A simple but effective visualization of all the drone strikes in Pakistan, from 2004 to the present. 3100+ people dead, 1.5% of them “high value” targets. More than 75% alleged combatants (males of plausibly military age… 14+ years old) or “other”. 5% children. 17% “civilians”.
A fairly exhaustive accounting of the water embodied in various crop products in a 2011 paper by Mekonnen and Hoekstra. For each kg of rice, 14,000 liters of water. For each kg of beans, 5000 liters of water. Wow.
A piece largely referencing Boulder, talking about cities trying to wrest control of their electricity systems from major utilities. At this point I think I’ll probably find any media coverage of this process hopelessly one dimensional, but still, it’s nice to know they care.
The Long Now has a good post on their blog summarizing the fate of Paul Romer’s Charter City initiative in Honduras. In short, it’s gone down in flames. Especially with the ideas and capital coming from N. America, this really shouldn’t surprise anyone. There’s a good core idea in Romer’s Charter City pitch, but it has to be more like an organic autonomous region and less like a maquiladora or a colonial outpost.
Data obtained by Greenpeace indicates that there is an almost entirely anonymous funding source funneling far more money than Exxon or the Koch Foundations into the climate denial machine. Also covered in Media Matters and Mother Jones.
Bill McKibben rants eloquently about the need for more than individual actions to combat climate change — it’s a systemic problem, the solutions to which can only come with changes to the systems we are all embedded in. Changing your light bulbs and riding a bike are the easy parts. Organizing a devastating political campaign against the fossil fuel interests is much more challenging, and utterly necessary.
Share Everything: Why the Way We Consume Has Changed Forever. Sharing material goods makes it cheaper to use high quality, durable, well designed things, and the higher utilization factor means that many fewer things need to exist to satisfy everyone’s needs. It works especially well in urban areas where the geographic transactional overhead is small. This is a big piece of the dematerialization of our economy, and one of the most underappreciated reasons cities are a core climate solution.