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 -
In 1972 the Club of Rome
published the famous book Limits to Growth
that predicted exponential growth would eventually lead to economic and environmental collapse. It was criticized by economists and largely ignored by politicians. Now Graham Turner at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO
) in Australia has compared the book's predictions with data from the intervening years. According to Turner (PDF report
) changes in industrial production, food production and pollution are all in line with the book's predictions of collapse in the 21st century. According to the book, the path we have taken will cause decreasing resource availability and an escalating cost of extraction that triggers a slowdown of industry, which eventually results in economic collapse some time after 2020
.(via; previously; previously)
posted by stbalbach
on Nov 23, 2008 -
is intended to document our experience in creating a “green” home in the city of Chicago. We hope to share our experience, good and bad, in creating a place to live ecologically, happily and with minimal impact upon our world." [more inside]
posted by Terminal Verbosity
on Oct 10, 2007 -
is a website for planning walking journeys. It gives you a map and directions for the best route, and info on distance, walking time, calorie burn and even CO2
potentially saved by avoiding the car, taxi or bus. London only, at present, alas.
posted by nthdegx
on Nov 7, 2006 -
How Much Fossil Fuel Does Your Dinner Burn?
Ingredients for the average American meal travel well over 1500 miles
to reach your plate. Our food might be inexpensive, but it's costing the planet a lot (and doesn't taste so hot either, since it's bred to withstand shipping and have long shelf life rather than to taste good). So what happens when people reject the large-scale industrial food system? One recent development in the growing localism movement is the 100-Mile Diet, originated by a Canadian couple who spent a full year eating only foods grown or raised within 100 miles of their home. They'll even give you a road map to having a 100-Mile Thanksgiving
. For other variations on the eat-local idea, check out ideas like the Eat Local Challenge
, Slow Food
, and Locavores
encourage you to rediscover your place on earth, build community, and enjoy the Local Harvest
posted by Miko
on Oct 18, 2006 -
: the Science Museum asks us the question "should we upgrade our mobile phone?" "No
" and "no
" say the Times and the Observer, but we still do: on average every 18 months. What's the problem? Well it isn't just the lead, arsenic, beryllium and brominated fire-retardant
cases (pollutants all) disappearing into our land fills (which are not covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive [WEEE
] in Europe). Coltan also goes into our phones. It occurs mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as such our demand for upgrades has been contributing to a war
(despite mobile phone companies' claims to the contrary, coltan is not regulated like timber). If we must upgrade, we can at least recycle or
hack our old phones
posted by nthdegx
on Aug 7, 2006 -
Creative, cheap, participatory, the most innovative city in the world......Curitiba !!
There may be no single, organic and living font of solutions
to many of the world's most pressing problems than Curitiba
(previous link from Wikipedia, and a bit more of a wonkish summary here
), a Brazilian city of 1.5 million that urban planners from around the globe make pilgrimages to, to learn.
On a budget a tiny fraction of those which American cities
have at their disposal, how did Curitiba become the world's leading model for urban sustainability and quality of life ? - with possibly the world's most efficient and effective public transit system
, a network of parks and greenery far beyond Olmsted's
visionary parks, 70% trash recycling, innovative social welfare systems, trees everywhere, and "Lighthouses of Knowledge" with small libraries and free internet access as well, a low cost open university system.....and flowers!
Curitiba's pedestrian-only (no cars) city center is filled with gardens.
posted by troutfishing
on Apr 13, 2004 -
outer space will have to be colonized
"The United States places the greatest pressure on the environment, with its carbon dioxide emissions and over-consumption. It takes 12.2 hectares of land to support each American citizen and 6.29 for each Briton, while the figure for Burundi is just half a hectare." ....meanwhile...its too hot (we're wondering why) here in mid-america - lets go to the mall
and forget about it..
posted by specialk420
on Jul 6, 2002 -
Time for a change of business strategy focus?
Nokia and VolksWagen are the examples given,
'the heart of productivity growth is what happens inside the firm, and firms are first and foremost organisations of human beings'
positive role models to lead us from downturn alley?
posted by asok
on Apr 29, 2002 -
"We have entered the Century of the Environment,
in which the immediate future is usefully conceived as a bottleneck: science and technology, combined with foresight and moral courage, must see us through it and out."
Or so says Edward O. Wilson in February's Scientific American. Consumption and production can NOT be infinite, no matter what "near-horizon timelines" predict. But will capitalism rise to the occasion and will the free market fix the wrongs it's committed?
posted by taumeson
on Jan 16, 2002 -
UN warning over plundered Earth EARTH is being plundered at an unprecedented and unsustainable rate which needs to be curbed quickly to avoid disaster, the United Nations says.
Will the conflicts of the 21st century be based around the control of water, the needs of food production and economic inequality? Maybe it's time to consider these issues. We can't totally blame the poor and weak for their own circumstances.
posted by skinsuit
on Nov 7, 2001 -
Fish or Folk?
Farmers along the Klamath took matters into their own hands last week, opening an irrigation floodgate that had been closed to protect local fish. It isn't just about fish, but also fishermen. A complex issue of humans v. the environment, broken promises, and a big ole' sense of entitlement.
posted by frykitty
on Jul 8, 2001 -