Yaba Yaba

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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ Category

the climate migrants are coming!

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This morning Oxfam put up an installation called “Climate change migration camp” at the head of the millennium bridge in London. Climate change is currently predominantly caused by rich, northern countries and suffered by poor southern countries. This installation is a brilliant reminder of why that is only a temporary illusion. Quite simply, when their countries turn to dust or are covered by the sea, the people in the effected countries will not disappear. They will find a way, and they will come here.

So even if you have not one moral cell in your body, you should be concerned. I mean, even Nick Griffin should be worried about climate change.

Written by yishaym

October 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Shai Agassi’s @TED: how to save the world and make a buck

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If you want a problem solved, get a hacker. If you want world problems solved get a mega-world-hacker.

Most people see the system as fixed, and struggle with negotiating the problem description to fit the current state of affairs. Hence we get incentive packages, 20% CO2 reduction by 2020, and all sort of abominations.

Hackers only see two things as fixed: problem description and mathematics. All the rest is a toys to play with. The problem is emissions, and the mathematics is simple: we need to stop burning fossil fuels. So forget hybrids (“hybrids are like mermaids”) or hydrogen fuel cell. We need electric cars that are affordable, convenient and scalable, and we need them with current technology. Fix those parameters, and let loose of the rest. What do you get? Stop thinking of electrons as fuel and batteries as fuel tanks: the battery is the fuel. The rest follows.

Shai Agassi tells your future like you want it to be. Better world is the company 2.0 that will make the car 2.0, and has no problem with including profit and morality in the same sentance.

read more | digg story

Written by yishaym

April 15, 2009 at 1:00 am

It’s broken, fix it.

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50 years from now, assuming there will still be schools and history classes, teachers will have to be very creative when trying to explain the banter around the current systemic crisis. The kids would be asking how could a whole civilization stand before a plain and simple reality and looked through it as if it wasn’t there.
For start, naming. Financial crisis? Hello? 25% of mammals endangered, bees disappearing, massive climate change, global food shortages, and the man tells us we need to “restore consumer confidence”? Hell, no. Consumers have very good reasons to be worried. If anything, its time to shake their confidence. And with that, shake up some industries. In fact, some industries should probably follow whaling and leach farming. The current market turmoil is not, as some politicians and media experts would like us to believe, a freak consequence of convoluted mortgage schemes. It is an inevitable outcome of a fundamental property of markets: they predict the future. A market is a huge computer, combining the computational power of masses of machines and brains to project economic value into the future. The price of a firm’s stock doesn’t stop at its current assets, but reflects its expected amortized income over its expected lifetime. At least that’s what I was told at my high school economics class. So what should happen to the stock of a car company on a planet that is running out of petrol, or the legitimacy to use it? What would you expect of a mortgage bank in a planet where geography and climate is shifting in unpredictable patterns?
The recent bank bailout plans are equivalent of hosing a burning house with diesel. What we really need is to dowse the fire, throw out the parts that are beyond repair, and start rebuilding to a solid, sustainable standard.

Written by yishaym

October 8, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Mea culpa

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In one of my fiery rants some time ago, I referred to Victor Lebow as the evil designer of the absurd linear model which dominates western economies. I linked to Steve’s article, from which the following image is borrowed:

But alas, I did not read his argument with care. I had made my aquaitance with Mr Lebow at Annie Leonard’s excelent the story of stuff. I had used Steve’s article to confirm the quote, without reading his analysis, and the colourful albeit longish) story of how he hunted down the original. Scroll down to the bottom of his post and you can read it yourself. If you do, you will also agree with Steve that Lebow was describing a flawed system, not prescribing a stratagy. There’s lots of powerful stuff there, like:

the measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our patterns of consumption. The very meaning and significance of our lives is today expressed in consupmtion terms.

This is Lebow, in 1955. What would he be saying today?

My appologies, and thanks Steve. I stand corrected.

Written by yishaym

June 21, 2008 at 2:47 am

you can leave now

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Bold move by worldchanging. The bottom line is: we’ve had enough of your nonsense, thank you very much. You can regurgitate your hallucinary circular arguments on your own blog. This is our place, and grievous denial of reality is not acceptable behaviour here.

Amen to that. Will they block evolution deniers next?

If you still find it amusing to argue with climate change deniers, here the complete guide. (ht BB, also via worldchanging).

Written by yishaym

June 18, 2008 at 10:09 am

Hey guys, look what I found in Israel

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So Sergey hops over to Israel for a couple of days, and the next thing, what do you know – Google.org announces an investment in BrightSource Energy.

Arnold Goldman, Founder and Chairman of BrightSource Energy, Inc., was also the founder of Luz International, Ltd. (no longer in operation).

Luz II, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of BrightSource, provides product development and engineering, project engineering and management, and solar field manufacturing and supply services.
Luz II is headquartered in Jerusalem, Israel.

(digg)

Written by yishaym

May 20, 2008 at 11:48 pm

Frankencrops are the new green

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Wired argues that bioengineering may be our best bet for the two greatest challenges of our times: food crisis and global warming.

| digg story

Written by yishaym

May 20, 2008 at 9:43 am

Bread for the poor or circuses for the rich?

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Justin asks: Global Food Crisis: The Limits of Free Market Thinking? The current tide is definitely a wake-up call. But I think Victor Lebow carries more blame than Milton Freedman or Adam Smith (if you haven’t yet, go see the story of stuff. It gives a lot to think about in this context).

The problem is not with the invisible hand, its with the strong hand, which promotes over-consumption of non-sustainable goods, subsidizes meat production (which feeds much less people per hectare) and prioritizes bio-fuelled humvees over wind-farm powered powered public transport. The problem is not with the economic system (there’s frankly very little difference between one and the other nowadays). The problem is with base values.

Israel posts tender for 250MW solar power plant

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Israel’s ministry of national infrastructure has just published an international tender for the construction of two solar power plants, which will supply 5% of the country’s electricity demands. (compared to official data from 2006 and assuming I got my maths right)

| digg story

Written by yishaym

March 18, 2008 at 1:01 pm

so here’s an idea: buy them menu 4 hope vouchers.

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The previous post stopped you in your tracks, but you still feel the social pressure to buy xmas presents?

how about some menu 4 hope vouchers? totally e..

The image “http://www.chezpim.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/12/09/menuforhope4map.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Written by yishaym

December 15, 2007 at 3:10 am

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