Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jeffrey Sachs: Love him or Hate him- his new book

Here is a video of him talking about his new book. Some hiss at him others sing his praise. He was instrumental is spreading the "shock therapy" in Bolivia and Russia. You can read about him on Wikipedia. He also is much spoken about in Daniel Yergin's book/PBS series, "Commanding Heights." In layman's terms: Jeffrey Sachs use to promote on a global stage the Milton Friedman, neo-liberal, free markets will solve all problems if left alone by governments doctrine, etc. He was a true believer. I don't know if he still believes parts of this ideology, but he is definitely taking a different stance now and seems to favor a modified approach to solving our world's problems. He now has become an eco-economic advocate for government interventions that will stop us from destroying our habitat and our planet. He is practical, not an alarmist, but looking for solutions.

I just ordered his book from Amazon, so I'm looking forward to reading it, understanding that there are many critics of Mr. Sachs. Should be an interesting read though.
Here are his points in his video: What we need to do as soon as Bush is out of office and he prays McCain will not be elected.

1. Get out of Iraq $200 billion
2. End Bush tax cuts $250 billion dollars
3.Invest in sustainable technology- New National Institute for Sustainable Technology $30 billion: battery, biomass, solar, food supply needs R & D
4. Global Commons: Need a cooperative framework
Ratify: Kyoto reach agreement on post Kyoto framework
Ratify: Convention on Biological Diversity
Ratify: UN Convention of the Law of the Sea
5. Honor: Geneva Convention
6. Stop corn to ethanol program - $6 to $7 billion No corn based ethanol. Corn needs to be used for food. It makes not sense because it still produces green house gases and it drives up food price. It is a profound blunder. $6.5 billion dollars wasted
7. Invite world leaders of Dry-land regions to a world conference and discuss water conservation.
8. Reinstate giving money to United Nations’ population fund to help control world growth.
9. Rebuild competence in Washington: cabinet level-Department for Sustainable Development. Interlink climate, food, water production—Cabinet Level Department
10. The Millennium Development Goals put into practice in policy.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Jibjab has a funny on Global Warming

I have a real case of "eco-anxiety" when I think about the problems our planet is going to be facing in the near future. It's nice sometimes though to find a way to interject humor into the argument. Jibjab, two very clever guys, came up with a really good take on Global Warming. I've watched this five times already. Thanks guys for this great parody of the Bush doctrine on Global Warming.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Zero Emissions not possible

I am on Facebook and recently saw a group called: "Zero Emissions Day on September 21." I don't get this. Even if we were dead, we would not be zero emission because our decaying body would emit carbon. Carbon is a natural part of the life process. Our bodies are made of carbon. Every creature, tree, organism has carbon. Carbon is the glue that holds life together. (PBS has a great video series on carbon.) Without carbon there would be on life on this planet. So saying that we want zero emission, isn't possible.
If we are talking about not using transportation or any appliances the create CO2, I guess we can do that for one day, one hour. But it's not a sustainable solution. I don't know many people who are willing to go back to living like cave men.
I like what I read in one article. What we are faced with is a design problem. We designed our environment to conflict with nature. Now we have to go and redesign how we make things, use things, and what we do afterwards with the items. I know that this is oversimplification, but I'm getting sleepy and need to go to sleep. I have a big day tomorrow.
So, yes, I'll try to reduce my carbon footprint on the 21st of September, but I will also try to find ways that will help in small ways, every day.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pleasantly Surprised with Orlando Green Expo 2008

I really didn't know what to expect at the Orlando Green Expo. The newspaper made it sound like it wasn't much of an event, but out of curiosity, went to see for myself. It was much better than expected. Vendors were interesting, some legit, others green-washing and a few that were clueless. Enjoyed talking to the different exhibitors...It was fun to quiz them on how they were green. If you are at the green expo, you would think you would know the answer to the question, wouldn't you?

There were a few notable vendors that I will come back and write about later. For now though, just a note to say, great job to all those who organized the Expo. Orlando can be proud. It was a good start.

Here is the vendor list: Click here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Solar Energy

I've been reading and studying a lot about Solar Energy lately. There are hundreds of different ways that scientists and engineers are attempting to produce energy from the sun. One of the many technologies I head about is called Solar Thermal Power. If I understand it correctly, the unique idea is to collect the solar rays and heat water or a liquid that can be used as steam which will turn the turbines that produce electricity. It is different in that all the solar materials are used to concentrate the light onto one source and that source is then used to heat the water or liquid. This to me makes sense.

Any way, here is a good article that highlights the various plants that are being built around the world that are solar thermal energy plants.

Ten Ways to Change the World with Social Media

Good article on Sustainblog about ways to use Social Media to push an agenda forward, like saving the planet.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Can the human race change?

Link for picture: Click Here

Not a fun article to read in the Los Angles Times about Jim Hansen's statement last week:

A few weeks ago, NASA's chief climatologist, James Hansen, submitted a paper to Science magazine with several coauthors. The abstract attached to it argued -- and I have never read stronger language in a scientific paper -- that "if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm."

The article goes on to say that in order for us to succeed, we would have to have perfect governments all pulling together toward a common goal. The questions remains, are we as a species able to do this?

Look at what was reported in the New York Times today. There are thousands of dead bodies floating in the rivers from the deadly cyclone that smashed into Myanmar. People say, it's not their job to deal with the dead. Refugees staying in schools for shelter are thrown out so that the government can hold a referendum that will keep them in power. The government is more worried about them retaining their power than allowing aide from foreign governments attempting to send desperately needed supplies to keep people from dying.

And we think the whole human race is going to suddenly wake up and "do the right thing"?

Fat Chance!

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Oh wow, are these amazing pictures or what?

It's hard to pick which one strikes me the most, but these are some amazing pictures of glacers and icebergs. Here is one that was breathtaking called: Striped berg - by Steve Nicol

Waste Paper Furniture?

Now that's creative. It just shows you that some people are really working on finding a solution instead of saying there is nothing that can be done. I once had a student that made a wallet out of duct tape. It was great. Not very green, but it showed creative thinking. This is very creative too. Hope they can find an eco-friendly resin. By designer: Jens Praet.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Google's Google Earth Blog has Animation for Cyclone Nargis

This was an interesting animation of the Cyclone. I can't imagine the Burmese government not telling the citizens in the path of the storm that a gigantic cyclone was coming. I've read a recent estimation of 100,000 dead. The Google Earth animation is really frightening. This was a huge HUGE storm. I live in Florida! We have had our share of hurricanes. Having lived through three hurricanes in one year, this really makes me nervous.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The We Campaign New Ads

We campaign has two new ads. They are part two of the Sharpton / Robertson and Pelosi / Gingrich ads. The message basically says, "all that's missing is you." I'm not yet sure how I feel about these ads. They are basically plain vanilla. Time will tell how effective they are.