Nov 23, 14

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community

Clinton Global Initiative 2010 - Day 1: Empowering Women

This week I'm blogging from the Clinton Global Initiative 2010 Annual Meeting. I hope to post at least one daily recap a day. Here is Day 1 (for my first post click here). Today was a very sober and inspiring day at CGI. The main topic for discussion at the two plenary talks and breakout sessions was the first "Action Area" of Empowering Girls and Women: Around the world, girls and women continue to suffer from a lack of economic opportunity, inadequate health care and education, early...

cities

Resource: Walkscore Gets Street Smart, Adds a Transit Score, and Calculates Your Commute

Transit Score heat maps for Boston, MA; San Francisco, CA; and Seattle, WA (via Transit Score) Earlier this year, Alex Steffen wrote about how important walkability is for bright green cities and how the existing measurement tools are limited by primarily being tools for measuring proximity: Walkability is clearly critical to bright green cities. You can't advocate for car-free or car-sharing lives if people need cars to get around, and the enticement to walk is key to making density...

cities

Pay-As-You-Drive: The Movie

by Eric Hess Last December, Alan Durning and Eric de Place co-authored an article in the Tyee calling for Pay-As-You-Drive car insurance in British Columbia. One reader was so inspired, he made this six-minute video encouraging viewers to sign a petition to bring PAYD to BC: It's definitely worth a watch; a good rundown on the benefits of PAYD, and the challenges it faces. Live in BC? Help spread the word. This post originally appeared on Sightline Daily. More on PAYD in the...

cities

Post-Auto Uses for Lithium Car Batteries Improving

In 2007, Erica Barnett wrote a story about the Toyota Prius that generated a big discussion in the comments section about the high, and misleadingly hidden, net energy and life cycle costs of hybrid car batteries. Today, I read "When Electric-Car Batteries Die, Where Will They End Up?" in The New York Times, which explored recent developments in post-auto uses for extending the life of hybrid- and electric-car batteries. As the author Don Sherman wrote, the disposal and lifespan of these car...

planet

New Emissions Measurements Show "Green" Consumerism Failing

Has "green consumerism" reduced climate emissions? Not according to John Barrett. Last week Barrett (from the Stockholm Environment Institute's York (England) office) gave a talk in Seattle titled "A Sustainable Consumption and Production Approach to Climate Change Mitigation.” Barrett presented his team’s latest research on consumption-based, community-scale greenhouse gas emissions inventory methods, policy implications, and lessons learned from his work with the United Kingdom...

planet

Raspberries, Pears and Chocolate: A Fresh Understanding of the Bee Crisis

Editor's Note: We've been having a lot of talks about scale, scope and speed here at Worldchanging recently and I thought Nathanael's article below was an excellent example of how different a problem looks when one's scope of view changes...in this case, a new look at the global pollinator crisis reveals an unexpected part of the problem: the growing market of raspberries, cashews, chocolate, and other luxury crops. Scientists have recently reexamined the scope of the problem and found that,...

stuff

Do Community Gardens Change the Food System?

Weighing the benefits of public garden allotments. by Eric Hess Spring has sprung and for thousands of northwesterners, thumbs are turning green. But for apartment or condo dwellers—like me—urban gardening can be a challenge. Many new buildings are being outfitted with rooftop gardens for tenants’ use, but they’re still spendy and scarce; most of us will have to look to home-owning friends with a few square feet to spare or vie with neighbors for a plot in high-demand community...

shelter

How to really green your home, deep down

As we've said repeatedly here, sustainability is not something we can achieve little bit by little bit, and, in fact, focusing on small steps can even lead us to ignore the bigger picture. Paper versus plastic is a silly debate when we're driving home from the store through a sprawling suburb. That said, a lot of us are starting to get it about systems, about footprints, about embodied energy and virtual water and offshored emissions. People are really beginning to understand the need to get...

business

Exploring a Carbon Neutral City - Notes from Seattle's Unconference

A huge thank you to everyone who came downtown on a blustery morning to participate in last Saturday's unconference on a carbon neutral Seattle! Carbon neutrality is a simple idea with complicated details: it's hard to define and far-reaching in its implications. Carbon neutrality implies a city that uses no fossil fuels and produces no unused waste - a city where every system functions differently than it does today. Yet the idea of Seattle becoming North America’s first carbon neutral...


Carbon Neutrality as Opportunity

As you may have gathered, the idea of city-wide carbon neutrality by 2030 has gained a lot of steam here in Worldchanging's home base of Seattle. Our City Council has embraced it as a goal (though it's wrestling with the timeline) and some of our smartest people are wrestling with what carbon neutrality might mean and how it might be accomplished. Eric de Place offered one set of concerns here last week, exploring the example of Copenhagen -- which at this point has the world's most...

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