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SA Spring 2013

Book Review - Spring 2013


Even apartment dwellers can be gardeners

 The Edible Balcony, Alex Mitchell, Rodale Inc. 2012, 160 pp., $21.99

After reading—and sympathizing with—Rick Marsi (see column here), I note the contrast in reviewing this book, with its lush photos of pristine herbs, fruits, vegetables and flowers.

But, as Rick indicates, hope will ultimately sprout in a gardener’s breast. And Alex Mitchell cultivates that tender seedling.

The more we drill, the more vulnerable we become


By Jon Kovash

Although some small town residents see oil and gas drilling as destructive to their rural way of life, others welcome the most recent oil and gas boom for its promised benefits to the local economy.

Many Americans outside the boomtowns also hail this new world of fracking for oil and gas –– with its man camps, truck traffic, unknown chemicals injected deep underground and an insatiable thirst for water –– as a way to help America become “energy independent.”

Old science and methane assumptions skew gas policy


In February, the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced what sounded like good news: emissions from power plants declined 4.6 percent in 2011. This was touted by the natural gas industry as evidence that increased use of gas reduces climate disruption.

To understand what’s behind the headlines, as well as why many journalists still report that natural gas is a clean fuel, Professor Tony Ingraffea of Cornell University offered a primer on measuring methane in an e-mail to an activist list-serve. With his permission and slight editing, here it is:


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