The sheer concentration of people attracted by the urban lifestyle means that cosmopolitan cities like New York are host to people speaking more than 800 different languages – thought to be the highest language density in the world. In London, less than half of the population is made of white Britons – down from 58% a decade ago. Meanwhile, languages around the world are declining at a faster rate than ever – one of the 7,000 global tongues dies every two weeks.
Posted by Gillies on May 20, 2013
Ralph Nader, at the Huffington Post:
One point is clear, something must change. It’s a question of whether that change will come from the people or be forced upon them when the Earth’s carrying capacity is irreparably breached. Legendary environmentalist Barry Commoner once wrote: “Our air, water and land weren’t polluted and filled with toxic waste by some evil demon. The destruction of our environment begins in our farms and factories–and that’s where we have to go to save it.”
Posted by Gillies on May 12, 2013
I just chipped in a few bucks to Oceana. Any group fighting against this sort of thing has my support.
Drift gillnets are massive, and there is just no way to use them sustainably. Too many animals wind up caught in the nets, most of which are thrown away. In 2011, for every five swordfish landed, one marine mammal was killed and six fish—including sharks and tunas—were tossed overboard dead or dying.
Posted by Gillies on May 6, 2013
Smart design is not necessarily high-tech.
Posted by Gillies on May 4, 2013
Posted by Gillies on April 30, 2013
The Guardian, reporting on a straw bale urinal:
The designers say their mission is to raise festival-goers’ awareness of “dry urination, water saving and urine upcycling,” and suggest the compost can kept on site and used in planters the following year to demonstrate its value. Production is set to begin in June, when the design will debut at the French heavy metal festival Hellfest.
Posted by Gillies on April 26, 2013
Since 2008, the amount of solar energy powering U.S. homes, businesses and military bases has grown by more than 600 percent according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. In 2012 alone, the United States brought more new solar capacity online than in the three prior years combined, underscoring projections that solar will be the nation’s largest new source of energy over the next four years.
Posted by Gillies on April 25, 2013
From The Upcycle, which I’m reading at the moment:
What if we used existing highways for renewable energy distribution? Imagine ribbons of road running through the desert covered with lightweight shading devices made of solar panels, or with the panels stationed adjacent to the highways in the public rights of way.
Posted by Gillies on April 24, 2013
Posted by Gillies on April 22, 2013
I detect a note of wishful thinking here, but it’s still interesting. Jeremy Grantham, quoted in the Guardian:
I have very high hopes for China because they have embedded high scientific capabilities in their leadership class. They know this is serious. And they are acting much faster now than we are. They have it within their capabilities to come back in 30 years with the guarantee of complete energy independence – all alternative and sustainable for ever.
Posted by Gillies on April 19, 2013