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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Political Breed: Straw Bale Republican!

First Log Cabin Republicans, now... Straw Bale House Republicans? One can hope: Jason Williams, the 25-year-old chair of the Brown County Republicans, is also a leader in sustainable, local home construction. KELO reports on Williams's straw bale house project in Stratford.

What makes straw bale construction so great? Well, as you look at your thermometer and see that it is –18°F this morning, think two words: R-40. That's the insulation factor Williams gets from his bales. If you have 2x6 walls with fiberglass insulation, you might be getting R-20. Straw's high R factor also means less need for air conditioning in the summer.

Some more reasons Williams's straw bale house is a model for South Dakota:
  • Straw is a local product: we could build great houses from our own farm fields. Who needs cellulosic ethanol? Just bale that straw and build!
  • Straw cuts down on cutting down trees, and it renews more quickly.
  • Three Little Pigs be darned: straw stands up to wind (tornados!) better than stick houses.
Williams is also keeping it local with the non-straw elements of his castle. Wherever possible, he's using salvaged materials—timber from old buildings, discarded doors and windows, etc.

I recall Williams putting up some pretty flimsy arguments during his brief stint blogging on the Red Blue and Purple, the Aberdeen American news blog.* But when it comes to construction, there's no arguing with this Republican straw man. Sustainable straw bale construction: that's conservatism you can believe in!

*I notice that Jason Williams's name has been purged from Red Purple and Blue, and those of his posts that remain, such as here, here, and here, have been stripped of his name. What gives? Must be another liberal media plot to stifle conservative voices.

1 comment:

  1. I like the term "Red Dog Republican." That's what you get when you put rouge on a pit bull.


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