Did you know that a new pipeline brings fracked gas into Greenwich Village?

Interesting Talk piece in this week’s NYer. Here’s the teaser   HAZARD DEPT. UNDERFOOT BY ANDREW MARANTZNOVEMBER 25, 2013 On a recent Saturday morning, Corey Johnson sat in a downtown café trying to persuade his neighbors that hydrofracking isn’t an issue that just concerns people in the boonies. Johnson, who is thirty-one, was recently elected to replace Christine Quinn as the City Council member from the Third District, which includes Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, and the West Village. He was spreading the word about a brand-new pipeline that pumps fracked gas directly into the West Village. . . . To read the full story you need a subscription http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2013/11/25/131125ta_talk_marantz  ...

What is fracking’s Achilles’ Heel? Air, not water, pollution

Joe Nocera of the NYT has been pro fracking for quite awhile, but today he admits that methane leakage is the “achilles heel” of the industry. A thoughtful piece … OP-ED COLUMNIST Fracking’s Achilles’ Heel By JOE NOCERA Published: November 18, 2013 It’s not very often that someone starts his career as a geologist and then winds up as governor, but John Hickenlooper, the governor of Colorado, can make that claim. “We had fracking when I was a working geologist in 1981,” he told me on Monday. “It was very primitive. What really changed the world is when we got horizontal drilling. It was a technique that allowed you to recover a lot more natural gas.” Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times Joe Nocera Go to Columnist Page » Joe Nocera’s Blog » Connect With Us on Twitter For Op-Ed, follow@nytopinion and to hear from the editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow@andyrNYT. Readers’ Comments Share your thoughts. Post a Comment » Read All Comments (94) » “But,” he added, almost poignantly, “it’s been polarizing.” That’s for sure. During the last election two weeks ago, four Colorado communities voted to ban hydraulic fracturing (to use the proper terminology). A fifth town, Longmont, voted against fracking a year ago, resulting in a lawsuitbrought by the oil and gas industry and joined by the State of Colorado. It is a state where the owner of a parcel of land doesn’t necessarily own the mineral rightsunderground, which is a source of enormous tension. Colorado has tens of thousands of wells — an economic boon — and also some of the most vocal anti-fracking activists in the country. Which perhaps helps explain why Monday’s...

The Tour begins: HYDROFRACKING: WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW

I’ll be talking about my new book at the following venues this week and next — I hope you’ll join me: 10/28 — Seattle: 7:30 PM, Town Hall (1119 8th Ave, Seattle WA, 98101) 10/29 — San Francisco: 7 PM, The World Affairs Council of Northern CA, auditorium (312 Sutter St, SF, CA, 94108) 10/30 — Denver: 7:30 PM, Tattered Cover LoDo (1628 16th St, Denver, CO, 80202) 11/4 — Chicago: 6 PM, International House, U of Chicago Assembly Hall 11/5 — LIttle Rock: 6 PM, Univ of Ark, Clinton School of Public Service (1414 E. 59th...

Bloomberg: “Unsexy” Water Tunnel No. 3 is Open for Business (40 years on)

It only took 40 years to build, its the largest capital project in NYC history, and few are aware of it, but at long last Tunnel Three is flowing.  Without it, the city might have gone dry — in part because tunnels 1 and 2 are so old that they risk collapse. A few years ago I was granted the rare opportunity to travel 600 feet underground and explore the tunnel as it was being built.  As I write in THE RIPPLE EFFECT, it was a fantastic experience, and I felt as if I’d been transported to another planet.  The NYC water system is stupendous, and the engineering of this tunnel is magnificent.  Here’s today’s NYT on the project: After Decades, a Water Tunnel Can Now Serve All of Manhattan Pool photo by Mary Altaffer 2006 Part of the tunnel running down the West Side of Manhattan. <nyt_byline> By MATT FLEGENHEIMER Published: October 16, 2013 FACEBOOK TWITTER GOOGLE+ SAVE E-MAIL SHARE PRINT REPRINTS <nyt_text><nyt_correction_top> Of all New York City’s sprawling mega-projects, the water tunnel snaking beneath the grid — connecting the Bronx to Upper Manhattan, Upper Manhattan to Central Park, Central Park to Queens, and, eventually, Queens to the western edge of Brooklyn — is perhaps the hardest to love. Connect With NYTMetro Follow us on Twitterand like us on Facebookfor news and conversation. Enlarge This Image New York Board of Water Supply 1973 Water Tunnel No. 3 was begun in 1970. Here, construction beneath Highbridge Park in Washington Heights, Manhattan. Enlarge This Image Mario Cabrera/Associated Press 1984 Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, with Mayor Edward I. Koch behind him, creating the New York City Water...

“Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol I” turns 53 today, and is still going gangbusters

On this day in 1961, Mastering the ARt of French Cooking was published by Knopf (after nine years of work, rejections, etc). It remains in print today.  For the full story of the making of that book, read “My Life in France,” which I penned with Julia. Brain Pickings takes a look back: A Lesson in Entrepreneurship, Perseverance and Publishing from Iconic Chef Julia Child by Maria Popova “Don’t for the love of heaven let anybody rush you into anything.” On March 8, 1952, Julia Child, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday today, sat down at her kitchen table in Paris and penned a fan letter to American historian and author Bernard DeVoto, discussing the peculiarities of French and American kitchen knives. But the letter was answered by DeVoto’s wife, Avis, described by one of her husband’s students at Harvard as “very good looking and very sexy-seeming and the only faculty wife who might have said ‘horseshit’ even to [Harvard] President Lowell.” This was the beginning of an epistolary friendship that unfolded into a rich and wide-spanning relationship, exploring the two women’s deepest thoughts and feelings as well as their most passionate professional pursuits and aspirations, as Avis became Julia’s confidant, great champion, and unofficial literary agent. As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto (public library) isn’t merely a collection of the 200 letters exchanged over the course of this extraordinary correspondence — it’s a powerful portrait not just of two visionary, worldly women who traveled extensively, read voraciously, and inhabited endlessly stimulating intellectual and social circles, but also of the sociocultural landscape of the 1950s and...

Latest European Arms Race: Who’s the Greenest of Them All? (Nantes!)

Nantes, France, is the European Green Capital of 2013, and my kind of city: “the transport hierarchy has been flipped around. Seventy-five percent of the street is devoted to spacious rights-of-way for bus rapid transit … Drivers yield to pedestrians, and those on foot boldly step into crosswalks. Parking spaces have been minimized … Residents and visitors hop on nearly 1,000 bike-share bicycles at over a hundred stations, navigating via hundreds of kilometers of bike paths.” No wonder they call it the Portland of France. A good piece from my pal Anthony Flint:   For Second-Tier European Cities, It’s a Race to Go Greener, Faster ANTHONY FLINT NANTES, France —This post-industrial city near the Brittany coast has tried all manner of things to distinguish itself as the other important city in France. Theme-park style rides combined with public art – loads of it, literally, including a giant mechanical elephant that sashays out to a plaza with up to 30 people on its back, and playfully sprays water from its trunk at those on the ground. A memorial celebrating abolition, as a mea culpa for being a major seaport for the slave trade. A conference center, of course, and equally ubiquitous literature touting the city as the center of Europe, with plane routes equidistant from Dublin, Lisbon, and Milan.   Nantes’s giant mechanical elephant (right) and seaport. Photos by Anthony Flint. Yet all of that was never quite enough. So the city embarked on an aggressive campaign to be the greenest city it could possibly be, as a kind of ultimate distinction. The transformation has not been subtle. “They do not...