Category Archives: The Naib

The Naib’s personal feelings, rants, plans, moods, favorites, current activites, etc.

New Directions

This blog has become mostly one pop posts, quick (although I would hope enlightening) posts, mostly video, and infographics. I am now working in a different field, one that will once again return me to a field that is very wrapped up in science and the environment. Hopefully this will lead to a return to the longer form more in depth posts of the past.

More soon!

Don’t Throw That Away!

Just a little story of something that just happened to me. I was plugging in my phone for its night of suckling at the teat of the power grid, when I heard a sickening “snick.” The phone charger wouldn’t fit into the phone any more, seems a little chunk had broken off in there.

“Damn it!”

First I thought, maybe something is loose, so I wiggled the part, and yup it was loose, too loose. The damn thing was so fragile that one wrong push and it snapped off.

I thought about how much it would cost to get a new phone, and the hassle, and environmental damage and said “fuck this if it is busted at least I can try to fix it.”

I had a little screw driver used to fix glasses that allowed me to open the phone. Once inside I saw the problem. The part of the phone that connects to the charger was a super fragile little web of soldered wires. The part that has to hold the most stress was built as fragile as a feather.

I got out my soldering iron, and a pair of tweezers and CAREFULLY placed the wires over the place they used to be attached, hoping that there would be enough solder on the board to reattach the part.

Careful not to apply too much heat and melt the other tiny ass components (there is no doubt in my mind that some very fancy robot/small children built the insides of my phone as it is very compact in there) I applied heat to each of the 20 some lead, until each one was soldered to the board.

The moment of truth, phone snapped back together, screws put back in, battery snapped in, power button pushed…so far so good the phone turned on.

The real test would come however when I plugged the power charger cord in, would the phone recognize that it was plugged in….SUCCESS! It worked! I fixed my phone, a phone I have had for 3 or so years now, a phone that I have repainted when the paint peeled off the outside, the phone that survived several bike crashes, and now the phone that has survived it’s own poor design.

Never give up, don’t throw it away until you have at least tried to fix it. Don’t be afraid to get in there and mess stuff up, I mean if it is already broken, you can’t make it worse, you might even get lucky and fix it.

Year In Review 2009

Well, that’s that then. A whole year, and now decade past. Seems like just yesterday I was a little kid, and now I have passed (gracefully I hope) into my third decade. In what has become an annual January 1st tradition around here (see 08,07,06) I make a number of predictions for the year ahead, and also see how I did the year before.

happy new year

2009 was a rough year in many ways, it capped off the warmest decade on record. The economy fell apart, the country is in two wars, people learned the folly of “magic money”, and for most of the last decade we have done little to save the human species from the greatest challenge it has ever faced. But things are looking up, we have new leadership, its a new decade, the economy seems to be reshaping to fit into a greener future, and who knows maybe I can finally figure out my personal life.

Lets get to it. Last years predictions were:

1. Cape Wind will get approved. Seriously 2009 is the year. They are so damn close I can taste it.

2. The horrible economy will affect the growth of the renewable energy market. Look for a slowdown in wind and solar.

3. The price of oil will rocket right back up in the summer of 09, look for it to once again top $150 dollars a barrel.

4. The pace of global warming will began to accelerate as feedback loops intensify. The arctic will be ice free this summer, or damn close. The northwest passage should once again open next summer.

5. Obama will (hopefully) make renewable energy and efficiency infrastructure projects a major component of his stimulus package.

6. Troops will start to come home from Iraq in large numbers before the end of 2009.

7. The financial turmoil will continue leading to millions of people loosing their jobs, massive downturns in global production, deaths, famines, and increased problems world wide. I predict 2009 to be a very not happy year for a large number of people.

8. Look for major legal action to be taken against prominent Bush administration people. If we are really lucky, Bush or Cheney might even be included in the mess.

9. Look for major breakthroughs in efficiency technology when it comes to lighting and solar panels. Specifically solar panels that produce energy cheaper than coal, oil, or wind. Look for LED technology to slowly start replacing CFL technology.

10. I will build my first bicycle.

Like I said I am no crystal ball, but I feel I got 2,4,5,6,7,9,10 more or less correct.

The ones I got wrong were 1,3,8

1: Cape wind STILL HASN’T BEEN APPROVED (I can not believe that shit), but it has finalized its agreement to sell power and both the governor of Mass. and the federal government want it built, Senator Kennedy one of the projects biggest foes passed away, and new polls show a vast increase in the demand for the project, so its only a matter of time.

3: Oil didn’t skyrocket this summer in price, instead the world wide global economic melt down actually led to a decrease in oil demand, lowering the price. The price might not have rocketed to record highs again, but it has been creeping up steadily for the last half of the year while the amount of money people made went down. The steady creep in price combined with the drop in disposable income has basically left most Americans in the same spot there were when oil prices were moderately insane.

8: While some Bush era people did see court, not nearly as many as I would have liked for me to call this a correct guess.

My predictions for 2010 are:

1. Cape wind WILL BE APPROVED (I am going to predict this till it is correct), all the signs point to it being approved this year, this is the year!

2. Democrats in the house (and maybe senate) will attempt to pass a climate bill, I give it a 40% chance of passing, and 30% chance of doing any good if it does.

3. China and the USA will come to some legally binding agreement on climate change gasses.

4. The economy will continue to sputter, look for bright spots in the renewable energy and efficiency market.

5. The mid-term elections will leave the democrats slightly weakened, but still with majorities in the house and senate.

6. I will ride my bicycle more than 4000 miles this year, with at least one long fully bicycle powered trip across country.

7. Some sort of major melting event will occur this year, I hope to god it isn’t the west antarctic ice sheet, most likely it will be a ice free arctic this summer.

8. At least one conflict will have its roots based in climate change.

9. 2010 will be in the top 5 hottest years on record

Once again I find myself making mostly negative predictions. I don’t do this out of a sense of pessimism, simply with eyes fully opened to the reality we live in. A world rich with problems is a world rich with opportunity for solutions. I am convinced humanity will find these solutions and in the process built a sustainable solution for humanity to move forward into a future filled with a positive outlook.

Happy new year everyone, may 2010 bring you a year filled with love and happiness.

Happy Birthday To The Sietch!

It passed once again without me really noticing, but I realized that this website is now 4 years old! Happy Birthday to us!


I would like to thank everyone who has ever contributed to this website, to the readers, to the people who sent me emails, and anyone else who ever sent me a kind word. This has and always will be a community driven website. I can only hope that over the years we have encouraged people to do right by themselves and by the planet. Lets hope that in the next 4 years I am posting a lot more about solutions and accomplishments, and less about problems, and failures.

To the future!

Thank you everyone