Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ten Sustainability Trends

The Post-Carbon Institute is in the process of evolving from a virtual to a real-world think-tank, drawing together some of the leading figures in the sustainability movement while making interesting use of new-media crowd-sourcing techniques.  Warren Karlenzig, one of PCI's Fellows, made some start-of-the-decade predictions here.  Among the trends he's watching:  the new biking culture, urban agriculture, drought preparations, resiliency planning, cellulosic biofuels, the use of ICT (information and communications technologies) to enhance sustainable cities.  Columbus has some skin in a number of these games, but my sense is that we're still hedging our bets. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Peer Pressure Works

Robert Cialdini interviewed in Grist:

"If we send people in San Diego a message saying the majority of your neighbors are conserving energy on a daily basis, that has more effect than telling them to do it for the environment or to be socially responsible citizens or to save money. If your neighbors are doing it, it means it’s feasible. It’s practicable. You can do it—people like you.

It was very important that we say “people in your neighborhood.” If we said “the majority of Americans,” that wasn’t effective. If we said “the majority of Californians,” that was more effective. If we said “the majority of San Diegans,” that was more effective. But the most effective was “the majority of your neighbors.” That’s how you decide what’s possible for you: what people in your circumstance are able to do.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What's in it for the spooks?

"The nation’s top scientists and spies are collaborating on an effort to use the federal government’s intelligence assets — including spy satellites and other classified sensors — to assess the hidden complexities of environmental change. They seek insights from natural phenomena like clouds and glaciers, deserts and tropical forests." the NYT reports.