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is global collapse imminent?

Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse [more inside]
posted by flex on Sep 4, 2014 - 61 comments

The case for banning fireworks

They're a threat to the environment and dangerous as hell. There's got to be a better way to celebrate.
Look, I’m an environmental reporter, and as such it is practically in my job description to be a killjoy. For this I am sorry. It’s not like I won’t personally be enjoying the fireworks over the East River — which at least can’t get any more polluted than it already is — but I won’t be able to do so without nagging self-admonishments about how fireworks are actually kind of stupid.… Now, as is my professional duty, I pass these nagging thoughts on to you.

posted by Lexica on Jul 6, 2014 - 102 comments

Mine is the beige house. No, the other one. No, the one next to that.

In his new book Ciphers, German photographer Christopher Gielen (previously) reveals haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development through aerial views of American urban sprawl. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 5, 2014 - 50 comments

The Moral Question Of Our Time: Can We Share The Planet?

UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2014 - 50 comments

ref. Claude Lévi-Strauss

The trailer for the 2012 documentary The Raw and the Cooked stands alone as a work of art, by capturing perfectly the best scenes from this beautiful film. Created by German filmmaker Monika Treut. Background.
posted by growabrain on Apr 20, 2014 - 9 comments

Moisture Is The Essence Of Wetness

Architecture And Vision has used warka trees and towers made of bamboo and fabric to harvest 100+ litres of potable water from the air (video) per day.
posted by gman on Apr 20, 2014 - 38 comments

Fished Out

The world's fish are in danger—as is everyone who depends on them (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 23, 2014 - 52 comments

Aggregate Demand Management: "pass a law allowing the Fed to cut checks"

Free Money for Everyone - "A wacky-sounding idea with surprisingly conservative roots may be our best hope for escaping endless, grinding economic stagnation." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 16, 2014 - 19 comments

The state of ebony

The state of ebony Bob Taylor on why your next guitar's fretboard may show some striation.
posted by Wolof on Feb 4, 2014 - 44 comments

Bringing Unicorns Back to Our World

Nonprofits With Balls. Sometimes you just need to laugh to make it through. Nonprofit agencies, whatever their missions, face common problems such as outcomes, sustainability, budgets, and even the physical plant. Oh, and unicorns.
posted by Stewriffic on Jan 9, 2014 - 10 comments

Dumpster Digs

Do you think you could live in 33 square feet? What about a 33 square foot dumpster? Beginning this fall, Professor Dumpster will take up residence in the customized trash bin in order to spread awareness about sustainability and promote the model of "less is more."
posted by jim in austin on Oct 16, 2013 - 54 comments

Going green

If anything can turn Westerners on to entomophagy for sustainable protein (or just the perfect beer snack), surely it's an attractive, well-designed kitchen appliance. Introducing LEPSIS, a modular terrarium for growing grasshoppers as a food source in an urban home. Nominated for the 2013 INDEX: Award.
posted by naju on Jul 15, 2013 - 76 comments

They want to put one of these on the moon

In the hostile, arid suburbs of Phoenix AZ, Dennis McClung and his family have created a lush and ingeniously efficient food-production system from an unused swimming pool. HuffPo is also there.
posted by ominous_paws on May 26, 2013 - 87 comments

Can we please stop drawing trees on top of skyscrapers?

Want to make a skyscraper look trendy and sustainable? Put a tree on it. Or better yet, dozens. However, "There are plenty of scientific reasons why skyscrapers don’t—and probably won’t—have trees, at least not to the heights which many architects propose. Life sucks up there. For you, for me, for trees, and just about everything else except peregrine falcons." [more inside]
posted by daisyk on Mar 26, 2013 - 65 comments

Films for Action

The Top 100 Documentaries Inspiring the Shift to a Sustainable Paradigm
posted by ladybird on Nov 7, 2012 - 34 comments

Overshooting faster

This month we've gone too far, we humans on Earth. "[H]umanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year. We are now operating in overdraft." [more inside]
posted by doctornemo on Aug 24, 2012 - 26 comments

Lunch Box.

LunchBook won the 1st prize in the competition “Expopack” for the design of a paper lunch box for Expo Milan 2015, which is dedicated to food and sustainability. LunchBook is a recipe book made of paper dishes showing recipes from all over the world. The user can taste the food while walking among the Expo 2015 stands. Once a dish gets dirty, he can remove it and use the following dish. (via book patrol) [more inside]
posted by Marauding Ennui on Aug 22, 2012 - 8 comments

Confessions Of A Recovering Environmentalist

Confessions Of A Recovering Environmentalist. We are environmentalists now in order to promote something called “sustainability.” What does this curious, plastic word mean? It does not mean defending the nonhuman world from the ever-expanding empire of Homo sapiens sapiens, though some of its adherents like to pretend it does, even to themselves. It means sustaining human civilization at the comfort level that the world’s rich people—us—feel is their right, without destroying the “natural capital” or the “resource base” that is needed to do so. Paul Kingsnorth (most recently of the Dark Mountain Project) in Orion Magazine on environmentalism, sustainability, and hope. [more inside]
posted by jhandey on Apr 11, 2012 - 125 comments

Polar Bear Threat on "Ice".. Giving "Chills" To Environmentalist. Puns also deemed healthy

We all know Polar Bears are at risk, right?
"Not so fast!" says a new study completed by the Government of Nunavut on the populations on the Western Coast of Hudson Bay. The populations are actually increasing in number.

This is something that has long been argued by Inuit who live in the area. (video) Inuit are chaulking this up as a win for Inuit Traditional Knowledge. The numbers are said to be confounding doomsayers. [more inside]
posted by dogbusonline on Apr 5, 2012 - 73 comments

In a sympathetic biochemical photo-reactive process, the Biosphere has altered the litho-sphere into the pedosphere, the cryo-sphere, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere*

The Loess Plateau in China’s Northwest is home to more than 50 million people. Centuries of overuse led to one of the highest erosion rates in the world and widespread poverty. Two projects (results) set out to restore the Loess Plateau. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Mar 22, 2012 - 7 comments

"Because clouds are boundless, weather control is boundless."

Five regional weather control programs in northeastern China seek to increase precipitation by 10 percent. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Dec 22, 2011 - 16 comments

Reams of Eames

Tired of designing yet another fancy-ass chair? Join the No Chair Design Challenge for 2012 [warning: no website design], with a handy video tutorial on how not to design chairs. [via] [more inside]
posted by benzenedream on Dec 1, 2011 - 47 comments

“Why do we eat shrimp and crawfish but not their brethren on land?”

The San Francisco Street Food Festival is an annual Summer event in the Mission District that features around 60 different Bay Area vendors and is attended by tens of thousands of foodies. This year the usual mainstays were joined by Don Bugito, which served up insect-based dishes and billed itself as the first "PreHispanic Snackeria." When the food truck commences permanent operations this month, it may be the first eatery in the country devoted exclusively to preparations involving insects. But they're not the only entomophagy pioneers in San Francisco, where Bug Cuisine is Booming. So just how tasty are insects? (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 5, 2011 - 30 comments

The Food Riots of 2013

Researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute say they've uncovered a pattern that triggers riots wherever it's found. What is that pattern? The price of food. When it rises to a certain level, social unrest & violence are soon to follow. According to their calculations the food price index is due to peak in August of 2013, assuming no corrective action is taken. The original paper is here.
posted by scalefree on Aug 21, 2011 - 49 comments

Moving Through The Paths Not Taken: Viaducts, Freeways and Almost Vancouvers

Despite the federal election focus on BC ridings, Vancouverites are having a hard time looking past the municipal. Things are quite dramatic in the urban planning scene. The city's regional growth plan was recently paralyzed by disagreement from Coquitlam. TransLink announced permanent cuts to bus service during Earth Week, describing it as "service optimization," highlighting its own chronic funding issues. The city successfully stopped a "megacasino" project after community backlash, but the $3 billion freeway Gateway Project continues despite ongoing protests. As the city struggles to find its way to the goal of Greenest City 2020, it's a good time to look at the paths not taken, via this excellent podcast on Vancouver's relationship with roadways. Part of a series called "Moving Through" from the Museum of Vancouver. [more inside]
posted by mek on Apr 26, 2011 - 26 comments

the future of food and farming

How to feed 9 billion people: The global food supply is starting to get tight, with increasing sensitivity to droughts and floods causing price spikes and food shortages. The UK commissioned a report to examine how to feed a planet with a population that is set to increase to 9 billion by 2050. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 22, 2011 - 50 comments

The Moral Crusade Against Foodies...and against people who have a moral crusade against foodies

BR Myers thinks foodies are obsessed with food at the expense of morals. Rancher and writer thinks it's a shallow and warped attack on people trying to make the food system better.. [more inside]
posted by melissam on Feb 18, 2011 - 85 comments

The new school of fish

The Bay Area’s smartest diners, chefs, and purveyors now know (and care) where every cut of grass-fed beef and stalk of pesticide-free produce comes from. Yet nearly all look the other way when fish is on the plate. What will it take to stop the eco-fibbing?
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 4, 2011 - 47 comments

Seafood Wars

Legal Sea Foods plans to serve a menu of blacklisted fish next Monday, claiming that there is no scientific basis for the Monterey Bay Aquarium's guide to sustainable seafood--which was recently updated to promote Atlantic haddock, Atlantic pollock, summer flounder, and line-caught Gulf of Maine cod to its “Good Alternatives” Category.
posted by rhiannonstone on Jan 21, 2011 - 69 comments

ending corporate welfare

Get the Energy Sector off the Dole - Why ending all government subsidies for fuel production will lead to a cleaner energy future—and why Obama has a rare chance to make it happen.
posted by kliuless on Jan 12, 2011 - 42 comments

Smells like marine stewardship

If you think those 'sustainably sourced' logos all over your cod supper are too good to be true, you're probably right. (SL via the Guardian)
posted by londonmark on Jan 6, 2011 - 38 comments

Creative Action for Collective Good

Every day, our world gets a little bit smaller and a lot more complex. So much so that even minor decisions can have major consequences. Not just for trees or frogs or polar bears, but for human lives, and livelihoods. At its core, sustainability is about people. The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action. It is a place to co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and ideas for enabling sustainable action across all design disciplines. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 20, 2010 - 9 comments

Nukes, schmukes

How Business Can Lead us Beyond Fossil Fuels: a Techonomy presentation by Amory Lovins, followed by comments from Chevron CTO John McDonald and audience questions.
posted by flabdablet on Sep 5, 2010 - 18 comments

Global Warming and its Discontents

You've heard of the IPCC, but have you heard of the MEA? The term "global warming" has been with us for 35 years. The idea that CO2 would cause the planet to heat up has been with us significantly longer, discovered in the early 20th century by the Swedish scientist, Svante Arrhenius (previously). However, the concept of global warming is not without its problems (and this has nothing to do with solar flares). [more inside]
posted by outlandishmarxist on Aug 30, 2010 - 25 comments

holy shit!

Energy shortages and poor sanitation are two of the most serious problems in refugee camps. Now engineers say they can solve both problems by harvesting energy from human excrement.

Refugee camps to use gas from human waste.
posted by Lutoslawski on Aug 16, 2010 - 35 comments

'Priceless collection' in Russia was never registered so is therefore worthless and does not officially exist, say developers

In 1926, Nikolai Vavilov founded the world's first modern seedbank, and amassed a collection which today contains over 90% unique varieties of plant, contained in no other collection in existence. For his opposition to Lysenkoism he died in prison, and several of his colleagues famously starved to death instead of eating their specimens during the Siege of Leningrad. Now the Pavlovsk seedbank facility has been seized by the Federal Agency for Public Estate Management, and pending a court ruling will be demolished - contents and all - to build a housing development. The collection cannot be moved in time because it is a working seedbank of living plants.
posted by mek on Aug 9, 2010 - 40 comments

Another one bites the dust?

Beloved Toronto independent bookstore This Ain't the Rosedale Library is at risk of closing. A rallying of the community might stay the execution, but what happens next? [more inside]
posted by Felicity Rilke on Jun 23, 2010 - 69 comments

Radical Homemakers

Meet the radical homemakers. Shannon Hayes tells the stories of men and women with ecological and feminist sensibilities who leave behind the world of academia and careers in favor of simple living and "reclaiming domesticity from a consumer culture."
posted by velvet winter on Jun 14, 2010 - 57 comments

We're cooking with gas - Gobar Gas

Conflict-blogger Michael Yon with a fascinating piece about Nepal, Afghanistan, the Gurkhas and the incredible technology of "Gobar Gas". [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Jun 12, 2010 - 19 comments

Low-Tech Magazine and No-Tech Magazine

Low-Tech Magazine and No-Tech Magazine have some fairly well written/illustrated articles about old and low technologies. The concept being, in a sustainable future due to environmental constraints, carbon taxes, Peak Oil, etc.. these old-school technologies might be used - in some places, in some form - instead of more energy intensive modern high technology. Trolly Canal Boats, Timbrel Vaulting (vs. steel and concrete), Bring Back the Horses (and the bicycle), Tile Stoves, Wind Powered Factories, Sneakernet, more.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 2, 2010 - 23 comments

Only the super-rich can save us!

SLJaredDiamondOp-Ed: As part of my board work, I have been asked to assess the environments in oil fields, and have had frank discussions with oil company employees at all levels. I’ve also worked with executives of mining, retail, logging and financial services companies. I’ve discovered that while some businesses are indeed as destructive as many suspect, others are among the world’s strongest positive forces for environmental sustainability. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Dec 11, 2009 - 52 comments

Article about the environmental impact of pets.

Should owning a great dane make you as much of an eco-outcast as an SUV driver? Yes it should, say Robert and Brenda Vale. Article about the environmental impact of pets.
posted by Neekee on Nov 1, 2009 - 145 comments

VIMBY?

Suburban farming, an idea whose time may have come. Short and sweet SLYT from the Wall Street Journal about people growing herbs and vegetables in their own yards in American suburbia.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 18, 2009 - 64 comments

What Would It Look Like?

The Global Oneness Project is exploring how the radically simple notion of interconnectedness can be lived in our increasingly complex world. They travel the globe gathering stories from creative and courageous people who base their lives and work on the understanding that we bear great responsibility for each other and our shared world. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jun 18, 2009 - 9 comments

home planet

June 5th was established in 1972 as World Environment Day by the United Nations General Assembly. Home, the movie by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, which premieres today for the occasion, has some nice aerial visuals. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jun 5, 2009 - 15 comments

Every day we get closer to an epidemic that cannot be stopped.

The Meatrix: parts I, II: Revolting, and II 1/2.
posted by parudox on Apr 28, 2009 - 51 comments

A Farm For The Future

A Farm For The Future. Wildlife filmmaker Rebecca Hosking, previously in the public eye campaigning for the banning of plastic bags in the UK, is moving back to the family farm to take over from her father. This "deeply hopeful but realistic film" describes her investigation of the steps she could take to change it from a traditional beef pasture farm to a truly sustainable permaculture environment. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Mar 28, 2009 - 23 comments

The Transition Handbook

The Transition Handbook should be helpful to you if you are a proponent of planned energy descent and independence from fossil fuels and would like to start a Transition Town of your own. [more inside]
posted by sciurus on Feb 21, 2009 - 9 comments

Two Google searches use as much energy as boiling the kettle for a cup of tea

Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches - "Physicist Alex Wissner-Gross says that performing two Google searches uses up as much energy as boiling the kettle for a cup of tea."
posted by nthdegx on Jan 11, 2009 - 74 comments

The Economist: The World in 2009

In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.

The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 27, 2008 - 31 comments

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