Shared Links for Jun 15th

  • Being “Used To” Our Lifestyle Makes Change Seem Difficult – The range of lifestyles which people have been able to become accustomed to and enjoy throughout history and spread out over the globe, is immense. Some of them are sustainable; ours is not. The willingness to experiment and accept change, to be flexible at a societal level, is of paramount importance today, and has in the past meant the difference between survival and obliteration for countless other civilizations, as detailed in Jarod Diamond's book "Collapse". But change is hard, whether you drive an SUV and have managed to shave your lifestyle requirements down to 8 earths from 10, or whether you're the child of a prostitute in Calcutta. We are creatures of habit, quite literally. (tagged: sustainability film energy green stuff money )
  • The Need for Geoengineering – A WSJ op-ed advocating near term geoengineering, of the stratospheric sulfate aerosol variety. It would be fast acting, relatively easy to reverse, and of the options on the table today, is the least mysterious, since it's not so different from the effects of a large (historically speaking) volcanic eruption like Mt. Pinatubo. The author cautions that even at best, all this would do is give us time: we still need to get the atmosphere back to ~350ppm. What a fascinating modern age it is we live in! (tagged: climate technology geoengineering )
  • Early Reviews of NYC’s New High Line Park – A round up of several reviews of the High Line Park, which has just opened in NYC. (tagged: architecture urban design landscape garden parks nyc )
  • The High Line – An abandoned elevated freight rail line in Manhattan is reborn as a long linear park three stories above the streetscape. I love how the design incorporates the rails and the overgrown feeling that the old line had developed on its own. This and the closure of Broadway at Times Square makes me want to visit New York. Inspiring to see that this kind of change is possible. (tagged: urban design architecture green garden parks nyc )
  • Pedalpalooza 2009 – Wow, a two week long bicycle festival in Portland, spanning the summer solstice? Sounds like a wonderful way to start a bike tour! Hopefully it will still be going on next summer. (tagged: bicycle transportation oregon portland festival activism )

Shared Links for Mar 19th

  • A New Way Forward – Grassroots banking policy? Who'd have guessed? Their plan is "Nationalize. Reorganize. Decentralize." The N-word has some bad connotations, but what they're really advocating for is an FDIC style managed bankruptcy, i.e. letting the banks fail, cleaning out the shareholders and management, and applying real anti-trust laws to the financial industry. I never thought I'd go to a banking protest. (tagged: economics bailout finance fdic activism banking policy )
  • MailStopper – Is $20/year too much to pay to avoid junk mail? Would it really work? The self-monitoring aspect is interesting too. Would be great to be able to watch your name and address as it propagates through the ocean of direct marketing databases, and credit reporting agencies. (tagged: green junkmail sustainability internet )
  • YellowPagesGoesGreen.Org – I hate the two kilograms of cellulose that the phone company insists on littering my doorstep with each year. I was a little bit drunk when they showed up last week, and threw them in the street. I don't even have a land line. Why would I want a phone book? Who uses those things anyway? Thankfully, someone else has already created an opt-out system… too bad I'll have to wait a year to see if it actually works. (tagged: environment recycling paper yellowpages mail green sustainability )
  • The Age of Stupid – A new combination sci-fi documentary on climate change… framed as a man looking back and trying to understand why we failed to act, from the year 2055. The movie was "crowd funded" – the filmmakers sold shares of the profits to individuals (and the crew) in exchange for cash (about $1 million total). The trailer looks fairly good… (tagged: climate film green environment )
  • Mistrial by iPhone – Juries’ Web Research Upends Trials – Another example (cf death of record companies, newspapers) of technology upending previously stable social and legal systems. 9/12 jury members found to be doing research on the trial they were sitting on, via their cell phones and the internet. People don't consider the meta-brain to be a separate entity any more. Certainly not for weeks of sequestration on end… (tagged: law technology internet phone jury trial )