Republican “Climate Zombies” poised to control US Senate?

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 14, 2010

The hopes of any meaningful action on climate change emanating from the US Government could be quashed if, as expected, Republican candidates fare well in the upcoming elections. According to the Wonk Room, a blog run by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, virtually all Republican candidates for the Senate, save one (Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware ), have pubicly expressed varying degrees of doubt about the science of climate change, calling it “a conspiracy” and claiming that policies to […]

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Cool open source Web tool for probing climate data

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 13, 2010

After posting about the efforts of climate scientists to build a global climate databank for predicting extreme weather events, I got a note from Dave Jarvis who recently built a cool open source tool for exploring weather trends across Canada since 1900. Just choose a location in Canada and within seconds you can pull up historical trends ranging from minimum, mean and maximum temperatures to average daily rain and snowfalls. Apart from the fact that it’s […]

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Mass collaboration to improve climate data — a new frontier in citizen science

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 06, 2010

Scientists meeting in the UK this week are crafting a revolutionary new project aimed at transforming their ability to predict meteorological disasters. The goal, as reported by the Guardian, “is to create an international databank that would generate forecasts of unprecedented precision.” To make that happen, the scientists behind the project are contemplating something even more radical: enlisting thousands of ordinary citizens around the world to gather, classify and even help analyze the meteorological data required to build […]

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Does the green state of Denmark really show the way forward?

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 01, 2010

Denmark is renown for wind power and its impressive accomplishments in reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions at a time when those of most other countries are growing vociferously. Today, 20 per cent of the power generated in Denmark comes from wind. Green energy technology and services account for 12% of national exports. And while North American carbon emissions have risen by around 30 per cent since 1990, Denmark’s emissions are actually lower than they were […]

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Can wikinomics help rescue the IPCC?

Category: Environment & Sustainability | Health, Science & Education
Published on Aug 31, 2010

The review committee set up to help revive the beleaguered IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) filed its report yesterday with proposals for wide-ranging changes to the way climate science is done. Set up 22 years ago to provide science advice to governments as they try to deal with global warming, the IPCC has found itself in a storm of controversy recently. First there was notoriously unsupported claim that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. Then there […]

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Climate activists spoofed on Twitter

Category: Environment & Sustainability | NGOs & Government
Published on Aug 25, 2010

For years I’ve been a fan of the Yes Men and the outrageous impersonation stunts they have deployed to (in their words) publicly humiliate leaders and big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else. In October last year, for example, they staged a hoax press conference, claiming to represent the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and pretending to announce that the business lobby group was dropping its aggressive opposition to the climate change legislation working […]

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Wikinomics and the Era of Openness: European Innovation at the Crossroads

Category: Business & Economics | Environment & Sustainability | Health, Science & Education | NGOs & Government
Published on Mar 10, 2010

For the past couple of months I have been working with the wonderful folks at the Lisbon Council in Brussels to prepare a report that examines the economic challenges facing Europe — and the innovative solutions that many entrepreneurs, businesses, governments and citizens are devising to succeed in networked world. The report was launched last week in Brussels at an event that also featured Europe’s new innovation commissioner, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. You can see video highlights […]

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Change.org features global problem-solving podcast

Category: Environment & Sustainability | NGOs & Government
Published on Feb 22, 2010

Change.org has a little write up of my conversation with Dave Witzel and Jerry Michalski earlier today. The post on Change.org does a decent job of capturing the main thesis, but the conversation itself covered more ground, including some reflections on the changing roles of business, government and individual citizens in addressing environmental problems and a discussion about how social innovations that reach across borders and cultures will challenge traditional conceptions of democracy. The recording […]

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Civic Robots help assess water quality in real time

Category: Environment & Sustainability | Health, Science & Education
Published on Mar 08, 2009

I love this example of participatory regulation. Marc Bohlen, an “artist-engineer” at the University of Zurich, has designed a floating public robot that makes assessing recreational water quality a transparent and participatory experience. The Glass Bottom Float, as he calls it, cruises along a beach shore, and offers itself as a resting spot in places it deems clean enough for swimming. Over time, writes Bohlen, the GBF maps paths of least contamination and highest relative pleasure for fish […]

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Upgrading the Grid: Pacific Coast collaborative set up to create shared green energy market

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Feb 18, 2009

Not sure if you caught Obama’s speech today as he signed the new stimulus bill, but he talked at length about the emphasis his administration is placing on modernizing the country’s electrical grid, which he pointed out is simply too antiquated to handle needs of an economy based on renewable energy.  “[It’s like] using 19th century and 20th century technologies to battle 21st century problems, like climate change and energy security,” he said. Well, a colleague […]

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