John Mott-Smith

Per Capita Davis: A gusher of water conservation news

Water is essential for life, and we have historically treated it as if there’s an endless supply. Population steadily increases while the amount of available water pretty much stays the same, except when there is a drought, and then there is less, and the full spectrum of complications over who gets how much water come […]

April 16, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Nuggets of news from the mailbox

One of the things I really like about writing this column is that people send me stuff, mostly interesting developments of which I might not otherwise be aware. This column features a couple of examples of such messages I’ve received recently. Roger, who knows I spent most of my summers as a boy in the […]

April 02, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Green power list is impressive

“99 Percent Just Won’t Do” was a line from a song, the name of which I don’t remember, sung by an artist I also can’t recall. It was a long time ago. The intention of the line was that in love one needs 100-percent commitment, and anything less than that just won’t do. The Environmental […]

March 19, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Bowling alley leads the way on climate

Cool Davis is a citizen-based organization dedicated to implementation of our city’s Climate Action Plan’s goals for greenhouse gas reduction. Not every community is fortunate enough to have committed citizens working to advance community sustainability. In fact, it’s rather rare, in part because it takes vision and partnership from the local government leaders to get […]

March 05, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Solar energy is sizzling in Yolo County

Rooftop solar photovoltaic systems sprouted up on an increasing number of homes throughout Yolo County in 2014. Of course, many, many systems were installed prior to 2004, and it would be interesting to go backwards in time and count how many since 2000, or even earlier, but to my knowledge there is no database where […]

February 19, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Our neighbor to the north

As Davisites, we can sometimes get so consumed by all that is going on in town that we forget to lift our eyes to the other communities in Yolo County. This column is about the city of Woodland and what it’s doing to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase overall community sustainability. […]

February 05, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: The power of policies and regulations

There’s a lot new under the sun, so to speak, with reason to be optimistic that investments in research and new technology that have been made over the past several years are going to soon pay off big for energy efficiency and solar photovoltaics. Much of the progress has been facilitated by policies and regulations […]

January 15, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Energy savings, under the radar

Sometimes, the discussion about greenhouse gas emissions and climate change gets stuck on policy issues, such as treaties, laws, regulations and stuff like that. This can be gloomy business, since it seems as if policymakers are either stuck, in denial, or not acting fast enough; all of which may be true. But it is also […]

January 02, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Time to stop fooling around

I use the last column of each year to sum up, in my own mind, the progress, or lack thereof, we’re making to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. As in past years, the first measuring stick is the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Data from the National Oceanic and […]

December 18, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Progress for renewables

As dismal as things can sometimes seem in terms of our energy future, it’s worth checking in occasionally with positive news, stuff that isn’t found on the front pages or on the evening news. I’d throw in social media, too, but to be honest, even though a significant portion of the population gets its news […]

December 04, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: News from the funny papers

The last column was somewhat sobering, so I thought I’d start this one out with news from the funny papers. A recent cartoon pictured a factory, labeled “U.N. Climate Summit,” with smokestacks spewing what appears to be black smoke into the air. Upon closer inspection, however, the smoke is not smoke at all, instead the […]

November 20, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: When push comes to shove

Perhaps this is not true for everyone, but it has been an article of faith (and hope) for me that the consequence of delaying action now to curb emissions would be the necessity for future actions, be they laws or regulations, to be stronger. The assumption is that at some point we would reach a point […]

November 06, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Stamp out global warming

I confess: I still go to the library to look things up, have a land line in the house, and use snail mail to pay bills and (gasp) correspond with friends. I have always thought that the U.S. Postal Service was one of the greatest deals ever. For pennies (OK, now it’s dimes) I can […]

October 16, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

I collect pieces of information that I find interesting on the topic of climate change. Many of them don’t make it into a column of their own; instead they get stuck on a “back burner.” This column, and the next, bring these forward. Numbers in the news It’s been 22 years since world leaders gathered […]

October 02, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

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