Understanding American climate change politics by analogy with the World Wrestling Federation. The Carbon Lobby is the “evil” wrestler, scientists the “good” one, and the media plays referee. The kind of referee that’s always preoccupied with something outside the ring when the bad guy starts beating the good guy up with a chair. From Rolling Stone of course.
- Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand – It's like his photography, but moving. Visually stunning. About 2/3 of the film is great, especially the almost mythologized story of our creation. Poetic, without being flowery or playing too fast and loose with the facts. Short on concrete suggestions for what to do, unfortunately. (tagged: sustainability green earth climate film )
- Web Site Helps Bicyclists Avoid Crash Hotspots – LA's local CBS affiliate did a story on Bikewise, featuring… me! (tagged: bicycle transportation technology maps google urban planning tv )
- The Artvertiser – Ad replacement technology not for your browser, but for your ad encrusted urban reality. Augmented reality goggles not included. (tagged: urban art technology advertising )
- L.A. County raids homeless camp under 10 Freeway – This is like something out of a William Gibson novel. A vast vault underneath the 10 freeway called "The Cave" by its denizens. Drugs, cooking, bicycles, babies, rats. What would LA be like today with 30% unemployment I wonder? (tagged: losangeles freeway homeless society police urban design architecture )
- HEET: Home Energy Efficiency Team – HEET is a bunch of collaborative energy efficiency "barn raisers", volunteering their time and knowledge in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to get home weatherized, insulated, and otherwise energetically improved. Now, it might be even better if one could, um, get some support (or at least a lack of obstruction) from the powers that be for this kind of behavior, but failing that, this is nothing short of brilliant civil disobedience. (tagged: sustainability architecture energy efficiency volunteer cooperation )
I watched the PBS Frontline report Heat online. It’s 2 hours long, and explores the magnitude and difficulty of scaling back global carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050 (which is what the IPCC says is required). To be a success in my mind, I think it had to do four things:
- Convey the colossal magnitude of the problem, essentially requiring a complete re-imagination of the engines literally driving the global economy: fossil fuels and ever expanding resource consumption, and cooperation between nations and corporations on a scale we’ve never seen.
- Describe the potential costs of inaction, including sea level rise, possibly rapid decreases in agricultural productivity in some areas, water shortages in the world’s most populous regions due to melting glaciers, and ultimately, the irreversibility of the changes, due to positive feedbacks.
- Explain how solving the problem is difficult, politically: due to effective lobbying from old and currently profitable industries, and the inability of tomorrow’s potentially profitable “green” industries to effectively lobby, because they don’t currently have either the billions in profits to “invest” in DC, or a large base of employees represented as constituents. Economically: because there is no cost borne by GHG emitters, making the atmosphere a tragic economic commons.
- Provide at least an outline of what any potential solution will look like: It will have to be measured in terawatts, meaning the only two sources of power that are up to the task in the long run are solar and nuclear (with reprocessing and breeder reactors eventually). It will also require a method of turning electricity into some transportable high energy density form, like liquid fuels, or much much better batteries.