Tuesday, February 19, 2008

NOx and Socks

On Saturday, I went on an environmental tour of Newark organized by GreenFaith, an interfaith environmental group. Among many other things, we peered at the Essex County incinerator on Raymond Boulevard, the largest in New Jersey.

Newark incinerator

The Newark incinerator could serve as a case study on the follies and outrages of solid waste disposal, not least regional politics. The regional approach meant it was built in the Ironbound section of Newark, a densely populated working poor neighborhood that had almost no say in the matter and now has the highest asthma rates in the state. When the incinerator started operations, many suburban townships in Essex County stopped programs to reduce or recycle waste because it was "cheaper" to burn it. But the vast majority of garbage comes from New York City, which closed its incinerators and landfills due to environmental concerns.

Understandably, many Ironbound residents are wary of new-to-the-U.S. carbon trading proposals (including RGGI) that focus only on regional efficiencies and do not consider the cumulative impacts on local hotspots. It would seem the creation of a mandatory market is not sufficient by itself to address the externalities involved. I note that those who dismiss these concerns as mere nimbyism generally do not voluntarily live near incinerators themselves.

I took the Birch Leaf socks on the tour, but felt constrained about pulling them out for an action photo. So here's a pic at home – they're finished and are comfortable and gorgeous, if I do say so myself. I'm particularly pleased that all the fussing over the color sequence paid off.

Birch Leaf socks

Here's details of the front and back of the cuffs and the toes (click to view larger).

Cuff front   Cuff back   Sock toes

Mods: instead of lace on the back of the cuff, I used baby cables. The toe in the pattern comes to a long point, not the shape of my foot at all, so I made it a blunt wedge. For reasons unknown, knitting both socks identically yielded a fine fit on one toe, an uncomfortably tight fit on the other. After much re-knitting, I finally got two different, but comfortable toes. I don't think the differences really show.

Kureyon Sock socks

It was so warm yesterday that it was no hardship to roll up my pants (well, except for the blinding glare from my legs) to show off the socks. Intermittent rain left my garden too squishy to walk on, so I stayed on the paved walk. Alas, my clear clogs aren't so clear any more. Hm, maybe something to add to the market list for the Philadelphia Flower Show.


Kim said...

It seems that everything comes down to the almighty dollar. Communities stopping recycling programs because it's cheaper to burn everything. Geesh! The effort on matching up the colors really paid off! Gorgeous!

Devorah said...

The socks came out great!

The burning reminds me of when Bloomberg first took office and suspended recycling. Destroyed years of effort. Phooey!

Bezzie said...

Mmmm...nice socks!

The Sunday paper had a nice long article about the Ironbound neighborhood and how due to the pollution life isn't so great there...I only skimmed it, maybe they were talking about your tour? I think I cut the article up to use as a sewing pattern. Bah!

But then I flipped the page to the obits where they had an obit for a 92 year old woman who had lived in Ironbound a good portion of her life.