New Green Economy

Jocelyn Toffic: art worth owning

Jocelyn Toffic, one of the best artists north of Boston, has a new website.


 Flight of Sorrows, by Jocelyn Toffic

Visit the website at

New Green Economy

Tattoos, menopause and smoking

We’ve come a long way, baby?  For National Women’s Health Week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health created the Healthy Women’s Action Kit.
This kit provides information to: 
  • Manage your cholesterol, blood pressure and risk for diabetes
  • Stay safe using cosmetics and getting tattoos
  • Recognize and avoid online health scams
  • Confidently talk to your doctor about menopause and hormones
  • Find the stop-smoking method that can work for you
  • Other stuff tooImage
New Green Economy

EPA to hold conference call on Clean Air Act

Just announced: 

Media Alert: EPA to Hold Media Conference Call on Clean Air Act at noon March 17

– EPA will hold a media conference call at noon Eastern Daylight Time to discuss an important Clean Air Act initiative.

Media teleconference on Clean Air Act Announcement

WHO: Lisa P. Jackson, EPA Administrator

WHEN: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, noon, Eastern Daylight Time

HOW: To participate, please use the following dial-in numbers

(888)–539-8821 (Toll Free for U.S. and Canada)

Conference ID: 66493630


***Participants must provide their name (first and last), affiliation, and email address***


art, Nature, New England, New Green Economy, Science, Uncategorized

Glass Flora: A Very Harvard Natural History

Glass flora in Cambridge, Mass

A wonderful blog post about iced flora inspired this post about glass flora — glass flowers that is — in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This is a permanent collection at the Harvard Natural History Museum.  It’s housed in one of those rare coordinates where art, craft, nature, beauty and research flourish together.

In the image to the right, the flowers shown are each made of glass, mostly blown glass.  It makes sense when you think about it:  what else could capture the luminosity of a live plant?  Ingenious.

The flowers were made to be botanically correct.  There are thousands of glass plants and flowers on display.  The specimens took over 50 years to complete: one glass bit at a time.

It really is mind blowing.  In a pleasant sort of way.

The models were made from 1887 through 1936. The Blaschkas’ studio was located in Hosterwitz, near Dresden, Germany.   Professor George Lincoln Goodale, founder of the Botanical Museum, wanted life-like representatives of the plant kingdom for teaching botany.  At the time only crude papier-mâché or wax models were available.  These glass flowers are elegant, understated (but revelatory for it).  They can only happen once in the arc of the human race: exquisitely unique to this time and place.

photo by kmhurley,

Green Tips, travel

Travel to Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan with Harvard

Now here’s an unusual travel itinerary: venture over to Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan — and Iran — with Harvard Museum of Natural History guides.  Keep an eye on this page for upcoming trips, but the current one caught my eye:

Once Forbidden Lands of Central Asia: Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan

April 11 – April 23, 2012 (13 days)

Double occupancy: $4,325 per person
Single supplement: $745
HMNH Leader: Dr. Mark and Mrs. Louisa Van Baalen

IranApril 21 – May 1, 2012 (12 days)

Double occupancy: $4,690 per person
Single supplement: $945
HMNH Leader: Dr. Mark and Mrs. Louisa Van Baalen

Combination Program

April 11 – May 1, 2012 (12 Days)

Double occupancy: $7,945 per person
Single supplement: $1,345
HMNH Leader: Dr. Mark and Mrs. Louisa Van Baalen

Maybe Saving the World, New England, New Green Economy

Lynn Tilton Talks Back to New Hampshire

The 9th Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit was held in Manchester, New Hampshire on December 7, 2011.  The annual event was kept under 500 attendees and tends to be fairly exclusive.

Featured speakers in December included NH Governor John Lynch and Lynn Tilton, a business mogul who is over-the top-well-dressed, a la Venus and Serena Williams.  Tilton was called “an unlikely combination of fashionista and Warren Buffett” by ABC news.   She’s a self-made billionaire (yes, with a b) and the CEO of a private equity firm and holding company that manages 76 companies worldwide.

Governor talks about walking the walk   First, Governor John Lynch– one of the most popular governors in history who is serving well into his third term — kicked off the event with an inspiring talk about New Hampshire’s exemplary economy.  Lynch reminded the audience of key achievements of New Hampshire, such as the low unemployment rate and low high school drop out rate.  He referenced a recent quote from President Obama:

While you’re in New Hampshire, instead of telling New Hampshire what you would do to make things better, consider asking what New Hampshire is doing and emulating that.

– President Obama, put to candidates coming to New Hampshire for the Primary (paraphrased by John Lynch, 12/7/11)

Lynn Tilton talks back  Lynn Tilton’s talk came next and sounded a more somber note.  She talked about the state of manufacturing in the greater US and pointed out that the picture is bleak.

“Americans want to get to work,” Tilton said.  “And they cannot.”

America as a “service economy” is dead, she said (if that idea were ever really alive).

“Americans want to work with their hands,” she said.  “And they cannot find work.”  The New Hampshire economic and labor landscape is an exception to this, with credit to John Lynch’s tenure in the state house.  But nationwide a shortage of jobs is certainly a problem.

Tilton clarified her position that people thrive on real work, not mental work like data entry.  “Satisfying jobs, where people make things, do things,” Tilton explained, as opposed to jobs where people push paper, answer phones  or do other, more cerebral tasks with no clear production.

(This is a nice sound bite, but bear in mind that when people “work with their hands” in Tilton’s automobile factories in Detroit, they’re on an assembly line, picture Laverne & Shirley; these are are not exactly pink-cheeked, strong-fingered souls hand-crafting canoes out of pine trees or crocheting blankets from flax for the winter ahead — never mind fishing, hunting or digging, cutting or planting in the great outdoors.   This is a factory assembly line here.)

(In fact, Seth Godin recently suggested that the old, industrial-revolution-style “factory system” as a basis for an economy — either a local or national economy — is no longer a reality.  Read:  the new economy by Seth Godin.)

Incoming… hopefully   Regardless, families need an income in this society.  Tilton talked about children whose guardians have none, children who are homeless, living in vehicles, bathing in public restrooms before school.  She drew from her own life experience where she saw first hand how a family can implode when one parent is no longer working (her father passed away when she was in college, she says she saw how losing a working parent radically changed the family’s situation and prospects).  Tilton said that what gets her up in the morning is the idea that she might provide economic infrastructure and opportunity so that one more person can work, for one more family to have a home and a secure life.

Her mission, she says, is to save America one family at a time.

The audience was pin-drop attentive during Tilton’s presentation.  This respect is partly due to her dossier, partly due to the fact that she’s an engaging speaker, and partly because everyone in attendance is very aware of Tilton putting action behind her words: she recently bought and resurrected New Hampshire’s ailing (if not deceased) Gorham Paper Mill, providing hundreds of area families the chance at – in her words – the American Dream.

Overall, the Ninth Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit was an exceptional day.  The event featured sessions on supply chain with representatives from area companies such as Sturm-Ruger, Timken Aerospace and New Hampshire Ball Bearing.  Sponsors included Actio Corporation, BAE Systems, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

This year’s event was sold out and arguably over capacity.  With more manufacturing companies coming to NH all the time – some high-profile, such as Andrea Rossi’s e-Cat cold fusion reactor plant which is slated to open in Bedford, right outside of Manchester – next year’s event will be a must-attend as well.

Environmental Regulations, EPA, Nature, Saving the World

The $50 Million Dollar Man-agement of Gulf Ecosystem

On December 5, the final strategy for reversing deterioration of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem was announced.  News:  USDA has allotted $50 million financial assistance for restoration projects as Task Force efforts shift into action.

Key priorities of the strategy include:

1) Stopping the Loss of Critical Wetlands, Sand Barriers and Beaches
The strategy recommends placing ecosystem restoration on an equal footing with historic uses such as navigation and flood damage reduction by approaching water resource management decisions in a far more comprehensive manner that will bypass harm to wetlands, barrier islands and beaches. The strategy also recommends implementation of several congressionally authorized projects in the Gulf that are intended to reverse the trend of wetlands loss.

2) Reducing the Flow of Excess Nutrients into the Gulf
The strategy calls for working in the Gulf and upstream in the Mississippi watershed to reduce the flow of excess nutrients into the Gulf by supporting state nutrient reduction frameworks, new nutrient reduction approaches, and targeted watershed work to reduce agricultural and urban sources of excess nutrients.

3) Enhancing Resiliency among Coastal Communities
The strategy calls for enhancing the quality of life of Gulf residents by working in partnership with the Gulf with coastal communities. The strategy specifically recommends working with each of the States to build the integrated capacity needed through effective coastal improvement plans to better secure the future of their coastal communities and to implement existing efforts underway.

To review the final strategy:

taking care of business
The business of cleanup.