About alexerickson

Alex Erickson is a graduate student at Boise State University currently pursuing a masters degree in Public Administration. He received an undergraduate degree from Boise State in philosophy and political science. Alex works at Thomas Development, a real estate development company specializing in affordable housing and sustainable development. He has since developed an interest in planning with special interests in community housing and smart growth planning. His other academic interests include education, housing, and environmental policy. Alex grew up in Idaho and enjoys hiking and skiing.

Is nuclear energy the solution to climate change?

Accessed from www.prwatch.org on 11/12/13

Accessed from http://www.prwatch.org on 11/12/13

CNN recently released a two hour special titled Pandora’s Promise. The goal of the show was as clear as it was controversial; convince the world to invest in nuclear energy. The show was made by self proclaimed environmentalists and argued that nuclear energy is the best way for us to combat global climate change. Continue reading

Planning for disaster

Accessed from news.nationalgeographic.com on 11/8/13

Typhoon Haiyan. Accessed from news.nationalgeographic.com on 11/8/13

One of the largest storms ever recorded recently touched down in the Philippines. With sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts estimated at 235mph, many towns face the biggest challenge to their infrastructure they have ever seen. People on the coastal areas are being evacuated to higher ground. It is expected that their towns are going to sustain significant damage. Continue reading

Brownfield Restoration: two birds with one stone.

Jim Inhofe Accessed from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Inhofe  on 10/23/13

Jim Inhofe Accessed from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Inhofe on 10/23/13

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said in a statement this spring “it’s very rare that I have the opportunity to speak positively about any program that comes out of the EPA. But the Brownfields program is a conservative program. It leverages public finances with private investors to clean up contaminated areas that would otherwise be abandoned so they can redeveloped into something productive and profitable. And that’s why I’m proud to be a primary sponsor of the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act of 2013.” Continue reading

Save lives with Wildlife Crossings

Accessed from http://arc-solutions.org/ on 10/22/13

Accessed from http://arc-solutions.org/ on 10/22/13

There are a lot of things lurking in the woods in the state of Idaho. Mountain lions can stalk you while you are on your leisurely hike. Wolves prowl while you camp. Bears attack people fishing to protect their cubs or food supply. All of these pale in comparison to the most dangerous animal in the state, and the nation for that matter, deer. Continue reading

The cost of waiting

Accessed from tripwow.tripadvisor.com  on 10/17/2013

Accessed from tripwow.tripadvisor.com on 10/17/20

The state of Idaho has not changed its fuel tax since 1996. In that time the purchasing power of that revenue raised has gone down significantly. The million dollars worth of gravel that the department of transportation could buy in 1996 costs 1.47 million dollars today. Material costs have also contributed to a shrinking available budget. From 1999 to 2010 there was a 269% increase in the cost of oil for asphalt (Task Force, 2011, pg. 6). Continue reading

When conditional use permits fail

Many residents of one Ogden neighborhood are feeling cheated. When they initially heard that the old blighted building down the street was going to be remodeled into a new senior citizen community they welcomed the developer with open arms. Their only concern was the large sycamore trees on the property. These trees were a defining characteristic of the neighborhood, and local citizens wanted them to stay. The developer was very accommodating, they even signed a conditional use permit promising to save as many trees as were possible. Continue reading

Salt Lake: an unexpected leader of smart growth and sustainability.

Salt Lake is usually not brought up during topics such as sustainability or smart growth, but perhaps that will soon change. In the past few decades Salt Lake has made large strides to control sprawl problems like traffic and urban planning. It has created innovative programs to help reduce carbon emissions. Salt Lake city is now ranked number 8 on Bill Moyers Top 12 cities leading the way in sustainability. http://billmoyers.com/content/12-cities-leading-the-way-in-sustainability/8/ Continue reading