Oct 21, 14

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A Force More Powerful and "Serious Games"

We reported a couple weeks ago on the forthcoming free game A Force More Powerful, a sort of Sims-in-Kyrgyzstan -- players practice using non-violent confrontation to pressure, even overthrow, repressive regimes. The game's part of a larger campaign to promote the use of non-violent conflict to promote human rights and democracy -- what some call "strategic non-violent warfare." This article explains how how A Force works in greater depth: Sponsored by the International Center on Nonviolent...


Corporate Social Opportunity

There's increasing talk in corporate circles of "social responsibility." But does it work in practice? Procter & Gamble's George Carpenter thinks so: The model we used was digital communication. The argument to senior management was that developing countries moved to cellular communications much faster than the North did; while only the rich lobbyist and stockbrokers had cell phones in New York, if you went to Mexico City, everyone had cell phones because the regular phones did not work. Not...

planet

Postcards From The Global Food System (#3)

Read Postcards #1 & #2 Southern Views of Northern Logic We’ve all heard the story of the little girl who didn’t know that her hamburgers came from the nice cows in the field. My own version of this story occurred in our backyard in Bombay. It couldn’t have been more than a few months after we had emigrated from London. I was seven. It was Eid-ul-Adha, a Muslim festival where an animal is ritually slaughtered to mark the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. In London you...


Jamie Oliver, School Lunch Hero

We noted recently that TV chef Jamie Oliver had launched a campaign for a 'school dinner revolution' to improve the quality, taste and nutrition of the food served in schoolrooms around the UK, and that Tony Blair had promised changes as a result. Now the UK government is coughing up the money to make those changes: The education secretary promised an extra £280m to improve school meals yesterday, in an announcement apparently prompted by the TV chef Jamie Oliver's popular campaign....


Expo promotes a green future

It's World Expo time again: that mega event, held every five years, where countries get to strut their national stuff and the host city gets to bask in the glow of the global spotlight, all in celebration of the human spirit and progress & etc. Starting in London in 1851, World Expos have traditionally been a big deal, featuring some of the most exciting endeavors in invention, art, and technology -- including the telephone in 1876 and the Eiffel Tower in 1889. World Expo 2005 is being...


Recycled products as lottery ticket

The National Consumer Council in Britain is planning "recycling lottery" to encourage people to adapt to a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. A similar scheme in Norway boosted the number of people who recycled drink cartons from 30 to 70 per cent. Participants squashed the carton, wrote their name and phone number on it and dropped it into the recycling bin to go forward for the prize draw. The NCC believes the lottery could be a good way to target Britain’s growing battery...


Alex On the Urban Future, Live

If you're in Seattle next week, be sure to catch "Where in the World are We Going? How Nature, Cities and Culture Can Flourish in the 21st Century," a discussion forum on the urban future in the natural world. The speakers are Terry Tempest Williams, Andrew Light, Stuart Cowen, David Conrad, and our very own Alex Steffen. Each of our guests is expert at implementing a compelling vision with real world benefits. Each is working on elements of a vision for the future that not only incorporates...

planet

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Scenarios

If you even come close to the sustainable blogosphere (as I increasingly see it called) today, you know that the UN's Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report is out. The vast majority of news reports about the Assessment emphasize its dark, "sobering" presentation. This isn't surprising -- the planet's environmental systems are under a lot of stress, and if things don't change, we're in for disaster. But that's an important caveat -- if things don't change. What most readings of the...


EcoMortgage

So you want to build yourself a nice green sustainable home. Can you get the money to do it? Turns out that banks are often less than enthusiastic about making loans for non-traditional homes -- and, sadly, sustainable design can be considered such. If you're in the UK, you're in luck: the Ecology Building Society is a lending institution which specifically underwrites mortgages for "properties which given an ecological payback." According to their site, they focus on: energy efficient...

stuff

The Fuel Cell Timeline: 2010 Or Bust

Will personal vehicles of the bright green future be battery-electric or hydrogen fuel cell based? The most reasonable answer is probably "both," with battery and fuel cell vehicle power storage co-existing like gasoline and diesel today, used in ways which take advantage of unique strengths. Yesterday's fast-recharge battery news from Toshiba certainly gave new vigor to the idea of usable battery-powered cars, potentially solving the "it takes how long to refill?!?" problem. But while...

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