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Green computing standards

Joel Makower brings good news: A set of standards have been established for environmentally responsible computers:

Rising price of growing oil alternatives raises demand for oil

Oh, man, I wish I could preserve this article in amber: "Cost of raising corn grows." Troubling news from the folks who bring you grain-based ethanol: In February, the USDA forecast that U.S. farmers would spend 12.5 percent more on fuels and oils this year compared with last, with the highest prices this year occurring in the first six months. Fertilizer costs in 2006 are expected to be 6.5 percent higher. While those percentage increases are smaller than they were in 2005, crop farmers' costs have risen sharply in the past several years, agribusiness leaders said. That's right: The oil-based products and services used to raise everyone's favorite "alternative fuel" are getting more expensive. How does Big Ag want to respond to this crisis?

Americans and Climate Change: Scientific disconnects III

"Americans and Climate Change: Closing the Gap Between Science and Action" (PDF) is a report synthesizing the insights of 110 leading thinkers on how to educate and motivate the American public on the subject of global warming. Background on the report here. I'll be posting a series of excerpts (citations have been removed; see original report). If you'd like to be involved in implementing the report's recommendations, or learn more, visit the Yale Project on Climate Change website. Below the fold is the third part of the chapter on the challenges science and scientists face in communicating to the public about global warming. It's got some good stuff about how science is perceived by the public -- how the stable consensus is hidden under a layer of seemingly continuous change and reversals.

Framing climate change

A piece on OpenDemocracy called “Communicating climate change” dovetails nicely with the “Americans and Climate Change” report I’ve been republishing (and you’ve been reading, right?). It’s practically a truism at this point that the lack …

Americans and Climate Change: Scientific disconnects II

"Americans and Climate Change: Closing the Gap Between Science and Action" (PDF) is a report synthesizing the insights of 110 leading thinkers on how to educate and motivate the American public on the subject of global warming. Background on the report here. I'll be posting a series of excerpts (citations have been removed; see original report). If you'd like to be involved in implementing the report's recommendations, or learn more, visit the Yale Project on Climate Change website. Below the fold is the second part of the chapter on the challenges science and scientists face in communicating to the public about global warming. There's lots of good stuff, but I was particularly interested in the discussion of how to convey scientifically accurate information about the connection between global warming and today's weather.

Tar sands fever

Via GCC, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has announced that by 2020, Canada will be producing almost 5 million barrels of oil, almost all of that being from tar sands. This explains, in large part, why Canada has opted for empty symbolism: We've hitched our wagon to the tar sands, come hell and high water. I'm actually pretty sympathetic to our new Conservative government, who at least made their disdain for Kyoto honestly known. The previous Liberals were happily pursuing the same policies while pretending to care about Kyoto.

Anti-status status

This ad agrees with me (hat tip to DRx) -- the car, not so much. I think this kind of ad would be especially effective at selling cars based on their gas mileage (in other words, small cars). You could target your competition by making their cars be the ones driven by the egotists. Never mind that anti-status is just another form of status (a way of saying you are better than someone else). The human propensity for self-deception would make short work of that little unpleasantry and the result might be that high gas mileage would become the new status symbol. The other beauty of this kind of ad is that it cannot be turned around to sell big cars.

Megaproposals

Katherine Ellison laments the lack of boldness on climate change.

The Alliance for Climate Protection: From the top down

Everyone should immediately go check out Amanda's exclusive scoop on the Alliance for Climate Protection. It's a huge new group being put together to raise awareness about climate change. Some interesting facts about it: Though Al Gore conceived it and will provide a big chunk of the initial funding, he won't be a member. He doesn't want it to be viewed as a political group. Several prominent Republicans are conspicuously involved for the same reason. The group has lined up millions in funding and plans to raise tens of millions more. There's only one enviro-group rep -- Larry Schweiger, president of the National Wildlife Federation -- on the board, and no other prominent enviros will be involved. Said Gore, "We came to realize that it was a disservice to the climate campaign to frame [the issue] as an environmental concern, not a universal concern -- a fundamental threat to all citizens, not just those who identify with the green movement." The group estimates that around 60% of its money will go toward national and local advertising. This is all juicy, interesting stuff, and worthy of discussion. More below the fold.

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