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Kif Scheuer's Posts

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Good news! Green views renew you! EBN reviews the how-tos.

Environmental Building News has an article up on integrating biophilia into green building practices. Biophilia is a notion popularized by biologist E. O. Wilson. It describes humans' innate affiliation for the natural world. Biophilia attempts to define "the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life." The thrust of the article is that biophilia is an underdeveloped element of green building practices, but one that has significant potential benefits. ... it is becoming increasingly well demonstrated that biophilic elements have real, measurable benefits relative to such human performance metrics as productivity, emotional well-being, stress reduction, learning, and …

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Database of sustainability communication projects

The United Nations Environment Program must have been listening to all the Grist chatter (here and here) about how to communicate environmental issues, because they have just launched the Creative Gallery on Sustainability Communications, described as the ... ... first international online database of corporate and public advertising campaigns specifically dedicated to sustainability issues and classified by sustainability themes. The goal of the project is to ... ... inspire and foster more and better communication on sustainability issues from all stakeholders involved in the promotion of sustainable development. Very cool -- it's like YouTube for enviros! There are scads of …

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Can you say misguided?

NYT today reports on the rise? emergence? rediscovery? of geoengineering options to combat global warming. For me this stuff falls into the category of bad adaptation strategies; wait until we're really SOL and then spend gobs of money on big techy solutions that may not work, but look cool. There's plenty more critique to be had in the article itself.

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Green bubbles rising

I was reading the magazine section of the same Sunday NYT that David noted for its coverage of all things green, when I came across a six-page advertising section for "green properties" that left me shaking my head. (Sorry, not available online.) The title is prefaced by "luxury homes and estates," so I already know we're going to a place I'm not comfortable with. The tendency for green building coverage is to focus on lifestyle choices of the affluent or the extreme (examples here, here, and here), but that tendency is already well-trod, if painful, territory. What got me in …

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Chinese coal growth

NYT ran the latest in their "energy challenge" series on Sunday: "The Cost of Coal" looks at China's coal use and resulting pollution problems. It starts off with a bleak portrait ... One of China's lesser-known exports is a dangerous brew of soot, toxic chemicals and climate-changing gases from the smokestacks of coal-burning power plants ... and moves on down from there. The authors, Bradsher and Barboza, do a good job laying out the bind China's in with energy use tied to their economic growth. So far, the nation has been making decisions that it hopes will lessen the health-damaging …

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Across the pond looks like over the rainbow: Business and gov’t dealing with climate change together

The Guardian reported yesterday that "heads of some of Britain's biggest companies are meeting Tony Blair today to demand tougher targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions." What's this? Industry demanding that government set tougher targets? Has the metric system created a different economic system where business likes regulation? The folks in this coalition (including Shell, Vodafone, Tesco, and Standard Chartered Bank) are no slackers when it comes to corporate behavior, but their position is that "stronger government action would encourage industry to develop the technology needed to tackle climate change, as well as giving a lead to countries in the …

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Coal, coal, and more coal

Yesterday's critique of enviros' hopes for peak oil outcomes dovetails beautifully with this article from the NYT on what big coal is up to. The future for American energy users is playing out in coal-rich areas like northeastern Wyoming, where dump trucks and bulldozers swarm around 80-foot-thick seams at a Peabody Energy strip mine here, one of the largest in the world. Coal, the nation's favorite fuel in much of the 19th century and early 20th century, could become so again in the 21st. The United States has enough to last at least two centuries at current use rates -- …

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Funny vision of a hopeful future

RenewUS has posted a newscast from 2055. It's funny in the vein of Gore's SOTU on SNL.

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Contribute to Universal Climate Skeptic Response Project

Over at WorldChanging they're pushing the "debate is over" notion we've been talking about (here and here) to another level -- compiling a "Universal Climate Skeptic Response Post" to act as catchall answer to those who want to keep the conversation stuck in debate terms. They're asking for help (and have already gotten a lot). I'm sure folks here have lots of good ideas and resources to add in. Here's a summary of what they're looking for: 1) We want to build a post for WorldChanging with a simple, clear list of resource links and easy explanations for what climate …

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How to talk about global warming, by Bill C.

Reuters reports some talking points on global warming from former prez Clinton: You can use hope ... "I am not one of those who is pessimistic about the future of the world, assuming we get off our butts and do something about climate change in a timely fashion." ... you can use fear ... "It's the only thing we face today that has the power to remove the preconditions of civilized society." ... or you can use hope and fear together ... "Climate change is more remote than terror but a more profound threat to the future of the children …

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