Austin’s Greenest ‘Yellow Pages’: Seventh Edition Hits Stands
Paul Robbins draws on institutional knowledge to produce a ‘labor of love’
Nora Ankrum, Austin Chronicle, May 21, 2010
This edition, the seventh since the inaugural issue in 1995, took three years to complete and is available for free mainly at the personal expense of founder and Editor Paul Robbins.
In the current edition, Robbins tackles synthetic fuels, electric cars, and the “zero-energy suburb,” all topics that he says people need to understand more closely. “Humans aren’t descended from apes, but lemmings,” says Robbins. “What are they going to do when they run out of oil? They are going to do all these things that no one expects them to do. And one of them is synthetic fuel.” Most “synfuels,” as Robbins calls them in his “Synfuels and Redemption,” produce higher carbon dioxide emissions – up to 172% higher – than conventional petroleum, and they’re becoming more popular. “One of the things that I figured out was that 10% of our liquid fuel is now coming from synfuels,” says Robbins. “That’s a huge amount, and nobody I knew had figured it out yet.”
…”Many people who become activists start with something small like putting in a sidewalk,” he says. “I wanted to stop a nuclear plant.” He was one of the first in Austin to promote the idea that money could be better spent on energy conservation than on power plants, a philosophy now institutionalized at Austin Energy. “Austin began doing energy conservation in 1982,” he says, “and one of the things in my life I’m proud of is that I helped start that program with 20 other people.”
Free green book was a long time coming
Austin Environmental Directory released Thursday
David Scott, KXAN, Thursday, 22 Apr 2010
AUSTIN (KXAN) – Want to be more eco-friendly in your life, your home, your car? The new “Bible” on all things green is now available in Austin.
Environmental godfather Paul Robbins worked three and a half years to compile his Austin Environmental Directory . It is loaded with the latest information on new programs, projects and products to go green.
Robbins, a tireless environmental activist, says, “What I’m thinking is in 5 to 10 years for people to have zero energy homes and cars, that is they use no fossil fuel.”
Love Is …
Love is in the air at City Council chambers
Wells Dunbar, Austin Chronicle, June 21, 2007
First, self-described consumer advocate and environmental activist Paul Robbins – a prickly-pear if ever there was one – was read a proclamation by Lee Leffingwell naming Downtown’s first district chilling plant for him. “This may be the first award the city ever gave for stubbornness,” said Robbins, whose spent 30 years advocating for smart energy policy in Austin (his Austin Environmental Directory is here)
Downtown Coolin’ Plant Chillin’ Like Paul Robbins
Who’s Paul Robbins, and what’s a cooling plant?
Daniel Mottola, Austin Chronicle, July 27, 2007
In June, the Austin City Council voted to rename Downtown’s District Cooling Plant 1 after Paul Robbins, publisher of the Austin Environmental Directory and perhaps the city’s most indefatigable green activist. Clad in his signature tweed blazer, penny loafers, and magnifying-glass-like spectacles, Robbins is the rail-thin gent with longish gray hair who’s often tersely addressing council during citizens’ communication, skewering the city over an energy-related misgiving or calling for far-reaching reforms. Was the renaming the city’s smartass way of telling Robbins to “chill out”? And just what the heck is a district cooling plant, anyway?
Booklet packs zeal for cause
Asher Price, Austin American-Statesman, August 21, 2006
In Paul Robbins‘ telling of evolution, we are descended not from chimpanzees but lemmings.
“Humans may be descended from lemmings, but they are clever lemmings,” he said at City Hall. “They should be reducing their population, reducing fossil fuel use and switching to clean energy. But, instead, they try to find new ways to use the same dangerous fuel sources.”
Declaring that the federal government has forsaken its obligation to protect the environment, Robbins said, Austin should lead the way in investing in renewable fuels, such as wind energy, constructing greener buildings, building streetcar systems, mandating heat-reflecting roofs, embarking on a massive tree planting effort, converting the private gas utility to a public entity and powering the city only on green, or renewable, power.
Full text available with Austin Public Library Card
Access from http://library.austintexas.gov/database/newsbank