Nov 26, 15

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Return of the Airship?

Air travel and freight has become a staple of modern life, but it unfortunately uses enormous amounts of energy compared to ground vehicles because of the energy required to lift passengers & cargo and move at very high speeds. (If you like playing with eco-footprint calculators, just look at what air travel does to your score!) But an old technology--the airship, or "blimp"--allows air transport with energy consumption only slightly higher than ground travel. Speeds are much lower, but...

Heads-up Displays will be greener & healthier

The geek value of an eyeglass-mounted display is obvious. What's less obvious is that painting images on your eyeball with lasers instead of building large displays is much more environmentally-friendly, because it uses a small fraction of the power you otherwise need--all the light is going exactly where it's needed, rather than illuminating the rest of the room. A monochrome 800x600 display such as those made by Microvision can use 1 milliwatt or less, as opposed to the 15W of a standard...


Sterling on Lovelock

Earlier this week, as we noted here on Worldchanging, independent scientist James Lovelock, co-author of the influential Gaia hypothesis, wrote in the UK Independent that he supports massive expansion of the use of nuclear energy as the only solution to reversing climate change. World Changing Ally #1 Bruce Sterling has logged his rebuttal on the Viridian list, annotating both Lovelock and a follow-up essay supporting Lovelock's position by GBN's Gwynne Dyer. Read the entire Note at...

Less Petroleum on the Factory Floor

Rising costs for oil and natural gas lead factories to find alternatives to petroleum products as both ingredients and energy sources, according to this May 27 article in the The New York Times. "The adhesive on 3M's Sctoch tape and on many of its bandages no longer has petroleum as an ingredient. Goodyear is experimenting with solar factory walls to cut back on heat generated by oil and natural gas furnaces...'Energy is still a big, controllable cost,' says Neal Elliott, who runs the...


Community Tied To One Technology vs One Big Soup

Nancy White pointed me to CommunityWiki's page, CommunityTiedToOneTechnology. Nancy and I had talked in the past about the potential power in building collaborative spaces using several integrated technologies, but as the Community Wiki discussion sez, "most of our internet communities appear to be tied predominantly to one technology or another." The wiki includes possible explanations like member inertia or low technical acumen, though maybe we just need more and better examples of...


Sustainable City Development in Portugal

The World Wildlife Fund and Bioregional have announced plans to develop a massive eco-tourism and sustainable community program in Portugal: The development is part of an overall project that covers an area of 5,300 hectares and brings together sustainable housing, nature conservation, reforestation and ecofriendly transport. Work will begin over the next few months on the 6,000-house, €1billion scheme in Mata de Sesimbra, just south of Lisbon.  The project sounds interesting, and...


The Inevitable "Day After Tomorrow" Review

We've talked about the movie enough, we should probably cough up the money to go see it. WorldChanging contributor reviews will be added to this entry. WC readers should offer up their own takes on the movie in the comments! Jamais' Review: Two themes resonated throughout the pre-release reviews and previews of The Day After Tomorrow: the science is bad; the movie is bad. I had seen enough of these previews that I sat down in my seat this afternoon fully anticipating a very bad movie with...


Forget Rockin' the Vote - SmartMob It

The NYT today has a piece on how youth voter registration efforts are collecting young voters' cellphone numbers as a GOTV (get out the vote) tool, raising privacy concerns along with turnout: "Voter registration campaigns are turning to a new weapon to combat low turnout among younger voters this November: the cellphone. "Nonprofit groups have begun collecting the cell numbers of college-age voters as part of wider registration efforts. Their aim is to contact young people through wireless...

Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars

Ally Cory just read Red Mars for the first time, and says "I am agog at what may be the finest sf novel I've ever read." We love it too, here at Worlchanging, and highly recommend both the Mars Trilogy itself and Cory's review.


I am not a religious person, and am not in the habit of looking at religious groups for innovative approaches to global problems. But Floresta is genuinely interesting: they focus on deforestation as both a manifestation and a symbol of global poverty, using microloans, training in sustainable agriculture, and the planting of trees as a way of helping out the poor in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Mexico. While evangelism is part of their efforts, they emphasize on the site that...

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