Friday, November 4, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Some of our most serious planetary worries revolve around energy and power -- controlling it, paying for it, and the consequences of burning it. Justin Hall-Tipping had an epiphany about energy after seeing footage of a chunk of ice the size of his home state (Connecticut) falling off Antarctica into the ocean, and decided to focus on science to find new forms of energy. A longtime investor, he formed Nanoholdings to work closely with universities and labs who are studying new forms of nano-scale energy in the four sectors of the energy economy: generation, transmission, storage and conservation.
Nanotech as a field is still very young (the National Science Foundation says it's "at a level of development similar to that of computer technology in the 1950s") and nano-energy in particular holds tremendous promise.
He says: "For the first time in human history, we actually have the ability to pick up an atom and place it the way we want. Some very powerful things can happen when you can do that."
"By working in the universities, right at the coal-face of nano-energy research, we can spot discoveries that otherwise might disappear without leaving the lab."Nanoholdings.com
Do you ever wonder whether we should be optimistic or pessimistic about the future? If you want more reasons to think things may still turn out for the better, Alex Steffen's your man. He doesn't downplay the scope and scale of the problems we face. Instead, he shows that we have the tools within our grasp for meeting those massive challenges, if we have the will to use them.
This isn't just hopeful thinking, either. Steffen uses real-world examples and big-picture research to show us that a brighter, greener future is ours to choose, and his work has earned him the ear of leading cities, corporations and philanthropic foundations. As the New York Times said a recent profile, "Alex Steffen lays out the blueprint for a successful century."
After working as a journalist on four continents, Steffen co-founded and ran the online magazine Worldchanging.com from 2003-2010. In those seven years, he made Worldchanging one of the world's leading sustainability-related publications with an archive of almost 12,000 articles and a large global audience. He also edited an internationally best-selling book surveying innovative solutions to the planet's most pressing problems: Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century.
His most recent work is Carbon Zero, a book describing cities that create prosperity not climate change, accelerating their economies while reducing their climate emissions to zero. He is now at work on a new book and a television project. "The big open secret about sustainability work," he recently told Design Observer magazine, 'is not how bad things are. It is how good things can get."
"His vision of the future isn't granola and porridge. It's what he calls 'bright green:' creating and buying products and systems that are smart, sexy, sleek, and sustainable."Living on Earth
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
one) never trust a cop in a raincoat.
two) beware of enthusiasm and of love, both are temporary and quick to sway.
three) if asked if you care about the world's problems, look deep into the eyes of he who asks, he will never ask you again.
four) never give your real name.
five) if ever asked to look at yourself, don't.
six) never do anything the person standing in front of you cannot understand.
seven) never create anything, it will be misinterpreted, it will chain you and follow you for the rest of your life.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Losing Our Way, by Bob Herbert
Final Column with the NY Times, March 25, 2011
Arthur Miller, echoing the poet Archibald MacLeish, liked to say that the essence of America was its promises. That was a long time ago. Limitless greed, unrestrained corporate power and a ferocious addiction to foreign oil have led us to an era of perpetual war and economic decline. Young people today are staring at a future in which they will be less well off than their elders, a reversal of fortune that should send a shudder through everyone.
The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.