September 11

Anthropogenic Forest vs. Environmentalism? Not really.

The obvious first thing to say about Charles C. Mann’s 2005 bestseller, 1491, is just that. It was a New York Times bestseller. LOTS of people read it. It probably reached a larger audience than any of the classics of Environmental History it cites (among them, The Columbian Exchange and Changes in the Land). And […]

June 24

Bemidji in 1947

Bemidji’s 1947 Planning Board document, prepared by Evert, Kincaid, and Dean of Chicago, introduces the city as a “prospering community built along the shores of beautiful Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving.” After briefly mentioning its pioneer history and the timber boom, the introduction says that by 1947, “the community is largely dependent upon agricultural activities […]

May 31

Boosting the Cutover District, 1915

On December 9, 1915, the Bemidji Pioneer printed a 44-page “Booster Edition” of the paper while the Northern Minnesota Development Association was holding its annual meeting in the city. Below is the front page of the edition. The Northern Minnesota lumber boom peaked in 1905, and by 1915 annual lumber production had fallen to half […]

My utility coop and solar power

There‚Äôs a crucial difference between an energy utility company being concerned about the costs associated with moving toward new technology like net metering, and the company pretending concern as a tactic to avoid changing the status quo. According to a Deutsche Bank study, related in a great article by Lucas Mearian for Computerworld, ten US […]