Johnson laments the possible woes associated with the generation of wind energy:
". . .windmills sucking more energy from our already sluggish air could very well cause East Tennessee's poor-quality air to stall in the EPA nonattainment zone until the next millenium."

And our own Sen. Lamar Alexander recently introduced legislation to restrict tax credits for new windmills with this logic:
"It keeps these 100-yard-tall, monstrous structures away from Signal Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Roan Mountain, the Tennessee River Gorge, the foothills of the Smokies and other highly scenic areas," Alexander said.

"As for jobs," he continued, "every Tennessee job is important, but I fear that hundreds of these giant windmills across Tennessee's ridges could destroy our tourism industry, which could cost us tens of thousands of jobs."
I hope I'm not alone in my thought that there is definitely some sucking going on here, and the windmills are not at fault. Alexander is also opposed to off-shore windmills, although in favor of off-shore oil drilling. He's also in favor of oil drilling and other fossil fuel exploration / extraction in national parks. Perhaps in his estimation, a big white windmill is far more aesthetically harmful than a strip mine? Talk about fuzzy logic.

And don't get me started on the massive 110-foot zero-energy-producing Christian symbol that has been approved for Pigeon Forge (the dreck-hole that greets visitors to the Smokies and generates so much revenue with its putt-putt courses, race tracks, chain restaurants, and outlet malls that it has apparently been grandfathered in as a "highly scenic area").

Get more info on opposing Alexander's incoherent legislation from Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Mead's Quarry officially open at Ijams

The blogging has been on hiatus for a few days. It's been so nice to be away from the computer-umbilical!

South Knox Bubba has a nice feature on the newly christened Mead's Quarry trails at Ijams Nature Center. You can also read about it at the Ijams website. I skulked around there a bit prior to the official opening, and it's a great example of environmental reclamation. I hope they haven't done away with some of the more creepy, Southern gothic elements -- the old abandoned quarry building, for instance -- although the silhouettes of submerged debris and the stillness of the surrounding rock and forest can surely evoke a few chillbumps on a humid summer afternoon. I'll have to get out there soon with camera in hand . . . more to come.