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The Worldchanging Newsstand
Alex Steffen, 6 Apr 06

April is the coolest month, as far as the print/ mainstream media goes. The newsstand is positively overflowing with magazines taking up Worldchanging issues and approaches. There's almost too much to read this month -- not only the fashion mags' green issues Sarah covered earlier, but a growing array of other pubs:

SEED has a special issue State of the Planet 06: What is it going to take?, with good pieces on hybrid cars, climate science and other topics. Most of the good stuff is paper-only.

Mother Jones rings the alarm bells with a cover story on the Last Days of the Ocean, and, while some of the good stuff in only available affixed to dead trees, their site thankfully has plenty of online content about the issue to scan through.

The latest, 25th anniversary issue of Metropolis isn't specifically greenish, but is nonetheless chock-a-block with worldchanging stuff, as we mentioned before. Plus, it's pretty to look at.

On the other hand, the American Prospect's special report on the green economy After Oil: The economic and political promise of a post-petroleum society is brimming with topics that could be (indeed often have been) featured here, though the going can be a little slow and little is available online. A notable exception is David Morris' The Once and Future Carbohydrate Economy which is insightful, well-written, and freely available in its entirety:

"Less than 200 years ago, industrializing societies were carbohydrate economies. In 1820, Americans used two tons of vegetables for every one ton of minerals. Plants were the primary raw material in the production of dyes, chemicals, paints, inks, solvents, construction materials, even energy. For the next 125 years, hydrocarbon and carbohydrate battled for industrial supremacy."

Time has a special report on global warming, running the headline "Be worried. Be very worried." It's full of interesting stuff, though the online edition has already vanished behing their paywall.

Meanwhile online, Salon's Kevin Sweeney writes in a piece titled Climate of Hope that we must learn to sell the possibilities climate change presents, as much as the catastrophes with which it threatens us:

"Peter Kropotkin, the Russian anarchist, wrote, 'It is hope, not despair, which makes successful revolutions.' While this is a notion most American generations haven't needed to understand -- ours has been a fortunate history -- it may be time for us to learn it.

"...[M]ost of the world's nations believe climate change is real and urgent and are attempting to do something about it. That allows the commercially inclined among us to move on to the wonderfully crass questions about what products we might sell them. We start to ask: Whose appliances will the world buy? Whose fuel cells and photovoltaic panels? Whose light bulbs? Whose cars?

"This basic market intelligence may be the single most important key to thriving in a new economy. There is money to be made here -- lots of it. There are jobs here -- lots of them. This is Silicon Valley 2.0.

What else are you guys finding on the newsstand that's worth a look?

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it is nice to see everyone getting tuned in & turned on (even if most of it is on pulped trees still, and one on the infinitley better tree free paper

Soooo dying to read that Seed! tell us Alex: what are the 7 new ways to stop glabal warming? Enquiring moinds want to know!!!!

Posted by: lee on 7 Apr 06

FYI, "most of the good stuff is paper only" 'cause we don't want to cannibalize newsstand sales by giving it all away on line too far in advance - but I promise we'll get most of the goods online in the coming weeks!

--Web Editor, Seed Magazine

Posted by: Christopher Mims on 7 Apr 06

Thanks for the clarification, Christopher, and keep up the good work!

Posted by: Alex Steffen on 7 Apr 06

You may be find this article interesting,

The Man Who Changed the World

Posted by: Sondra Hickman on 8 Apr 06

Treehugger announced the other day, that the Green issue of Vanity Fair is out now...

Posted by: Prog Grrl on 10 Apr 06

Thanks, Prog Grrl. It is indeed.

Dawn got me a copy as a gift, and I have to say that it's substantially better than I expected it to be. Quite a bit of ground cover in the VF Green Issue overlaps with WC, which I think of as a compliment (after all, there are some smart folks here with a lot of experience working on various aspects of sustainability trying to figure out the best stuff to cover).

I also read the soon-to-be-released green issue of WIRED this weekend (I wrote the intro to that). Also very good (if I may say so myself) though I do wish they'd get off the nuclear power/ skeptical enviro stance, which is so 90s.

Posted by: Alex Steffen on 10 Apr 06



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