We CAN Save Our Planet!

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We CAN Save Our Planet by Linda Kaidan

Youth everywhere are feeling tremendous anger at previous generations for destroying our planet. Just this morning I heard a kid complaining that going to school is a waste of time because the world is going to end anyway. Joining the chorus of defeatist chants are some scientists who say we cannot fix the weather.

Fight destructive actions. Solve problems. While climate change disasters and destruction caused by reprehensible humans are daily occurrences all over the planet, amazing discoveries and technological advancements are happing all the time.

Right now there is a race to colonize Mars and the Moon. Neither have an atmosphere we can breathe or gravity that humans can tolerate long-term. On the moon, temperatures range from -280 F to 260 F. On Mars, they range from -220 F to + 70 F. Very thin atmosphere enables space debris to hit the surface with high impact because there’s no resistance.

Is it really easier to survive in space than on Earth? Despite major obstacles, NASA’s 2021 space budget is 23.3 billion.  This year NASA awarded $2.9 Billion to SpaceX to build a Moon Lander. The Space  Foundation reported that the nearly half a trillion-dollar global space economy grew by 4.4% in 2020. This kind of investment shows strong confidence that humans can live elsewhere in our solar system and beyond. We should have equal faith in life on Earth!

Can we fix our climate? You bet we can! On Earth, we have all the basics that we need for survival. These include oxygen, water, and the mineral base life on our planet evolved with. There is limitless energy potential. We can stop our planet from burning by reducing the amount of sun that reaches our atmosphere. We can protect our communities from wind and flood with intelligent building technologies.

Saying and doing are not the same things. Hope and plans must be accompanied by action! No matter what your age, find a way to contribute. Learn as much as you can and create your own team of activists to help your community whether global or local.

Be the inventors, investors, and contributors you need to be to save your future and the future of all life on our planet!

Climate Change Projected To Improve Herkimer NY Economy

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by Linda Kaidan

 We’re republishing this prophetic article, first posted in June 2017, to help those researching places to move to in upstate New York following the devastation of Hurricane Ida.

Yesterday’s New York Times discussed damage to our economy likely to be caused by climate change. Herkimer County NY (see above map) is likely to have GDP growth of at least 5% per year rather than GDP decline. This is indicated by the dark green color on the map. Similar advantages of climate are shared by west Alaska, adjacent Hamilton County and Maine.

Climate Change DEMOGRAPHICS will transform herkimer

The Herkimer Post’s recent review of Herkimer’s soaring home sales strongly hints that retirees who might once have moved South are relocating to Central New York, and especially to conveniently-located Herkimer. Given increasingly refined and alarming climate change figures, this migration trend’s likely to accelerate. 

There’s little residential construction in Herkimer and the supply of available housing is small. Competition for existing homes will become brisk. Buyers of vacation homes may also be turning their eyes from the sandy but imperiled Atlantic and Gulf beach communities north to the Mohawk Valley and Southern Adirondacks.

A critical mass of middle and upper-middle-class home buyers inevitably transform a community. Landlords either sell out or renovate properties to appeal to affluent newcomers. Empty storefronts become shops again. The police become responsive and the streets safe as criminals move on, no longer tolerated and unable to make a living. We saw this transformation happen in Boston’s Roxbury and Charlestown, and we’re seeing it begin here in Herkimer.

Promising new technologies can reduce greenhouse gas

Climate change becomes more erratic and costly every year. Yet there are many technologies that will help combat this devastating process. As our president continues to deny climate change, some technology innovators are filling the gap left by ineffectual governance.

Bill Gates is heading a $1 billion venture fund supporting development of clean energy technology, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Co-founders include Jeff Bezos and Richard Brandon. The goal of the fund is to build companies that will provide affordable emissions-free energy. Gates is personally investing $1 billion in startups and companies starting this year.

Climeworks, a new Swiss company hopes to extract 1% of worldwide CO2 from the atmosphere by 2025. Company founders Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher invented a Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology while students at ETH Zurich. They have lowered the cost of CO2 extraction from the air to less than $600 per ton. Climeworks envisions that they can create 250,000 plants by 2025.

Reducing greenhouse gases is essential to the planet’s survival, but blocking the sun may buy some time. Today there are over 375 operational nanosatellites in space, which may help us to find and improve climate change solutions.

As the earth grows ever hotter, it makes sense to consider moving to those green places on the map which are the most sustainable to live in, places like Herkimer, NY.

From September 16, 2017:

Herkimer County Ideal for Hurricane Refugees

Herkimer Soars As Americans Migrate From Coasts

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Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer’s soaring into a brave new world, as people migrating from our coasts to climate and pandemic safety zones such as upstate New York move here, contending briskly for homes. A house in our cute conveniently located village seems to sell every 90 seconds, even as prices continue ever upward. The sharp-eyed will have spotted license plates from as far away as Alaska and Washington state, California and Texas, with the Carolinas and Florida well-represented. 

There are a phenomenal number of people scoping out our once forgotten area. Linda Kaidan’s photos of the Mohawk Valley, centered on Herkimer, have had over 4 million views. In the last 30 days, The Herkimer Post has enjoyed almost 15,000 page views, 90% of them from new visitors. We have a well-earned reputation for telling it as it is. And you do want to know how it is there before you commit to someplace new. (“We Publish What They Won’t” proclaims our masthead. We are not “The Herkimer Happy Hour.”)

Herkimer Post 30 Day Page Views as of 5.4.21
Herkimer Post 30 Day Page Views as of 5.4.21

When the eviction moratorium ends, we’ll probably see more houses for sale here as nonpaying tenants are moved on and battered owners decide to wash their hands of what was once a safe, reliable investment. Even then there won’t be enough housing stock to meet the press of the demand.

Historically in boom times, undeveloped land is the next to go. Given the rapid growth of chip manufacturing in Upstate, notably Cree in Utica, this region may become the new Silicon Valley. Hopefully, New York will impose strict controls on growth. I hope we won’t see our magnificent countryside crammed with houses and choked by traffic. 

Climate change projected to improve Herkimer NY economy

 

Marcy’s Nanotechnology Industry Drives Central NY Housing Shortage

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Nanotechnology Industry Drives Central NY Housing Shortage
Marcy magnet for home sales in central NY

by Linda Kaidan

As New York’s population decline continues Marcy’s Cree nanotechnology manufacturer draws real-estate buyers to our neighborhoods. Data from realtor.com shows that on 6/17/20 only 3 homes of any kind were available for sale in Marcy.

Proximity to Marcy is a strong indicator of reduced number of homes for sale.

Using realtor.com’s filter of all housing types including mobile, multi-family and single-family homes while excluding homes under contract, I collected statistics of homes for sale in 10 nearby communities. US census data provides population data.  The distance of each location to Marcy is derived from Google maps. I  also created an availability statistic which is a function of population and available homes for sale.

Distance to Marcy in miles Towns
1-10 Mohawk, Frankfort, Whitesboro, Rome, Utica, New Hartford
11-20 Herkimer
21-30 Little Falls, German Flats

The highest availability of homes for sale was found in Little Falls with one home for every 95 people.

In contrast, the lowest availability was found in Utica with one home available for every 905 people.

Lower availability of homes for sale suggests that we construct new affordable housing.

As internet purchasing outstrips brick and mortar retail establishments, outdated and defunct structures become available for re-purposing as residential communities. An example of  an outstanding makeover target is the abandoned Kmart located at 200 Washington St, Herkimer. This property has over 6.7 acres of sub-dividable land and is assessed at $2 million.  In convenient walking distance to numerous amenities, it also offers  relaxing views of the beautiful Mohawk Valley hills.

A close example of such an affordable housing construction project currently underway is the Snohomish County Washington site, formerly a Kmart.  Four hundred much needed residential units will replace the unused commercial area. Building energy efficient smaller homes with multi use and shared community spaces will positively impact our quality of life.

Affordable owner-occupied homes and improved public transportation will create a stronger community and a healthy local economy.

It’s clear that Marcy’s new nanotechnology industry drives Central NY housing shortage. But we can use this to our advantage by creatively creating affordable and accessible  housing alternatives. 

 

Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees in Central NY: An Urgent Priority

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NYC2050 underwater? Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees
What should we do to save NYC residents from near term coastal disaster?

By Linda Kaidan

Why Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees? Everywhere we’re finally acknowledging the immediacy of coastal climate change devastation. Now is the time to replace traditional spending behaviors with healthy behaviors that can save millions of people and millions of dollars. 

For example, we might ask, can we put part of NY’s $90.2 billion FY 2020 budget to better use as an investment in new permanent housing for 1 million coastal residents migrating to inland homes in Central NY?

New Housing for 1+ Million People

NYC Climate Change Migration Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees

$60 billion will create infrastructure and homes for 1 million people in Central NY (CNY). The existing  Utica/Rome SMSA  population is roughly 350000.  With CNY quadrupling in size, exciting opportunities will exist for workers, learners and investors.

Central NY is experiencing significant growth in Health and High-Tech Sectors. For example, Cree is investing in a $1 Billion semiconductor chip processing plant in Utica. In Syracuse, Microsoft is participating in “Smart Cities”. New residents will have good opportunities for jobs, education and growing services. Ongoing expansion in medical sectors is taking place in both these cities.

Horrible facts mean let’s act quickly for a healthy future

Central NY has elevations well above the maximum predicted sea level rise. These range from 400 ft to 800 ft above sea level. New York State has the resources and wisdom to prepare for inevitable devastation by directing investments to critical targets that will promote security and prosperity. Rerouting coastal investment to optimal inland locations is key to our success!

 

 

Abaco cautions coastal cities: NY beware!

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Tiny Abaco cautions coastal cities to prepare.

by Linda Kaidan

Abaco Island’s sudden devastation leaving 70,000 homeless and death tolls yet to be tallied calls us to wake up and prepare for such climate disasters. Coastal cities worldwide must anticipate catastrophic flooding and relocate to higher elevations. Enterprise investment in geographically independent operating structures and remote workers can support efficient continuity in a time of turbulence and uncertainty.

New York City’s metropolitan area is home to 13 million people and at least 50% of the State’s total population. Should Abaco-like devastation hit the city, economic disaster and unthinkable loss of life will ensue.  It’s time for us to demand decentralized jobs and habitation. We have been gravely warned and encouraged to take lifesaving action.  

New York’s economy is both a national and international asset that fosters global stability.

New York State ranks 3rd in the US and has a GDP comparable to that of France, Canada and Australia. We can protect our precious assets both human and economic and help secure civilization by following tried and true methods of decentralization employed by many of the most successful corporations in the world (like Amazon).

Find flexible solutions to dynamic problems.

Abaco cautions coastal cities to be prepared.

One of the most difficult adjustments that must be made is handling vessel docking when coastline is constantly changing. Hopefully someone is already in the process of creating a generic and dynamic docking solution that can be used in ports worldwide.

Expect the unexpected and prepare!

When we act proactively our chances of overcoming climate disaster look optimistic. We cannot afford more Abaco situations which are certain to occur and to increase in ferocity until we enact successful countermeasures. Just 2 days ago the same hurricane that destroyed Abaco traveled nearly 1500 miles from the Bahamas northward to Canada striking Nova Scotia. We must expect to see extremes and take necessary action! Abaco cautions coastal cities to expect intensely destructive weather and to be prepared. Dramatic climate events compel community action. 

Do what it takes to live ! Let’s survive our climate crisis

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by Linda Kaidan

Calling individuals, corporations and billionaires to fund climate emergency solution

Governments certainly haven’t gotten very far in solving worldwide climatic devastation. Perhaps over 2,000 billionaires worldwide can save earth by financing an immediate solution. A space mission parking a huge solar shade to reduce the solar radiation is probably achievable in a very short period of time and at a very low cost. Let’s do what it takes to live!

Reducing sunshine to cool the planet

Many years ago scientists came up with the idea of blocking some of the sun reaching earth by parking a huge shade in between the sun and earth at a relatively stable point in space called L1. They theorized that only 1 percent reduction could return our planet’s temperatures back to normal. It’s probably time to implement this stop gap solution, as we now face sudden and imminent flooding from melting Antarctic ice sheets and perilous increasing temperatures.

Launching stuff into space is pretty expensive, but some materials like aerogels weigh next to nothing.

Aerogels might weigh about 0.1 pounds per cubic foot. Slicing the material into 5mm thick sheets yields about 300 sf per 1/10 pound or 3000 sf per pound. One thousand pounds of aerogel can cover 3 million square feet, so 10,000 pounds will cover about 1 square mile. To cover the 600 square miles proposed by Lowell Wood of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, we might require 6 million pounds of material. At $10,000 per pound, the cost could add up to 6 trillion dollars and require 6,000 billionaires and corporations to contribute 1 billion dollars each.

We can reach the space parking point in just one or two days!

How long will it take to travel to the L1 parking point in space? L1 is about 1 million miles from earth. It will take two days or even less to get there.

We have the technology and the money to save Earth right now!

The longer we wait, the smaller our chance of survival. Rich people and corporations can save the earth by funding this practical and affordable geoengineering solution. The rest of us can do what it takes to live when we organize ourselves on a community basis by providing the necessary resources and actions for maintaining civilization.  

AMAZON tiny homes sellout!

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Tiny home/cabin for under $8000 including delivery sells out on Amazon

by Linda Kaidan

Affordable housing shortage drives soaring tiny home sales

“Over Half of Urban Renter Households Experience Some Form of Housing Insecurity.” It’s possible that Amazon’s May 2019 sellout of the DIY Allwood Garden House may be a result of this perilous state of US housing deficits.

Amazon’s new low-cost tiny home immediate sellout

This May Amazon posted a $7,250 DIY guest cabin/home that most anyone can  build in 8 hours. All available supplies were immediately sold out. When 2 people share such a space each would have a one time rent just under $303 a month for the first year and no rent thereafter.  Though initial reviews indicated that purchasers were critical of the product, they illustrated the strength of demand.

Great lack of affordable housing likely factor

The amazing popularity indicates the desire many people have to own their own home in a time when housing is not affordable for 50% of the population. Such a tiny property can lead to economic freedom from the rent treadmill. It also ensures housing security in a time when so many are homeless.

New off the shelf market will spark business opportunities

Food for thought about the living small market in general ties into real estate, cooperative housing and products supporting multi-use spaces in home construction and renovation. People need affordable homes. When they live tiny, they pay less for housing and use less energy.

Rewards for homeowners, investors and affordable housing seekers

If you are a homeowner think about adding this inexpensive space to your backyard for guests or as a workshop. If you are an investor, think about how you can make it easy for individuals to finance tiny home living.

Amazon shows us that it’s possible to live better for less and that profitable home products can fuel an industry that has great positive impact on how we live. It’s important to think of the tiny home as a place to begin. It’s a springboard for new ideas and learning from experience.

Think about how you can participate in this new housing trend that contributes to affordable living, green energy and many new related industries.

Earn and Learn: Start your prolific kitchen window microgreen garden with $5

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Earn and Learn
Earn and Learn Start your indoor kitchen window microgreen garden for under $5

Micro-greens are nutritious and delicious.

You can grow 40 plants under your kitchen window using recycled containers year-round. The great thing about micro-greens is that when you cut off the tops for sandwich or salad and they will keep on growing.

Earn and Learn
150 mixed lettuce and 150 hot micro-green seeds for $5 at Walmart

My garden shelf is actually a small, 20 inch x 20 inch table well gnawed by a wayward dog.

I bought it at the Ilion Salvation Army for $4. My table top holds a rusted baking dish, Walmart donut container, Aldi’s juice bottle (with top sliced off) and a fried chicken container. The top has built in drainage holes and the bottom catches the runoff water.

When you share you can pay as little as $2.50 for a 50 plant garden.

Walmart is selling a variety of micro green seeds in packs of 150 for $2.46. A 12-quart bag of organic seed starting mix is $4.67. 1 pack of soil and 1 pack of seeds are enough for 4 tabletop gardens. If 3 people share, they can each have their own garden of 50 plants for only $2.50. Remember that if you have SNAP, you can use your food card to pay for the seeds 😊.

Indoor garden growing is fun for the whole family and an opportunity to learn firsthand how to be a gardener.

You can earn great nutrition and learn how to have your own independent food source. You might want to maintain a log of what you planted and when. The details you record can include things like plant height before and after harvest, amount of water and quality of taste. Many people who start indoor gardening go on to learn hydroponics and aquaponics. Your indoor window garden may become your own business not someday but in the near future.

Earn and learn is a great strategy for everyone.

What’s Good About Herkimer’s Bad Crime Figures

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Stephen Ames Berry

The most recently available crime figures for Herkimer are horrible.  Neighborhood Scout’s December 2018 report, assigned Herkimer a crime rating a 4, meaning that 96% of all US communities are safer than Herkimer. Chicago is safer than Herkimer

Herkimer’s violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation… In Herkimer, your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime is one in 134…Of property crime, one in 21. [Also one of the highest in the nation.]

Neighborhood Scout’s most recent figures don’t just regurgitate the FBI’s semiannual  figures. They analyze data sourced from communities, and drill down, identifying each crime by geolocation code.

 The most unsafe area of Herkimer, for example, is shown as the south of Herkimer Village, where we live.  Looking at this blog’s crime postings and YouTube channel, you’ll see how accurate that report is: All of our 100+ videos of Herkimer crime were taken within 40 meters of our home.

The Good News About Herkimer’s Bad Crime Statistics

The good news about Herkimer’s bad crime stats is that they’re realistic. Had we seen such grim figures before buying a house in Herkimer 5 years ago, you wouldn’t be reading this–we’d have bought that nice two-family in nearby Little Falls, and I’d be finishing my long-neglected technothriller sequel. Little Falls doesn’t seem to have much of a gang presence. Here we’ve long had a gang entrenched next door, still enjoying diplomatic immunity.

 Only through hard won experience did we learn the crime figures were low because the police only made a few token arrests. If you suppress complaints and don’t make arrests, your reported crime rate stays low and crime soars. It’s this misfeasance that made Herkimer a haven for  drug and child trafficking gangs and its streets unsafe for the law-abiding.

Herkimer crime a visual motif
The 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer “If you suppress complaints and don’t make arrests, your reported crime rate stays low and crime soars.”

Herkimer No Longer Suppresses Crime Reports

It’s hard to resolve a problem without acknowledging it. Crime is now reported in Herkimer and arrests made, as reflected in these crime figures.  Last year saw some previously well-protected gang members arrested, notably the Joyce Barton gang’s vicious Shianne Hill, for assaulting a neighborhood grandmother. (Hill’s serving a year’s probation.)

Shianne Hill About to attack eldeerly woman
Herkimer’s Shianne Hill moving to attack neighboring grandma.

Crime Statistics a Lagging Indicator

Crime statistics are always a lagging indicator. Current dynamics hint that life is growing less perilous here in Herkimer.  Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile.   Poison gas attacks have stopped for now. And home sales are doing quite well. 

Joyce Barton Herkimer gang
“Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile.” Joyce Barton of Herkimer’s Barton Gang, sending a little love our way.
“Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile.” Stanley Sykes of Herkimer’s Sykes Gang sending a little love our way.

Climate Change Boosts Herkimer Real Estate Sales

I want to believe that Herkimer’s apparent crime crack down’s due to a sudden epiphany. But frankly it’s probably because the feds and the state are leaning on Herkimer. New York’s neglected Upstate has been widely identified as an ideal climate change sanctuary area, with Herkimer County predicted to boom as much of the US struggles to cope with escalating  climate change devastation. 

We in Herkimer and Upstate are sitting on some of the most valuable future real estate in US. The Gulf Coast and the Atlantic seaboard are rapidly losing their allure as retirement havens as massive storms increasingly batter the region amid rising seas, spreading homelessness and misery. New York City’s future is one of rising waters and shrinking land. Half of New York’s people  live in the state’s maritime counties. There’s no central national planning for climate change mitigation or relocation.  We aren’t the only ones who know this.

Herkimer area home sales and prices continue rising as eyes and interest  increasingly turn north, reflecting the region’s limited housing stock and a growing number of buyers. The median sale price rise for Herkimer real estate rose 7.2% in 2018 and is projected to almost double in 2019, to 13.3%, according to Zillow. Given the emerging dynamics of climate change migration, Herkimer real estate sale price should continue to rise.

Where Have All The Bodies Gone? (Redux)

Interestingly there are still no murders reported for Herkimer. This is very odd. Statistically, Herkimer should have murders, given its violent crime rate. We argued in our post Where Have All the Bodies Gone?  that Herkimer does have murders, they’re just  well concealed.  Opioids would be the least messy way to accomplish that, given the region’s opioid crisis.

Crime Widespread in the Mohawk Valley

Not just Herkimer is dangerous. So is much of the Mohawk Valley. Neighborhood Scout gives Utica a crime rank of 9. Little Falls ranks 14. Surprisingly, our neighboring village of Mohawk is a seeming paradise, according to its crime figures.

Village of Mohawk a Law Abiding Paradise?

Mohawk, adjacent to Herkimer and Little Falls, has a crime rating of 92. It doesn’t get much better. I’m a bit skeptical about that as Joseph Malone is the Mohawk Police Chief. When we moved here, he was also the Herkimer police chief. In May of 2016 Malone resigned as Herkimer police chief in the teeth of an ethics investigation. He was replaced by Chief Joseph Jory, who is apparently not arrest shy. So is Mohawk really all that safe? 

Escalating real estate sale prices may decrease crime rates

As real estate prices rise, crime drops. We saw this happen in Boston as tech firm workers bumped up sales prices, sparking a city-wide real estate boom. We did well  buying older  houses in marginal areas and renovating them. Criminals could no longer  afford to live in transitioned areas and were mostly gone after a few years. The same dynamics are emerging in Herkimer. Median monthly rents are now $900, up from $700 a few months ago.  Herkimer’s legacy gangs live in and traffic out of rented houses whose owners will sell out when the price is right. And that time seems close at hand. The Herkimer Post will continue greasing their skids.

We’re hoping next year’s Herkimer crime report, reflecting 2018, will show significant improvement as a result of better law enforcement amid changing demographics.