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November 18 2013

Sustainability

bathroom-tilesbathroom-tilesTim O’Reilly gave some sobering remarks last week at Techonomy about the things that might halt the sort of technological progress that has come to feel inexorable: war, fundamentalism, anti-science sentiment, etc. Human progress has practically stopped over many long periods in recorded history, he pointed out, and we won’t necessarily be able to predict the next dark age by reading out from the patterns of history.

After the conference ended I spent the afternoon driving to San Diego, across some really spectacular Sonoran terrain that’s been repeatedly reshaped by cataclysmic floods and dried out by thousand-year droughts in a flourish/perish cycle that’s much longer than any in human history. I took a long side-trip to see the Salton Sea, which is an accidental re-creation of an ancient lake, formed in 1905 when a canal levy that was built during a period of land speculation broke and diverted the entire flow of the Colorado River into a below-sea-level basin for two years. The highly-saline ecological disaster that resulted, and the horizon-to-horizon industrial farming that surrounds it, is really striking for the relentless speed at which that environment was created on human terms and in cycles that are totally uncoupled from nature’s.

The punch line to a day of thinking about sustainability came on checking into a pretty ordinary hotel in San Diego and finding the scene in the above photo: bathroom tiles full of ancient fossils that were preserved and stored on a timeline of millions of years and rendered into building materials on a timeline that’s probably six orders of magnitude shorter.

December 07 2012

TERRA 723: TRUST Oregon

TRUST Oregon features Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana, a 16-year-old from Eugene, who is passionate about preserving this beautiful Earth. Kelsey's identity is directly tied to the various elements of Oregon's biodiversity. She was born in a 1-room cabin in Fall Creek amidst the old-growth trees of the Cascades. She was named after Kelsey Creek - a crystal-clear river that flows out of an ancient forest grove, and Rose signifies the wild rose that grew abundantly near the cabin where she was born. Kelsey knows that she is not old enough to vote, but she has also learned that she can raise her voice by speaking out. Although it shouldn't be the responsibility of her generation to take on the burden of learning how to adapt in the face of global climate change, Kelsey knows that Mother Earth does not have the time to wait for politicians to debate about whether climate change will affect our future.

November 01 2012

Four short links: 1 November 2012

  1. Selfstarter (Github) — open source roll-your-own crowdfunding platform. (Kickstarter has its own audience, of course, which why they could release their source-code and still be top of the heap)
  2. 100 Year Business Plan (Unlimited) — New Zealand Maori tribe has a 100-year business plan, reflecting their values of sustainability and continuity.
  3. Given Tablets, Kids Teach Themselves to Read (Mashable) — Story from two isolated rural villages with about 20 first-grade-aged children each, about 50 miles from Addis Ababa [...] Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, found the on-off switch … powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked Android,” Negroponte said.
  4. snippets (Github) — mail out updates on coworker progress, a-la Google’s internal system. (via Pamela Fox)

April 18 2012

02mydafsoup-01

January 07 2012

TERRA 619: Reefer Madness

The filmmaker's two obsessions, reef animals and filmmaking, intersect in this brief glimpse at the world of reef aquaria.
TERRA 619: Reefer Madness

The filmmaker's two obsessions, reef animals and filmmaking, intersect in this brief glimpse at the world of reef aquaria.

December 29 2011

Mosman House by Popov Bass Architects | contemporist.com

Mosman House, Australia - http://t.co/HCUThAS9 /// #architecture #contemporary #design #concrete modern...

 // quotation by oAnth:

 [...]

A careful selection of sustainable external materials and details ensure the longevity of the building’s lifespan. A low maintenance home, it has no painted external walls and low water use vegetation. It has minimal energy and water consumption having light filled spaces sheltered from the heat, north orientation with large overhangs, cross flow ventilation, high performance glazing, energy and water efficient fixtures, solar power for hot water and pool, photovoltaics and a rain water collection facility for irrigation, toilets and laundry.

The building is designed as a private home for the long term use of its owners with a high level of finish and detailing within the budget requirements.

 [...]



December 07 2011

02mydafsoup-01

September 16 2011

02mydafsoup-01

P2P Foundation » Blog Archive » P2P Essay of the Year? The Radical Implications of a Zero Growth Economy - 2011-09-15



------------------------------

commentary by oAnth:

Generally I would like to state, that sustainable growth in future is no more to describe simply by the amount of produced goods, but in the efficient differentiation from energy sources as well as the circular use of commodities.

The article neglects a lot of recent developments in energy support technologies, which might guarantee a much higher sustainability than the traditionally centralized energy supply, like burning all forms of carbon and waste or nuclear based energy centrals.


Further insists the article IMO too much on data given by a supposed status quo (I remember that e.g. the FAO comes to quite other conlusions), and proposes as alternative a kind of subsistence economy, which in its use today is historically to see as a socially useful last remain at the country side e.g. in South Europe of a feudal society economy (supposedly with commons). This income source today is nevertheless depending on a centralized industrial production economy, and by this on the incomes of family members (away in other parts of the countries, or in work migration), which are not in particular a part of the subsistence economy household and are supporting still by a monthly amount of money parents, brother, sister, working in the  subsistence unit. Means, in those countries, where it is still in use, it has the function of a kind of social assurance, but hardly as a basic economic factor [ cf. actual tendencies in Greece of unemployed populations to return from Athens to the country side, where family members have still a smaller business or some (minor) agriculture].


I can't see how a world population would reduce its means in such a way, taking in account, that industrial production of any kind would be technological restricted in its development in order to keep the technological concurrence between all market participants in a constant balance to avoid any uncontrolled innovation impulses, from which could result again unwanted growth. etc. etc.


oAnth - Muc - 2011-09-16

February 17 2011

TERRA 604: Tricky Winds

Each year, wind farms kill thousands of bats. This short, animated film describes how researchers are trying to develop new technologies to protect bats from getting injured or killed by wind mills.
TERRA 604: Tricky Winds

Each year, wind farms kill thousands of bats. This short, animated film describes how researchers are trying to develop new technologies to protect bats from getting injured or killed by wind mills.

February 12 2011

TERRA 603: BOB: The Bozone Ozone Bus

Supported by the Turner Community Youth Development Initiative, Bozeman Youth Initiative is an organization supporting students from Kindergarten through college. Within the past year, BYI has created a mobile greenhouse out of a school bus, using this innovative vehicle as a classroom, educating children on the basics of food and gardening. As a non-profit, BYI's mission is to connect the youth of Bozeman, Montana to their community. They provide opportunities through mentoring youth-driven, adult-supported programs that help youth work towards their vision of community and reach their full potential.
TERRA 603: BOB: The Bozone Ozone Bus

Supported by the Turner Community Youth Development Initiative, Bozeman Youth Initiative is an organization supporting students from Kindergarten through college. Within the past year, BYI has created a mobile greenhouse out of a school bus, using this innovative vehicle as a classroom, educating children on the basics of food and gardening. As a non-profit, BYI's mission is to connect the youth of Bozeman, Montana to their community. They provide opportunities through mentoring youth-driven, adult-supported programs that help youth work towards their vision of community and reach their full potential.

November 06 2010

02mydafsoup-01

July 23 2010

TERRA 537: A Winning Scenario

A WINNING SCENARIO is a short film about the agricultural implications of climate change in Kenya. Despite the adverse effects of global warming in Kenya, local communities are adapting farming practices for improved crop production. Soil health is critical in a changing climate and this film explores the importance of protecting Kenyan soil for future generations.
TERRA 537: A Winning Scenario

A WINNING SCENARIO is a short film about the agricultural implications of climate change in Kenya. Despite the adverse effects of global warming in Kenya, local communities are adapting farming practices for improved crop production. Soil health is critical in a changing climate and this film explores the importance of protecting Kenyan soil for future generations.

March 22 2010

User-Centered Innovation Is Not Sustainable - The Conversation - Harvard Business Review

On the limitations of user-centered design. "Only leaders and designers who are driven by a vision and who explicitly search a priori for those sustainable behaviors can tune out the unsustainable needs of 99% of users and focus on the few exceptions." It's important to notice what this article does not say: that user insights are not precious and necessary. They are. But here, they are necessary within the context of a vision, and in this example there is focus on users who are needles of sustainability in the haystacks of consumption. by flamingsole
Reposted fromux ux

October 20 2007

TERRA 346: Bioneers 2007 PART ONE

Green has gone global. But for the past 18 years, one of the major epicenters of the movement has been the national Bioneers conference in San Rafael, California. Now that green is moving rapidly into the mainstream, their is a new buzz in the air in San Rafael this year. There are also some new challenges: like how to preserve the moral compass of the movement and how to keep on the cutting edge . . . join us for a 'live' glimpse into Day One (more coverage to follow).
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