How to make a friend in Uganda. business consultant, NGO worker, former Peace Corps volunteer, activist: searching for sustainable solutions to eradicate extreme poverty

January 14, 2010

Industrial Folk goes Pop

Jerome Wincek has been quietly producing some of the most interesting rock-influenced folk music for a decade out of his living room in Oil City, Pennsylvania. As luck would have it, we don’t need to live close by to be part of his creative process. Jerome routinely uploads new material to his myspace page. Then, after it has had time to ferment on the interwebs, he distills the best into collections, which are generally available to download or pick up at his local shows. The EP ‘The Revelator Part1’, which released earlier this week, stands apart from material that he has issued in the past. It tells the story of those that God has abandoned and how they live without him in the aftermath. It is now available as a free download at jeromewincek.bandcamp.com.

If you’ve never heard Jerome’s music before, the industrial clang of synths backing some of the folk melodies might be jarring at first. The soundscape is epic and the lyrics are at time apocalyptic and near, like Jerome is not only talking about some distant future but the present troubles in my own mind. This is not campfire music but somehow, as I listen to the final track, I close my eyes and am transported to a shack out in the woods, where a lone mandolin player serenades, holding off the impending evil as it tries to crash in.

January 6, 2010

Nuclear Power is Our Only Future

There is an undeniable truth that few want to address: increasing solar and wind production cannot halt global climate change. The technologies that harness the power of the sun are effective only at increasing supply during peak power usage. They, however, are not a replacement for coal, and that is what we need. The entire domestic coal industry needs to be replaced with an alternative that has a dramatically reduced impact on our planet. This feat can only be accomplished if we increase our use of nuclear power.

There is a slight problem associated with increasing the number of facilities that produce nuclear. By doing so, we will exasperate the issues associated with the storage of nuclear waste. [Currently much of the waste generated sets on site because sufficient permanent storage sites do not exist.] This brings me to my second point. We will never have a Yucca Mountain. There is no hole in which we will be able to store the waste that we currently generate, is stored temporarily, or we hope to generate in the future. This is why our attention must be focused on developing the political will for a breeder reactor program in the United States. These breeders basically do a better job of extracting usable fuel from spent rods. Read more here.

Breeder reactors must be built so that we can move beyond the NIMBY arguments regarding the transportation of nuclear waste transportation and storage. Contact the Department of Energy and lend your support. Tell your representatives in congress and the senate that you support a cleaner, coal-free future.

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