The LA Times is reporting on the impacts of utility-scale solar power plants in SoCal’s desert counties. What do you get when you start building multi-billion dollar solar installations? Solar land-men, in three piece suits, leaning on your local politicians for favorable tax treatment? Solar astro-turf campaigns, with corporate sponsored buses bringing solar supporters to public meetings? Yeah. Of course you do. How else could it be, within our system? If we do the responsible thing for the climate, and create a wholesale shift away from fossil fuel to renewables like wind and solar, we will have replaced one trillion dollar industry with another, and trillion dollar industries all behave badly. At some level, what we’re fighting for is to create a trillion dollar climate advocate. An incumbent corporate interest, invested in not breaking the sky. And when we’re done, we’ll still have all the greater governance issues lying around, waiting to be dealt with.
- Google Maps Mashup Tracks Swine Flu – When the pandemic comes, we can rest assured that we'll be able to watch its spread in real time via Google maps. I guess that's comforting. Right? (tagged: map flu health pandemic )
- Power Hungry: Visualizing The U.S. Electric Grid – Very cool interactive map showing the sources of (electrical) power in the US, and our current transmission system. (tagged: energy electricity power nuclear solar wind coal sustainability design green )
- End the University as We Know It – I can only imagine that the end of the University as we know it is well underway. We should start building its replacement now. I don't know if I could honestly encourage anybody to go to grad school. (tagged: education academia gradschool research )
- Dune: Arenaceous Anti-Desertification Architecture – Take a dune, and inject into it Bacillus pasteurii, with water, nutrients, a calcium source in solution, and oxygen, and it turns sand into sandstone. Figure out a way to do this precisely, and you can "print" buildings in 3D inside the dune, and then let the wind excavate it for you… if you've got your fluid dynamics right. Pretty incredible idea. Still very challenging at scale though. (tagged: architecture sustainability buildings science green bacteria desert dune sand )
- Three Degrees – The Law of Climate Change and Human Rights Conference – Legal aspects of climate change, treaty negotiations, and the probable human rights outcomes of a warming world. (tagged: law climate green sustainability )