Society

Days away from cap and trade regulation

  • December 13, 2010
  • Society
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The “No on 23” campaign might be over, but there’s still (at least) one more hurdle to jump over. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will hear -- and perhaps adopt this week -- the Cap and Trade regulation needed to implement AB32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. The draft Regulation is out for public comment, and opponents of greenhouse… read more →

FTC’s Green Guides updated

  • October 12, 2010
  • Society
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The Federal Trade Commission recently released(pdf) their highly anticipated revisions to the Green Guides, the set of rules regulating how environmental benefits are marketed to consumers. Although it’s great that the Commission revised, updated, and strengthened their marketing recommendations for a host of products, their consumer perception study and resulting rules recommendations for carbon offsets was something of a let… read more →

Walk Score adds Transit Score

  • September 28, 2010
  • Society
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The folks at Front Seat - a Seattle company creating software for civic life - have launched three new extensions to their popular Walk Score website: a public transportation score, a commuting function, and a cost calculator that emphasizes the connections between where you live and what it costs to move between home and work. The Transit Score is a… read more →

Your own, personal biodigester

  • September 27, 2010
  • Society
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The Park Spark Project, brainchild of conceptual artist Matthew Mazzotta and supported by MIT and the City of Cambridge, has created a piece that combines a small methane digester at a dog park with an "eternal flame" lit from the gas coming off decomposing dog poop. I am completely on board with the concept: dog waste, picked up with biodegradable… read more →

Recovery Act creating a new energy economy

It may not be the most popular term to throw around these days, but the $787 billion stimulus package passed in the early days of the Obama administration is still handing out dollars, and has the potential to transform how we use and store energy in this country. Two-thirds of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was devoted to avoiding a… read more →

“Doubt is our product.”

I just finished reading Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway's exhaustively researched new book, ***Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming***, and must recommend this work to anybody interested in how science is communicated and debated in the public sphere. Oreskes and Conway are science historians, at UC-San… read more →

Payments for livestock loss not changing opinions

It turns out that even though ranchers and farmers get paid for any livestock killed by reintroduced wolves, that cash doesn't change negative opinions about wolves one bit. Retributional compensation is supposed to help. Whether local governments, voluntary insurance cooperatives, or NGOs provide the financial support, the idea is that livestock losses caused by reintroduced predator species could be mitigated… read more →

Losing a climate leader

The world lost an influential and effective communicator and scientist last week when Dr. Stephen Schneider, founder of the scientific journal *Climatic Change* and Professor of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford died of a heart attack while returning from a conference on climate change. The list of awards, honors, and academic positions that Prof. Schneider held over his life represent… read more →

The green (10,000) mile adventure

  • July 8, 2010
  • Society
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In just 2 weeks, intrepid travelers/adventurists from across the world will embark on the Mongol Rally, a 10,000 mile drive that starts in London, England and ends in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. The rules are simple: raise money for charity and get to the end (however you choose). One team was adamant about making their adventure as sustainable as possible. Baatar… read more →

Encouraging people to drive to the bar

I get funny looks when the subject of zoning ordinances comes up, mostly because I end up hijacking the conversation to talk about the insanity of our parking laws. But if other people are talking about it on their blogs, it's only fair that I get to mention it here: >[D]id you know that American cities usually require off-street parking… read more →
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