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  • Sustainability visionaries see room for hope in our worry-filled world

    Who’s afraid of the big, bad future? Al Gore, clearly — and pretty much anyone who has seen An Inconvenient Truth. While Gore’s dissenters may argue that he cries wolf too often, no one who knows and understands the statistics used in the film can doubt that the Big Bad Wolf of climate change is […]

  • Drop that apocalyptic vision and start imagining a positive future

    Back at the turn of the millennium, the local government I was working for asked community members to contribute their vision of the municipality in the year 2025. As an environmental planner, I attended the community’s presentations with some interest. It doesn’t have to be like this. Photo: iStockphoto. One group that responded was a […]

  • A roundup of green plans and brown bills proposed post-Katrina

    Resourceful environmental leaders have unearthed opportunity amidst the wreckage left behind by this year’s record hurricane season and the battering of the Gulf Coast. They’ve crafted plans for everything from the building of new, green, affordable housing to the tightening of auto fuel-economy standards. Of course, powerful people with less eco-friendly agendas have seen opportunity […]

  • Umbra on rebuilding the Gulf Coast

    Dear Umbra, There seem to be plenty of good organizations accepting dollars to help the people of the Gulf Coast. But as The Nature Conservancy has said, “While current attention is rightfully focused on the immediate human toll and suffering of this tragedy, the ecological damage has yet to be assessed.” The rebuilding effort, it […]

  • What New Orleans could look like the second time around

    I heard that George Bush told New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin the city could be remade into “a shining example for the whole world.” If Bush did say that, it surely wasn’t an environmentally sound renaissance he had in mind. But that is precisely what is needed. Call it Eco New Orleans. It should encompass […]

  • White House to greens: We should totally do this again some time

    Say anything. Uncle Sam wants you … to cooperate on conservation. Not only that, he’s willing to listen. At least that’s what he says. Earlier this week, St. Louis hosted the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation. The invitation-only event was modeled after Teddy Roosevelt’s 1908 Governors’ Conference, which brought all the country’s governors, Supreme […]