New York’s South Bronx was once a getaway for the rich; now the defining landmarks of the community are power plants, landfills, and parking lots. Where some might see hopelessness, though, resident Omar Freilla sees opportunity. Freilla founded Green Worker Cooperatives to salvage reusable materials from trash and demolition waste, creating a neighborhood that is healthier both environmentally and economically. In this virtual walking tour of his community, Freilla discusses his vision of creating hundreds of jobs out of the abundance of “things that nobody else wants.”
Interested in land use and urban planning? Like to read? If so, you'll want to check out the Planetizen Top 10 Books of 2005 list.
I kicked off the "Daily Grist Headline Battle Royale" on Friday, and now Treehugger gives us the "Slaughterhouse Smackdown," wherein Grist and The Wall Street Journal go head-to-head over differing perspectives on the impacts slaughterhouses have on American life. Grist is currently leading 76 to 10.
Later today (Monday), I'll be sitting down for a chat with Rabbi Michael Lerner, who -- among his many accomplishments -- is the founder and editor of Tikkun. What should I ask him?
I am increasingly fascinated by the twin subjects of decentralized energy generation and smart grids. On the first, Enviropundit has a handy collection of links.
A car that gets 157mpg and will sell for around $13,000. Not bad.
I commend everyone to Joel Makower's clear-eyed assessment of Worldwatch's otherwise great report on the greening of business, which reflects the "relatively myopic perspective that nonprofits typically have of business." If I may summarize: Expecting an industry to do something that confers no business advantage in a sustained, systemic way is silly. (Luckily, there are plenty of sustainable moves they can make that do confer advantage.) Criticizing a sustainable move on the part of an industry because industry "only" did it out of self-interest is also silly, for the same reasons.
I try not to do this too much, but here are two quick self-referential notes: There have been a lot of really great discussions going on lately in comments (I refer you to the "recent comments" box to your right). Those of you who read blogs or newsgroups regularly will recognize that these discussions are atypically substantive and courteous. I hope and expect that as more people get involved in our community, we can keep them that way. Mainly what I'm trying to say is: Thanks, everybody. My interview with Lester Brown was not a James Frey-style fabrication on my part. It really did happen and I hope it will run soon, perhaps this coming week. I mention it because he and I directly addressed lots of subjects that keep coming up in conversations here, like our ability to predict or control social change, "picking winners" in the transportation game, and the merits of biofuels and nuclear power. Watch for it.
Toward the beginning of a dense and illuminating post on Iraqi oil, Salam Pax says this: Security needs money, Money comes from oil, Oil needs foreign investment, And foreign investment wants security. Can you say Nigeria? (via Jim Henley)