carbon footprint

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pages: 264 words: 71,821

How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything by Mike Berners-Lee

air freight, carbon footprint, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Skype, sustainable-tourism, University of East Anglia

., the total impact on the climate breaks down like this: carbon dioxide (85 percent), methane (8 percent), nitrous oxide (5 percent), and refrigerant gases (2 percent).2 Given that a single item or activity can cause multiple different greenhouse gases to be emitted, each in different quantities, a carbon footprint, if written out in full, could get pretty confusing. To avoid this, the convention is to express a carbon footprint in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This means the total climate change impact of all the greenhouse gases caused by an item or activity rolled into one and expressed in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide that would have the same impact.3 Beware carbon toe-prints The most common abuse of the phrase carbon footprint is to miss out some or even most of the emissions caused, whatever activity or item is being discussed. For example, many online carbon calculator websites will tell you that your carbon footprint is a certain size based purely on your home energy and personal travel habits, while ignoring all of the goods and services you purchase.

The Earth will be fine until changes in the Sun’s radiation evaporate its atmosphere in a billion or so years’ time. By this time, as Lord Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society, speculated, the creatures that inhabit the Earth will be as different from people as we are from bacteria. A quick guide to carbon and carbon footprints 1. Carbon Footprinting: An Introduction to Organisations, published by the U.K.’s Carbon Trust (2007) defines on page 1 a carbon footprint in a similar way to me but goes on to describe “basic carbon footprints” on page 4. These are toe-prints rather than rough estimates of footprints. 2. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990–2008 (April 2010) U.S. EPA # 430-R-10-006. Available at www.EPA.gov/climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport.html The U.K.’s 2009 Environmental Accounts give a similar breakdown: carbon dioxide (86 percent), methane (7 percent), nitrous oxide (6 percent), and refrigerant gases (1 percent). 3.

I hope you enjoy the read and that, while you are at it, you bump into at least something you can use. So how bad are bananas? As it happens, they turn out to be a fine low-carbon food, though not totally free from sustainability issues to keep an eye on—see A banana. A quick guide to carbon and carbon footprints Carbon footprint is a lovely phrase that is horribly abused.1 I want to make my definition clear at the outset. Throughout this book, I’m using the word footprint as a metaphor for the total impact that something has. And I’m using the word carbon as shorthand for all the different global warming greenhouse gases. So, I’m using the term carbon footprint as shorthand to mean the best estimate that we can get of the full climate change impact of something. That something could be anything—an activity, an item, a lifestyle, a company, a country, or even the whole world.


pages: 433 words: 124,454

The Burning Answer: The Solar Revolution: A Quest for Sustainable Power by Keith Barnham

Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, carbon footprint, credit crunch, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Naomi Klein, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, uranium enrichment, wikimedia commons

We will return to the politics of the CCC target in Chapter 10. Where stands nuclear power? That question will require a section on its own. The carbon footprint of nuclear electricity There have been over two hundred papers on the carbon footprint of nuclear power in scientific journals in recent years. Three papers have critically reviewed the literature in the way Nugent and Sovacool compared renewable LCAs. The first was by Benjamin Sovacool himself. He reviewed 103 published LCA studies and whittled them down to 19, which had a reasonably rigorous scientific approach. The carbon footprints ranged from 3 to 200 gCO2/kWh. The average carbon footprint was 66 gCO2/kWh. This is above the CCC limit. Jef Beerten and his collaborators took a different approach. They decided that such a wide range of results suggests that taking an average is not appropriate.

The second major concern is about the carbon footprint of the entire biomass–biogas cycle. On the positive side, every carbon atom emitted into the atmosphere by burning biomass or biogas was pulled out of the atmosphere in the months before the crops were harvested. Hence these carbon atoms are recycled and, in principle, the whole cycle could be what is often called carbon neutral. In contrast, when burning fossil fuel, carbon atoms are released that were pulled from the atmosphere hundreds of millions of years ago. Fossil fuel carbon atoms are new arrivals in our atmosphere. Any greenhouse gases emitted during the harvesting, transportation, conversion to fuel and waste disposal of biomass or biogas fuel will give that fuel a carbon footprint. In some cases, the carbon footprint could end up as high as that of natural gas.

If the new heating technology is really zero carbon in use it is only necessary to install the thermal insulation first if your priority is cost saving rather than carbon saving. Before we finish with low carbon electricity generation and move on to low carbon gas and heating, we need to have some idea of how big the carbon savings are of the renewable electricity technologies. Carbon footprints of solar and natural gas electricity We now need to compare the carbon footprints of the different technologies that make up the solar cornucopia. I will also compare them with their main rivals for the attention of politicians: natural gas and nuclear power. When comparing the carbon footprints of electricity-generating technologies, we need to take into account carbon dioxide emitted in all stages: construction, operation, production of any fuel, dismantling and waste disposal. Such a study is called a life cycle analysis (LCA). LCAs are often presented in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.


pages: 154 words: 48,340

What We Need to Do Now: A Green Deal to Ensure a Habitable Earth by Chris Goodall

blockchain, carbon footprint, decarbonisation, energy transition, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, smart grid, smart meter

There are obvious challenges, in terms of production, bunkering and other infrastructure, but demand will work as a powerful driver to help industry overcome these issues.’ CHAPTER 6 SUSTAINABLE FASHION Without big changes, clothing alone will stop us achieving net zero Fashion represents about 3–4 per cent of the UK’s carbon footprint, though it is not always accounted for in national estimates. Most of the emissions of greenhouse gases take place in the countries where raw materials are made or the clothing manufactured. Both cotton and polyester – the dominant materials – have substantial environmental problems. Polyester has a high carbon footprint, while the cultivation of cotton and its processing into fabrics causes major pollution and uses vast quantities of water. The fibres of both cotton and polyester are shortened each time they are reprocessed, making full recycling very difficult.

The clothing industry pollutes in many additonal ways, too, through the degradation of water supplies and the pollution caused by agricultural fertilisers. Clothing thus represents a significant environmental concern. It is the largest part of our carbon footprint after running the house, using a car, taking flights and eating food. The 18 kilos or so of clothes that the average Briton buys each year cause almost half a tonne of greenhouse gas pollution. (We purchase large volumes of clothes partly because our retailers have been so successful at bringing down the cost in the shops.) Some of this carbon footprint comes from washing and drying clothes during use, but two thirds arises from the processes involved in making them. Across the world, the fashion industry is responsible for about 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases a year, equivalent to the combined figures for aviation and maritime shipping.

In fact, since the productivity of organic cotton is lower than conventional cultivation, it can be argued that it crowds out even more food growing or reforestation. The production of textiles from raw cotton involves the discharge of hazardous chemicals into water courses. So cotton is generally bad news. But unfortunately polyester seem to have an even higher carbon footprint. One study suggested that a polyester shirt results in over 5 kilos of emissions compared to just over 2 kilos from a cotton equivalent. Consumers face a difficult decision: should we buy a partially recyclable polyester garment with a high carbon footprint or a cotton equivalent that has added to the world’s other major environmental challenges? And, for those of us in colder countries, is wool an environmentally acceptable alternative? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Although wool’s manufacturing processes are not especially polluting, the footprint of woollen clothes is dominated by the methane produced by sheep.


There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years by Mike Berners-Lee

air freight, autonomous vehicles, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, food miles, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Hans Rosling, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, neoliberal agenda, off grid, performance metric, profit motive, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, urban planning

Use fertiliser sparingly – which might save money too. Don’t flood the paddy field. Then market your sustainability credentials to boost sales. Is local food best? Only sometimes. Transport is usually a small component of the carbon footprint of foods. Is local food best? 31 Travel is usually just a small part of the carbon footprint of food. In my latest study for Booths, the UK supermarket chain, transport was responsible for just 6% of the carbon footprint of all goods at the check-out23. The big greenhouse gas deal is in the farming (see What’s the carbon footprint of agriculture? on page 22). Food transport only really becomes a big problem when things get put on an aeroplane. UK examples of this can include grapes and berries from California, fresh tuna from the Indian Ocean, baby vegetables from Africa and, perhaps worst of all, asparagus all the way from Peru.

This is one of the most serious skill deficits for humanity in the Anthropocene: the poor capacity for planning ahead. Point 7: All the fuel that gets dug up gets burned, so it has to stay in the ground instead Amazing that such an obvious point has taken the political world so long to start getting its head around – and it isn’t there 206 APPENDIX: CLIMATE CHANGE BASICS yet. Once fuel leaves the ground, it all gets burned to meet a consumer need. The carbon footprint of extracted fuel is just about equal to the carbon footprint of burned fuels and the carbon footprint of all consumer goods and services. It works like three carriages of a train coupled together. They push and pull each other along, ensuring that they all travel at the same speed. Either we slow them all down or nothing will happen. The only real exception to this is a trivial proportion of extracted oil which goes into making plastic, however, adding to the already vast amount that is clogging up our planet (see the discussion about plastics on pages 55–58).

What happens to the food we grow? Given the global surplus, why are some people malnourished? Why don’t more people explode from over-eating? How many calories do we get from animals? How much do animals help with our protein supply? Do we need animals for iron, zinc or vitamin A? How much of our antibiotics are given to animals? How much deforestation do soya beans cause? What’s the carbon footprint of agriculture? What are the carbon footprints of different foods? Should I go veggie or vegan? What can shops do about meat and dairy habits? What can restaurants do? What can farmers and governments do? How could one crop save us over half a billion tonnes CO2e? Is local food best? Where does fish fit in? 1 1 3 5 6 8 9 11 12 12 12 15 16 16 17 19 20 21 22 23 26 28 28 29 29 30 32 viii CONTENTS When is a seabass not a seabass?


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kangaroo Route, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, kremlinology, low cost airline, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The Travel Foundation–commissioned study asking Britons about aviation’s carbon footprint was published as “The Travel Foundation Consumer Research” and was prepared by Nunwood in 2007 at www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk/index.php?id=91. The Ryanair effect’s impact on Murcia, Spain, and its carbon footprint are from Elisabeth Rosenthal’s “Low-Cost Airfares, Big-Time Carbon Footprint” (The New York Times, May 30, 2008). The details of Carcassonne, France, are borrowed from Anthony Lane’s “High and Low” (The New Yorker, April 26, 2006), as is Michael O’Leary’s “bollocks” quote. Plane Stupid’s website is http://planestupid.com/. The carbon footprint of housing is taken from “The Green Housing Boom” (Fast Company, July/August 2008). The carbon footprint of cattle is from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s report “Livestock’s Long Shadow” (2006), available online at www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM.

., 38–46; Chinese companies in, 44; Dulles-driven growth of, 40–41; expanding beyond Pentagon ties, 41–42 Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, 43 fair trade, carbon footprint and, 231 Fallows, James, 204, 361 Fast Company, 24, 332 Faster (Gleick), 61 fate, Kasarda’s view of, 7 Federal Express: Asian hubs of, 171, 372–73, 384, 433; businesses drawn to, 62, 82; European hubs of, 383; Greensboro operations of, 171; Guangzhou hub of, 433; Kasarda’s plans used by, 8, 79, 171, 373, 384; in Memphis, 7, 60–64, 81, 82, 383; as network, 63; shipping models changed by, 61 Fei Xiaotong, 373 Ferguson, Niall, 392 Ferreira, Jo, 79, 80 Ficano, Robert, 182, 183–84, 188, 189, 191, 192–96, 198–99, 202, 205, 206–207, 426 Fischer, Claude, 118–19 Flight (LaGuardia Marine Air Terminal mural), 412 floral industry: Aalsmeer auctions and warehouses in, 211, 212–17; in Africa, 212, 216, 221, 222–24, 317, 319, 407; in Amsterdam, 24, 209–25; carbon footprint of, 231; in China, 407; exports to U.S., 215; globalization of, 426–27; important holidays in, 212; post-World War II exports of, 211; shipments and logistics in, 24, 426; supply chain in, see cool chain; technological advances in, 210–11 Floramerica, 221 Florida, Richard, 83, 136, 203 Florimex, 219–20 Flother, Bill, 270 Flower Confidential (Stewart), 217 fluidity, of population, 12, 18 Fluor, 121–22, 124 food, carbon footprint of, 230 food chains, 225–41; greenhouse gases from, 336 food industry: carbon footprint within, 427;shipments and logistics of, 24, 427 food miles, 230–33, 427; environmental impact of, 232 food production: increases in, 233–40; shortages in, 233–34 Ford, Henry, 179–80, 185, 188, 243, 366, 425 Ford Airlines, 425 Ford Airport, 179, 187, 425 Fortis Hospitals, 275 Foshan, China, 383 Foster, Norman, 386–87 Foxconn, 362, 396–97, 432 Frankfurt, Germany, food shipments through, 227–28 Frankfurt Airport, expansion plans for, 17 free trade, carbon footprint and, 231 free will, see agency freight dogs, 421 frequent fliers, lifestyle of, 422 Friedman, Thomas, 32, 207, 281–82 Front Range, as megapolitan area, 144–45, 424 Fulenwider, Cal, III, 134, 137–39, 140–41, 146 Fulenwider, L.C., 137 Fuller, Stephen, 421 Fulton Fish Market, 226 Fung, Victor, 374, 380, 382 Fung, William, 374 Gale, Stan, 3–5, 10, 22, 354–55, 357–58 Gaozi, Emperor, 409 Gapper, John, 32 Garreau, Joel, 11, 41 gasoline prices, 341 Gatwick Airport, 16 Gaylord Entertainment, 109 Gebremariam, Tewolde, 324 Geek Squad City, 77–78 General Electric, 202–203, 388 General Motors, 180, 186, 192, 203–204 Germany, exports from, 393 Gilbert, Richard, 333 Gilder, George, 12 Gingrich, Newt, 195 Giuffre, Mark, 421–422 Gladstone, William, 328 Gladwell, Malcolm, 73–74 GlaxoSmithKline, 9 Gleick, James, 61 globalization: aerotropoli as form of, 5, 6; of Africa, 319–20, 324; and airborne middle class, 99; air travel as central to, 17–18, 165, 413; cities as hubs of, 175–76; Eastern shift of, 5, 8; economic bubbles as bets on, 426; of food chains, 236–38; of food supplies, 230–31; future of, 13; of health care, 267, 268; of industries and companies, 124–28, 199–201, 224–25, 374–75; introduction of, 164–65; leveling effects of, 211–12; pace of, 168–69; retrofitting cities for, 5, 6, 17; as reversible, 332; stability of, 21; of tourism, 264; as transformative, 10, 183 Global TransPark, 169–70, 171–73, 379; developing idea for, 425 GMR, 277, 278, 280–81, 283, 429 goods economy, 9–10; air transport as central to, 17–18; inventory avoided in, 363–64; shipping costs in, 243, 338, 361–62, 365 Gopinath, G.

One outlet for their anger is the debate over Heathrow. Another, referenced by Leahy in his speech, is the concept of “food miles”—the distance a product travels from the farm or ocean to your home. Food miles have become a shorthand for measuring food’s carbon footprint. It’s logical to assume that food—or flowers—traveling thousands of miles might have a larger footprint than the same items grown or made locally. But we’re often highly illogical about both. We are what we eat, and in our identities as consumers we are what we consume—and how visibly we consume it. As a result, food miles and carbon footprints have become wrapped up in a much larger critique of global food chains. Less-than-scientific correlations have been found between how far food has traveled and how it tastes. “Locavores” embrace this idea, spurning movable feasts whenever alternatives exist and eating seasonally when they do not.


pages: 313 words: 92,907

Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen

A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game

The fact that the main likely beneficiaries have yet to be born makes it difficult not only to reckon the present value of actions taken in their behalf but also to assess the ultimate effectiveness of whatever actions might actually be taken, and it leads to the public-policy equivalent of playground arguments—“My father’s carbon footprint is smaller than your father’s”—and to politics-driven initiatives of questionable value. Actually, there’s a potentially productive way to think about carbon dioxide and climate change which doesn’t depend solely on civilization’s willingness to engage in global-scale delayed gratification, and doesn’t depend even on achieving a worldwide consensus about causes and effects. Almost all human activities with large carbon footprints are going to become increasingly expensive and untenable for reasons that have nothing to do with their likely impact on the earth’s climate fifty or a hundred years from now and can therefore be addressed with tools that don’t depend solely on hypothetical arguments about the future, or on moralizing by environmentalists.

Planting trees along city streets, always a popular initiative, has high environmental utility, but not for the reasons that people usually assume: trees are ecologically important in dense urban areas not because they provide temporary repositories for atmospheric carbon—the usual argument for planting more of them—but because their presence along sidewalks makes city dwellers more cheerful about dwelling in cities. Unfortunately, much conventional environmental activism has the opposite effect, since it reinforces the view that urban life is artificial and depraved, and makes city residents feel guilty about living where and how they do. A dense urban area’s greenest features—its low per-capita energy use, its high acceptance of public transit and walking, its small carbon footprint per resident—are not inexplicable anomalies. They are the direct consequences of the very urban characteristics that are the most likely to appall a sensitive friend of the earth. Yet those qualities are ones that the rest of us, no matter where we live, are going to have to find ways to emulate, as the world’s various ongoing energy and environmental crises deepen and spread in the years ahead.

They also use more than three and a half times as much gasoline—545 gallons per person per year versus 146 for all New York City residents and just 90 for Manhattan residents—with the result that, among the fifty states, pastoral Vermont ranks eleventh-highest in per-capita gasoline consumption while New York state, thanks entirely to New York City, ranks last. The average Vermonter also consumes more than four times as much electricity as the average New York City resident, has a larger carbon footprint, and generates more solid waste, backyard compost bins notwithstanding.14 Jervey is by no means alone. The prominent British environmentalist Herbert Girardet—who is an author, a documentary filmmaker, and a cofounder of the World Future Council—treats large cities mainly as environmental catastrophes. “The bulk of the world’s energy consumption is within cities,” he has written, “and much of the rest is used for producing and transporting goods and people to and from cities.”15 He proposes dramatically reducing urban energy consumption and making city dwellers less dependent on agricultural and other inputs from outlying areas, while improving overall energy efficiency through technological innovation.


pages: 407 words: 121,458

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce

additive manufacturing, air freight, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, food miles, ghettoisation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kibera, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, profit motive, race to the bottom, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Or to choose the hardest case, let’s, for the sake of argument, say Jacob should be personally responsible for the entire carbon footprint of his business, right to the supermarket shelf in the UK. How do things look? Every kilogram of Jacob’s green beans flown to Britain consumes 1.9 litres of aviation fuel, which releases 4.25 kilograms of CO2. So the carbon footprint of Jacob’s typical annual production, taking off a bit for topping and tailing and wastage at the Kenyan end, is about 17 tonnes of CO2. That is, admittedly, approaching twice the average annual emissions for a typical Briton. But Jacob’s farm supports a family of four. So divide by four and the per-capita carbon footprint of his business comes out at about half that of average per-capita emissions in Britain. Surely he has some rights here?

In the past year, my household got through 3,100 kilowatt hours of electricity and 25,800 kilowatt hours of natural gas, which have a combined CO2 footprint of 6.2 tonnes. Divided among three people, that is just over 2 tonnes each. Meanwhile, I filled in a footprint calculator put online by the WWF. That disclosed that in my personal life, my carbon footprint is below the UK average at nearly 8 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, including a contribution for the services government provides. But then I added in my professional life. Some people say I shouldn’t do that. But I am freelance and by and large I can choose where I travel and how. Anyhow, it didn’t look so good. See Chapter 29 on carbon offsets for what happened when I tried to calculate my horrible carbon footprint for travelling to write this book. But really I knew the problems. I fly. A lot. And when I am at home, I live in a one-house urban heat island. I imagine if we took one of those thermal-imaging pictures of our house in winter, it would be glowing red-hot from all the escaping heat.

For one thing there are ecological consequences. We gouge out the Earth to find the materials to make those machines; and the cheap energy to run them is polluting our planet and warming our climate. And yet many of the servants are still there. Though now, rather than occupying the attics of grand houses, they are spread across the world, growing our food, making our machines and stitching our clothes. People talk a lot about carbon footprints. But our personal footprints are much bigger than that. And they are social as well as ecological. The trouble is that, in our charmed world, we know little about what our footprints are. It all happens so far away. The people and the pollution that sustain us are invisible to us. I want to change that. The purpose of this book is to discover the hidden world that keeps us in the state to which we have become accustomed.


pages: 293 words: 81,183

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill

barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, effective altruism, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, experimental subject, follow your passion, food miles, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nate Silver, Peter Singer: altruism, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, self-driving car, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, universal basic income, women in the workforce

Similarly, the focus on buying locally produced goods is overhyped: only 10 percent of the carbon footprint of food comes from transportation, whereas 80 percent comes from production, so what type of food you buy is much more important than whether that food is produced locally or internationally. Cutting out red meat and dairy for one day a week achieves a greater reduction in your carbon footprint than buying entirely locally based food. In fact, exactly the same food can sometimes have a higher carbon footprint if it’s locally grown than if it’s imported: one study found that the carbon footprint from locally grown tomatoes in northern Europe was five times as great as the carbon footprint from tomatoes grown in Spain, because the emissions generated by heating and lighting greenhouses dwarfed the emissions generated by transportation. The most effective ways to cut down your emissions are to reduce your intake of meat (especially beef, which can cut out about a metric ton of CO2eq per year), to reduce the amount you travel (driving half as much would cut out two metric tons of CO2eq per year and one fewer round-trip flight from London to New York would eliminate a metric ton of CO2eq), and to use less electricity and gas in the home (especially by installing loft insulation, which would save a metric ton of CO2eq for a detached house).

On a per-person basis, US citizens emit more greenhouse gasses than any other large country, with the average American adult every year producing twenty-one metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. (Remember that carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2eq, is a way of measuring your carbon footprint that includes greenhouse gasses other than carbon dioxide, like methane and nitrous oxide.) As we’ve seen, climate change is a big deal. It’s therefore natural to want to do something about it, and the obvious way is to move to a lower-carbon lifestyle. Sadly, many popular ways of reducing your greenhouse gas emissions are rather ineffective. One common recommendation is to turn off or shut down electronic devices when you’re not using them, rather than keeping them on standby. However, this achieves very little compared to other things you could do: one hot bath adds more to your carbon footprint than leaving your phone charger plugged in for a whole year; even leaving on your TV (one of the worst offenders in terms of standby energy use) for a whole year contributes less to your carbon footprint than driving a car for just two hours.

However, this achieves very little compared to other things you could do: one hot bath adds more to your carbon footprint than leaving your phone charger plugged in for a whole year; even leaving on your TV (one of the worst offenders in terms of standby energy use) for a whole year contributes less to your carbon footprint than driving a car for just two hours. Another common recommendation is to turn off lights when you leave a room, but lighting accounts for only 3 percent of household energy use, so even if you never used lighting in your house, you would save only a fraction of a metric ton of carbon emissions. Plastic bags have also been a major focus of concern, but even on very generous estimates, if you stopped using plastic bags entirely, you’d cut out one hundred kilograms CO2 equivalent per year, which is only 0.4 percent of your total emissions. Similarly, the focus on buying locally produced goods is overhyped: only 10 percent of the carbon footprint of food comes from transportation, whereas 80 percent comes from production, so what type of food you buy is much more important than whether that food is produced locally or internationally.


pages: 358 words: 93,969

Climate Change by Joseph Romm

carbon footprint, Climatic Research Unit, decarbonisation, demand response, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge worker, mass immigration, performance metric, renewable energy transition, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, the scientific method

However, if making wise (and sensibly diversified) investments is important to you, then being highly informed on climate science and solutions will certainly give you an edge. How can you reduce your carbon footprint? You may decide that you would like to reduce your impact on the climate—either because you think it is the right thing to do or because you want some experience in an inevitable transition that ultimately the vast majority of people will be making. Here is a brief discussion of the most important things that you can do now and in the near future to reduce your family’s carbon footprint, the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions released as a result of your purchases and choices. The biggest contributors to your carbon footprint are your home, your transportation, your stuff, and your diet (which is discussed separately below). As of today, perhaps the single biggest thing you can do to reduce your home’s carbon footprint is get a solar panel installed on the roof.

How might climate change affect the future price of coastal property? How might climate change affect decisions about where to live and retire in the coming decades? What should students study today if they want to prepare themselves for working in a globally warmed world? Should climate change affect how you invest for the future? How can you reduce your carbon footprint? What role can dietary changes play in reducing your carbon footprint? What is the best way to talk to someone who does not accept the growing body of evidence on climate science? Do we still have time to preserve a livable climate? PRIMARY SOURCES NOTES INDEX PREFACE Why you need to know about climate change Climate change will have a bigger impact on your family and friends and all of humanity than the Internet has had.

As noted in the last chapter, physicist Saul Griffith calculated “A quarter of the energy we use is just in our crap.” Ultimately, everything you purchase adds to your current footprint. In general, the more material it is made out of and the more expensive it is, the more GHGs were released in making it and getting it to you. Therefore, if you want to trim your family’s carbon footprint, remember the motto, “small is beautiful.” What role can dietary changes play in reducing your carbon footprint? If you have a diet rich in animal protein, then it is likely you can significantly reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by replacing some or all of that with plant-based food. That is particularly true if your diet is heavy in the most carbon intensive of the animal proteins, which includes lamb and beef but also dairy. Globally, the GHG emissions from producing beef is on average more than a hundred times greater than those of soy products per unit of protein.67 According to the world’s top scientists in their 2014 survey of the scientific literature, various world diets that reduced meat and dairy consumption, “resulted in GHG emission savings of 34–64% compared to the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario.”


The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz

airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, different worldview, facts on the ground, friendly fire, industrial cluster, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, prediction markets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, smart grid, source of truth, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Whole Earth Catalog

More and more articles and proclamations, some verging on self-parody, seek to redefine social and cultural phenomena in terms of carbon footprint. On one level this expansion of explanatory skeins is trivially valid: life is based on carbon, so, to the extent one participates in life, one will inevitably affect the carbon cycle. But defining complex human behaviors and 124 Chapter 6 states-such as obesity, or having children and pets-in terms of carbon footprint begins to create a new structure of good and evil in society. Obesity is now questionable not for reasons of health or Calvinist theology, but because obese people are destroying the world through the carbon-footprint-expanding sin of gluttony. A complex public health problem is nicely converted into a simplistic moral mapping by jamming a Level III system into a Level I simplicity: "Carbon footprint-wrong!" Similarly, the report of Sweden's Environment Advisory Council uses climate change to reinvent the eco-feminist condemnation of males as evil destroyers of the environment.

The intellectual confusion that occurs when one applies Level I and Level II coherent worldviews to a Level III condition is quite evident today in the climate-change arena and in the infatuation with "carbon footprints."lo For example, a professor writing in the Medical Journal of Australia recently called on the Australian government to impose a carbon charge of $5,000 on every birth, to charge annual carbon fees of $800 per child, and to provide a carbon credit for sterilization. 11 Articles in New Scientist have suggested that obesity is mostly a problem because of the additional carbon load it imposes on the environment,12 that a major social cost of divorce is the additional carbon burden resulting from splitting up families, and that pets should be should be eliminated because of their carbon footprints ("Man's best friend, it turns out, is the planet's enemy").13 A recent study from the Swedish Ministry of Sustainable Development argues that males have a disproportionately larger impact on global warming. 14 ("Women cause considerably fewer carbon dioxide emissions than men, and thus considerably less climate change.")

(What about terrorists setting off a nuclear weapon in a major American city, and the Americans going rogue, for example?) Moreover, even when considering the potentially grave risks of climate change, we reject the telescoping of the social, political, technological, cultural, and economic complexity of climate change into the superficiallanguage of carbon footprints. Doesn't nitrogen matter anymore? What about land use? Economic development? Starvation? Waterborne diseases? And how does one possibly connect carbon footprint at Level I to controlling the behavior of the climate at Level III? 11. See "Baby levy plan to offset carbon emissions," Herald Sun, December 10,2007, available at http;//www.heraldsun.com. 12. See Roberts 2007. 13. See Ravilious 2009 and the accompanying editorial (titled "Cute, fluffy and horribly greedy"). 14.


pages: 327 words: 84,627

The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth by Jeremy Rifkin

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, failed state, ghettoisation, hydrogen economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, megacity, Network effects, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, planetary scale, renewable energy credits, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Levy, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, union organizing, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The use of energy in just the manufacturing of these devices accounts for 85–95 percent of the devices’ life-cycle annual carbon footprint.17 If we take still another step back in the ICT supply chain, the projection doesn’t include energy used and emissions emitted in extracting and processing rare earths and embedding them into devices, nor the cost of waste disposal for literally billions of devices. Although smartphones and tablets are big players in energy use and are on a steep upward growth curve, it’s the ICT infrastructure that consumes the most energy, uses the most electricity, and emits the most greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 70 percent of the ICT carbon footprint. And it’s the proliferation of data centers that accounts for most of the energy use and carbon footprint, which by 2020 is estimated to be near 4 percent of all of the world’s power and 45 percent of the entire ICT footprint.18 The Green New Deal agenda will have to pay close attention to the ICT sector’s decarbonization as it comes to use an increasing percentage of the global electricity being generated.

Unions, local governments, universities, community colleges, and trade schools will play an important role in partnering with the various service corps in preparing the new green workforce of the twenty-first century. Smart Ecological Agriculture Although the four key sectors that make up a society’s critical infrastructure are the juggernaut for managing, powering, and moving economic activity, social life, and governance, and together carry a hefty carbon footprint, we would be remiss in leaving the agricultural sector out, because it is a key consumer of energy and brings with it a big carbon footprint. The cultivation, irrigation, harvesting, storing, processing, packaging, and shipping of food to wholesalers and retailers uses a huge amount of energy. Petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides account for a significant portion of the energy bill. Operating farm machinery is also a major energy expenditure. In the European Union, the cultivation of crops and animal rearing use the most energy in the food value chain, making up one-third of the energy bill.

In this expanded digital economy, individuals, families, and enterprises will be able to connect in their homes and workplaces to the IoT and access Big Data flowing across the World Wide Web that affects their supply chains, production and services, and every aspect of their social lives. They can then mine that Big Data with their own analytics and create their own algorithms and apps to increase their aggregate efficiency and productivity, reduce their carbon footprint, and lower the marginal cost of producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services and recycling waste, making their businesses and homes greener and more efficient in an emerging postcarbon global economy. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing an additional unit of a good or service after fixed costs have been absorbed.) The marginal cost of some goods and services in this green digital economy will even approach zero, forcing a fundamental change in the capitalist system.


pages: 459 words: 103,153

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford

Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize, zero-sum game

A red-haired, blue-eyed, young Scot, Murray is the modern face of climate-change action – dressed in a sharp shirt with cufflinks, he’s confident and straight-talking, at home with the technical details of carbon emissions without needing to fortify himself with jargon. He grew up on a sheep farm in southern Scotland, which gives him a suitably down-to-earth perspective on the messy task of calculating carbon footprints. ‘If I ask my old man “What’s the carbon footprint of a sheep?”, he looks at me as though I’m mad,’ he explains. ‘But he can tell me the stocking density, what he feeds the sheep, and he can answer those questions as part of running his business.’ Quite so: carbon footprinting is all about these kinds of specifics. I chose to ask Euan Murray about Geoff’s moment of weakness in buying a fortifying cappuccino before stepping into the office. (Readers of my first book, The Undercover Economist, might have noticed a return to a favourite theme.)

(Readers of my first book, The Undercover Economist, might have noticed a return to a favourite theme.) A cappuccino is easily as complex a product as Thomas Thwaites’s toaster: not only does it rely on the espresso machine – an impressive piece of equipment – but it also requires a cow, coffee beans, a cardboard cup, a plastic lid, and so on. Evaluating the carbon footprint of a cappuccino requires an estimate of the carbon footprint of all these different parts of the whole. You can see why I wanted expert help. But Murray was only able to assist me up to a point. Carbon footprinting is a time-consuming business, and even taking a very broad view of what constitutes a product, there are many thousands of candidates for the footprinting treatment. (Recall Eric Beinhocker’s estimate that modern economies offer around 10 billion distinct products. Starbucks alone claims to offer 87,000 different beverages.)

To summarise: despite Geoff’s good intentions and passing familiarity with the kind of stuff that causes greenhouse gas emissions, he made some decisions that saved much kly thacarbon than he imagined and others that were actively counterproductive. It couldn’t be simpler? Not unless you devote your life to studying carbon emissions – and perhaps not even then. Euan Murray can vouch for that. 4 ‘If I ask my old man “What’s the carbon footprint of a sheep?”, he looks at me as though I’m mad’ Euan Murray works for The Carbon Trust, an organisation set up by the UK government to help businesses reduce their carbon emissions. He’s responsible for ‘carbon footprinting’ – the study of how much carbon dioxide is released in the course of producing, transporting, consuming and disposing of a product. Murray spends his working life making the kind of calculations on which I relied to assess Geoff’s day, and he does it for corporate clients ranging from a bank (200 grams of carbon dioxide per bank account) to PepsiCo (75 grams of carbon dioxide for a packet of potato snacks).


pages: 504 words: 143,303

Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, anti-globalists, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, land value tax, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

It’s been estimated that in the US a three-person household on $100,000 a year – hardly rich – has roughly twice the carbon footprint of a three-person household on $30,000 a year.44 Yet, in global terms, even less well-off people in rich countries have large carbon footprints, mainly because they live in highly developed societies dependent on fossil fuels. Climate scientists differ on just how fast we need to cut emissions, indeed on whether we have already passed a point of no return, but they all agree that the longer we leave it, the harder it will get. We certainly can’t afford the carbon footprints of the rich, as they exceed their global allowance by so much more than others. True, many less wealthy than them also need to cut their emissions, direct and indirect, but it would be unreasonable to expect them to reduce their carbon footprints while the rich carry on as now.

• more than they need or is necessary for their well-being? • more than their share of the planet’s resources? The answer is that it depends on what particular problems we’re talking about. If it’s carbon footprints and climate change, then it includes many of us in the rich countries, though people in some countries (the US, Australia) have much greater CO2 emissions than others, like France and Sweden. If the whole world emitted as much CO2 as the US, we’d need five planets to absorb the carbon emissions. Though the US’s population is only 5% of the world’s, it accounts for a quarter of the world’s CO2 emissions.11 Generally, the higher your income, the bigger your carbon footprint is likely to be. Otherwise, for most of the issues dealt with in this book, those who arguably have too much are much smaller in number even within the rich countries of the world.

Vegetarian or low-meat diets are much greener. The carbon footprint of the average 4 ounce cheeseburger is 2.5kg of CO2 but for a veggieburger it’s only 1kg.52 A steak is equivalent to 25 bananas in terms of CO2.53 Meat consumption is now growing fast in countries that have traditionally not eaten much meat, such as China and India; sadly, it seems to be seen as a mark of progress. There’s another inconvenient fact. It’s been found that where people reduce their direct carbon emissions, they tend to use their savings to buy more goods, thereby increasing their indirect emissions!54 So they may even unwittingly increase their emissions by improving their home insulation. The problem is that in rich countries it’s difficult to reduce your carbon footprint by much, for while we can do things like installing energy-saving light bulbs and better insulation in our homes, it’s not within our power to reduce many of our indirect emissions.


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Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing by Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman

3D printing, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, game design, global supply chain, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, lifelogging, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microcredit, Minecraft, new economy, off grid, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, stem cell, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, the market place

Chapter 10 1 “MIT Looks at Printing Buildings.” http://fabbaloo.com/blog/2011/4/13/mit-looks-at-printing-buildings.html 2 Stephen Todd and William Latham, Evolutionary Art and Computers. (Academic Press, September 1992). Chapter 11 1 China Labor Watch reports. http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/ 2 “ATKINS: Manufacturing a Low Carbon Footprint. Zero Emission Enterprise Feasibility Study.” Project number N0012J, October 2007. Lead Partner: Loughborough University. 3 “ATKINS: Manufacturing a Low Carbon Footprint. Zero Emission Enterprise Feasibility Study.” Project number N0012J, October 2007. Lead Partner: Loughborough University. 4 Whitney MacDonald, “Time for Titanium Processing.” CSIRO Process magazine (June 2005): 1-2. http://www.csiro.au/files/files/p81m.pdf 5 “ATKINS: Manufacturing a Low Carbon Footprint. Zero Emission Enterprise Feasibility Study.” Project number N0012J, October 2007. Lead Partner: Loughborough University. 6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling 7 Susan Freinkel, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story (New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 2011). 8 Stat from Global Environmental Polymers, Inc. http://www.degradablepolymers.com/plastic_pollution.html 9 Capt.

To researchers at the University of Nottingham (formerly at Loughborough University), low-carb manufacturing means reducing the carbon footprint of the entire product lifecycle, from design, to production, to part assembly, distribution and finally, disposal. “Current products are generally wasteful in all aspects, from design and manufacture to the final distribution to the consumer,” explained Richard Hague, a professor at the University of Nottingham. “This is mainly a consequence of conventional processes that restrict our current design, manufacture and supply chains.”3 Richard and several colleagues conducted an in-depth study to compare the carbon footprint left behind by 3D printing and traditional manufacturing. They called the product the “Atkins Feasibility Study” (a nod to the famous low-carb Atkins diet).

One of the most promising (and so far unexplored) environmental benefits of 3D printed manufacturing was subtle: design optimization. The Atkins study said that with 3D printing, traditional criteria for design-to-manufacturing “can be ignored and designers can design what they want or need rather than what the manufacturing system is capable of producing.” High-performing parts can help shrink manufacturing’s carbon footprint in several ways. High-performing printed parts Computers are great problem solvers. Computer-generated designs create a new breed of products. Reducing weight is an obvious way to shrink a product’s carbon footprint. For example, for every kilogram that’s shaved off the weight of an airplane the plane will burn approximately 600 fewer liters of fuel per year.5 This metal airplane part was designed by a computer program and then 3D printed in metal. The one in the back is the old version; the one in the front is optimized to weigh less while retaining its strength and other key properties.


pages: 239 words: 68,598

The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning by James E. Lovelock

Ada Lovelace, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, discovery of DNA, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Henri Poincaré, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, short selling, Stewart Brand, University of East Anglia

The only near certain conclusion we can draw from the changing climate and people’s response to it is that there is little time left in which to act. Therefore my plea is that adaptation is made at least equal in importance to policy‐driven attempts to reduce emissions. We cannot continue to assume that because there is no way gently to reduce our numbers it is sufficient merely to improve our carbon footprints. Too many also think only of the profit to be made from carbon trading. It is not the carbon footprint alone that harms the Earth; the people’s footprint is larger and more deadly. We already face the adverse consequences of a total accumulation of greenhouse gases amounting to over 430 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent – the loss of land‐based ecosystems, the desertification of the land and ocean surfaces, and the loss of polar ice; these act together in positive feedback and probably commit the Earth to irreversible heating.

This may seem an odd statement after all that I have said about the way twentieth‐century humans became almost a planetary disease organism. But it has taken Gaia 3.5 billion years to evolve an animal that can think and communicate its thoughts. If we become extinct she has little chance of evolving another. I will enlarge this thought later in the book. When I am warned that my pessimism discourages those who would improve their carbon footprint or do good works such as planting trees, I’m afraid I see such efforts as at best romantic nonsense, or at worst hypocrisy. Agencies now exist which allow air travellers to plant trees to offset the extra carbon dioxide their plane adds to the overburdened air. How like the indulgences once sold by the Catholic Church to wealthy sinners to offset the time they might otherwise spend in purgatory.

In a similar and equally deluded way we assume that the human presence on the Earth is all that matters, yet when considering energy and our use of it we must never forget that the natural flux of energy and those essential gases oxygen and carbon dioxide from the biosphere is nearly twenty times larger than all of our emissions, and it changes as the world warms. We are bemused by carbon, and when we talk and think about our abuse of the Earth we concentrate almost exclusively on greenhouse‐gas emissions from transport and industry and from domestic heating and air‐conditioning. We try to convince ourselves that if we sufficiently improved our carbon footprint all would be well again and business as usual could continue. In reality increasing numbers of people increases the population of livestock and of the area of land we use for ourselves. True enough, the world total of domestic and industrial emissions of 30 gigatons of carbon dioxide annually is far too great, but so are the consequences of too many people competing for land with the natural forests of the world.


pages: 400 words: 88,647

Frugal Innovation: How to Do Better With Less by Jaideep Prabhu Navi Radjou

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Computer Numeric Control, connected car, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, global supply chain, IKEA effect, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, low cost airline, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, reshoring, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, standardized shipping container, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, women in the workforce, X Prize, yield management, Zipcar

When Paul Polman became the firm’s CEO in January 2009, after many years with P&G and Nestlé, he introduced an ambitious environmental, social and business agenda, manifested in the November 2010 launch of the Sustainable Living Plan. The plan aimed to double sales and halve the company’s environmental impact by 2020. This is no small undertaking. Unilever owns and operates 260 factories and 460 warehouses in 90 countries, serving 2 billion consumers worldwide. It plans to add a further 2 billion consumers over the next decade, mostly in emerging markets, and still reduce its carbon footprint. The Sustainable Living Plan also includes social goals, such as improving both the nutritional value of its food products and the livelihoods of over 500,000 smallholder farmers and distributors that it works with worldwide. David Blanchard, Unilever’s chief R&D officer, says of the plan:13 This was frugal innovation by definition … We either say “I don’t know how to do that” or use the plan as a way to challenge ourselves to think and act differently.

As noted in Chapter 4, large companies increasingly recognise that there is only so much they alone can do to become sustainable. Customers must also learn to do more with less. This is especially important because customers are often more wasteful than their suppliers. Unilever’s chief supply chain officer, Pier Luigi Sigismondi, estimates that half the water consumption, and 68% of a Unilever product’s total carbon footprint, relates to how consumers use it. Similarly, Michael Kobori, Levi Strauss’s vice-president of global sustainability, observes that 58% of the energy used during the lifetime of a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans occurs during the customer-use phase as a result of washing and drying them. Given this, Sigismondi and Kobori note that if their respective companies are to become truly frugal, they must first encourage their customers to change their habits.

Tesco, a UK retailer, calculated that two-thirds of its products’ carbon emissions occur at the end of the food chain: in homes or on trips to their stores. So too with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies. In 2007, Reckitt Benckiser, which produces Dettol, Clearasil and Strepsils, was one of the first FMCG companies to launch a full life cycle carbon-reduction programme. It set out to reduce its total carbon footprint by 20% by 2020, a target achieved in 2012. Reckitt Benckiser realised that its customers were responsible for two-thirds of its products’ greenhouse-gas emissions, so it redesigned its products to have a lower impact once in the customers’ hands. The company understood that it may not be sufficient to rely on what consumers say they want, but rather to respond to what they do, and then help them change.


Bulletproof Problem Solving by Charles Conn, Robert McLean

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset allocation, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, future of work, Hyperloop, Innovator's Dilemma, inventory management, iterative process, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, nudge unit, Occam's razor, pattern recognition, pets.com, prediction markets, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, stem cell, the rule of 72, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, time value of money, transfer pricing, Vilfredo Pareto, walkable city, WikiLeaks

Sydney got a third runway some years later and has managed the impact of significant traffic growth by working on the key variables identified in the case. Despite the current airport authority's opposition, Sydney is to get a second airport in the next decade. Case 2: Should Rob Install Solar Panels on His Roof Now? A few years ago Rob thought it might be time to install solar panels at their house in the Australian countryside. Rob and his wife Paula wanted to do something to offset their carbon footprint for some time, but were struggling to make a decision with reducing (and now eliminated) subsidies available from the power company, declining costs of installing solar PV, and questions over the future level of feed‐in tariffs (the price at which the electricity company buys from you when you generate excess power at home). Was now the right time? He decided to approach it in the way he had learned at McKinsey and started with the hypothesis, “We should install solar PV now.”

But in this case the simple method is fine: He felt comfortable with the four‐year payback providing an implied rate of return of 25%. It was worth doing now. Finally, he wanted to estimate how much of his CO2 footprint he would reduce by going ahead. This depends on two things—one is what fuel source he is displacing (coal or gas in this case), and the second is the kilowatt hours (kWh) he is generating compared to his electricity use, which he knew from the first step. Rob simplified the analysis by looking at the carbon footprint of the average Australian citizen, and found that the avoided carbon from his little solar project could reduce his footprint by more than 20%. Since the payback as an investment is very solid in this case, Rob really could have pruned off this branch of the tree (step 3) and saved some time—but he and Paula had multiple objectives with this investment. Whenever you do this kind of analysis, it is worth asking what could go wrong, what are the risks around each part of the thinking?

Exhibit 1.6 Assumptions: House type: detached bungalow, Roof orientation: north, Slope: 40°, Suitable roof area: 40m2, Installation size: 5kWh, Shading: none, Numbers for calculations are from 2017, Australia. With only a bit of online research, Rob was able to crack a relatively complicated problem. Rob should install solar panels now. The payback is attractive, and likely cost declines to install later are not enough to offset the savings he could earn now. As a bonus, Rob and Paula were able to reduce their carbon footprint by nearly 30% (steps 6 and 7). The core of this good result was asking the right questions and disaggregating the problem into straightforward chunks. Case 3: Where Should I Move? In the early 2000s Charles was living in Los Angeles. Having recently sold the company he cofounded, his family wanted to move to a small‐town environment where there would be more opportunities for recreation and really good schools.


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The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World by Jeremy Rifkin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, American ideology, barriers to entry, borderless world, carbon footprint, centre right, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, global supply chain, hydrogen economy, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, manufacturing employment, marginal employment, Martin Wolf, Masdar, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar

The five-week program exposes CEOs and business executives from around the world to the emerging issues and challenges they will face in the twenty-first century. The idea soon found its way into corporate suites and became part of the political lexicon among heads of state in the European Union. By the year 2000, the European Union was aggressively pursuing policies to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and transition into a sustainable economic era. Europeans were readying targets and benchmarks, resetting research and development priorities, and putting into place codes, regulations, and standards for a new economic journey. By contrast, America was preoccupied with the newest gizmos and “killer apps” coming out of Silicon Valley, and homeowners were flush with excitement over a bullish real estate market pumped up by subprime mortgages.

In the Roman biosphere, 80,000 of the 150,000 hectares of Roman land are designated as green space, a currently underused resource that could be more agriculturally productive. In the twentieth-century model of urban development, cities became increasingly divorced from the production of the food they consumed. The distant production and long-haul transportation of food has become a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. This problem is frequently underestimated, as urban carbon footprint calculations tend to focus only on emissions generated by processes within the city boundaries, rather than emissions embedded in the food consumed by city dwellers and produced elsewhere. A city’s ecological footprint can be significantly impacted by its dietary choices. A beef-based diet, in particular, increases the emission of methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide, the critical greenhouse gases that have the most significant impact on climate change.

While US manufacturing employment grew by 25 percent, San Antonio experienced a net loss of 40,000 manufacturing jobs.13 The city was banking on the prospect that the creation of a five-pillar Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure over the next twenty years would put thousands of people back to work—especially in the manufacturing sector and building trades—and provide new vocational opportunities for a fast-growing younger population. San Antonio’s weak manufacturing sector turned out to be a plus. Because there was so little manufacturing activity in the county compared to other major metropolitan areas (the number of manufacturing jobs per capita in San Antonio is about half the number in other regions in the United States), San Antonio began with a smaller carbon footprint. If San Antonio could narrow the socioeconomic gap between the Latino and Anglo communities and, at the same time, address the dual challenge of climate change and energy security, it would become a lighthouse for the rest of the country. We created a detailed economic model of the city and projected growth trends, factoring in a wide range of economic and sociological variables, and then calculated what San Antonio’s CO2 gas emissions would be in a “business as usual” scenario—using a 2005 emissions inventory—between 2008 and 2030.


pages: 309 words: 78,361

Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth by Juliet B. Schor

Asian financial crisis, big-box store, business climate, business cycle, carbon footprint, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Gini coefficient, global village, IKEA effect, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, life extension, McMansion, new economy, peak oil, pink-collar, post-industrial society, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, smart grid, The Chicago School, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, Zipcar

Britain has been described as “carbon crazy,” with significant government, business, NGO, and media attention paid to reducing the carbon footprint. Supermarket chains now label packages with carbon scores, and chains such as Marks and Spencer have signed on to carbon neutrality. In 2007 Parliament passed a major climate-change bill that mandated a 26 percent reduction below 1990 levels of greenhouse gases by 2020, and a 60 percent cut by 2050. On the other hand, the Labour government has been adamant about its commitment to growth, arguing that efficiency, clean energy, and a market for carbon will do the trick. They claim that they can decarbonize, or sever the link between emissions and GDP. The environment ministry has enacted programs on food waste and plastics use to encourage behavior change among citizens, and a variety of efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of businesses. In the academic literature, this approach is known as ecological modernization.

Biocapacity is not a fixed number because land is brought in and out of cultivation; new technologies improve the productivity of land, enabling more production on less acreage; degradation turns arable land into desert; and fisheries rise and fall. Between 1961 and 1995, measured global biocapacity increased slightly, but it has fallen since then as ecosystems have degraded. When the human footprint is below the world’s biocapacity, we’re in a viable situation. When it exceeds it, we’ve begun to eat into natural capital and are undermining the reproduction of future generations. FIGURE 2.10 Ecological Footprint, Carbon Footprint, and Biocapacity Source: Global Footprint Network (2009) By these calculations, the world first reached its limits in 1986. Since then resource use has increasingly outstripped biocapacity. According to the latest data available (2006), there are about 1.8 available hectares (or 4.5 acres) for every person globally, but we’re using 2.6, for a per capita deficit of 0.8. We’ve entered the zone of what the Meadowses and others called overshoot, and are living beyond our planetary means.

One hopeful sign is that there has been a decline in the last few years, after a large rise in the 1990s. 46 America accounts for a third of paper consumption: Worldwatch (2008). 46 Western Europe has done much better than North America: North American and European materials consumption from 1980-2005 is from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2008b), “Materials Mix by OECD Region,” p. 40. 46 wealthy countries have been off-loading: Hertwich and Peters (2009) calculate carbon footprints accounting for global trade patterns. That the United States outsourced 20 percent of emissions is from Ghertner and Fripp (2007). 48 a synthetic gas called nitrogen trifluoride: NF3 and televisions is discussed in Weiss et al. (2008) and Udell (2008). 50 their book sensation, The Limits to Growth: Meadows et al. (1972). 50 The Limits to Growth asked what would happen over the long run: The most pessimistic of the scenarios is discussed in Meadows, Randers, and Meadows (2005), p. xi. 51 “brazen . . . impudent nonsense”: Beckerman (1972), p. 327. 51 Nordhaus . . . argued that the Limits model failed to incorporate: Nordhaus’s first paper is Nordhaus (1973).


pages: 412 words: 113,782

Business Lessons From a Radical Industrialist by Ray C. Anderson

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, business cycle, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, cleantech, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invisible hand, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, music of the spheres, Negawatt, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, peak oil, renewable energy credits, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, supply-chain management, urban renewal, Y2K

That is the way this big, complicated problem is going to be solved, one smart, self-interested decision at a time. But sometimes self-interest points us in the other direction. Controlling our carbon footprint, even when it seems to save money, is not always the best strategy. Remember what I said about the next order at Interface, that it’s just like that next heartbeat: If you don’t get it you’re dead? Well, I like to think that just about every person in Interface understands that. Our sales force is really tuned into the message, and they believe that getting samples of carpet to potential customers fast gives them a competitive edge. Not next week. Not in a few days. Tomorrow. But speed (think air) and reducing carbon footprints are opposite goals. What did we do? We let our sales force keep checking off that “next-day delivery” box, but they had to make a few other changes in the way they conduct their business, changes that were tough to implement but have offset all the effects of all of those overnight deliveries, and then some.

But there are large benefits to Interface, even if the savings seem small. Why? When you examine the total carbon footprint of one square yard of our carpet, you quickly discover that Interface is directly responsible for only 10 to 20 percent of it; everyone else, from the user, the installer, the distributor, all the way back to the wells and mines, contributes the overwhelming 80 to 90 percent. So any change we can help them make in their operations has an outsized positive effect. It not only promotes and encourages the concept of sustainability and widens our circle of influence, it shrinks our own environmental footprint. And by the way, if you don’t think that reducing your carbon footprint is terribly important now, you may want to reconsider when you start being taxed on its size. Is that coming?

While the GHG reduction will grow with Procter & Gamble’s business, those saved dollars will also grow with every uptick at the fuel pump. One of the poster children for outsized transportation footprints has got to be Fiji Water. These are the folks who bottle and ship and sell spring water they collect on an island way out in the middle of a very big ocean. When they did an audit to see where they stood, they found that a full 40 percent of their company’s total carbon footprint came from ocean freight and distribution (like carpet tiles, water is heavy). Stung by public criticism over marketing such a clean and healthy product in such a carbon-intensive, unsustainable way, Fiji Water set themselves the goal of cutting their 2010 GHG emissions by 25 percent, which is a significant step in the right direction. More promisingly, through optimizing loads and making changes in distribution, they have already reduced their trucking miles by 26 percent and cut the fuel used by their trucks on Fiji by half.


pages: 573 words: 115,489

Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow by Tim Jackson

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, business cycle, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Graeber, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, Philip Mirowski, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, secular stagnation, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, universal basic income, Works Progress Administration, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Strikingly, these sectors of the economy – care, craft, culture – are exactly the ones identified in this chapter as the basis for a renewed vision of enterprise. Service-based activities – of the kind described in the previous section – are inherently labour-intensive as well as being potentially lighter in environmental terms. Figure 8.1 illustrates both of these characteristics. On the vertical axis, it maps the carbon footprints associated with different economic sectors. And it clearly confirms the potential for carbon savings from a transition to services. The carbon footprint of the social and personal services sector (where many of the activities discussed above reside) is between three and five times smaller than the footprint of the manufacturing or extractive sectors.20 The horizontal axis of Figure 8.1 maps the employment or labour intensity of each sector. The labour intensity of the ‘social and personal services’ sector is almost double that of the manufacturing sector and three times that of the financial services sector.

Figure 5.3 Carbon dioxide emissions in richer and poorer nations, 1965–2015 Source: Data from the World DataBank (see note 10 and Jackson 2016) This difference can sometimes be large enough to undermine the apparent progress towards climate change targets completely. A reduction in UK greenhouse gas emissions of almost 18 per cent between 1990 and 2007, as reported under UN FCCC guidelines, turned into a 9 per cent increase in emissions, when measured using a footprint methodology. The carbon footprint of the UK fell significantly through the financial crisis, but by 2012 it had begun to creep upwards again as the economy started to recover. Similar stories are to be found in other high-income countries.15 What’s true for carbon is also true for material footprints. Apparent declines in resource consumption in advanced economies, as measured by their ‘domestic material consumption’, have tempted optimistic observers to speak of rich countries soon reaching a state of ‘peak stuff’, a maximum level of resource throughput soon to be followed by a convenient decline.16 According to the OECD, there was both relative and absolute decoupling of material consumption from GDP in its member countries between 1980 and 2008.

These studies pointed out that domestic material consumption omits any account of the raw material extraction associated with the import of finished and semi-finished goods, and in doing so underrepresents the material dependency of the economy. The new studies use a methodology which adds up all the resource inputs attributable to the consumption patterns of an economy, in much the same way as the carbon footprint adds up all carbon emissions, wherever they may occur. The recent studies compared this ‘material footprint’ with the domestic material consumption measure over two decades for almost 200 nations.18 The results are striking. The studies confirm that there was some relative decoupling of domestic material consumption from GDP in many developed economies. But the ‘material footprint’ of the OECD nations as a whole still rose by almost 50 per cent between 1990 and 2008 (Figure 5.4).


pages: 353 words: 106,704

Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution by Beth Gardiner

barriers to entry, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, connected car, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Hyperloop, index card, Indoor air pollution, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, white picket fence

He said Britain would cut carbon emissions 60 percent by midcentury (a goal later increased to 80 percent). To do that, King knew, every sector of the economy would have to contribute. Ultimately, the country would have to kick fossil fuels entirely, and that would mean, among other things, moving to radically cleaner cars, powered by electricity or hydrogen. But the cars of the future weren’t ready just yet. The cars of the present would have to suffice a while longer, and shrinking their carbon footprint by even a little bit would help. Diesel was an intriguing option, offering an important advantage over gasoline: better mileage. Driving the same distance on less fuel means less carbon dioxide, perhaps a 17 percent savings.18 Shortly before King joined Blair’s team, government had made a fateful decision to change the way cars were taxed to encourage buyers to choose more efficient models, a change that would effectively incentivize diesel.

But its policies, in McBride’s telling, fell into two categories: those that really mattered in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and those designed mainly to look good. Fuel duty fell into the first category; it would limit driving by making it more expensive. Car tax, on the other hand, was mainly window dressing. The Treasury, McBride tells me, didn’t expect it to have a major effect on carbon footprints, but thought it would make the other policies go down easier, a useful defense against accusations that Labour was waging war on motorists. McBride says his team hadn’t exactly set out to incentivize diesel, but they realized the changes would have that effect. They knew the health risks, so added a small surcharge for diesels, to weaken the inducement to buy them. But “we were kind of having it both ways.”

So it’s hard to say for sure what moving billions of people from biomass cooking to gas would mean for the climate. In Kirk Smith’s view, it doesn’t matter. Extinguishing all those smoky fires may well help the planet, but even if it doesn’t, this is a question of justice. How, he asks, could we in developed nations, using fossil fuels for our cooking—and so much more to blame for the looming planetary crisis—deny those fuels to the world’s poor, in the name of carbon footprints? It’s not life-saving fuels for impoverished households that threaten the climate, he says. “It’s you and me.”12 * * * As India starts on the immense task of bringing cleaner cooking to millions, it can look to the experience of nations further along the same path. Many are in Latin America, where reliance on biomass has fallen dramatically in recent decades, to about 15 percent of households.13 Brazil’s relationship with cooking gas started long ago, by happenstance.


pages: 222 words: 60,207

Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup by Andrew Zimbalist

airline deregulation, business cycle, carbon footprint, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, longitudinal study, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, selection bias, urban planning, young professional

The example of South Africa, which hosted the 2010 World Cup, suggests the difficulty of making a net improvement on this dimension. There were advances in wastewater treatment, and technological knowledge was gained regarding more efficient energy use. However, there was also increased pollution from construction materials, as well as a massive carbon footprint from international air travel to and from the competition (more than 80 percent of the 2010 Cup's carbon footprint came from jet travel). While jet travel to games anywhere will leave a significant carbon footprint, when the host country is located in the southern part of the Southern Hemisphere and isolated from population centers longitudinally, the footprint grows measurably. In the case of Brazil in 2014, the government's PR boasted of the BRT transportation system that was created in several cities.

Its achievement was undermined by a combination of insufficient public resources to deliver an ambitious city building programme, the impact of government social policies that capped housing benefit support for the lower waged and unemployed—putting the purchase or rent of new housing units out of the reach of many local people—and the operations of a London property market in which the activities of international investors pushed up rent and property prices in iconic locations such as the Olympic Park and its borders.89 What about the other legacy goals? One goal was to advance the greening of London. The reduction of the carbon footprint from the games’ facilities beyond the regulatory standards was accomplished, but the set targets were not met. For instance, one pledge was to supply 20 percent of the power for Olympic Park from renewable energy sources; according to the New York Times, the actual amount during the games was closer to 9 percent.90 Another goal was to transform the United Kingdom into a leading sports state and to inspire its citizens to engage in more physical activity.

Nothing substantial came of it; in fact, the process only became more involved and more expensive. Early indications from the working group were not encouraging about more substantial change. At the IOC meeting prior to the Sochi Olympics in February 2014, two reform ideas were discussed. The first was to allow countries as well as cities to bid to host. Such a change might lower the burden on the city but raise it on the country, and would entail higher transportation costs (and carbon footprint) and security spending. As a reform, it is hardly a game-changer. The second was to reinstate the pre–Salt Lake City policy of having IOC members visit the bidding cities.12 The idea here is that firsthand visits provide more information than videos, so the plausibility of each city's plan could be better assessed. Perhaps, but such visits would raise costs and reopen avenues for payoffs and bribes, which of course is why they were scrapped in the first place.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, buy and hold, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

Take your diet: livestock are responsible for an estimated 18 percent of global carbon emissions, so when you chow down on a hamburger, you’re effectively emitting CO2 as well.9 Even something as small as an iPod Nano will add to your carbon footprint, thanks to both the energy used to produce and ship it and the energy later needed to charge it (68 lbs. of CO2 over its lifetime, according to the British design consultancy IDC).10 One’s personal carbon footprint is a rough measure of all the greenhouse gases we’re responsible for emitting. But unlike Karas, not everyone has a degree in environmental economics. And until recently, it’s been pretty near impossible for the average consumer to get a reliable estimate of their personal carbon footprint. “Back when we started, most of the information available online regarding climate change or global warming was pretty technical,” says Duane Dahl, the founder of EarthLab.com, one of the Web’s most used carbon calculators.

There is now a new engine of innovation and wealth creation and a powerful new force that radically drops collaboration costs and as such enables communities to collaborate on shared concerns, endeavors, and challenges. Greater openness in innovation and science, for example, is creating more economic opportunity for citizens and businesses that learn how to tap into global innovation webs. In the fight against climate change, ordinary people are forging a mass movement to bring greater consumer awareness and a sense of community to making ordinary household and business decisions that can reduce our carbon footprints. In education, leading universities are breaking down their ivory towers and building a global network for higher learning—a rich tapestry of world-class educational resources that every aspiring student on the planet can use and return to throughout his or her lifetime. Innovators across the public sector are harnessing the Web to generate more productive and equitable services, bolster public trust and legitimacy, and unlock new possibilities to co-innovate solutions to local, national, and global challenges.

Make people and businesses pay the full environmental costs of what they produce and consume and suddenly every investment and purchasing decision made in retail stores, financial markets, and small and large companies around the world will be made in pursuit of the least-cost low-carbon option. Weaving carbon emissions into every business decision will drive innovation and deployment of clean technologies to a whole new level, and make energy efficiency much more affordable. Industries will need to invent and adopt new technologies that boost efficiency to limit their emissions. And consumers will curtail their own carbon footprints as the prices they pay for things like air travel and exotic fruits begin to reflect their true costs to the planet. It’s true that centrally managed taxes, credits, and incentives provide important levers for steering society toward low-carbon solutions. But the erroneous assumption underlying conventional wisdom is that politicians and other powerful interests can “manage” climate change with new regulations issued from a patchwork of national capitals around the world.


Self Build Simplified by Barry Sutcliffe

carbon footprint, off grid, the payments system, Wall-E

The downside of solar gain is that, again, it is not controllable. It can make the building too warm and it restricts design (with thought having to be given to the location, type and size of the windows to make sure they gain maximum benefit from the sun’s rays). I have nothing really against these systems except their controllability and potentially their cost. The active way to a lower carbon footprint and lower energy bills To reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint the active way, you need do things to create your own energy. Below are the most common ways to do this. Mechanical ventilation: This is where you build a system in to the fabric of your house that recycles the heat from the air which would otherwise be vented to the outside and lost. So, kitchen and bathroom vents would be linked to the system. The warm, smelly, moist air would be taken into the system, the heat taken out of it to be sent back into the building and the (now cold) smelly, moist air expelled to the outside of the building.

You won’t often hear self-builders complaining that they can’t get a three-seater settee in their living room and you will normally find more generously sized bedrooms and bathrooms. It is also more common to find family rooms and studies in self-build designs. Most self-build homes exceed building regulations for insulation and other eco requirements, so when you self-build, you get to control both your carbon footprint and the heating bills! You get the chance to design your own interior finishes, along with having an input in to the electrical and lighting design. You also get to choose things like internal doors, skirtings’, architraves, paint colours for walls and ceilings, sockets and switch styles, light fittings, ironmongery etc. Soundproofing in self-build homes is normally considerably better between rooms and floors than it is in developers’ houses.

In an earlier chapter, I quoted one of my sayings along the lines of: “If you draw me a house layout on the back of a fag packet, I could go and build it for you” House design and building houses can be and actually should be fairly simple. I have worked on many commercial building projects over my career that would not be classed as simple, but wherever possible, if we want to build our new homes cost effectively, quickly and efficiently, we should keep everything as simple as possible. Especially in these days of the increasing importance of eco Building and low carbon footprints, as pretty much a standard requirement for all new building works. The cover of this book states the situation quite clearly: “Self-build is simple - People make it complicated” When it comes to building a house, there are standard, low cost ways to do it. Whether we choose to build in brick and block, timber frame, straw bale or whatever other method we may choose, there are a number of building methods that all builders naturally tend to adopt and that designers tend to design to.


City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age by P. D. Smith

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, cosmological principle, crack epidemic, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, garden city movement, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kowloon Walled City, Masdar, megacity, megastructure, multicultural london english, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, peak oil, RFID, smart cities, starchitect, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, Thomas Malthus, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

However, as David Satterthwaite of the International Institute for Environment and Development has shown, the real figure is likely to be nearer 30–40 per cent.21 Indeed, rural areas generally have higher carbon dioxide emissions per person than urban ones, due to the fact that people outside cities live in larger, detached or semi-detached houses, drive multiple cars and commute longer distances (cars are responsible for 12 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and as much as 50 per cent in some parts of the United States). The regions with the biggest carbon footprints in the United Kingdom are not the large cities of Glasgow or London, but the mainly rural north-east of England, as well as Yorkshire and the Humber. Surprisingly, the per capita emissions of London are the lowest of any part of the United Kingdom. In 2006, each Londoner produced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 6.18 tonnes of CO2, just over half the national average (which was 11.19 tonnes per capita in 2004). Similarly, if you are a city dweller in the United States your carbon footprint is likely to be smaller than the average American citizen’s. However, there is considerable variation between cities, with the most energy-efficient places generally being the larger metropolitan areas.22 ‘Blaming cities for greenhouse gas emissions,’ argues Satterthwaite, ‘misses the point that well planned and governed cities are central to delinking high living standards from high consumption levels and high greenhouse gas emissions.’23 Tokyo, for instance, actually has lower per capita emissions than Beijing, suggesting that there is not an automatic link between prosperity and carbon footprint.

According to a photographer who has moved back into downtown Los Angeles, ‘there’s energy here compared with the rest of LA, which is much more laid back’.25 Other American cities are following Los Angeles’ example and now urban populations are growing again after decades of decline. At the same time poverty rates have been falling in cities.26 This drift back to the cities is happening at a time when concerns about climate change are highlighting the benefits of living in dense population centres. Cities have a smaller carbon footprint than the dispersed communities of suburbia. The need to reduce car dependency has also led to a renewed interest in public transit systems in American cities. Tourism is helping to revitalise downtowns too. Residents and visitors are being drawn back into the city centre to enjoy cafés and restaurants, as well as arts and music venues.27 The meaning of downtown is once again changing, from an economic hub to a historic city centre, a focus of cultural and civic activity, giving America’s downtowns a more European flavour.

New York consumes as much electricity as an entire country – about the same energy each year as Greece. The summer peak load in New York City is about 11,000 megawatts.6 But city living represents an efficient use of energy – New Yorkers consume 2,000 kilowatt hours per year, about half the national average. Nevertheless, energy usage here and elsewhere continues to grow, which is a problem at a time when every city is working to reduce its carbon footprint. New York’s first telephone exchange opened at 82 Nassau Street in 1879 and the city’s first telephone directory contained a mere 252 names. Today, there is enough telephone cabling beneath the city to reach the sun. But the world’s most wired and connected city is the South Korean capital of Seoul. Nearly every household in this modern high-rise city of twelve million people is linked to the cable network and can access the internet at a speedy 100 megabits per second.


pages: 304 words: 90,084

Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change by Dieter Helm

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demand response, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fixed income, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, market design, means of production, North Sea oil, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, remote working, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Thomas Malthus

What your carbon diary will also tell you is that a lot of your consumption comes from overseas. It is not just home carbon emissions that matter. These carbon imports are the result of energy- and carbon-intensive production abroad. All that stuff ‘Made in China’ is for you – your mobile phone, laptop, flat-screen TV, household appliances, clothes and trainers. This stuff is all part of your carbon footprint. Other stuff, like palm oil and beef, might come from countries that are clearing their rain-forests to produce it, and hence the loss of the carbon sinks, the carbon leaking from the soils and the loss of biodiversity are all for you too. Many of the products in the supermarket contain palm oil, often under different names. The data servers are usually overseas. Our kitchens and bathrooms are awash with chemicals; our clothes made from synthetic fibres; our food comes from fertiliser- and other chemically assisted agriculture; our houses are made with steel and cement; and an increasing number of gardens are covered with artificial turf.

Our kitchens and bathrooms are awash with chemicals; our clothes made from synthetic fibres; our food comes from fertiliser- and other chemically assisted agriculture; our houses are made with steel and cement; and an increasing number of gardens are covered with artificial turf. The list goes on. Even if you buy ‘renewable’ electricity, it has lots of embedded carbon in the turbines and the solar panels, and needs fossil fuels to back it up. Invest in an electric car, with an electric battery, and your carbon footprint will still remain a big one. Think of the cobalt in the battery, the materials in the car frame, bodywork and interior, and of course the tyres and brakes. An electric car takes twice as much carbon to produce than a conventional one. My point is that this highlights just how unsustainable our lifestyles have become.[2] We are becoming addicted to a way of living in which flying is regarded as essential by many, and an aspiration for most.

Europe has been reducing its emissions unilaterally for a couple of decades, and the Kyoto Protocol targets ended up being European targets, some of which have been met. It now plans to go even further – to be net zero by 2050 and to have demanding interim 2030 targets too.[1] The trouble with the Europeans pressing the others to fall into line is that Europe has not actually done much to reduce its carbon footprint, despite cutting emissions at home. And much of these cuts would have happened anyway. It is a story of deindustrialisation, and importing carbon emissions instead of producing them. Any other country considering unilateralism in response to what Europe has done, and especially if they look carefully at Germany and its Energiewende (the planned transition to a low-carbon, nuclear-free economy), could be forgiven for asking how exactly this gives them an incentive to follow.


Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America by David Callahan

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, automated trading system, Bernie Sanders, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, carried interest, clean water, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Thorp, financial deregulation, financial independence, global village, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, income inequality, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, medical malpractice, mega-rich, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, working poor, World Values Survey

Travolta owns five private jets, including a Boeing 707 (weighing 70 tons) that he flew to Europe in late 2007 for a publicity trip for his movie Wild Hogs. Travolta attracted ire during the visit when he said that everyone should “do their bit” to combat global warming. Yeah, right, responded the British press, which reported that he was the sole passenger on the flight across the Atlantic in his 707 and calculated that Travolta’s carbon footprint was a hundred times greater than that of the average Briton.2 c03.indd 59 5/11/10 6:18:31 AM 60 fortunes of change Then there was the flap around the 2007 Davos meeting, where climate change was high on the agenda. Scores of private jets swarmed into Davos for the event, which included a dissection of such matters as whether a carbon tax would be better than a capand-trade system at saving the planet.

“People want to know we are doing the right thing and every month our customers will be reminded of that in their management fee,” Booth explained.4 Two years later, NetJets announced that it was on track to become carbon neutral by 2012. c03.indd 60 5/11/10 6:18:32 AM the eco rich 61 NetJets wasn’t the first jet charter service to make carbon offsets mandatory for all flights. Cerulean Jet, based in Austin, Texas, beat NetJets by a few months in taking this step when it announced that it would buy carbon offsets for all of its flights. Ken Starnes, the CEO of Cerulean Jet, commented that “offsetting our carbon footprint is good for business and good for the environment, ultimately increasing our ability to help in the global warming fight.” Times are certainly changing when private jet companies decide that they need to be on the front lines of the “global warming fight” (or when corporate leaders justify their private jets by saying they want to help Africa). But given just how fast norms of acceptable environmental behavior are shifting among the super-rich, Ken Starnes and Cerulean Jet probably didn’t feel that they had much choice.

“People who can afford to build stately homes tend to adopt revolutionary technologies early. These are the people who can make a huge impact.”8 Any number of wealthy people are now building eco-mansions, including Google’s Larry Page and U2’s Leo Dickman. Seydel is right about the effect the rich can have, but experts question the very concept of an “eco-mansion.” Such mammoth homes, for all their green features, have a much larger carbon footprint than more modestly scaled dwellings. Still, even as the liberal moneyed class resists real downshifting to save the planet, attitudes in this group are changing fast. During the 2004 election, Teresa Heinz Kerry, the billionaire wife of Senator John Kerry, made wry humor out of her SUV ownership. When asked at a campaign event how she could defend owning an SUV, Heinz corrected the questioner by noting that she owned five SUVs (presumably, one for each of her mansions, among which she traveled in her Gulfstream V).


pages: 364 words: 102,528

An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen

agricultural Revolution, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, guest worker program, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, iterative process, mass immigration, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, price discrimination, refrigerator car, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

Actually Helping the Environment There is a broader point here, and I am reminded of a Financial Times interview with Tyler Brûlé, a very well dressed man with flair, a member of the jet set, an expert on travel and high-end consumer goods, and editor-in-chief of a fancy international periodical called Monocle, as well as a regular columnist for the Financial Times. Here is a snippet of his views on “being green”: REPORTER: Do you feel bad about your carbon footprint? BRÛLÉ: On balance, I don’t think my carbon footprint is particularly large. I do fly an enormous amount, but I don’t own a car, I walk most places in London and opt for trains over aircraft where possible (in Europe and Japan). I believe that to a lot of readers, especially those familiar with Brûlé’s public profile, this answer was less than convincing. How could this famous rich guy not have a large carbon footprint? Maybe Brûlé is right or maybe not (I should note, by the way, that once I was paid a small amount to write a piece for Monocle). The broader point is that we can’t trust our intuitions.

Food System,” by Patrick Canning, Ainsley Charles, Sonya Huang, Karen R. Polenske, and Arnold Waters, United States Department of Agriculture, March 2010; the 29 percent figure is taken from p. 17; see also p. 20. On Pirog, see James E. McWilliams, Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly (New York, Back Bay Books, 2009), pp. 25–26. On the refrigerated apple example, see Mike Berners-Lee, How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything (London, England: Profile Books, 2010), p. 27. For information on April, see her blog and twitter feed, http://web.me.com/aprildavila/MWM/Check_My_Work.html. http://web.me.com/aprildavila/MWM/Blog/Blog.html. http://web.me.com/aprildavila/MWM/Blog/Entries/2010/2/20_Food_For_Thought.html. https://twitter.com/WithoutMonsanto. There is also this article, http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2010/04/la_woman_boycotts_monsanto_for_a_month.php?

., 248 boycotts, 172–75, 181 Brazil, 111, 161, 183–84 breads, 185 breakfasts, 6, 52, 54 Bridgewater, Virginia, 137–39 brisket, 89, 91 Bronx, New York, 73–74 Brooklyn, New York, 73–74 Brûlé, Tyler, 176 Brunswick stew, 91–92, 109 Buddhist restaurants, 236 buffets, 136, 223–24 bul-gogi, 126–27 Burkina Faso, 163 cacao, 6 calamari, 72 Calcutta, India, 224 California, 21 Camilo, Juan, 160 Canada, 114, 129, 130, 135, 162 Cancún, Mexico, 207 canned foods, 25, 258 Cantonese style Chinese food, 131, 134, 220–21 capitalism, 14, 151–52 carbon footprints, 176–77 carbon taxes, 179–81 Caribbean, 89–90 cars, 90, 185–86 casinos, 61–63 cassava, 155 casseroles, 135 caterers, 244–45 cattle, 190. See also beef Central Mexico, 98, 145 cereals, 49 Ceylon, 146 chain restaurants, 34–35, 188, 206. See also fast foods Chairman Mao’s Braised Pork Belly, 131, 260 Chang, David, 259 charque, 244 cheap foods, 8–9, 11, 28 cheeses, 9, 196–99, 246 Chesman, Andrea, 171 Chicago, Illinois, 65, 122, 133 chicharrónes, 194 chicken, 24, 71–72, 194–95, 221, 246 Chihuahua cheeses, 196, 198 children, 22–23, 31–33, 36, 68, 235 Chile, 130, 208 chili peppers and barbecue, 90 and Bolivian food, 60 chili-based sauces, 245 chili crab, 220 influence on American food, 31 and Mexican food, 206–7 and Sichuan food, 132 and Singaporean foods, 220–21 China and Chinese food.


pages: 343 words: 101,563

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, endowment effect, energy transition, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, failed state, fiat currency, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Whole Earth Catalog, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

One reason carbon emissions have accelerated so much in the last generation is also an explanation for why history seems to be proceeding so much faster, with so much more happening, everywhere, each year, even every day: this is what results when there are simply that many more humans around. Fifteen percent of all human experience throughout history, it’s been estimated, belongs to people alive right now, each walking the earth with carbon footprints. Those refugee figures are high-end estimates, produced years ago by research groups designed to call attention to a particular cause or crusade; the true numbers will almost surely fall short of them, and scientists tend to trust projections in the tens of millions rather than the hundreds of millions. But that those bigger numbers are only the far upper reaches of what is possible should not lull us into complacency; when we dismiss the worst-case possibilities, it distorts our sense of likelier outcomes, which we then regard as extreme scenarios we needn’t plan so conscientiously for.

Fully half of British emissions, it was recently calculated, come from inefficiencies in construction, discarded and unused food, electronics, and clothing; two-thirds of American energy is wasted; globally, according to one paper, we are subsidizing the fossil fuel business to the tune of $5 trillion each year. None of that has to continue. Slow-walking action on climate, another paper found, will cost the world $26 trillion by just 2030. That does not have to continue. Americans waste a quarter of their food, which means that the carbon footprint of the average meal is a third larger than it has to be. That need not continue. Five years ago, hardly anyone outside the darkest corners of the internet had even heard of Bitcoin; today mining it consumes more electricity than is generated by all the world’s solar panels combined, which means that in just a few years we’ve assembled, out of distrust of one another and the nations behind “fiat currencies,” a program to wipe out the gains of several long, hard generations of green energy innovation.

I toss out tons of wasted food and hardly ever recycle; I leave my air-conditioning on; I bought into Bitcoin at the peak of the market. None of that is necessary, either. But it also isn’t necessary for Westerners to adopt the lifestyle of the global poor. Seventy percent of the energy produced by the planet, it’s estimated, is lost as waste heat. If the average American were confined by the carbon footprint of her European counterpart, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by more than half. If the world’s richest 10 percent were limited to that same footprint, global emissions would fall by a third. And why shouldn’t they be? Almost as a prophylactic against climate guilt, as the news from science has grown bleaker, Western liberals have comforted themselves by contorting their own consumption patterns into performances of moral or environmental purity—less beef, more Teslas, fewer transatlantic flights.


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

The process will not be perfect, since the laws of thermodynamics cannot be revoked, but it will be hugely more efficient than what we do today. Between the obsolescence of shipping and an extreme increase in recycling precision, 3D printing could create a massive explosion of convenience and fun, and at the same time vastly reduce humanity’s carbon footprint and reliance on nonrenewable resources. All this modulo the gotchas we don’t know about yet, of course. But supposing that some portions of the benefits appear, it certainly would be foolish to oppose this stream of progress. How could a liberal not like the reduced carbon footprint? How could a conservative not like the efficiency? And of course techies will be in love. And yet the transformation will throw factory workers out of work in a massive wave. Will China be destabilized? As happened with the file-sharing of other things like music, the transformation of fabrication into a file-sharing phenomenon could happen very quickly.

The little gotchas and annoyances of technology are not predictable and can add decades of uncertainty to the timing of technological change. But it seems likely that 3D printing can close the various loops and become a fairly complete technology in this century. But notice that once a 3D printer can be deployed in a factory, it might just as well be placed close to where the product will be used. Being able to make things on the spot could remove a huge part of humanity’s carbon footprint: the transportation of goods. Instead of fleets of container ships bringing tchotchkes from China to our ports, we’ll print them out at home, or maybe at the neighborhood print shop. What will be distributed instead will be the antecedent “goops.” These are the substances squirted out by the printer’s nozzles. At the time of writing, there are about one hundred goops in use by 3D printers.

If we were for a moment to forget the mirror maze of economics, and the circular firing squad of politics, and only think about the fundamentals, then a rational response to global climate change would be to supercharge all large-scale curative climate research, at least at the scale of the Manhattan and Apollo projects combined. There would also be massive social engineering experiments in order to reduce the carbon footprint of humanity in case the tech fixes don’t work as soon as we’d like. Doing these things seems unimaginable now, and yet the creation of giant stupid ghost suburbs in places like Las Vegas during the leveraged mortgage debacle of the last decade was practically automatic. This was a remarkably expensive activity at the time and turned out after only a few more years had passed to be catastrophically more expensive than anyone anticipated.


pages: 211 words: 55,075

Soft City: Building Density for Everyday Life by David Sim

A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, autonomous vehicles, car-free, carbon footprint, Jane Jacobs, megastructure, New Urbanism, place-making, smart cities, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city

Nine Criteria When considering the potential livability and sustainability of a dense built environment, I have come up with nine criteria to assess quality. A livable, resilient, high-density area should have: a diversity of built form and of outdoor spaces, flexibility, a human scale, walkability, a sense of control and identity, a pleasant microclimate, a smaller carbon footprint, and greater biodiversity. Nine Criteria for Livable Urban Density 1. Diversity of Built Form 2. Diversity of Outdoor Spaces 3. Flexibility 4. Human Scale 5. Walkability 6. Sense of Control and Identity 7. A Pleasant Microclimate 8. Smaller Carbon Footprint 9. Greater Biodiversity 1. Diversity of Built Form Having different activities coexisting is both useful and more sustainable. Dwelling, working, learning, and recreating in close proximity allows us to live more locally. To accommodate the broadest range of different, useful activities in a neighborhood, we need to accommodate the broadest range of building types.

Soft is something to do with responsiveness accommodating, absorbing, supple, pliable, excusing, tolerant, flexible, elastic, extendable, adaptable, changeable, anti-fragile Soft is something to do with ease simple, straight-forward, easy-going, effortless, smooth, intuitive, understandable Soft is something to do with comfort comfortable, snug, safe, protected, sheltered, peaceful, quiet, “hyggelig” Soft is something to do with sharing sociable, common, mutual, reciprocal, participatory, public Soft is something to do with plurality joined-up, hybrid, mixed-use, overlapping, multifunctional, interconnected Soft is something to do with simplicity low-tech, low-cost, low-key, modest Soft is something to do with smallness human scale, human dimension, individual control, fractal, self-determining Soft is something to do with appealing to the senses sensory, delightful, charming, seductive, intriguing Soft is something to do with calm peaceful, quiet, cool, low-key, serene, tranquil, mild Soft is something to do with trust sureness, clarity, certainty, confidence Soft is something to do with consideration gentle, compassionate, sympathetic, empathetic, caring, benign, kindly Soft is something to do with invitation welcoming, accessible, permeable, open Soft is something to do with ecology a light touch, natural, seasonal, low carbon footprint It’s about ease, comfort, and care in everyday life. Contents Foreword by Jan Gehl Preface Introduction Being Neighbors Building Blocks Living Locally in an Urbanizing World The Time of Your Life Getting About and Getting On in a Congested and Segregated World Layering Life Living with the Weather in a Time of Climate Change Soft is Hard to Break Nine Criteria for Livable Urban Density Notes Foreword by Jan Gehl In 1933, an exclusive group of European architects and city planners met in Athens to sign the radically game-changing CIAM Charter of City Planning.

Creating a pleasant microclimate with a built form allows people to spend more time outdoors. What to look for: Consistent microclimatic conditions throughout a space Protection from strong winds and avoidance of turbulence Solar penetration and avoidance of shadows Aerodynamic roof shape Protected or enclosed outdoor spaces Useful openings Rain protection at edges 8. Smaller Carbon Footprint The built form should have a minimum negative effect on the environment. The layout, size, and shape of buildings can translate into lower energy use, less pollution as well as saving natural resources and materials (and money). There are immediate benefits from lower building heights and enclosed spaces, which create better local microclimates. Reduced exposure to strong wind and sun can mean less maintenance, as well as reducing the need for artificial heating and cooling in the whole area.


pages: 112 words: 30,160

The Gated City (Kindle Single) by Ryan Avent

big-box store, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, edge city, Edward Glaeser, income inequality, industrial cluster, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, offshore financial centre, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Thorstein Veblen, transit-oriented development, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Veblen good, white picket fence, zero-sum game

In denser cities, residences tend to be smaller and more energy efficient[17], and more compact cities reduce the need to develop green land on the urban fringe, in the process preserving trees and limiting carbon emissions. For all these reasons, the average New Yorker has a carbon footprint about half that of the average American. Residents of New York City have a carbon footprint less than one-third that of the national average. Growth rules are especially bad for the climate in places like coastal California. The temperate climate in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles means that energy use is dramatically lower in such cities than it is elsewhere. By limiting development, San Franciscans are raising home prices and encouraging residents to move to places where it will be far more difficult to constrain and reduce their carbon emissions. In many of the destination cities for American migrants, carbon footprints are distressingly high. In Houston, for instance, household transportation emissions are much higher than in the Loser cities.


pages: 215 words: 55,212

The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing by Lisa Gansky

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, banking crisis, barriers to entry, carbon footprint, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, diversification, Firefox, fixed income, Google Earth, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, late fees, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart grid, social web, software as a service, TaskRabbit, the built environment, walkable city, yield management, young professional, Zipcar

Customers used Scott’s site to pick their tree and delivery time (and one can easily imagine how mobile phones and tweets could sharpen the delivery details even further). No tying the tree to the roof of the car with bungee cords. No tripping and falling on the stoop and scratching your face. No wondering when the tree has become a fire hazard, figuring out the day for the city pickup, and dragging the needle-shedding tree carcass out to the curb. Customers could even take comfort in reducing their carbon footprint just a little. Like Scott’s business, this book is about a simple idea: some things are better shared. There is much to be said for owning things. But the dominant ownership mindset has often blinkered our business brains. The fact is that our commerce, not to mention our social lives, has always depended on sharing. When you start looking for them, “share platforms” are everywhere. During that holiday season in New York, essential shared goods and businesses seemed to jump out at me—hotels and apartment buildings, subways and taxis, airports and planes, churches and libraries.

If you hit a target heart rate and cholesterol level, Blue Shield (whose financial risk is lowered) rewards you with a $100 deposit into a SmartyPig savings account. For every dollar that you save in SmartyPig, you get half-price deals with four hundred other companies in their Mesh network. As a member of this Mesh “ecosystem” you are: (1) eating healthy food; (2) getting in a little exercise walking to the car-share garage; (3) congratulating yourself on lowering your cholesterol and your carbon footprint; and (4) collecting a bonus from your health insurance and getting money in your bank account, which you can leverage for discounts at businesses whose offers are specifically tailored to you. Maybe a deal on a family ski vacation in Aspen? Your four-door hybrid—with tire chains in the trunk and a (shared) Thule ski rack on top—is waiting. 2 The Mesh Advantage WHAT’S HERE: network power, leveraged; panning for gold, or meet my friend, the filter; spice up your mesh with partners.

Designers should imitate nature by using structures and materials that endure. Of course, the most durable shared bike, car, watch, or other product does have a finite life cycle, even if it is well maintained. The goal is to start with good quality, conserve the core materials, and preserve the virtues of the product as it goes through its life cycle. Earth is the ultimate share platform. Thoughtful product design conserves nature by reducing the carbon footprint and lowering waste. As citizens on the planet, as well as entrepreneurs in Mesh businesses, we should all want this. Reducing waste is also called operating efficiently. In fact, for economic reasons alone, all businesses should aspire to reduce waste. DuPont, for example, saved over $2 billion by reducing its emissions by 70 percent between 1990 and 2004. Successful Mesh enterprises strive to equal the convenience of the ownership model while trimming out the extra fat, environmentally and financially.


pages: 538 words: 138,544

The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better by Annie Leonard

air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, dematerialisation, employer provided health coverage, energy security, European colonialism, Firefox, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, global supply chain, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, liberation theology, McMansion, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, supply-chain management, the built environment, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, Wall-E, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

Then they ask you to share the check, even though you didn’t get to eat.”100 A first-ever analysis and comparison of the carbon footprints of different countries was created by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Center for International Climate and Environment Research-Oslo. Not surprisingly, it shows that the higher a country’s per-capita consumption expenditures are, the bigger its carbon footprint. The national average per-capita footprints varied from 1 ton of carbon dioxide equivalents per year in African countries such as Malawi and Mozambique to roughly 30 tons per year in industrialized countries such as the United States and Luxembourg. The study also found that in poorer countries, food and services are a bigger contributor to the carbon footprint, while mobility—transportation—and the consumption of manufactured goods result in the greatest greenhouse gas emissions in rich countries.101 One of the key innovations of the study is that it assigns the global carbon footprint from imports to the country that imports the goods—not the country that manufactures the goods.

To grow the cotton for just my one shirt, about 2 pounds of CO2 are generated—to make petrochemical-based fertilizers and pesticides, and for the electricity used in pumping irrigation water. The cleaning, spinning, knitting, and finishing processes add another 3 pounds. So in total my little T-shirt generates about 5 pounds of CO2. That’s before it gets transported to and from the store and then gets washed and dried over its lifetime, which at least doubles its carbon footprint.31 When I visited the website of the clothing company Patagonia recently, it allowed me to calculate the footprints of several of their items, including one of their organic cotton T-shirts. The site told me where “nearly half” of the cotton came from (Turkey); that’s a long way away. The next stop listed was Los Angeles, for knitting, cutting, and sewing in one factory and dyeing in another, using oil-based dyes, some of which are not PVC free.

The study also found that in poorer countries, food and services are a bigger contributor to the carbon footprint, while mobility—transportation—and the consumption of manufactured goods result in the greatest greenhouse gas emissions in rich countries.101 One of the key innovations of the study is that it assigns the global carbon footprint from imports to the country that imports the goods—not the country that manufactures the goods. This approach is really important because globalized production chains allow companies to outsource the manufacturing of carbon-intensive products, thus hiding the real carbon costs of imported goods. What we need to avoid is a scenario in which countries with tight carbon emission limits can simply outsource the production of Stuff they consume to countries where the emission limits are not so restrictive. Redistribution and Reverence Around the world, current consumption patterns are destroying remaining environmental resources and the services that the earth provides and exacerbating inequalities.


pages: 441 words: 96,534

Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan

autonomous vehicles, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, business cycle, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Hyperloop, Induced demand, Jane Jacobs, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, New Urbanism, place-making, self-driving car, sharing economy, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

The collective energy of millions of people concentrated into high-rise buildings instead of being spread out over hundreds of rural and suburban miles is itself a reason why so many people are attracted—culturally, professionally, politically, and practically—to cities like New York. But there is also an economic sustainability-in-numbers case for dense city living. New Yorkers have a carbon footprint 71 percent lower than that of the average American, a function of driving less, living vertically, and the economies of scale that come with centrally located goods and services. Fifty-nine percent of people who work in Manhattan get there by public transportation, nearly twelve times the national rate. More than 10 percent walk. The city has lower per capita energy use than anywhere else in the entire nation, largely due to people living more compactly in smaller, more efficient homes that are easier to heat and cool and that are connected to common water and sewer networks.

Weingroff, “The Greatest Decade 1956–1966: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Eisenhower Interstate System,” Federal Highway Administration, updated October 15, 2013, accessed August 5, 2015, www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/50interstate.cfm. “capital of the world”: Kenneth T. Jackson, “Robert Moses and the Rise of New York: The Power Broker in Perspective,” in Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York (New York: W. W. Norton, 2007), 68. “not have been possible without Robert Moses”: Ibid. CHAPTER 2: DENSITY IS DESTINY a carbon footprint: City of New York, PlaNYC, 9. twelve times the national rate: United States Census Bureau, “Census Bureau Reports 1.6 Million Workers Commute into Manhattan Each Day,” March 5, 2013, accessed August 5, 2015, www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2013/cb13-r17.html, http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-r06.html lower per capita energy use: David Owen, “Greenest Place in the U.S.?

See Prospect Park West bike lane Brooklyn Bridge, 44, 119, 144, 266, 271–72 Brooklyn Heights bike-share dock, 197 car-free streets, 120–21 Brooklyn Navy Yard, 189 Brooklyn Nets, 168 Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, 153 murals, 141, 142 Brooklyn Spoke, 198 Broome Street, 11 Bruni, Frank, 177 Bryant Park, 87 Burden, Amanda, 83 Burying highways, 65–66 Buses, 233–49 Bogotá’s TransMilenio, 234–35 Curitiba, Brazil, 234, 235 Fordham Road, 239, 248, 255 Second Avenue, 240, 248, 252 34th Street, 237–38, 240–41, 244–45 Bus rapid transit (BRT), 234–35 Byrne, David, 119, 136–37, 137, 180–81 Byron, Joan, 236 C Cairo, Tahrir Square, 3 Camden High Street (London), 50 Canal Street, 11 Cantor, Dan, 238 Cars autocentric view, 64–65 orientating streets toward people vs., 18–21 Car2Go, 284–85 Carbon footprint, of New York City, xiii, 23–25 Car-free events, 122–24 Bogotá’s Ciclovía, 116–18 Summer Streets, 118–19, 122–23 Weekend Walks, 123 Car lane widths, 49–55 Carmageddon, 106 Caro, Robert, 18 Car ownership, 26–28, 45 young people and, 183–84 Carpool lanes, 47–49 Car rentals, 184 Car sharing, 26, 183–84, 284 Central Park, 117, 146, 164 Champs-Élysées, 3 Chase Bank, 124 Chattanooga, bike share, 187–88 Chelsea Market, 83 Cheonggyecheon Creek, 65–66 Cherry Street, 135 Chicago bike lanes, xvi, 152 Dearborn Avenue, 152 China Beijing, biking, 288–89 Hangzhou, bike share, 204 infrastructure investment, 266 Chinatown (New York City), 75 Grand Street bike lane, 159, 160–61, 162, 190 Ciclovía, 116–18 Citibank, 187, 201 Citi Bikes, 179–205, 261, 292 2009 New York City study, 185, 186 Alta and PBSC and, 186–89, 200 community outreach, 191–92, 196 critics of, 196–98, 200–202 Jon Stewart’s routine, 179–80, 202 launch of, 180–82, 183, 190, 191, 197 location siting and stations, 191–98, 195, 203 locking system, 186, 198, 200 Petrosino Square sketch-ins, 181, 181 safety concerns, 190–91, 214, 221–23 sponsorship of, 185, 187 Climate change, 278, 280 Clinton, Bill, xii Clinton Street, 217 Colbert, Stephen, 198, 202 Colbert Report, The (TV show), 198, 202 Colombia.


pages: 391 words: 99,963

The Weather of the Future by Heidi Cullen

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, availability heuristic, back-to-the-land, bank run, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, energy security, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, millennium bug, out of africa, Silicon Valley, smart cities, trade route, urban planning, Y2K

“There is no other city in the world that can say that.” Cities cover less than 1 percent of the Earth’s surface, but they hold half the population and produce about 70 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why focusing on reducing emissions in cities is so important. Actually, despite their big collective carbon footprint, the cities’ reliance on mass transit and smaller, stacked living spaces makes them very energy-efficient. For example, the carbon footprint of the average New Yorker is less than one-third the size of the average American’s carbon footprint.3 Another compelling reason to tackle global warming in cities is that they are very vulnerable to a changing climate. And when you live in a city that is also an island, you’ve got even bigger worries. The NPCC, using data and models to project future climate change for New York City, has identified some of the most serious potential risks to New York’s infrastructure.

Though these prophecies, as I’ve suggested, contain the seeds of a Greek tragedy, ultimately the forecasts also contain a kernel of hope, because unlike the prophecies in Greek tragedy, they are changeable. The forecasts paint a picture of just one possible future. While these forecasts, or indeed any forecasts, make certain assumptions about how trends will continue, one true variable they cannot approximate with much accuracy is our own behavior. We are the factor that could render all these predictions false, because we alone have the power to reduce our global carbon footprint. The question that we must now answer is how. In the end, these forecasts pose a question that is vital to our collective future: if we are really capable of forecasting the future and seeing the devastation of a changing climate in advance, will we act to prevent it? Can we rally around this forty-year forecast for the good of the world, or will we wait until the levees break before we decide to act?

“I believe in decentralized infrastructure, but that doesn’t mean decentralized cities. I believe in cities!” In keeping with this building-by-building approach, the rooftops of New York City hold a lot of hidden potential. One study cited by PlaNYC calculates that if all the rooftops in the city were covered with solar panels, they could produce nearly 18 percent of the city’s energy needs during daytime hours. In New York, roughly 40 percent of the carbon footprint comes from electricity consumed, and another 40 percent comes from the heating fuels burned directly in buildings. So making buildings more efficient is a major part of the strategy to reduce carbon emissions. It can also reduce air pollution. Nearly one-third of locally produced particulate matter in our air comes from heating fuel. Public health can improve quickly as a result of efforts that improve air quality and building efficiency.


pages: 598 words: 140,612

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser

affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, different worldview, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, European colonialism, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, global village, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Home mortgage interest deduction, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job-hopping, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, Thales and the olive presses, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

One of the great ironies of Mitchell and McHarg’s environmentalism is that they tried to build a green community with plenty of trees and energy-efficient homes, but home owners drive so much that they undo most of those environmental benefits. Moreover, as I’ll discuss in the next chapter, Texas has such a hot, humid climate that cooling those homes and restaurants inevitably generates a big carbon footprint. Because The Woodlands is thirty miles from Houston’s downtown towers, you might think that its residents face horrendous commutes. MapQuest gives the driving time from The Woodlands to Houston as thirty-seven minutes, and that optimistic estimate is based on light traffic, not a normal rush hour. Yet for 2006-2008, the Census Bureau gave the average commute time in The Woodlands as 28.5 minutes because so many people there aren’t commuting into Houston at all.

Many of São Paulo’s suburbs are the traditional poor settlements of the developing world, whose people ride public transit to work and live in small homes that would be substandard in the United States or Europe. But there are also plenty of wealthier enclaves that look like Houston’s suburbs. You can find similar places around Bangalore, Mumbai, Cairo, Mexico City, and pretty much any growing city throughout the world. If the entire world starts looking like Houston, the planet’s carbon footprint will skyrocket. Houston residents, for all the sensible suburban logic of their lives, are some of the biggest carbon emitters in the country. All those 90-degree days and all that humidity mean that Houston is a ravenous consumer of electricity. All that driving gobbles up plenty of gas. Urbanization will continue in India and China, and that’s a good thing—there is no future in rural poverty.

In 2006, the United States produced about 6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, which doesn’t include the emissions related to the goods we import from elsewhere on the planet. That figure represents about one fifth of total world carbon dioxide emissions, more than any other country except China and more than the amount emitted by Europe and Latin America. Together, homes and cars account for about 40 percent of an average household’s output and also about 40 percent of America’s and 8 percent of the world’s carbon footprint. About 20 percent of America’s carbon dioxide emissions are related to residential energy use, and almost another 20 percent is associated with our motor vehicles. Using a gallon of gas produces about twenty-two pounds of carbon dioxide, if you factor in the carbon used in refining and distributing gasoline. An average family in the United States buys about a thousand gallons of gas a year, which is associated with about ten tons of carbon dioxide.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

Our design interest therefore is not aligned with a notional sustainability conceived as conservative homeostasis, but with the force routes of a disequilibrium that reverberate through matter and transform the world in creative rhythms, slow and fast, including especially its plastics and fleshes. The Cloud layer, just above the Earth layer in The Stack, makes epic, rapidly expanding energy demands (the total carbon footprint of the world's data centers has already surpassed that of the airline industry and is presumed to triple by 2020), and so risk is not hard to find. Data centers are located to mitigate cost and uncertainty, away from likely natural disasters, in proximity of cheap or clean energy sources, diverse power grid interconnects, favorable land use zoning, and inexpensive intermediate bandwidth, for example.51 Because there is no planetary computational economy that is not first a planetary energy economy, the limits to growth for The Stack are not only Moore's law and Shannon's law (accelerating the speed of processors and squeezing more information into existing channels) but also, and perhaps foremost, to secure the energy necessary to power those data centers, smart cities, homes, cars, roads, smart objects, and phones, as well as the real costs (or benefits) of doing so at the expense of other infrastructure, like new roads and buildings.52 In principle, there is a potentially virtuous correlation at work for innovation across computation and energy sectors, and the gamble on that potential is another generative accident of the Earth layer.

Any activity that generates more energy than it uses to sustain itself could invest that surplus into a vast metabolic agora where it powers and animates distant and complex projects, its muscular and cellular force captured, stored, and routed to where it can best collaborate with other aggregated exertions to power another unknown project. Yes, you are a battery. Our most visionary plots have the Stack's carbon footprint measured not in debt but in surplus, and likely in our lifetimes or not, the geopolitics of a postscarcity Earth layer is worth articulating and defending as an ideal. In the meantime, we note that many of the most important positive potential effects of ubiquitous computationally intensive, point-to-point energy flows are on “non-Stack” industries. The Climate Group's Smart2020: Enabling the Low Carbon Economy in the Information Age report issues confident, sunny scenarios for carbon savings from ICT in five critical areas: smart grids, transportation, dematerialization, buildings, and information management.

Some of these would redefine city-states as carefully policed service platforms, and for this, their urban-planning expertise relies on CRM (Customer Relationship Management), DRM (Digital Rights Management), server virtualization, end-User usage metrics, object synchronization across multiple devices and device synchronization across multiple data objects, at least as much as it does on architectural design, and often not at all on things that are normally thought to make interesting cities interesting.24 Like all Ballardesque metropoli, these cities are “post-interesting,” which is itself interesting. Contrary to parametricism's claims, figural virtuosity is subordinated to building forms that are recognizable and ad hoc, popular and stupid, but amenable to the real estate metrics that outvote other politics of the envelope. A partial list of these benchmarks includes both the sensible and the sinister: on-site carbon footprint minimization, energy and water management, replaceable and recombinant building materials, perimeter gate security, civic control contingency planning, bomb-resistant membranes, crowd circulation administration, tightly curated digital signage, assigned parking spaces, account credit-issuing recycling bins, and, for some, separate public entrances for citizens, tourists, women, unclean animals, and service staff.25 38. 


pages: 692 words: 167,950

The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century by Alex Prud'Homme

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, corporate raider, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, renewable energy credits, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, William Langewiesche

The dimensions of dead zones change over time, according to wind, weather, and nutrient flows. Some are small, perhaps one square kilometer, while others, such as the persistent dead zone off the coast of Oregon, measure three hundred square miles. “We believe that nitrogen is the main problem,” said Hirsch, who is frustrated by the lack of research on the subject. “A lot of people are focused on CO2 these days—we hear about carbon emissions, carbon footprints, carbon trading, carbon caps, carbon sequestration, you name it—which is all well and good, don’t get me wrong. But when it comes to discussing big environmental issues, carbon tends to ‘suck all of the oxygen out of the room.’ There’s little discussion of other issues, like nitrogen—which is arguably an even bigger problem than carbon.” Some scientists have labeled nitrogen a “missing greenhouse gas” because it is not one of the four gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and sulfur hexafluoride) and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) named in the Kyoto Protocol, the global accord on climate change.

But David Spath, who once headed the California health department’s drinking-water division, said that while some concerns about using reclaimed water are legitimate—treatment equipment can malfunction, for instance—the risks are “no greater, and probably in some cases better, than in what people may be drinking from river systems around the country.” Most California environmentalists, such as the San Diego Coast-keeper, support the initiative. City planners have noted that in the long run, toilet-to-tap water is going to be cheaper and have a smaller carbon footprint than pumping water from hundreds of miles away. THE TEST CASE Orange County managed to avoid the yuck-factor trap by conducting extensive public outreach—“a battle for minds”—before proposing its enhanced reclaimed-water system on the grounds of Water Factory 21. The mission was led by Ron Wildermuth, a retired navy captain who had served as the public relations officer for General Norman Schwarzkopf during the first Persian Gulf War.

After a scathing 2007 report by Doug Radke, Canada’s former deputy minister of the environment, on Alberta’s “inadequate” enforcement of “outdated and incomplete” environmental regulations for tar sands mining, the provincial government produced an interim plan to guide water withdrawals from the Athabasca River. But Alberta prides itself on a freewheeling Wild West ethos, and the development of new tar sand mine sites hasn’t slowed a bit. • • • As US states try to cut their carbon footprints and search for alternatives to hydrocarbons, the Obama administration has considered building new nuclear power plants for the first time in decades. But nuclear power uses more water—for steam generation and cooling—than any other kind of power plant, which will have to be taken into account. In 2007–8, a heat wave forced a power plant in Georgia to reduce its output because discharge water could not be cooled enough to stay within the environmental limit.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, different worldview, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jones Act, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, renewable energy transition, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

As Australian political scientist Robyn Eckersley puts it, this was “the pivotal moment that set the shape of the relationship between the climate and trade regimes” because, “Rather than push for the recalibration of the international trade rules to conform with the requirements of climate protection . . . the Parties to the climate regime have ensured that liberalized trade and an expanding global economy have been protected against trade-restrictive climate policies.” This practically guaranteed that the negotiating process would be unable to reckon with the kinds of bold but “trade-restrictive” policy options that could have been coordinated internationally—from buy-local renewable energy programs to restrictions on trade in goods produced with particularly high carbon footprints.28 A few isolated voices were well aware that the modest gains being made in the negotiations over “sustainable development” were being actively unmade by the new trade and investment architecture. One of those voices belonged to Martin Khor, then director of the Third World Network, which has been a key advisor to developing country governments in both trade and climate talks. At the end of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, Khor cautioned that there was a “general feeling among Southern country delegates . . . that events outside the [summit] process were threatening to weaken the South further and to endanger whatever positive elements exist in” the Rio agenda.

Still, the study was a bombshell, and though it remains controversial, a steady stream of newer work has bolstered the case for a high rate of methane leakage in the fracking process.III48 The gas industry isn’t the only one turning to dirtier, higher-risk methods. Like Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland are increasingly relying on and expanding production of extra-dirty lignite coal.49 And the major oil companies are rushing into various tar sands deposits, most notably in Alberta, all with significantly higher carbon footprints than conventional oil. They are also moving into ever deeper and icier waters for offshore drilling, carrying the risk of not just more catastrophic spills, as we saw with BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, but spills that are simply impossible to clean up. Increasingly, these extreme extraction methods—blasting oil and gas out of rock, steaming oil out of tarlike dirt —are being used together, as when fracked natural gas is piped in to superheat the water that melts the bitumen in the tar sands, to cite just one example from the energy death spiral.

It’s a challenge, too, to those parts of the left that equated socialism with the authoritarian rule of the Soviet Union and its satellites (though there was always a rich tradition, particularly among anarchists, that considered Stalin’s project an abomination of core social justice principles). Because the fact is that those self-described socialist states devoured resources with as much enthusiasm as their capitalist counterparts, and spewed waste just as recklessly. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, for instance, Czechs and Russians had even higher carbon footprints per capita than Canadians and Australians. Which is why one of the only times the developed world has seen a precipitous emissions drop was after the economic collapse of the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Mao Zedong, for his part, openly declared that “man must conquer nature,” setting loose a devastating onslaught on the natural world that transitioned seamlessly from clear-cuts under communism to mega-dams under capitalism.


pages: 342 words: 86,256

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck

A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, car-free, carbon footprint, congestion charging, David Brooks, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, food miles, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, skinny streets, smart cities, starchitect, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transit-oriented development, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

“Keep doing what you’re doing,” is the message, just add another solar panel, a wind turbine, a bamboo floor, whatever. But a solar-heated house in the suburbs is still a house in the suburbs, and if you have to drive to it—even in a Prius—it’s hardly green.10 We planners have taken to calling this phenomenon gizmo green: the obsession with “sustainable” products that often have a statistically insignificant impact on the carbon footprint when compared to our location. And, as already suggested, our location’s greatest impact on our carbon footprint comes from how much it makes us drive. This point was pounded home in a recent EPA study, “Location Efficiency and Building Type—Boiling It Down to BTUs,”11 that compared four factors: drivable versus walkable location; conventional construction versus green building; single-family versus multifamily housing; and conventional versus hybrid automobiles.

The coolest are smack-dab in the center of town. To be accurate: Bernstein’s maps have a limitation. They do not show full carbon output; they only show CO2 from household automobile use—data that are much easier to collect. But this limitation turns out to be useful, for several reasons: first, because it causes us to confirm that automobile use is not only the single greatest contributor to our total carbon footprint, but also a reliable predictor of that total; and second, because limiting our greenhouse gas emissions, for many, is a much less pressing issue than our dependence on foreign oil. YOU CAN’T SPELL CARBON WITHOUT CAR At last measure, we are sending $612,500 overseas every minute in support of our current automotive lifestyle.1 Cumulatively, over recent decades, this has amounted to a “massive, irreversible shift in wealth and power from the United States to the petro-states of the Middle East and energy-rich Russia.”2 This cash transfer, which is quickly working its way up to a third of a trillion dollars each year, is building some truly stunning metro-rail systems in Dubai and Abu Dhabi—our cars are buying their trains.

Well, because the building is LEED● (green) certified, of course.13 Kaid Benfield, a long-serving environmental watchdog at the Natural Resources Defense Council, did some numbers, and he found that while “an average resident in the vicinity of the current EPA Region 7 headquarters emits 0.39 metric tons of carbon dioxide per month … the transportation carbon emissions associated with the new location are a whopping 1.08 metric tons per person per month … one and a half times the regional average.”14 These numbers are, of course, just a stand-in for the actual increased carbon footprints of the EPA’s staffers, most of whom will probably not move from their current homes. Presuming these employees’ houses are distributed around Kansas City in the normal manner, the vast majority will have their commutes lengthened, many by twenty miles or more each way. Those who used to take transit to work will now have to get on the highway. This would be funny if it weren’t so sad. The carbon saved by the new building’s LEED status, if any, will be a small fraction of the carbon wasted by its location.■ This missing the forest for the trees is what David Owen calls “LEED Brain.”


pages: 287 words: 80,050

The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less by Emrys Westacott

Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Diane Coyle, discovery of DNA, Downton Abbey, dumpster diving, financial independence, full employment, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, McMansion, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, negative equity, New Urbanism, paradox of thrift, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, the market place, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, Zipcar

The amount of energy that goes into producing and delivering any food item can be devilishly difficult to calculate, but it is a mistake to assume that local always means less. As Michael Specter observes in a New Yorker article on the concept of carbon footprints: Many factors influence the carbon footprint of a product: water use, cultivation and harvesting methods, quantity and type of fertilizer, even the type of fuel used to make the package. Sea-freight emissions are less than a sixtieth of those associated with airplanes, and you don’t have to build highways to berth a ship.14 Although it seems counterintuitive, the berries you collect at a pick-your-own farm a few miles from where you live, to which you’ve made a special journey in your car, may have a bigger carbon footprint per berry than the ones in the supermarket that have been shipped in bulk from another continent.15 Community gardens within a city may be pleasing to the eye, but if the idea is to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, the land they occupy would be better used to site high-rise apartments—by far the most efficient sort of residence.

See also acquisitiveness; wealth: desire for Axel, Gabriel, 115 Baal Shem Tov, 31 Babette’s Feast, 115–16, 189 Baker, Jean, 241 Baldwin, Alec, 169 basic needs, 17, 181, 210, 233 Baudelaire, Charles, 81 Beatles, the, 161 Beckett, Samuel, 141 Beethoven, Ludwig van, 94 Bentham, Jeremy, 69 Bergoglio, Jorge (Pope Francis), 64–65 biblical references, 51, 63, 78, 147, 148, 171, 207, 251, 275 Bishop, Elizabeth, 118 Black, Bob, 80–81 Blumer, Catherine, 144 Boethius, 66–67, 88, 109, 201, 208–10 Bono, 168, 171, 177 Boo, Catherine, 149 Botton, Alain de, 80–81, 83, 85 Bowdoin College, 46 Brontë, Charlotte, 141 Bruno, Dave, 95 Buddhism, 31, 101, 105, 128, 141, 272 Buffett, Warren, 65 Byron, George Gordon, 185 Camus, Albert, 130, 157 capitalism, 83, 91–92, 99, 121, 154–55, 160, 165–66, 177, 186, 216, 226–27, 234, 242, 247–44, 281 Capra, Frank, 97 carbon footprint, 262–63 carbon tax, 264, 272 Carnegie, Andrew, 155, 181 Carpenter, Edward, 253 Cato the Elder, 57, 64 Chaucer, Geoffrey, 3, 141 Christianity, 31, 58, 78, 216 Churchill, Winston, 121 Ciulla, Joanne, 205 Civilian Conservation Corps, 236 colleges: rural location of, 46–47 conspicuous consumption, 169–70, 172–73, 187–88, 206 conspicuous recreation, 187–88 consumerism, 159, 165, 205, 228, 247, 249, 282–84 consumption tax, 272 cosmic justice, 74 Coyle, Diane, 217, 219, 220 Crawford, Matthew, 278 Crusoe, Robinson (Defoe character), 20–21 Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly, 124 Cynic philosophers, 15, 60, 141, 272 Dacyczyn, Amy, 2 Dante, 143 Darwin, Charles, 90, 252 David Copperfield, 63 Davies, W.


pages: 379 words: 114,807

The Land Grabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns the Earth by Fred Pearce

activist lawyer, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, British Empire, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate raider, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, megacity, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, Nikolai Kondratiev, offshore financial centre, out of africa, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, smart cities, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, undersea cable, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks

The most dramatic example is oil palm. It is often grown on land formerly occupied by rain forest and carbon-rich peat bogs. Clearing the forests and draining the peat bogs will create a huge carbon footprint. Taking that into account, the overall carbon footprint of biodiesel from palm oil is often much greater than that of fossil oil. More often, biofuels are grown on former pastures, in which case we need to know how much carbon the grass would have absorbed. Or they might be grown on fields that once grew food. Assuming the food now has to be grown somewhere else, we then need to know where it is grown, and what the carbon footprint of the food crop is. Maybe someone somewhere chopped down a forest to keep people fed. Or added extra fertilizer to another field to increase yields. Making fertilizer is an extremely energy-intensive, carbon-producing activity.

It was a poverty-stricken community of pearl divers until the development of oil reserves in the 1950s. Then came the discovery, just offshore, of vast reserves of natural gas. Today, Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas (8.8 trillion cubic feet a year, for anyone who is counting). It is superrich even by Gulf standards. The 800,000 Qataris have both the highest average income and the largest per-capita carbon footprint on the planet. Its capital, Doha, is planning on being the next Dubai. Qatar is an absolute monarchy. It has been dominated for more than a century by the Al Thani family, a Bedouin clan originally from Arabia. The current all-powerful emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, took power from his father in a palace coup in 1995. He has since secured his power by locking up a cousin, allegedly for using state funds to go on a billion-dollar shopping spree in the world’s art auction rooms.

Like any other carbon-based fuel, when biofuels are burned, they release the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But if the fuel comes from a crop, then growing the plant will absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide from the air as is eventually released by the burning. Carbon in; carbon out. A cycle is created, in which growing new plants neutralizes the emissions. The logic is impeccable, but it leaves out two things. First, there is the carbon “footprint” of growing, transporting, and processing the crop. And second, the question of what else might have happened on that land and what its carbon consequences would be. The first can be calculated. The math makes growing corn for ethanol look dumb. The large amount of energy needed to manufacture fertilizer to grow the corn, and then to process that corn into ethanol, often means it would be more climate friendly to stick with regular fossil oil.


pages: 83 words: 23,805

City 2.0: The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There by Ted Books

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, big-box store, carbon footprint, cleantech, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, demand response, housing crisis, Induced demand, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, McMansion, megacity, New Urbanism, openstreetmap, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, Zipcar

They’ve been probing LA’s airspace for more than a year, with the help of big-name sponsors like the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Keck Institute for Space Studies, and the California Air Resources Board. If all goes well, by 2015 the Megacities crew and colleagues working on smaller cities such as Indianapolis and Boston will have pinned down a slippery piece of climate science: an empirical measurement of a city’s carbon footprint. If that doesn’t sound like something Einstein would scarf down energy bars and hoof up a mountain to check out, give it time. It promises to be a groundbreaking development in the worldwide fight against global warming. City-sized science Historically, researchers have tried to understand anthropogenic global warming by looking at it from the big picture — first across the planet, then by regions and countries.

Sander also suspects the labyrinthine network of tubes that ferries natural gas through town. “There are millions of miles of little pipes that go from distribution stations to people’s houses,” he says. A lot of them leak, and “the leaks can be very substantial.” Emissions of questionable origin are called fugitive emissions, and they account for a decent-sized hunk of any city’s overall greenhouse-gas output. LA officials estimate that the city’s yearly carbon footprint weighs 39 million tons, with this breakdown: 43 percent vehicle emissions, 21 percent commercial buildings, 19 percent municipal energy use, 16 percent “industrial fugitive or other,” and 1 percent wastewater. Where LA’s carbon emissions come from That 16 percent is a little fuzzy because, again, emitters are judging their output using models. “That’s the best they can do,” Duren says.


The Toaster Project: Or a Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance From Scratch by Thomas Thwaites

carbon footprint, global supply chain, invisible hand, lateral thinking, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

Some people (like Pebble) have missed the critical angle... the ridiculousness of churning out thousands (millions?) of toasters and other products at the expense of the environment and human sanity (the cheap toasters I’ve taken apart have been hand soldered). However, there is also clearly a ridiculousness in undertaking to make a toaster myself, an activity that will produce a single toaster with a far larger carbon footprint than any toaster bought from the shops. It’s kind of disturbing to be faced with the reality of the ambiguous “position” of the project though... I guess I want to argue against both positions stemming exclusively from the demand side (consumers demand toasters therefore copper therefore open cast mines in remote wilderness), and the supply side (e.g. to argue that mineral extraction is wrong... then to go and make some toast).

To pay £3.94 for a toaster that’s “from a shop” seems vaguely reasonable, but £3.94 for a toaster that is entirely made from stuff that a few months ago was rocks and sludge distributed in giant holes all over the world, then brought together in an elaborate series of processes and exchanges, gradually assembled by many people, wrapped, and boxed and then somehow shipped to that shop, which is heated and lit and has people being paid to assist you in your purchase: Somehow £3.94 for all of this doesn’t seem to quite add up. My attempt at making a toaster myself, from scratch, has been wildly, absurdly, outrageously “inefficient.” My toaster cost 250 times more than the one from Argos, and that’s just the money I spent on it directly (mostly travelling to mines). If I’d included all the food I ate, and the shoes I wore out, and so on, then its final price would be more. Much more. And its carbon footprint must be huge, at least a size 14 (European size 48). And thus the miracle of modern capitalism is brought starkly into focus. As Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of industrial design at Apple Inc., said to me (well, me and the rest of the audience), “A complex product being made is like one of those films of a glass smashing that they play backwards—all the bits come together in the right place at exactly the right time to be assembled into this thing—it’s amazing.”


The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh

Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, carbon footprint, Donald Trump, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, megacity, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning

In this story, too, numbers are critical, for it was the rapid and expanding industrialization of Asia’s most populous nations, beginning in the 1980s, that brought the climate crisis to a head. Numbers are critical again to the difference in Asia’s role in global warming and that of countries that industrialized earlier. The West’s largest contribution to the accumulation of greenhouse gases came about through the continuous expansion of the carbon footprint of what was about 30 per cent of the world’s population at the beginning of the twentieth century. Asia’s contribution, on the other hand, came about through a sudden but very small expansion in the footprint of a much larger number of people, perhaps as much as half of a greatly expanded global population, late in the twentieth century. To be sure, the planet would have faced a climate crisis sooner or later, even if the history of mainland Asia had not taken this turn.

To be sure, the planet would have faced a climate crisis sooner or later, even if the history of mainland Asia had not taken this turn. After all, signs of a changing climate date back to the 1930s, and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had already passed 300 parts per million when Charles Keeling began to take measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. This was in the late 1950s, long before the economies of mainland Asia began their rapid acceleration. Even back then, the carbon footprint of the West was growing rapidly enough to ensure that the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would continue to increase. But that rise would not have been so steep if mainland Asia had not launched upon a period of sustained economic expansion in the late 1980s. It is this acceleration that has dramatically shortened the time available to adapt to, or even recognize, the crisis for what it is.

This too is a safety net of a kind: recent experience shows that the absence of community networks can greatly amplify the impact of extreme weather events. After the 2003 heat wave in Europe, for instance, it was found that many of the dead were elderly people living in isolation. In short: the rich have much to lose; the poor do not. This is true not just of international relations but also of the internal structure of the developing world, where the urban middle classes have a carbon footprint that is not much lower than that of the average European. However, it is not the middle classes and the political elites of the global south that will bear the brunt of the suffering but rather the poor and the disempowered. This too is a brake on effective progress in climate negotiations in that it reduces the incentive to compromise: the belief that they are not gambling with their own lives is, no doubt, just as important a factor for the political elites of the developing world as it is for their counterparts in the West.


pages: 372 words: 94,153

More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources – and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, humanitarian revolution, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Landlord’s Game, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, World Values Survey

“By investing in underserved entrepreneurs”: Jamie Dimon and Steve Case, “Talent Is Distributed Equally. Opportunity Is Not,” Axios, March 21, 2018, https://www.axios.com/talent-is-distributed-equally-opportunity-is-not-1521472713-905349d9-7383-470d-8bad-653a832b4d52.html. Salesforce is buying enough carbon credits: Akshat Rathi, “If Your Carbon Footprint Makes You Feel Guilty, There’s an Easy Way Out,” Quartz, May 3, 2017, https://qz.com/974463/buying-carbon-credits-is-the-easiest-way-to-offset-your-carbon-footprint/. Salesforce has also announced its intentions: “Salesforce Invests in Its Largest Renewable Energy Agreement to Date, the Global Climate Action Summit, and a More Sustainable Future,” Salesforce, August 30, 2018, https://www.salesforce.com/company/news-press/press-releases/2018/08/180830/. Google reached 100 percent renewable energy for all global operations: “100% Renewable,” Google Sustainability, accessed March 25, 2019, https://sustainability.google/projects/announcement-100/.

In the absence of widespread and effective carbon taxes or other government-imposed methods for dealing with greenhouse gas pollution, we have to rely more on public awareness and public pressure to constrain capitalism appropriately. Signs are encouraging that this is happening. For example, smelters that make aluminum using zero-carbon energy sources now appear to be able to charge a premium since, as Reuters puts it, even “industrial customers [are] under pressure to reduce their carbon footprints.” What else should companies be doing differently to improve the state of the world and the human condition? What changes would be helpful? Companies that are dumping pollution into the air, land, and water or killing endangered animals should stop. I don’t want to spend any more time on such obvious recommendations. Not because they’re not important, but because I can’t imagine any CEO reading this chapter and saying, “Hey, everyone, I’ve been convinced by this book.

Excellent personal guides to helping fight climate change have been written by Chris Goodall, whose work to uncover the dematerialization of the UK economy we saw in chapter 5, and by Mark Lynas, whose defense of glyphosate was highlighted in chapter 9. Goodall’s How to Live a Low-Carbon Life and Lynas’s Carbon Counter both stress that housing and transportation combine to account for nearly half of the typical person’s carbon footprint. So turning down heating and air-conditioning, using insulation and LED light bulbs to make homes more energy efficient, driving fewer miles, and taking fewer flights are all effective steps. So is adopting a vegan diet, though few seem willing to abandon altogether foods made from animals: in 2018, only 3 percent of Americans identified as vegan. Short of this extreme step, eating less beef and dairy would help reduce greenhouse gases.


pages: 326 words: 48,727

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard

addicted to oil, Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, defense in depth, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fixed income, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, peak oil, Port of Oakland, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, the built environment, transatlantic slave trade, transit-oriented development, University of East Anglia, urban planning

"I attended a conference recently and found myself talking with an executive of DuPont, the chemical company," said Chris West, the director of the UK Climate Impacts Programme, a British government agency that educates local governments, businesses, and individuals on how to manage the impacts of climate change. "[This executive] told me about all the green initiatives that DuPont had launched—shrinking its carbon footprint, reducing its toxic emissions, just treating the environment better in general. 'Jolly good,' I said. 'But is DuPont also prepared for how the environment might treat you?' He didn't know what I was talking about. I asked how many facilities his company had around the world. 'About three hundred,' he said. I asked how many of them were located in floodplains. He didn't know. I said, 'Don't you think you should?'"

Climate change would also worsen New York's already ferocious summertime heat and humidity and stress its water and energy supplies. Bloomberg urged facing these problems "not in the future, not when it's too late, but right now." Toward that end, his speech outlined a long-term sustainability plan for the city, a plan he called PlaNYC. Bloomberg's remarks focused overwhelmingly on mitigation—he pledged to cut the city's carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2030—but PlaNYC included adaptation as well. Having become a billionaire before his election as mayor in 2002, Bloomberg clearly grasped the economic appeal of energy efficiency, and he made it the centerpiece of his mitigation strategy. Most of the projected cuts in greenhouse gas emissions would come from increases in energy efficiency, including retrofitting buildings and mandating the purchase of more efficient lights and appliances—what the mayor called "Spend an extra dollar today, save two tomorrow."

One reason is the state government, which in 2008 voted down Bloomberg's proposal for congestion pricing after the New York City Council had approved it. That defeat in turn undermined Bloomberg's proposed expansion of mass transit, which was to be financed in part by congestion fees. The state government had also declined the city's request for a sixfold increase in energy efficiency funding. "Changing the carbon footprint of a city as big as New York is like changing the direction of a supertanker," Aggarwala told me, and individual New Yorkers weren't making the job any easier. " Plasma TVs take three times more power than conventional TVs, and more and more people are buying them," Aggarwala added. "And air conditioners! New Yorkers used to have an air conditioner in one room of their apartment. Now, it's in two or three rooms.


pages: 219 words: 61,720

American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness by Dan Dimicco

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American energy revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, clean water, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, fear of failure, full employment, Google Glasses, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Loma Prieta earthquake, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration

North Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are booming right now. The United States is on track to replace Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer on the planet.36 But what a lot of people don’t know is that even as we’re tapping into this resource, shale and gas, we’re actually reducing our carbon footprint. Not perfectly. The guys who want it done perfectly can go away. We’re not going to be perfect, and we’re not going to get carbon out of our economy any time soon, if ever. But we’re going to reduce our carbon footprint by switching from coal to natural gas, and by incorporating it into transit. For example, Nucor opted for a natural gas–fed DRI plant in Louisiana, which will produce iron units with 60 percent less CO2 generation per iron unit than a traditional coal-based blast furnace and coke-making facility.37 That’s pretty damn good.

The state understands the economic benefits that come with new construction and high-paying manufacturing jobs. We worked closely with Governor Bobby Jindal and Steve Moret, Jindal’s secretary of economic development. State officials helped with site selection, permitting, financing, and infrastructure. But it still took three years to get permits for proven technology that is cleaner than just about all of the alternatives: technology, in fact, with a carbon footprint about one-third that of a traditional coke oven and blast furnace. We can use furnaces now that not only recapture and recycle heat but also filter out soot and other byproducts. We designed the plant to sit in the middle of 4,000 acres so that local residents won’t even know it’s there. This isn’t your great-granddad’s steel mill. When we announced our decision to build in St. James Parish in September 2010, Jindal hailed it as one of the largest industrial projects in the state’s history.


pages: 501 words: 134,867

A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice by Tony Weis, Joshua Kahn Russell

addicted to oil, Bakken shale, bilateral investment treaty, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial exploitation, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, global village, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, LNG terminal, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, profit maximization, race to the bottom, smart grid, special economic zone, WikiLeaks, working poor

In a series dubbed “The War for the Oil Sands in Washington,” Tyee reporter Geoff Dembicki examined how “Doer has devoted much of his professional energy to promoting the oil sands industry, flying to industry roundtables, meeting with US policymakers, and speaking to national magazines.”27 On the legislative front, the Conservative government’s first target was a law established at the end of 2007: Section 526 of the Energy Security and Independence Act, which is often referred to as the Waxman bill, having been introduced by Democratic congressman Henry Waxman. The Waxman bill effectively forbids government agencies—including the US military, by far the largest government purchaser—from buying oil with a larger than average carbon footprint. In response, Canadian embassy officials began strategic communications with the American Petroleum Institute and its offshoot, the Center for North American Energy Security, as well as with companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, Marathon, Devon, and Encana.28 The goal was to ensure that the Waxman bill would not apply to the tar sands, as Waxman had intended. In addition to helping build a coalition of domestic oil lobbyists, the Canadian government protested the Waxman bill through diplomatic channels that stretched upwards to the US Secretary of Defense.29 The larger fear, as Canadian energy advisor Paul Connors put it, was that the Waxman bill “would grow into a larger debate in which the US would consider a wider LCFS [Low Carbon Fuel Standard] for transportation fuels.”30 These perceived risks grew as Barack Obama campaigned with a promise to consider just such a thing.

And few outside of the Canadian embassy were any wiser.”32 Canadian lobbying efforts in the US have extended beyond the federal government and taken aim at state policies designed to reduce carbon emissions from fuel. To the chagrin of Ottawa, in 2007 California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the world’s first LCFS into law. The bill mandated California’s Air Resources Board to assign carbon footprints to different fuels in a bid to deter oil suppliers from using high-carbon fuel sources. According to Geoff Dembicki, Canadian officials attempted to intervene at least five times to affect how California defined its LCFS.33 In April 2009, Canada’s minister of natural resources, Lisa Raitt, wrote to Governor Schwarzenegger expressing a fear that “your LCFS regulation … could serve as a model for other states and perhaps the US federal government,” and urging “that the LCFS regulation should assign all mainstream crude oil fuel pathways the same CI [carbon intensity] rather than distinguish among different sources of crude oil.”34 The pressure did not stop there.

A more ambitious just transition would extend workers’ collective rights and point towards new socio-ecological relations21—that is, a militant rejection of the quantitative commodification of nature and life, for a transition to qualitative growth in de-carbonized and de-commodified sectors of production and work. Such an “eco-imaginary” is a rupture with the chase after “green jobs” in a thoroughly commodified society. It could inform specific interventions at the scale of workplaces and building workers’ collective capacities, such as: the incorporation of carbon-reduction strategies within collective agreements through clauses on reductions of the carbon footprint, energy committees, and adjustment plans for jobs affected by climate change; workers’ plans forged to extend best practices for carbon reduction in labour processes and between workplaces; building democratic planning capacities for plant conversion to sustain capital equipment, workers’ skills, and community infrastructure as ecologically responsible production norms are internalized; and participatory planning structures built at the level of local wards for carbon reduction and ecological clean-up in neighbourhoods.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, undersea cable, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

According to Ian Marlow, a consultant who served as the lead technical and business advisor for Songdo’s intelligent infrastructure, building-in smart added only 2.9 percent to the project’s construction budget.29 Scale that share planet-wide, and global spending on smart infrastructure is on the order of $100 billion over the next decade alone.30 That sum spans a big territory, according to one market forecast, including “installing municipal wireless networks, implementing e-government initiatives by providing access to city departments and initiatives through websites, integrating public transportation with intelligent transportation systems, or developing ways to cut their carbon footprints and reduce the amount of recyclables consigned to the trash heap.”31 Cisco and IBM both have long histories as suppliers to governments, designing systems to bring paper-based bureaucracies into the digital age. Until recently, this was an incremental process that proceeded at the snail’s pace of government. The companies’ main focus lay elsewhere, on the multinational corporations that were their bread and butter.

52 Scale this model up, and it is possible to imagine a rich trade of power between many producers and consumers, incentivized by any number of causes, interests, or goals. A social meta-layer on the smart power grid could have enormous impact on our consumption choices. Deregulation now allows many consumers to choose which producer to buy their electricity from, even as that power is still delivered across a single grid controlled by the local utility. Power providers compete on price and carbon footprint. But we are moving into a world where the data about electricity will become as valuable as the power itself. Already, start-ups like Arlington, Virginia–based Opower are showing how smart meters will enable utilities to bundle information and services with basic electricity to add value. These tools can help consumers save money, and are very convenient. They also hold the potential to make us more understanding and conscientious about how we use electricity.

“She was as opposed to new towns as she was to slum clearance—anything that threatened the vitality of traditional urban forms was the enemy. . . . How odd that such a conservative, even reactionary stance would galvanize an entire generation.” Worse, the advocacy turn she inspired for a generation of young planners had been co-opted by the NIMBYism of urban elites who “weaponized Jane Jacobs to oppose anything they perceived as threatening the status quo—including projects that would reduce our carbon footprint, create more affordable housing and shelter the homeless.”34 The car wars show us the awful longevity of the choices we make about technology’s role in the city. In the end, despite the social turmoil, the destruction of cities and countryside, the discrediting of city planning, the car remains at the center of the city—not just in America. “In some ways the war is finished,” remarked Georges Amar, the head of innovation for the Paris Metro at a New York University lecture in October 2011, “Cars are part of the mobility system.”


Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All by Michael Shellenberger

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, clean water, Corn Laws, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, energy transition, failed state, Gary Taubes, global value chain, Google Earth, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, land tenure, Live Aid, LNG terminal, long peace, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, renewable energy transition, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Foer, Eating Animals, 196. 29. Ibid. 30. Durk Nijdam, Geertruida Rood, and Henk Westhoek, “The price of protein: Review of land use and carbon footprints from life cycle assessments of animal food products and their substitutes,” Food Policy 37 (2012): 760–770, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2012.08.002. 31. David Gustafson et al., “Climate adaptation imperatives: Global sustainability trends and eco-efficiency metrics in four major crops—canola, cotton, maize, and soybeans,” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 12 (2014): 146–163, https://doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2013.846017. 32. Durk Nijdam, Geertruida Rood, and Henk Westhoek, “The price of protein: Review of land use and carbon footprints from life cycle assessments of animal food products and their substitutes,” Food Policy 37 (2012): 760–770, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2012.08.002.

The chairman was also a guest at a 1994 White House party for Boris Yeltsin. Occidental had an interest in Russian oil. Earlier that year, the chairman had traveled with President Bill Clinton’s commerce secretary on a trade mission to Russia.67 Gore personally accepted fossil fuel money in 2013. He and a co-owner sold Current TV to Al Jazeera, which is state-funded by Qatar, the oil-exporting nation whose citizens have the largest per capita carbon footprint in the world. One year earlier, Gore had said the goal of “reducing our dependence on expensive dirty oil” was “to save the future of civilization.”68 As part of the agreement, Gore reportedly received $100 million.69 Environmental activists weren’t particularly bothered by it. “I don’t think the community is too upset,” a politically active environmentalist told The Washington Post about Gore’s deal with Qatar.

Per capita energy data are from the International Energy Agency. Total primary energy supply (TPES) per capita of DRC and Indonesia refer to IEA data from 2017, while US data are for 2018. 61. “Household Air Pollution and Health,” World Health Organization, May 8, 2018, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/household-air-pollution-and-health. 62. Eric Johnson, “Charcoal versus LPG grilling: A Carbon-Footprint Comparison,” Environmental Impact Assessment Review 29 (November 2009): 370–78, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2009.02.004. 63. The Potential Air Quality Impacts from Biomass Combustion, Air Quality Expert Group, 2017, https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat11/1708081027_170807_AQEG_Biomass_report.pdf, 37, 38. 64. Vaclav Smil, Power Density: A Key to Understanding Energy Sources and Uses (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015), 403. 65.


pages: 269 words: 104,430

Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives by Catherine Lutz, Anne Lutz Fernandez

barriers to entry, car-free, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, failed state, feminist movement, fudge factor, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, inventory management, market design, market fundamentalism, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, oil shock, peak oil, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar

Many used cars come with warranties as good as those on new cars, and state lemon laws protect you from dealers (and sometimes from private sellers, too).8 Numerous makes and models have proven themselves to be highly reliable used car purchases; check Consumer Reports for a list of these. Buying used not only saves you money but is environmentally friendly. Well-meaning people sometimes reason that they should buy a new, more energy-efficient car in order to have a lighter carbon footprint. However, about a fifth of a car’s lifetime carbon emissions are produced in the manufacturing process.9 Even if the new car you are 214 Carjacked considering is much more fuel-efficient, it is usually greener to keep your old car, which would continue to be driven by someone else in any case. For financial or other reasons, however, you may still decide to buy a new, more fuel-efficient car.

Even people who are not comfortable being at the forefront of automotive technology can buy a car today with emissions quite below average and with outstanding gas mileage. Honda, Toyota, and MINI are producing most of the high-mpg small cars out there. Check out www.fueleconomy.gov to see a list of cars with the best mile-per-gallon performance for the kind of driving you tend to do and to see how your current car rates in terms of its carbon footprint and contribution to air pollution. Use Greenercars.org to comparisonshop for an environmentally friendlier car that meets your other needs. Invest in safety, both for yourself and for your neighbors on the road. Over the past few decades, car manufacturers have been continually adding new safety features to their cars, but not all come standard. When you buy a new or used car, choose one with options that make it easier to avoid collisions or help protect you during one, such as antilock brakes, front and rear side impact air bags, head-protection curtain air bags, and electronic stability control (ESC), which helps a driver gain control of a vehicle that is skidding or sliding in a turn by automatically braking individual wheels.

Do the math on the commute you will be required to make each day: a 15-mile commute from work to one poten- CONCLUSION 223 tial house purchase versus an 18-mile commute to another may not seem like much—just three miles, for goodness’ sake—but it would add up to 1,440 additional miles each year, or more than $1,000 a year. Depending on traffic, that could mean an additional 58 hours of time away from home, 58 additional hours of highway crash risk, and a bigger carbon footprint. Ask your potential employer about public transportation to their site. If public transit is not an option, test drive the route you would have to take during the morning and evening rush hours. Factor the cost in terms of time, health, and finances into your decision. A job paying a lower salary that is easier to get to may well leave you with more spending money. If a new job opportunity will require you to buy a new car, even if you think you can carpool to work, complete the car calculation sheet at www.webwinder.com before accepting an offer.


pages: 330 words: 99,044

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson

Airbnb, asset allocation, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, dark matter, decarbonisation, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, fixed income, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, Nelson Mandela, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Pinker, stocks for the long run, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Zipcar

Haines, and V. Ramanathan, “Effects of Fossil Fuel and Total Anthropogenic Emission Removal on Public Health and Climate,” PNAS 116, no. 15 (April 9, 2019): 7192–7197. 31. Peabody Energy, 2018 Annual Report, www.peabodyenergy.com/Peabody/media/MediaLibrary/Investor%20Info/Annual%20Reports/2018-Peabody-Annual-Report-02.pdf?ext=.pdf. 32. “The Carbon Footprint of a Cheeseburger,” SixDegrees, Sept. 26, 2017, www.sixdegreesnews.org/archives/10261/the-carbon-footprint-of-a-cheeseburger; “GLEAM 2.0—Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Mitigation Potential,” Results / Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM) / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, www.fao.org/gleam/results/en/. 33. CEMEX Carbon Disclosure Project Annual Report, 2018. 34. 46m tonnes CO2e * $80/ton * 1.1 tonnes/ton. 35.

If you don’t already have a clear sense of what you want to strive for and why, take time to work on yourself—either alone or with others—to learn more. Driving change is hard work. You’ll need to be connected to the fire within if you’re not to burn out. Do something now. Decide to fly or drive less, or make the effort to buy only from companies that treat their employees well. Insulate your house and, if you can, put solar panels on the roof or buy your power from a green energy provider. Calculate your carbon footprint, estimate the amount of damage you’re doing, and if you can afford it, commit to offsetting that damage. Taking a first step will lead to more. Doing something that’s even a little bit outside your comfort zone will change the way you think about yourself. Making even a small sacrifice will help you persuade yourself that you can make some difference and that your voice counts. Something as simple as eating less meat can help you decide to get more active at work—which in turn often opens the door to signing petitions or protesting.20 Since we are social primates, your actions will help persuade others to change their own behavior.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), The 10 Elements of Agroecology: Guiding the Transition to Sustainable Food and Agricultural Systems, www.fao.org/3/i9037en/I9037EN.pdf; New Climate Economy, Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story (2018). 19. For more on how to make a difference in your own life, and to connect with other readers of this book, please check out ReimaginingCapitalism.org. 20. Leor Hackel and Gregg Sparkman, “Actually, Your Personal Choices Do Make a Difference in Climate Change,” Slate Magazine, Oct. 26, 2018, https://slate.com/technology/2018/10/carbon-footprint-climate-change-personal-action-collective-action.html. 21. Steve Westlake, “A Counter-Narrative to Carbon Supremacy: Do Leaders Who Give Up Flying Because of Climate Change Influence the Attitudes and Behaviour of Others?” SSRN 3283157 (2017). 22. Gregg Sparkman and Gregory M. Walton, “Dynamic Norms Promote Sustainable Behavior, Even If It Is Counternormative,” Psychological Science 28, no. 11 (2017): 1663–1674. 23.


Smart Cities, Digital Nations by Caspar Herzberg

Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, business climate, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, hive mind, Internet of things, knowledge economy, Masdar, megacity, New Urbanism, packet switching, QR code, remote working, RFID, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart meter, social software, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, X Prize

The company’s investment also lent legitimacy to the government’s efforts to create an economic powerhouse and travel hub; this, hopefully, would contribute to increased FDI and a virtuous cycle of foreign engagement. President Lee was correct that an investment this large was “a difficult decision” against the backdrop of global recession, but there was another angle to the partnership that was advantageous to all parties and, in fact, to the rest of the world. Songdo was to be a prototype for sustainable urban life, an example of how a city could reduce its carbon footprint and resource usage in a world with ever-increasing population and climate-related problems. Korea’s willingness to “go green” was noted by Chambers as a deciding factor behind Cisco’s commitment. Moreover, other companies were expected to endorse the vision. Incheon’s mayor also went on record with a projection of three hundred companies that would choose IFEZ as a headquarters for their Northeast Asian operations.

The capable development team and master plan architects at Kohn Pedersen Fox were attempting to build a livable city, friendly to pedestrians and bikers, free of excessive traffic congestion and exhaust, with ample green spaces and waterways. Serious planners do not use the word “utopia.” In a twenty-first century context, however, the ideal city experience would seamlessly mix and support business and high living standards, while providing ample green spaces and cutting the carbon footprint down to a manageable size. Some of the most excitable commentators could not resist outlandish projections of an ideal life for citizens and businesses in Songdo. That, of course, created both great expectations and skepticism. The city builders could hardly complain, since Songdo’s great promise was highlighted in a great deal of promotional material. Although residents were already moving in by 2009, Cisco had barely begun to lay down the crucial IP-enabled network that would create the structure for delivering and processing a city’s worth of sensor data.

Not only could a pocket-size device access the controls of a home from outside, but the sensors within the home could be programmed to help residents remember small tasks and set climate controls before they returned home from work. Songdo was meant to run on information; in the process, it would create a new layer of information exchange and enhancement, which in time would become known as the Internet of Things. Political conversation had advanced to the point where a smart city would de facto be green, and Songdo was to be a leader in shrinking the urban carbon footprint. At Gale’s insistence, development within the IBD was designed with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in mind. A product of the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED ratings had become a seal of approval for new development around the globe. LEED certification applied to nine different categories of building of residential, commercial, and public spaces. By mid-2012, 13.7 million square feet of Songdo’s IBD had achieved some version of LEED certification.13 The sensor systems connected to climate control features throughout the buildings could slash energy waste across the district.


pages: 182 words: 64,847

Working by Robert A. Caro

carbon footprint, desegregation, ghettoisation, rent control, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty

“The City-Shaper” originally appeared in The New Yorker, January 5, 1998. Parts of “ ‘Turn Every Page,’ ” “LBJA,” “ ‘Why Can’t You Do a Biography of Napoleon?,’ ” “Tricks of the Trade,” and “Interviewing Lady Bird Johnson” were excerpted in the January 28, 2019, issue of The New Yorker. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission to reprint previously published material: Harper’s Magazine: “Carbon Footprint,” an interview with Robert A. Caro and John R. MacArthur. Copyright © 2014 by Harper’s Magazine. All rights reserved. Reprinted from the December 2014 issue by permission of Harper’s Magazine. The New York Times: “Sanctum Sanctorum for Writers” by Robert Caro, originally appeared in The New York Times on May 19, 1995. Copyright © 1995 by The New York Times. Reprinted by permission of The New York Times.

Classification: LCC PN4874.C2528 (ebook) | LCC PN4874.C2528 A3 2019 (print) | DDC 818/.5409 [B]—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/​2018055999 Ebook ISBN 9780525656357 Frontispiece photograph: Arnold Newman Collection / Getty Images Cover photograph © Joyce Ravid Cover design by Carol Devine Carson v5.4_r1 ep For Ina Beloved Contents Cover Also by Robert A. Caro Frontispiece Title Page Copyright Dedication Introduction “TURN EVERY PAGE” ROBERT MOSES The City-Shaper Carbon Footprint Sanctum Sanctorum for Writers LYNDON JOHNSON [While I was…] LBJA “Why Can’t You Do a Biography of Napoleon?” INTERVIEWING “I lied under oath”: Luis Salas “Hell, no, he’s not dead”: Vernon Whiteside “It’s all there in black and white”: Ella So Relle “I wanted to be a citizen”: Margaret and David Frost “My eyes were just out on stems”: Lady Bird Johnson Tricks of the Trade A SENSE OF PLACE TWO SONGS THE PARIS REVIEW INTERVIEW The Art of Biography Introduction Here’s a book very unlike the others I’ve written—very much shorter, for one thing, as some readers may notice—but its intention is to share some experiences I’ve had while doing the others, and some thoughts I’ve had about what I’ve been trying to do with those books.

In one place, he said: “Charges of arrogance, contempt for the so-called democratic process, lack of faith in plain people, brutal uprooting and scattering of those in the way are as old as recorded history: In such periods, the left wingers, fanatical environmentalists and seasonal Walden Ponders have a field day.” He never ceased denouncing me, in speeches and countless letters. He died on July 29, 1981, at the age of ninety-two. Although I wanted very much to attend his funeral, I felt that his family and friends would not want me to be there, so I didn’t go. The New Yorker, January 5, 1998 Carbon Footprint Conversation between Robert A. Caro and John R. MacArthur, marking the fortieth anniversary of The Power Broker CARO: By the time I started the book, Robert Moses had been in power for almost half a century. Moses’ people said to me: “He’ll never talk to you. His family will never talk to you. His friends will never talk to you. Anyone who ever wants a contract from this city or state will never talk to you.”


pages: 201 words: 33,620

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2020 by Lonely Planet

Airbnb, car-free, carbon footprint, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hyperloop, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Ronald Reagan, sustainable-tourism, trade route

Train journeys, electric vehicles, windjammer cruises, cycle tours, buses and even hiking all offer incredible ways to get from A to B at a lower emission cost, and most of the time you’ll have a fantastic view of your destination as you travel through it. • By Nora Rawn © HAKINMHAN / SHUTTERSTOCK FLYING SMART Dreaming of a long-haul destination but worried about the impact of flying? Making small changes and planet-conscious choices can reduce your carbon footprint when you do fly. Travel light Extra weight on planes burns fuel faster. Reducing your luggage by 15kg could save between 100 and 200kg of CO2 emissions on a return flight from London to Tenerife. Tempted to upgrade to business class? Be aware that economy class has the least environmental cost as it carries more people for the same amount of fuel. Go direct and stay longer Since take-off and landing burns the most fuel, flying point-to-point without stopovers is the best way to reduce your carbon emissions when flying.

While the record for a self-supported circumnavigation is 12 days, outfitters run shorter trips along 110km Johnstone Strait. Haute Route, Switzerland From Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn, this classic path through the Pennine Alps is the best of all worlds: a walking route that takes in grand peaks and lets you sleep in cosy inns each night. © RON WATTS / DESIGN PICS / GETTY IMAGES Travelling on a Carbon Diet It’s a challenge to travel anywhere without leaving a carbon footprint, but by adding more planet-healthy choices to your travel diet, you can help to keep yours to an absolute minimum. Gone are the days when sipping lurid cocktails through novelty plastic straws and stuffing our suitcases with single-use bathroom amenities signified nailing the art of travel. With the global travel industry estimated to be responsible for nearly a tenth of global carbon emissions, taking conscious steps to reduce our carbon output on the road has never been so important.


pages: 311 words: 17,232

Living in a Material World: The Commodity Connection by Kevin Morrison

addicted to oil, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, energy security, European colonialism, flex fuel, food miles, Hernando de Soto, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, price mechanism, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, young professional

Government representatives from 189 countries, Al Gore – the former US vice president turned businessman and environmental campaigner – and a myriad of industry lobbyists, environmentalists, lawyers, bankers, students, journalists and hundreds of television camera crews flood the spacious Bali convention centre for the two-week talkfest. The conference’s wordy title is typical of the lexicon of titles, agreements and groupings that characterize the travelling circus of climate change talks. The carbon footprint of the 2007 event was astronomical; 137 000 trees1 would need to be planted to offset all the emissions that were generated – from the flights to Bali to the air conditioners to cool the sauna-like temperatures. Not to mention the thousands of laptops, mobile phones, cameras and battery chargers needed to photograph and record the event for television, radio, print and the internet – this is just some of the vast amount of electrical consumption that the event required.

My childhood winters may well have been the tail end 128 | LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD of a mini-global cooling period, although the world was still warmer in the 1970s than it was 100 years previously.7 The debate around these long-term climate changes is whether we are accelerating the process through human activity – in particular the carbon emitted from power stations, cars, homes, farms and the cutting down of rainforests. Emissions Daily Each of us has a carbon footprint. We emit carbon whenever we switch on a light, turn the radio on for the morning news or boot up the computer to check our emails. Even having a cup of tea or a slice of toast releases emissions, because these daily acts use electrical power, which, in most parts of the world, is generated by burning coal and gas. We can minimize our individual carbon output by switching from conventional light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs, turning off the tap when brushing teeth, cutting down on car trips, walking more or taking the bus or train, and by replacing plastic shopping bags with reusable ones.

Funds are then invested in forestry schemes, which mean planting more trees or looking after existing ones. But voluntary schemes are not regulated and they can be opaque. Consumers who want a carbon neutral lifestyle can install solar panels, put a wind turbine on the roof, sell the car and wear more clothes around the house in winter – or they can purchase carbon credits via carbon brokers such as The CarbonNeutral Company, Climate Care and co2balance.com to offset their carbon footprint. Despite some confusion in how these different schemes calculate emissions (a flight from London to Sydney, for example, can cost between £14.25 and £36 to offset), Britons spent £60 million offsetting their CO2 emissions in 2006 and this is expected to rise to £250 million by 2009, according to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Copping, 2007). CLIMATE | 145 Even religious leaders want to be carbon neutral.


pages: 565 words: 122,605

The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us by Joel Kotkin

autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, British Empire, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Downton Abbey, edge city, Edward Glaeser, financial independence, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, labor-force participation, land reform, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pensions crisis, Peter Calthorpe, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Seaside, Florida, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, starchitect, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the built environment, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, young professional

Hausmann: His Life and Times and the Making of Modern Paris, Chicago: Dee. CASTELLS, Manuel. (1999) “The Informational City is a Dual City: Can It Be Reversed,” High Technology and Low Income Communities: Prospects for the Positive Use of Advanced Information Technology, Cambridge: MIT Press, 30–31. ——— (1989). The Informational City, London: Blackwell. CBC NEWS. (2013, April 29). “Carbon footprint assumptions do not hold true for Halifax.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/carbon-footprint-assumptions-do-not-hold-true-for-halifax-1.1371095. ——— (2014, August 19). “Top 10 most livable cities include Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto,” http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/top-10-most-livable-cities-include-vancouver-calgary-and-toronto-1.2740493. CELORIO, Gonzalo. (2004). “Mexico: City of Paper,” The Mexico City Reader, Madison: Wisconsin University Press, 33–34.

Research by environmental group EnergyAustralia, which took this and overall consumer energy spending into account, found that both townhouses and detached housing produced less GHG emissions per capita than high-density housing when common-area GHG emissions were included.29 Further, one recent study from the National Academy of Sciences found that New York City—despite its mass transit system and high density—was the most environmentally wasteful of the world’s roughly 30 megacities, well ahead of more dispersed, car-dominated Los Angeles.30 In one of the most comprehensive national reviews of GHG emissions, the Australian Conservation Foundation found per capita emissions to decline from the urban core, through suburban rings, to the suburbs.31 Another study, this one in Halifax, Nova Scotia, found the carbon footprints of core residents and suburbanites to be approximately the same.32 THE HIGH COST OF CITY LIVING Finally, there is the often-repeated notion among retro-urbanists that higher density will solve the problem of affordability, now a major concern in cities around the world. Yet in many ways, pro-density policies worsen affordability. Groups such as the Sierra Club argue that every level of government (local, state, and federal) should enact policies making people live closer together so that they rely less on cars.

Instead, if it is to adapt even somewhat successfully, the family will continue to morph, becoming more egalitarian in its approach to child-rearing and, above all, more flexible, with perhaps an expanded role for the growing ranks of childless aunts and uncles.158 Ultimately, to thrive and expand in the coming decades, urbanism needs to restore the central role of families. To flourish in the long run, cities need to be more than “entertainment machines” or dense receptacles for those who wish to reduce their carbon footprint.159 Cities are about people and about creating conditions for upward mobility, but they are also about the growth and development of the next generation. This means we need to place greater emphasis not on dense downtowns but rather on those remaining residential districts—like Ditmas Park and Flatbush—that can still accommodate families in areas not far removed from the historic urban center.


pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

The ice across Hudson Bay melted almost a month later than normal, and polar bears, who feed and give birth on the ice, had a greater number of healthy cubs that summer (offspring dubbed ‘Pinatubo cubs’). Then again, other aerosols like soot absorb sunlight and have a warming effect. Some believe that this kind of ‘black carbon’ may be the world’s leading cause of global warming after CO2. Although on the positive side, as Mike Berners-Lee says in his book, How Bad Are Bananas?: the carbon footprint of everything: ‘black carbon lasts only a few days in the atmosphere [so] if we reduce the amount we create, the benefit will be instant. Hence some experts think that reducing black carbon pollution should be a number one priority in tackling global warming.’ The problem is that we don’t know how much of each sort of aerosol is in the atmosphere. In January 2010, a Nature article entitled ‘The Real Holes in Climate Science’ summed up the situation by saying estimates of the net aerosol effect vary by an order of magnitude.

The phosphorous-doped ‘negative’ wafer faces the sun, and when an electron gets dislodged in this part of the cell it will head off in the direction of the boron-doped ‘positive’ wafer underneath, setting off a chain reaction of ‘charge passing’ between atoms and creating an electrical current. Silicon cells, however, are costly, complex to manufacture – and, ironically, have quite a high embedded carbon footprint (the ‘doping’ process, for instance, requires the wafers to be heated to slightly below the melting point of silicon). In recent years, ‘thin-film’ solar cell technologies have emerged that use much slimmer wafers of silicon or combinations of materials with catchy names like ‘cadmium telluride’ and ‘copper indium gallium diselenide.’ These cells can be made much thinner and lighter and are often cheaper than their crystalline silicon counterparts, which means that even though they generate less electricity per square foot, the cost of the energy produced can compare favourably.

Indeed, Nasheed has already talked about setting up a ‘sovereign fund’ to buy land elsewhere should worse come to the worst. At the same time, the country is leading the way in creating a carbon neutral economy, which is no small feat when the nation is made up of over a thousand tiny islands, nearly all of which get their energy from diesel generators. Not to mention the fact that the Maldivian economy – and its carbon footprint – are dominated by tourism and associated aviation. The Maldives also rather neatly demonstrates the carbon divide between ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ nations. Resorts renowned for their opulence host small numbers of wealthy tourists who consume luxury foods flown in to meet their demands. Sumptuous villas are filled with every electronic convenience. By contrast, neighbouring non-resort islands often have populations of thousands, many of whom live in poverty.


pages: 224 words: 73,737

Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain's Underclass by Darren McGarvey

basic income, British Empire, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, impulse control, means of production, side project, universal basic income, urban decay, wage slave

Harrison’s project, though she didn’t make it very clear at the time, was an attempt to investigate how being restricted to one geographical area for a year, in this case Glasgow, impacted on her ability to live and work as a professional artist. Throughout the year, she would document and reflect on how this limitation affected everything, from her social life, identity and mental health to her employability and even her carbon footprint. The project reflected Ellie’s personal interests as an activist, artist and citizen living in Scotland. Interests which, while legitimate, were sadly not shared by many of Glasgow’s poorer residents, for whom the Glasgow Effect was not merely a concept but an oppressive matrix of overlapping inequalities. Ellie’s cause was not helped by the fact that she chose to use academic language in the vague description of her project, which naturally aroused prejudice among those who had grown wary of jargon – because they associate it with political exclusion and exploitation.

On a Facebook page, created for the project, Ellie wrote: The Glasgow Effect is a year-long ‘action research’ project/ durational performance, for which artist Ellie Harrison will not travel outside Greater Glasgow for a whole year (except in the event of the ill health / death of close relative or friend). By setting this one simple restriction to her current lifestyle, she intends to test the limits of a ‘sustainable practice’ and to challenge the demand-to-travel placed upon the ‘successful’ artist / academic. The experiment will enable her to cut her carbon footprint and increase her sense of belonging, by encouraging her to seek out and create ‘local opportunities’ testing what becomes possible when she invests all her ideas, time and energy within the city where she lives. This short description, without even intending it, was encoded with everything people from deprived communities have grown sceptical of over the years. Culture, participation, the arts; all these things that people claim are accessible but which always appear to be the exclusive preserve of those who use phrases like ‘action research project’ and ‘sustainable practice’ – high status language that sets alarm bells ringing.

Culture, participation, the arts; all these things that people claim are accessible but which always appear to be the exclusive preserve of those who use phrases like ‘action research project’ and ‘sustainable practice’ – high status language that sets alarm bells ringing. Then there was the money. Not only was Ellie being paid £15,000 to spend a year analysing the plight of the ‘successful artist’, she was going to benevolently ‘create local opportunities’. Her concerns, pertinent as they might have been, were not shared in those communities where people have little time or headspace to consider carbon footprints or the personal sacrifice of successful contemporary artists. This clumsy initial approach, rooted in a deep lack of understanding of the cultural dynamics at play in the city, fertilised a social media storm that very quickly got out of hand. The consensus was that ‘some artist’ ‘from England’ ‘was being paid 15 grand’ to ‘live in Glasgow for a year’ to see how being stuck in one geographical location affected her ability to work.


pages: 385 words: 118,314

Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis by Leo Hollis

Airbnb, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

Similarly, although New York emits 1 per cent of all the greenhouse gases of the US (which taken as a single figure seems enormous), this figure is incredibly efficient when you take into account the fact that the city contains 2.7 per cent of the entire population. One way to explain this unexpected efficiency is to return to Geoffrey West’s model for the metabolism of the city. As he showed, when a city doubles in size, there is a scaling of efficiencies. This means that as more people come to live in the metropolis they share services and resources; thus as a city doubles in population size, it only needs to increase its carbon footprint by 85 per cent, including everything from heating and housing to the number of petrol stations; representing an energy saving of 15 per cent. As the metropolis grows it becomes more energy efficient, not less. Indeed, in one interview Geoffrey West went so far as to state: ‘The secret to creating a more environmentally sustainable society is making our cities bigger. We need more metropolises.’2 Yet, once again, it also matters what kind of city that you live in.

This was partly in recognition of the efforts already made by the city, but also because of its future programme, Vision 2030, which identified six main areas for new policy: changing transport policy to make it more environmentally efficient with an emphasis on reducing carbon emissions; encouraging green cars and public transit, and providing bike lanes; reducing the use of toxic chemicals in manufacturing and construction; more efficient use of energy, water and land; improving waste management; and finally ‘a healthy indoor environment’: upgrading social housing and reducing noise pollution. While the average European carbon footprint stands at 10 tonnes per capita, as opposed to 22 tonnes per capita in the US, Stockholm has already reduced its carbon emissions to 3.4 tonnes per capita and it promises to be fossil-fuel free by 2050. This reduction has been brought about by improving the city’s infrastructure and promoting public transport, as well as developing a widespread bike culture, with an ‘ecobike’ system and the establishment of an extensive cycle infrastructure, so that on any winter’s day 19 per cent of Stockholmers will be using their bicycles – a figure that rises to 33 per cent in summer.

This can be seen in the decisions that people make when they get into their cars. An efficient public-transport system reduces not only congestion and pollution but also health inequality, but some of the barriers for using such transit include the fear that it is inefficient, and the social stigma of ‘riding the bus’. Getting cars off the street and cutting out unnecessary journeys has a social as well as environmental result: it reduces carbon footprint and improves air quality, but it also, as we saw with Appleyard’s experiments on his Heavy and Light Streets, enhances communities. I was reminded of this fact when I went to meet Colin Beavan, a writer living in Manhattan who decided to reduce his carbon emissions to zero. He recounted the travails and the joys of his year of living green in a wonderfully entertaining and honest book and documentary film of the same name, No Impact Man.


pages: 258 words: 83,303

Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization by Jeff Rubin

addicted to oil, air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, BRICs, business cycle, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, energy security, food miles, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Just-in-time delivery, market clearing, megacity, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, profit maximization, reserve currency, South Sea Bubble, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, zero-sum game

The run-up in oil prices from $20 per barrel in 2000 to $70 per barrel in 2007 literally brought emission growth to a halt in most OECD countries, including the United States. Consider what a near doubling of those prices could do to carbon emissions in the future. Even with the additional emissions from the return of some heavy industries like steel, the emission cuts that will come from the transport sectors in North America will be overwhelming. Hence, North America’s carbon footprint will get fainter and fainter just as carbon footprints get heavier and heavier in China and the rest of the developing world. Just as oil consumption has peaked in the US, so too have US greenhouse gas emissions. Ironically, the US may ultimately yet comply with the Kyoto commitments it never signed on to. Emission reductions will be mandated not by legislation or international treaties, but by soaring fuel prices at the pumps and comparable increases in the price of jet fuel.

The surprising calculation that biofuel can be hundreds of times worse for the environment than fossil fuels comes from a study called “Climate Change and Energy: The True Cost of Biofuels,” produced by The Nature Conservancy and the University of Minnesota. It is the carbon released by the destruction of grassland, rainforests, peat-lands or savannas in countries like Brazil and the U.S. that adds so much to the carbon footprint of the tailpipe emissions and fossil fuel inputs for the feedstock. CHAPTER 4: HEADING FOR THE EXIT LANE p. 111: During the breakup of Yugoslavia, the Belgrade government tried to control the exchange rate of the dinar, with predictable results, particularly in a largely black-market economy imposed by UN sanctions. Inflated dinars were of no use to smugglers, since they had to buy gasoline, or drugs, or whatever else it was they were bringing into the country, in some other currency, usually German marks.


pages: 262 words: 83,548

The End of Growth by Jeff Rubin

Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, decarbonisation, deglobalization, energy security, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, flex fuel, full employment, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Hans Island, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, McMansion, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Where China’s carbon footprint now dwarfs every other country in the world, though, Denmark’s is actually shrinking. How can this be? To answer this energy riddle, you need to look past how power is generated in Denmark and into the prices Danish citizens pay for electricity. Households in Copenhagen pay roughly 30 cents per kilowatt-hour for power. That’s two to three times the average price in North America. In Denmark, government-regulated power prices are laden with carbon taxes, which means electricity isn’t cheap, whether it’s wind powered or coal fired. Not surprisingly, Danes use a fraction of the power that North Americans consume. All those world-famous windmills, it turns out, aren’t behind Denmark’s falling emissions. The real reason for its smaller carbon footprint is its high electricity prices, which put a huge damper on power demand.

Environmentalists countered that foregone emissions from grounded air travel more than offset the volcanic activity. (What I can say for certain is that Eyjafjallajökull cost me a trip to Portugal.) The presence of large natural sources of carbon emissions hardly takes polluters off the hook. Just because nature can overwhelm us with a volcanic eruption at any moment doesn’t mean our effect on the environment isn’t just as profound. We can’t excuse our contributions to the global carbon footprint because multiple sources of emissions exist. As the IPCC points out, our current rate of carbon emissions combined with the atmospheric buildup since the Industrial Revolution puts us on track to reach dangerous concentrations of greenhouse gases irrespective of random volcanic events. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now greater than at any time in the last 640,000 years.


pages: 281 words: 79,958

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Anne Wojcicki, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Drosophila, food miles, invention of gunpowder, out of africa, personalized medicine, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, twin studies, Upton Sinclair, X Prize

The origin of nearly every product is on display, the better to assess its carbon footprint, the burden it places on the environment, and the likelihood that the food is fresh. Signs at the meat counter promise animals raised without hormone injections or antibiotics and nourished only by vegetables. Whole Foods adheres to the “Organic Rule,” which, according to one of the store’s many informational brochures, Organics and you, is principally about integrity. Traditional grocery stores rarely made much of a fuss about their philosophies, but Whole Foods isn’t just about food, it’s about living a particular kind of life, an approach the company sums up nicely in the Whole Foods Credo: “Eat seasonally grown food, reduce the distances from farm to plate, shrink one’s carbon footprint, promote sensitivity and a ‘shared fate.’ ” (Eating locally produced food has become such a phenomenon that in 2007 the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary selected “locavore” as their word of the year.)

To put that into perspective, producing one kilogram of the grass-fed beef so revered by organic devotees and high-end restaurants causes the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as driving a small car 70.4 miles. Even for beef raised less luxuriously (fed by grain on industrial farms) the figure is nearly forty-five miles. Eating meat is ecologically ruinous: according to a 2008 study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, if we all skipped meat and dairy just one day each week it would do more to lower our collective carbon footprint than if the entire population of the United States ate locally produced food every day of the year. Malthus may have badly underestimated human ingenuity, but he did get one formula right: combine intense population pressure with high levels of poverty, reduce the opportunity for technological advances, and the guaranteed result will be famine and death. In 2005, an average hectare of land could feed four and a half people; by 2050 that same plot will need to support at least six people (and possibly closer to eight).


pages: 296 words: 82,501

Stuffocation by James Wallman

3D printing, Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Black Swan, BRICs, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Fall of the Berlin Wall, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, high net worth, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Hargreaves, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, McMansion, means of production, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, Paul Samuelson, post-industrial society, post-materialism, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, World Values Survey, Zipcar

A psychologist, like Oliver James, or a philosopher, such as Alain de Botton, will tell you we’ve had enough of stuff because our possessions, and the lifestyle that comes with them, are causing us more stress than happiness. James calls this problem “affluenza”. De Botton says keeping up with the Joneses is giving us “status anxiety”. An environmentalist will tell you we’ve had enough because of global warming, landfill, our carbon footprint. We are worried that we are using up more resources than the planet can sustain. A demographer might say that they can see that the stress of stuff, our stable upbringing and the environment may all be valid, but there are four other, much more important, reasons for Stuffocation: the ageing population, the growing population, the rise of the global middle class, and the move to cities. As people get older they are less interested in having more things.

If you also consider the problems causing Stuffocation, you can see still more reasons why experientialism is better, and why it is likely to appeal not just to a few pioneering hippies with calculators, but to the majority of those in the rich, currently materialistic world. Since, in a world underpinned by experientialism, status and happiness and meaning are no longer based on material goods, it is likely to cause far fewer environmental problems. Many experiences, to be sure, require material goods and do create a footprint. Consider the carbon footprint of an experiential purchase like a holiday to Borneo, for instance. But since experiences are, by definition, less predicated on material possessions they are likely, overall, to cause less damage to the environment. Since in an experientialist system we are less likely to accumulate possessions, we are likely to have fewer things, less clutter and less of the stress that comes with all that stuff.

Consider, for instance, the rise of experiential events, e-books, TOMS shoes, the Common Threads Initiative, Puma’s Clever Little Shopper, collaborative consumption, the runaway success of Apple, and why London is one of the most visited cities in the world. These are stellar examples, the pioneers, if you like, of the experience economy. Here is why. As someone who has made the shift to reading on a digital device, you already know how e-books help solve the problem of Stuffocation: fewer trees cut down, lower carbon footprint, instant access so no need to actually go to the shops, and, best of all, fewer books cluttering up the house or your bag or your suitcase when you go on holiday. Instead of the “buy one get one free” offer – known as BOGOF by retailers – of the old economy, TOMS shoes come with a “buy one give one away” offer: BOGOA, you could call it. For every pair of TOMS shoes you buy, rather than hand you something tangible, they give another pair to a child in need, and, by doing so, they give you the feel-good sense that you have helped someone out.


pages: 449 words: 85,924

Lonely Planet Maldives (Travel Guide) by Planet, Lonely, Masters, Tom

British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, haute cuisine, income inequality, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, sustainable-tourism, trade route, women in the workforce

Second, you’ll be using electricity-thirsty air-conditioning wherever you go, eating imported food and drinking expensively desalinated water (or even more costly imported water). Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do to lessen your carbon footprint and care for the local environment. First of all, choose your resort carefully. We have given resorts with excellent sustainability credentials a sustainable icon in the reviews – these are resorts with the best environmental records in the country. This can mean anything from having a comprehensive recycling program, using home-grown food, not using plastic bottles, using ecologically sound wood for their buildings and serving only sustainably sourced food in their restaurants, to running environmental education programs for the local community, stimulating coral growth on the reef and donating money to offset the carbon footprint of its guests. If in doubt, contact your resort directly before you book with them and ask them for some information on their environmental record – any good resort will very happily provide this, and if they don’t, then don’t book with them.

The altitude at which aircraft emit gases (including CO2) and particles also contributes to their climate change impact. Many websites offer ‘carbon calculators’ that allow people to estimate the carbon emissions generated by their journey and, for those who wish to do so, to offset the impact of the greenhouse gases emitted with contributions to portfolios of climate-friendly initiatives throughout the world. Lonely Planet offsets the carbon footprint of all staff and author travel. Air Airports & Airlines Almost every visitor to the Maldives arrives at Male's Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, on the island of Hulhule, 2km across the water from the capital island, Male. It’s a decent but rather aged terminal awaiting an upgrade to a world-class airport terminal that has been on the cards for years, but whose progress has been agonisingly slow.


pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, starchitect, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Here is the remarkable paradox: the more crowded Vancouver gets, the more people want to live there and the higher the city has risen on international surveys ranking the world’s best places to live. It now usually sits at or near the top of quality-of-life lists published by Mercer, Forbes magazine, and the Economist Intelligence Unit. Prices have doubled on many condominium units in the past fifteen years, and they remained buoyant right through the global economic crisis. To top it off, Vancouver has the lowest per capita carbon footprint of any major city on the continent—a dividend achieved in part by people living closer together, reducing the energy used in transportation and home heating.* Part of what made Vancouver’s vertical experiment both unique and desirable was the way it accommodated residents’ biophilic needs. The city’s new downtown was shaped to a large extent by the local obsession with views. Despite its dark winters, almost nobody in the city wants to face south, where the sun occasionally appears through the rain clouds.

He built replicas of Paris Plages and launched a homegrown version of Bogotá’s Ciclovía, shutting down miles of downtown roads on Sundays so that citizens could treat their streets like parks. He copied Bogotá’s mobility system, laying down a network of metrolike rapid buses that have even lured the public-transit-phobic business class out of their cars. He called in Gil Peñalosa and Jan Gehl to create a plan to wrestle 186 miles of road space away from drivers and hand it over to cyclists. As part of the city’s Plan Verde, the measures not only shrink the city’s carbon footprint and make commuting easier (these days in the Mexican capital, just about any cyclist can move faster than cars, which have slowed to an average of about 7.5 miles per hour), but most important, they are intended to give a new sense of security to citizens who have for years been afraid of their streets. Despite the attention given to the country’s bloody drug war, more Mexicans die on the roads every year than as a result of narco-violence.* Martha Delgado, the city’s environmental secretary until 2012, told me, “A city that lives under the hostility and insecurity of car traffic can change only if its citizens retake ownership of its public spaces.”

But when cities find ways to mix housing and jobs and places to shop, then carbon goals and lifestyle goals start to converge.” Boston has experienced these dividends firsthand. First he helped create a climate action plan for the City of North Vancouver, a mountainside suburb just across a broad saltwater harbor from Vancouver. His metrics were straightforward: if the city was going to reduce its carbon footprint, it needed to give lots more people a chance to do a lot more things closer together. This did not necessarily mean building a mini-Manhattan. It meant weaving more apartments, more town houses, more shops, and more jobs along Lonsdale Avenue, the city’s central spine. Indeed, that’s what the city was already doing in the name of prosperity. The area had attracted hundreds of new residents—including Boston and his partner, who moved there to start a family two years after he helped hammer out the city’s climate action plan.


pages: 614 words: 176,458

Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Just-in-time delivery, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, Northern Rock, Panamax, peak oil, refrigerator car, scientific mainstream, sexual politics, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

This book is most valuable because it will convince the open-minded reader that when we start making grand statements about the earth’s food-carrying capacity, more than a little humility is in order. No matter how fervently we support the no-meat or the pro-meat point of view, or how much allegiance we have for any particular dietary bible, or what kind of farming we think best serves humanity’s food purposes, or what we think about carbon footprints, global warming, greenhouse gases and any of the other trendy phrases with which the news batters us, or what economic religion we think best serves the purpose of providing food for all, I challenge anyone to read this book and not realize that no one has all the right answers, because neither science nor ideology knows all the right answers yet. Humility is a wonderful asset in the pursuit of knowledge, and Simon Fairlie gives the reader plenty of opportunity to acquire some.

At the farm level the FAO states that ‘the most promising approach for reducing methane emissions from livestock is by improving the productivity and efficiency of livestock production through better nutrition and genetics. ’Higher yielding cows produce more milk for less methane. This advice is widely repeated throughout the agricultural press, for example Farmers Weekly writes: Want to reduce your herd’s carbon footprint? Then the easiest way is to increase milk yields … A 9000-litre cow produces 125 kg of methane a year, a 5000-litre cow produces 103 kg of methane.75 While there may well be advantages in increasing yields from dairy animals, there are also drawbacks: a high yielding cow will be less likely to survive on default produce from the farm, and will require both more and higher grade nourishment that can usually only easily be provided by carbon intensive farming practices such as tillage, irrigation or use of synthetic fertilizers.

International Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, UNEP, 1995. 72 Stern, N (2007), The Economics of Climate Change, Cambridge, p 223. 73 IPCC (2007), Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Chapter 2,pp 140-142 http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf 74 DEFRA (2008), UK Climate Change Sustainability Indicator: 2006 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Final Figure,http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2008/080131a.htm; EIA (2008), Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the US 2008, ftp://ftp.eia.doe.gov/pub/oiaf/1605/cdrom/pdf/ggrpt/057308.pdf; Padma, T V, India and Climate Change: Facts and Figures, Sci Dev Net, 31 August 2006, http://www.scidev.net/en/climate-change-and-energy/mitigation/features/india-climate-change-facts-and-figures.html 75 Farmers Weekly (2007), ‘Milk Yield Holds the Key to Lower Carbon Footprint’, Farmers Weekly, 20 August 2007. 76 FAO (2006), op cit 77 IPCC (2007), Climate Change 2007: Mitigation, Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the IPCC (Introduction) eds B Metz et al, Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp 103-5. 78 Ibid., p 104. 79 Goodland, Robert (1998), ‘Environmental Sutainability in Agriculture: Bioethical and Religious Arguments Against Carnivory’, in J Lemons et al (eds), Ecological Sustainability and Integrity, Kluwer, 1998, pp 235-65. 80 Goodland, R and Anhang, J (2009), Livestock and Climate Change: What if the Key Actors in Climate Change are Cows, Pigs and Chickens?


pages: 469 words: 132,438

Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet by Varun Sivaram

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, carbon footprint, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, demand response, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, financial innovation, fixed income, global supply chain, global village, Google Earth, hive mind, hydrogen economy, index fund, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, M-Pesa, market clearing, market design, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Negawatt, off grid, oil shock, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, renewable energy transition, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, Tesla Model S, time value of money, undersea cable, wikimedia commons

But those original PV panels—heavy, ugly, and maxed out in terms of performance—evolved to become lightweight, attractive, and much more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. By 2030, industrial printers were churning out rolls of solar PV coatings in a range of colors and transparencies. A decade later, solar-coating your house was as cheap as painting it. Architects rejoiced. Today at the mid-century mark, most urban buildings are wrapped in electricity-generating solar materials that tint the windows, enliven the facade, and shrink the carbon footprint. Nearly free electricity has induced heavy industries to switch from burning fossil fuels to running off solar power. Solar PV isn’t just powering glamorous urban buildings or massive industrial plants; PV materials are now light enough to be supported by flimsy shanty roofs in the slum outskirts of megacities in the developing world. And way outside the cities, even the poorest of the poor can easily afford solar power.

If the planet is going to decarbonize, the task will not be accomplished solely by eliminating fossil fuels from electricity generation and powering on-road vehicles with electricity instead of oil derivatives. Most of the world’s energy demand is not met by electricity but by burning other fuels, the most prevalent of which is oil. So, decarbonization will require replacing oil—the most widely-used energy source on the planet—with storable fuels that have no carbon footprint. Yet oil is so popular, especially in the transportation and industrial sectors, because it and fuels derived from it are remarkably convenient. For example, gasoline packs eighty times as much energy into the same volume as taken up by the lithium-ion batteries that power electronics and EVs. In fact, a single gallon of gasoline has enough energy to charge your iPhone every day for 20 years.

What’s more, these solar roofs would cost less than ordinary roofs (although that’s a bit of hyperbole, given that Tesla’s solar roofs aim to replace such materials as terra cotta and French slate, which can be more than twenty times as expensive as ordinary asphalt shingles). To underscore his thesis that SolarCity’s products belonged under (or on) the same roof as those of Tesla Motors, Musk opened a garage door to reveal gleaming Tesla EVs and the company’s Powerwall home battery. The tableau was a vivid depiction of Musk’s vision of the future, in which solar panels and batteries work hand in hand to eliminate a household’s carbon footprint—all in considerable style. Predictably, aversion turned to adulation. Shareholders overwhelmingly approved Musk’s proposed merger, and they were repaid handsomely. The combined firm promptly soared in value, and by April 2017, it reached a market cap of over $50 billion—more valuable than any U.S. car company.5 On its website, Tesla Motors quietly changed its name to just “Tesla,” signaling to the world that the ultimate energy company had arrived—it wasn’t just a car company anymore.


pages: 287 words: 9,386

Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions by Christian Lander

car-free, carbon footprint, colonial rule, Frank Gehry, Slavoj Žižek

It is recommended that you buy one of these as soon as possible. Having one will give you precious leverage over any white person who is drinking from a plastic bottle. “Oh, bottled water? Really? I mean, it’s cool, but I kind of thought you cared about the Earth.” If you see someone drinking a Fiji water you have the opportunity to go in for the kill. “Do you know that your bottle of water has a bigger carbon footprint than me? I think they were originally going to call it Aboriginal Blood but that bottle was as close as they could get. You know, legally.” Again, this should only be used in extreme situations. Following your confrontation, the white person is likely to have a metal bottle just like yours. If this happens, there will be an implicit pact whereby they will do favors for you provided you do not tell everyone they got their bottle after seeing yours. 77 Musical Comedy One of the more interesting things about white people is that they love singing comedians.

Your point will be to prove the lesson about the value of a sensitive person over a good-looking one. There is no chance you will even be able to finish this story, as the white person you are talking to will interrupt you to tell you their version of the story. All you need in order to seal the friendship is to nod and reaffirm how right they are. 121 Reusable Shopping Bags Many white people have been able to decrease their carbon footprint by using plastic shopping bags for such diverse purposes as garbage bags and bathing-suit transport. Though helpful, the accumulation of bags is often at a much quicker pace than the reusing process, and within months, drawers and closets begin to fill up and are not emptied until the white person moves. It is one of the great tragedies of modern white culture. Fortunately, as with all white problems, there is a simple, expensive solution!


pages: 197 words: 49,296

The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac

3D printing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, new economy, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, the scientific method, trade route, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

In the UK, for example, the average person consumes more than sixty-five pounds of clothes every year, equivalent to about five loads of laundry.25 These purchases are driven mainly by the fact that fashion trends change each season. These cycles, by their very nature, require us to clear out our closets regularly and hop back in line for more clothes. But the fashion industry has an enormous carbon footprint. Textile production is second only to the oil industry for pollution. It adds more greenhouse gases to our atmosphere than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Estimates suggest that the fashion industry is responsible for a whopping 10 percent of global CO2 emissions,26 and as we increase our consumption of fast fashion, the related emissions are set to grow rapidly. Our engines of economic growth depend on us continuing to spend money.

These animals need minimal intervention. At low cost, they provide wild-range, slow-grown, pasture-fed organic meat for which the market is growing. In just over a decade, Knepp has seen astonishing results in biodiversity. It is now a breeding hotspot for purple emperor butterflies, turtle doves, and 2 percent of the UK’s population of nightingales. * * * — Go plant-based. If you eat less meat and dairy, your carbon footprint will decrease, and your health will improve. Eating less meat and dairy is better, and eating none at all is best. While this may feel like a stretch for most of us, for the vast majority of human history we ate very little meat.60 Many countries are already shifting toward plant-based diets. Even if you feel that you cannot completely forgo meat and dairy, adopting a flexible diet in which you enjoy other foods for certain meals or certain days of the week can have a huge impact.


pages: 321 words: 96,349

Among Chimpanzees by Nancy J. Merrick

carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, experimental subject, Google Earth, impulse control, microcredit, profit motive, the scientific method

When I met him, he was in the midst of his observance of the International Year of the Gorilla, a conservation campaign backed by the UN. He had recently returned from a five-week tour of eight African countries, drawing attention through his blogs and lectures to the loss of gorilla populations through Africa. Now, he was beginning a lecture tour that would take him across the United States, traveling by bus so as to minimize his carbon footprint, just as he had done while traveling in Africa. He was on tour to help support GRASP’s work and to do whatever he could to raise awareness here and in Africa about the critically endangered gorillas. As luck had it, Redmond was planning a lecture at the Los Angeles Zoo a week later, and I quickly purchased tickets.3 He would be speaking about his beloved gorillas, the great ape with which chimpanzees often share forests, and providing an overview of what it will take to save Africa’s great apes.

They need to know that humanity’s closest relatives and a host of other species are disappearing fast but that there are things they can do about it. Then create a community, and start growing the number of people where you live who are networking for change. 8. LIVE MORE SUSTAINABLY If everyone on the planet lived an American lifestyle, it would take the natural resources of four Earths to sustain them. It is time to start looking critically at the amount of waste and stuff in our lives and to make changes.5 Check an online carbon-footprint calculator such as the one found on the website of the Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org/green-living/carboncalculator/index.htm) for help on where to start. Be sure to recycle your phone and electronic devices with a program such as Eco-Cell (www.eco-cell.com), remembering the impact that coltan and tantalum capacitors are having on forests and wildlife. Eat locally, waste less, and be energy-wise.

Active Conservation Awareness Program, WildAid, 105 Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, 134 African Wildlife Foundation, 217 Afrika (chimpanzee), 21–23, 24, 131 AIDS research, 171, 172–73 AIDS treatment program, 44, 163, 194, 200, 211 Ajarova, Lilly, 14, 131, 140, 142 Akagera National Park, 115 American Sign Language, 78–79 Amin, Idi, 15–16, 88, 130, 163, 164 Annan, Kofi, 161, 162, 227 Arcus Foundation, 166 Association of Zoos and Aquariums, 180, 188 Baeckler, Sarah, 185 Bailey, Jarrod, 173 Bandit (chimpanzee), xiv, 91, 93 Barnard, Christian, 172 Benedict, Faye, 50–54 biomedical research with chimps: costs versus benefits, 171–73; morality of, 174; movement in US to limit, 173–74; xenotransplantation and, 172 black rhinos, 149 Bonobo Conservation Initiative, 205 bonobos (Pan paniscus), 52, 102; endangered species designation, 205; likely population loss scenario, 213; resemblance to humans, 74; similarity and differences with chimps, 204–5 Bornean orangutans, 213 Born Free Foundation, 103 British-American Tobacco Company, 141 Bryceson, Derek, 158 Bugoma and Budongo Forest Reserves, 135, 137, 139 Bulindi Survivor chimpanzee group, 231–33 Burundi: chimp rescue story, 19–20; history of atrocities, 42–43, 163, 164; location, 41; refugees in Kigoma, 82 Bushmeat Crisis Task Force, 148 bushmeat trade: campaigns promoting other sources of protein, 150; DNA barcoding project, 146–47; efforts to work with timber concessions, 154; impact on wildlife populations, 104–5, 148; international landscape conservation efforts, 153–54; law enforcement response to wildlife crime, 151, 155; percentage that is ape meat, 148; poachers’ profit motivation, 149; poaching in national parks, 152–53; popularity of bushmeat as a protein source, 147–48; public-awareness campaigns against, 149; strategies and tactics for addressing poaching, 150–52; traffickers and corruption and, 150, 154–55, 208 Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, 115, 122, 123, 125–30 Cameroon: bushmeat trade in, 105; chimp population status in, 206, 213; Drori’s anti-trafficking efforts in, 150–51; primate-protection efforts in, 134; threats to the chimp population, 144 CAP (Conservation Action Plan): elements of the program, 197–98; estimated costs, 200 carbon-footprint calculator, 219 CarbonFund.org, 219 Cargo Tracck, 209 Carlos (chimpanzee), 165–66, 175 Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, 160 Carnegie Corporation of New York, 159–61 CBFP (Congo Basin Forest Partnership), 153, 215 Center for Great Apes, Florida, 184 Central African Bushmeat Monitoring System. See SYBVAC. Central African Regional Program for the Environment, 153 Ceres, 210, 216 chimpanzees: advocacy for captive chimps, 215–16; barriers to reintroduction into the wild, 76–77, 79–80; behavior during feeding time, 6–7; “civil war” between two communities, 71; comparisons between human and chimp babies, 77; early development studies, 78; entertainment industry’s abuse of, 183–85; evidence of cultural traits, 73–74; example set for humans, 181–82; extinction crisis, 144–45, 199, 200, 201, 213; female reproductive cycle, 72; fission-fusion society, 64–65; Flo family’s display of attachment and love, 65–68; growth in knowledge about, 70; heroic chimp-rescue story, 19–20; human-like characteristics, xiv–xv, 69, 74, 77, 93, 181–82, 191–92; intelligence studies, 77–78; investigations of social order and mating practices, 72–73; language experiments, 78–79; learned behavior, 60–61; loss of habitats in the Congo Basin (see Congo Basin); medical use of (see biomedical research with chimps); mother-infant interactions, 57, 58–59, 74; personalities, 59, 60, 92–93, 181–82; pet trade abuses (see pet trade); population status in Uganda (see Uganda); problem-solving skills, 75, 92; research work (see also Gombe Stream Research Center); similarity and differences with bonobos, 204–5; at the SOPF, 91–94; status of populations in Africa, 102; story about a chimp giving birth, 181; susceptibility to human diseases, 72; susceptibility to psychological disorders, 15; tenuousness of a chimp’s fate in a sanctuary, 80; threats to the population, xiii–xiv, 145, 213; tool use, 57–58; transfer of females between communities, 71–72 Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

At the Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke asked the staff at a Koch-funded institute to draw up language for his resolution shrinking the size of national monuments to allow for more oil and gas drilling. At the Department of Energy, Rick Perry (who once skipped his own arraignment on two felony charges to attend a Koch event) issued new analyses showing that the United States wouldn’t reduce its carbon footprint until 2050, meaning that America would “almost singlehandedly exhaust the planet’s carbon budget.”31 The key positions in the Department of Energy’s renewable energy office were filled by people coming directly from “the Koch Brothers’ numerous anti-clean-energy efforts.” The new head of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, for instance, had gained experience for his post by urging Americans to stockpile incandescent lightbulbs from Amazon on the grounds that an intrusive federal government would next be banning night baseball to save electricity.32 If you tried to figure out the worst way to respond to climate change, all this is what it would look like.

The Borkowskis paid for the improvements, but the utility financed the charges through their electric bill, which fell the very first month. Before the makeover, from October 2013 to January 2014, the Borkowskis used 3,411 kilowatt hours of electricity and 325 gallons of fuel oil. From October 2014 to January 2015, they used 2,856 kilowatt hours of electricity and no oil at all. They reduced the carbon footprint of their house by 88 percent in a matter of days, and at no net cost. If you multiply these kinds of small changes across many households, it pays off for everyone. Green Mountain Power, for instance, was the first utility to subsidize its customers’ purchase of Tesla Powerwall batteries. Two thousand Vermonters installed them, and when a savage heat wave hit in the summer of 2018, GMP was able to draw on the current they had stored away—which saved the state’s rate payers half a million dollars in a single week, compared to the cost of buying outside power.11 The same sort of change is possible everywhere, at almost any scale.

Ibid., p. 114. 27. MacLean, Democracy in Chains, p. 216. 28. Bill McKibben, “McCain’s Lonely War on Global Warming,” onEarth, March 31, 2004. 29. Rebecca Shabad, “McCain to Kerry: What Planet Are You On?” TheHill, February 19, 2014. 30. Hiroko Tabuchi, “Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure from Utility Lobbyists,” New York Times, July 8, 2017. 31. John Cushman Jr., “No Drop in U.S. Carbon Footprint Expected through 2050, Energy Department Says,” InsideClimate News, February 6, 2018. 32. Daniel Simmons, “Does the Federal Government Think We Are Dim Bulbs?” instituteforenergyresearch.org, December 18, 2013. CHAPTER 12 1. Nellie Bowles, “Silicon Valley Flocks to Foiling, Racing Above the Bay’s Waves,” New York Times, August 20, 2017. 2. Adam Vaughan, “Google to Be 100% Powered by Renewable Energy from 2017,” Guardian, December 6, 2016. 3.


pages: 335 words: 96,002

WEconomy: You Can Find Meaning, Make a Living, and Change the World by Craig Kielburger, Holly Branson, Marc Kielburger, Sir Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, business intelligence, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, energy transition, family office, future of work, global village, inventory management, James Dyson, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, pre–internet, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, working poor, Y Combinator

We wanted to be part of setting the standard for sustainability initiatives instead of playing catch-up as the problem worsened. We also knew this would have a number of benefits, and we could build on our Virgin values. Enhance our reputation. Increase efficiencies. Run a successful business. And help to be a leader in our industry. Sweating the BIG Stuff: Where Do You Even Begin? We recognized early on that, as an airline, our biggest issue would be our carbon emissions. In fact, our carbon footprint measurements have confirmed that Virgin Atlantic's carbon emissions from aircraft operations dwarf everything else we do, with more than 99.9 percent of our direct emissions coming from aircraft fuel use. Even when we factor in our supply chains, aircraft fuel consumption still accounts for around two-thirds of our emissions, with only a fraction of a percent from ground energy and ground fuel use.

If you offset your flight with us, you'll reduce carbon emissions and make a real difference to people around the world. Visit www .virginatlantic.com/changeisintheair for details. Go explore: When you're away, grab a map and walk or cycle instead of taking a taxi. You'll be amazed what you'll discover! Live like a local: Eat, drink, and shop locally. Use local forms of public transport, too. You'll reduce your carbon footprint, help support the local economy, and learn more about the country you're visiting. It's Not ALL about Carbon . . . Anyone working in sustainable business will know that one of the other big things a company can do is to work with suppliers on making the products and services it buys more sustainable, particularly in terms of improving their people, animal, and environmental credentials.

Tap water is often fresher, better quality, and, of course, it's free! You'll help save emissions on all that unnecessary transport moving water around, as well as help reduce the millions of tons of waste plastic bottles generated every year. Before you buy, always ask yourself if you really need more stuff. Spend your money on fun experiences instead! Transport For short journeys, walk, run, or cycle. This will get you fit while reducing your carbon footprint. Too exhausting? Use public transport whenever you can, and if you're shopping for a new car, choose the lowest fuel consumption/CO2 emissions car possible and look up car sharing schemes. These measures will save you money, too. And remember those little things that add up. Stop idling your car—just ten minutes less per day can save you 8.9 gallons of fuel each year. Food You may love your meat, but the livestock industry is a huge source of emissions.


Future Files: A Brief History of the Next 50 Years by Richard Watson

Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Black Swan, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, citizen journalism, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deglobalization, digital Maoism, disintermediation, epigenetics, failed state, financial innovation, Firefox, food miles, future of work, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, hive mind, industrial robot, invention of the telegraph, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, linked data, low cost airline, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, mass immigration, Northern Rock, peak oil, pensions crisis, precision agriculture, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, self-driving car, speech recognition, telepresence, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing test, Victor Gruen, white flight, women in the workforce, Zipcar

We’ve already had sweatshop-free clothing brands and the return of neighborhood retail, but we haven’t really seen anything yet. In the future shoppers will be swayed by various green and ethical issues, some of which will be serious while others will be just plain silly. For example, there will be a crusade against retailers that sell lettuce on the basis that growing lettuces uses too much water; and a campaign to stop eating foreign food on the basis of its carbon footprint. Thus fair-trade products, food-miles, minimal and reusable packaging and products that benefit a local community or the wider world in some way will be in demand. Storytelling, authenticity and trust We are fed an endless diet of half-truths and manipulated statistics by companies (and governments) wanting us to buy something. The result is cynicism and a compensatory interest in authenticity or “realness”.

This problem will be solved once the issue reaches crisis proportions, but before that there will be a major switch to other forms of slower transport and a renaissance of local travel. Long-haul flight will again become an expensive luxury enjoyed only by the rich, who will have to withstand accusations of selfishness and ecovandalism. Hotels will similarly come under pressure to reduce their carbon footprints and conserve vital resources such as water. Staying at home If flying from one city or country to another becomes too expensive, too time-consuming or too stressful, many people will simply choose to stay at home. This means that business and leisure travel alike will become more localized, making people both more insular and parochial. We will also holiday in virtual worlds on the internet or transform our homes and gardens into miniature resorts and entertainment complexes.

A 311 Index ‘O’ Garage 170 3D printers 56 accelerated education 57 accidents 159, 161–6, 173, 246 ACNielsen 126 adaptive cruise control 165 Adeg Aktiv 50+ 208 advertising 115–16, 117, 119 Africa 70, 89, 129, 174, 221, 245, 270, 275, 290, 301 ageing 1, 10, 54, 69, 93, 139, 147–8, 164, 188, 202, 208, 221, 228–9, 237, 239, 251, 261, 292, 295, 297–8 airborne networks 56 airlines 272 allergies 196–7, 234, 236 Alliance Against Urban 4x4s 171 alternative energy 173 alternative futures viii alternative medicine 244–5 alternative technology 151 amateur production 111–12 Amazon 32, 113–14, 121 American Apparel 207 American Express 127–8 androids 55 Angola 77 anti-ageing drugs 231, 237 anti-ageing foods 188 anti-ageing surgery 2, 237 antibiotics 251 anxiety 10, 16, 30, 32, 36, 37, 128, 149, 179, 184, 197, 199, 225, 228, 243, 251, 252, 256, 263, 283–4, 295–6, 300, 301, 305 Apple 61, 115, 121, 130, 137–8, 157 Appleyard, Bryan 79 Argentina 210 Armamark Corporation 193 artificial intelliegence 22, 40, 44, 82 131, 275, 285–6, 297, 300 Asda 136, 137 Asia 11, 70, 78, 89, 129, 150, 174, 221, 280, 290, 292 Asimov, Isaac 44 Asos.com 216 asthma 235 auditory display software 29 Australia 20–21, 72–3, 76, 92, 121, 145, 196, 242, 246, 250, 270, 282 Austria 208 authenticity 32, 37, 179, 194, 203–11 authoritarianism 94 automated publishing machine (APM) 114 automation 292 automotive industry 154–77 B&Q 279 baby boomers 41, 208 bacterial factories 56 Bahney, Anna 145 Bahrain 2 baking 27, 179, 195, 199 Bangladesh 2 bank accounts, body double 132 banknotes 29, 128 banks 22, 123, 135–8, 150, 151 virtual 134 Barnes and Noble 114 bartering 151 BBC 25, 119 Become 207 Belgium 238 313 314 benriya 28 Berlusconi, Silvio 92 Best Buy 223 biofuel 64 biomechatronics 56 biometric identification 28, 35, 52, 68, 88, 132 bionic body parts 55 Biosphere Expeditions 259 biotechnology 40, 300 blended families 20 blogs 103, 107, 109, 120 Blurb 113 BMW 289 board games 225 body double bank accounts 132 body parts bionic 55 replacement 2, 188, 228 Bolivia 73 Bollywood 111 books 29, 105, 111–25 boomerang kids 145 brain transplants 231 brain-enhancing foods 188 Brazil 2, 84, 89, 173, 247, 254, 270, 290 Burger King 184 business 13, 275–92 Bust-Up 189 busyness 27, 195, 277 Calvin, Bill 45 Canada 63, 78, 240 cancer 251 car sharing 160, 169, 176 carbon credits 173 carbon footprints 255 carbon taxes 76, 172 cars classic 168–9 driverless 154–5 flying 156, 165 hydrogen-powered 12, 31, 157, 173 pay-as-you-go 167–8 self-driving 165 cascading failure 28 cash 126–7, 205 cellphone payments 129, 213 cellphones 3, 25, 35, 51, 53, 120, 121, FUTURE FILES 129, 156, 161, 251 chicken, Christian 192 childcare robots 57 childhood 27, 33–4, 82–3 children’s database 86 CHIME nations (China, India, Middle East) 2, 10, 81 China 2, 10, 11, 69–72, 75–81, 88, 92–3, 125, 137, 139–40, 142, 151, 163, 174–5, 176, 200, 222, 228, 247, 260, 270–71, 275, 279, 295, 302 choice 186–7 Christian chicken 192 Christianity, muscular 16, 73 Chrysler 176 cinema 110–11, 120 Citibank 29, 128 citizen journalism 103–4, 108 City Car Club 168 Clarke, Arthur C. 58–9 Clarke’s 187 classic cars 168–9 climate change 4, 11, 37, 43, 59, 64, 68, 74, 77–9, 93, 150, 155, 254, 257, 264, 298–9 climate-controlled buildings 254, 264 cloning 38 human 23, 249 CNN 119 coal 176 Coca-Cola 78, 222–3 co-creation 111–12, 119 coins 29, 128, 129 collective intelligence 45–6 Collins, Jim 288 comfort eating 200 Comme des Garçons 216 community 36 compassion 120 competition in financial services 124–5 low-cost 292 computers disposable 56 intelligent 23, 43 organic 56 wearable 56, 302 computing 3, 33, 43, 48, 82 connectivity 3, 10, 11, 15, 91, 120, Index 233, 261, 275–6, 281, 292, 297, 299 conscientious objection taxation 86 contactless payments 123, 150 continuous partial attention 53 control 36, 151, 225 convenience 123, 178–9, 184, 189, 212, 223, 224 Coren, Stanley 246 corporate social responsibility 276, 282, 298 cosmetic neurology 250 Costa Rica 247 Craig’s List 102 creativity 11, 286; see also innovation credit cards 141–3, 150 crime 86–9 forecasting 86–7 gene 57, 86 Croatia 200 Crowdstorm 207 Cuba 75 cultural holidays 259, 273 culture 11, 17–37 currency, global 127, 151 customization 56, 169, 221–2, 260 cyberterrorism 65, 88–9 Cyc 45 cynicism 37 DayJet 262 death 237–9 debt 123–4, 140–44, 150 defense 63, 86 deflation 139 democracy 94 democratization of media 104, 108, 113 demographics 1, 10, 21, 69, 82, 93, 202, 276, 279–81, 292, 297–8 Denmark 245 department stores 214 deregulation 11, 3 Destiny Health 149 detox 200 Detroit Project 171 diagnosis 232 remote 228 digital downloads 121 evaporation 25 315 immortality 24–5 instant gratification syndrome 202 Maoism 47 money 12, 29, 123, 126–7, 129, 132, 138, 150, 191 nomads 20, 283 plasters 241 privacy 25, 97, 108 readers 121 digitalization 37, 292 Dinner by Design 185 dirt holidays 236 discount retailers 224 Discovery Health 149 diseases 2, 228 disintegrators 57 Disney 118–19 disposable computers 56 divorce 33, 85 DNA 56–7, 182 database 86 testing, compulsory 86 do-it-yourself dinner shops 185–6 dolls 24 doorbells 32 downshifters 20 Dream Dinners 185 dream fulfillment 148 dressmaking 225 drink 178–200 driverless cars 154–5 drugs anti-ageing 231, 237 performance-improving 284–5 Dubai 264, 267, 273 dynamic pricing 260 E Ink 115 e-action 65 Earthwatch 259 Eastern Europe 290 eBay 207 e-books 29, 37, 60, 114, 115, 302 eco-luxe resorts 272 economic collapse 2, 4, 36, 72, 221, 295 economic protectionism 10, 15, 72, 298 economy travel 272 316 Ecuador 73 education 15, 18, 82–5, 297 accelerated 57 lifelong learning 290 Egypt 2 electricity shortages 301 electronic camouflage 56 electronic surveillance 35 Elephant 244 email 18–19, 25, 53–4, 108 embedded intelligence 53, 154 EMF radiation 251 emotional capacity of robots 40, 60 enclosed resorts 273 energy 72, 75, 93 alternative 173 nuclear 74 solar 74 wind 74 enhancement surgery 249 entertainment 34, 121 environment 4, 10, 11, 14, 64, 75–6, 83, 93, 155, 171, 173, 183, 199, 219–20, 252, 256–7, 271, 292, 301 epigenetics 57 escapism 16, 32–3, 121 Estonia 85, 89 e-tagging 129–30 e-therapy 242 ethical bankruptcy 35 ethical investing 281 ethical tourism 259 ethics 22, 24, 41, 53, 78, 86, 132, 152, 194, 203, 213, 232, 238, 249–50, 258, 276, 281–2, 298–9 eugenics 252 Europe 11, 70, 72, 81, 91, 141, 150, 174–5, 182, 190, 192, 209 European Union 15, 139 euthanasia 238, 251 Everquest 33 e-voting 65 experience 224 extended financial families 144 extinction timeline 9 Facebook 37, 97, 107 face-recognition doors 57 fakes 32 family 36, 37 FUTURE FILES family loans 145 fantasy-related industries 32 farmaceuticals 179, 182 fast food 178, 183–4 fat taxes 190 fear 10, 34, 36, 38, 68, 150, 151, 305 female-only spaces 210–11, 257 feminization 84 financial crisis 38, 150–51, 223, 226, 301 financial services 123–53, 252 trends 123–5 fish farming 181 fixed-price eating 200 flashpacking 273 flat-tax system 85–6 Florida, Richard 36, 286, 292 flying cars 165 food 69–70, 72, 78–9, 162, 178–201 food anti-ageing 188 brain-enhancing 188 fast 178, 183–4 functional 179 growing your own 179, 192, 195 history 190–92 passports 200 slow 178, 193 tourism 273 trends 178–80 FoodExpert ID 182 food-miles 178, 193, 220 Ford 169, 176, 213, 279–80 forecasting 49 crime 86–7 war 49 Forrester Research 132 fractional ownership 168, 175, 176, 225 France 103, 147, 170, 189, 198, 267 Friedman, Thomas 278–9, 292 FriendFinder 32 Friends Reunited 22 frugality 224 functional food 179 Furedi, Frank 68 gaming 32–3, 70, 97, 111–12, 117, 130, 166, 262 Gap 217 Index gardening 27, 148 gas 176 GE Money 138, 145 gendered medicine 244–5 gene silencing 231 gene, crime 86 General Motors 157, 165 Generation X 41, 281 Generation Y 37, 41, 97, 106, 138, 141–2, 144, 202, 208, 276, 281, 292 generational power shifts 292 Genes Reunited 35 genetic enhancement 40, 48 history 35 modification 31, 182 testing 221 genetics 3, 10, 45, 251–2 genomic medicine 231 Germany 73, 147, 160, 170, 204–5, 216–17, 261, 267, 279, 291 Gimzewski, James 232 glamping 273 global currency 127 global warming 4, 47, 77, 93, 193, 234 globalization 3, 10, 15–16, 36–7, 63–7, 72–3, 75, 81–2, 88, 100, 125, 139, 143, 146, 170, 183, 189, 193–5, 221, 224, 226, 233–4, 247–8, 263, 275, 278–80, 292, 296, 299 GM 176 Google 22, 61, 121, 137, 293 gout 235 government 14, 18, 36, 63–95, 151 GPS 3, 15, 26, 50, 88, 138, 148, 209, 237, 262, 283 Grameen Bank 135 gravity tubes 57 green taxes 76 Greenpeace 172 GRIN technologies (genetics, robotics, internet, nanotechnology) 3, 10, 11 growing your own food 178, 192, 195 Gucci 221 Gulf States 125, 260, 268 H&M 217 habitual shopping 212 Handy, Charles 278 317 Happily 210 happiness 63–4, 71–2, 146, 260 health 15, 82, 178–9, 199 health monitoring 232, 236, 241 healthcare 2, 136, 144, 147–8, 154, 178–9, 183–4, 189–91, 228–53, 298; see also medicine trends 214–1534–7 Heinberg, Richard 74 Helm, Dieter 77 Heritage Foods 195 hikikomori 18 hive mind 45 holidays 31, 119; see also tourism holidays at home 255 cultural 259 dirt 236 Hollywood 33, 111–12 holographic displays 56 Home Equity Share 145 home baking 225 home-based microgeneration 64 home brewing 225 honesty 152 Hong Kong 267 hospitals 228, 241–3, 266 at home 228, 238, 240–42 hotels 19, 267 sleep 266 human cloning 23, 249 Hungary 247 hybrid humans 22 hydrogen power 64 hydrogen-powered cars 12, 31, 157, 173 Hyperactive Technologies 184 Hyundai 170 IBM 293 identities, multiple 35, 52 identity 64, 71 identity theft 88, 132 identity verification, two-way 132 immigration 151–2, 302 India 2, 10, 11, 70–72, 76, 78–9, 81, 92, 111, 125, 135, 139, 163, 174–5, 176, 247, 249–50, 254, 260, 270, 275, 279, 302 indirect taxation 86 318 individualism 36 Indonesia 2, 174 industrial robots 42 infinite content 96–7 inflation 151 information overlead 97, 120, 159, 285; see also too much information innovation 64, 81–2, 100, 175, 222, 238, 269, 277, 286–8, 291, 297, 299 innovation timeline 8 instant gratification 213 insurance 123, 138, 147–50, 154, 167, 191, 236, 250 pay-as-you-go 167 weather 264 intelligence 11 embedded 53, 154 implants 229 intelligent computers 23, 43 intelligent night vision 162–3 interaction, physical 22, 25, 97, 110, 118, 133–4, 215, 228, 243, 276, 304 interactive media 97, 105 intergenerational mortgages 140, 144–5 intermediaries 123, 135 internet 3, 10, 11, 17–18, 25, 68, 103, 108, 115–17, 124, 156, 240–41, 261, 270, 283, 289, 305 failure 301 impact on politics 93–4 sensory 56 interruption science 53 iPills 240 Iran 2, 69 Ishiguro, Hiroshi 55 Islamic fanaticism 16 Italy 92, 170, 198–9 iTunes 115, 130; see also Apple Japan 1, 18, 26, 28–9, 54–5, 63, 80–81, 114, 121, 128–9, 132, 140, 144–5, 147, 174, 186, 189, 192, 196, 198, 200, 209–10, 223, 240, 260, 264, 271, 279, 291 jetpacks 60 job security 292 journalism 96, 118 journalism, citizen 103–4, 107 joy-makers 57 FUTURE FILES Kaboodle 207 Kapor, Mitchell 45 Kenya 128 keys 28–9 Kindle 60, 121 Kramer, Peter 284 Kuhn, Thomas 281 Kurzweil, Ray 45 Kuwait 2 labor migration 290–91 labor shortages 3, 80–81, 289–90 Lanier, Jaron 47 laser shopping 212 leisure sickness 238 Let’s Dish 185 Lexus 157 libraries 121 Libya 73 life-caching 24, 107–8 lighting 158, 160 Like.com 216 limb farms 249 limited editions 216–17 live events 98, 110, 304 localization 10, 15–16, 116, 128, 170, 178, 189, 193, 195, 215, 220, 222–3, 224, 226, 255, 270, 297 location tagging 88 location-based marketing 116 longevity 188–9, 202 Longman, Philip 71 low cost 202, 219–22 luxury 202, 221, 225, 256, 260, 262, 265–6, 272 machinamas 112 machine-to-machine communication 56 marketing 115–16 location-based 116 now 116 prediction 116 Marks & Spencer 210 Maslow, Abraham 305–6 masstigue 223 materialism 37 Mayo Clinic 243 McDonald’s 130, 168, 180, 184 McKinsey 287 Index meaning, search for 16, 259, 282, 290, 305–6 MECU 132 media 96–122 democratization of 104, 108, 115 trends 96–8 medical outsourcing 247–8 medical tourism 2, 229, 247 medicine 188, 228–53; see also healthcare alternative 243–4 gendered 244–5 genomic 231 memory 229, 232, 239–40 memory loss 47 memory pills 231, 240 memory recovery 2, 228–9, 239 memory removal 29–30, 29, 240 Menicon 240 mental health 199 Meow Mix 216 Merriman, Jon 126 metabolomics 56 meta-materials 56 Metro 204–5 Mexico 2 micromedia 101 micro-payments 130, 150 Microsoft 137, 147, 293 Middle East 10, 11, 70, 81, 89, 119, 125, 129, 139, 174–5, 268, 301 migration 3, 11, 69–70, 78, 82, 234, 275, 290–91 boomerang 20 labor 290–91 Migros 215 military recruitment 69 military vehicles 158–9 mind-control toys 38 mindwipes 57 Mitsubishi 198, 279 mobile payments 123, 150 Modafinil 232 molecular biology 231 monetization 118 money 123–52 digital 12, 29, 123, 126–7, 129, 132, 138, 150, 191 monitoring, remote 154, 168, 228, 242 monolines 135, 137 319 mood sensitivity 41, 49, 154, 158, 164, 187–8 Morgan Stanley 127 mortality bonds 148 Mozilla Corp. 289 M-PESA 129 MTV 103 multigenerational families 20 multiple identities 35, 52 Murdoch, Rupert 109 muscular Christianity 16, 73 music industry 121 My-Food-Phone 242 MySpace 22, 25, 37, 46, 97, 107, 113 N11 nations (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam) 2 nanoelectronics 56 nanomedicine 32 nanotechnology 3, 10, 23, 40, 44–5, 50, 157, 183, 232, 243, 286, 298 napcaps 56 narrowcasting 109 NASA 25, 53 nationalism 16, 70, 72–3, 139, 183, 298, 302 natural disasters 301 natural resources 2, 4, 11, 64, 298–9 Nearbynow 223 Nestlé 195 Netherlands 238 NetIntelligence 283 networkcar.com 154 networks 28, 166, 288 airborne 56 neural nets 49 neuronic whips 57 neuroscience 33, 48 Neville, Richard 58–9 New Economics Foundation 171 New Zealand 265, 269 newspapers 29, 102–9, 117, 119, 120 Nigeria 2, 73 Nike 23 nimbyism 63 no-frills 224 Nokia 61, 105 Norelift 189 320 Northern Rock 139–40 Norwich Union 167 nostalgia 16, 31–2, 51, 169–70, 179, 183, 199, 203, 225, 303 now marketing 116 nuclear annihilation 10, 91 nuclear energy 74 nutraceuticals 179, 182 Obama, Barack 92–3 obesity 75, 190–92, 199, 250–51 oceanic thermal converters 57 oil 69, 72–3, 93, 151, 174, 176, 272, 273, 301 Oman 2, 270 online relationships 38 organic computers 56 organic food 200, 226 osteoporosis 235 outsourcing 224, 292 Pakistan 2 pandemics 4, 10, 16, 59, 72, 128, 232, 234, 272, 295–7, 301 paper 37 parasite singles 145 passwords 52 pictorial 52 pathogens 233 patient simulators 247 patina 31 patriotism 63, 67, 299 pay-as-you-go cars 167–8 pay-as-you-go insurance 167 payments cellphone 129, 213 contactless 123, 150 micro- 130, 150 mobile 123, 150 pre- 123, 150 PayPal 124, 137 Pearson, Ian 44 performance-improving drugs 284–5 personal restraint 36 personal robots 42 personalization 19, 26, 56, 96–8, 100, 102–3, 106, 108–9, 120, 138, 149, 183, 205–6, 223, 244–5, 262, 267, 269 Peru 73 FUTURE FILES Peters, Tom 280 Pharmaca 244 pharmaceuticals 2, 33, 228, 237 Philippines 2, 212, 290 Philips 114 Philips, Michael 232–3 photographs 108 physical interaction 22, 25, 97, 110, 118, 133–4, 215, 228, 243, 276, 304 physicalization 96–7, 101–2, 106, 110, 120 pictorial passwords 52 piggy banks 151 Pink, Daniel 285 plagiarism 83 polarization 15–16, 285 politics 37, 63–95, 151–2 regional 63 trends 63–5 pop-up retail 216, 224 pornography 31 portability 178, 183–4 power shift eastwards 2, 10–11, 81, 252 Prada 205–6, 216 precision agriculture 181–2 precision healthcare 234–7 prediction marketing 116 predictions 37, 301–2 premiumization 223 pre-payments 123, 150 privacy 3, 15, 41, 50, 88, 154, 165–7, 205, 236, 249, 285, 295 digital 25, 97, 108 Procter & Gamble 105, 280 product sourcing 224 Prosper 124, 135 protectionism 67, 139, 156, 220, 226, 301 economic 10, 15, 72, 299 provenance 178, 193, 226 proximity indicators 32 PruHealth 149 psychological neoteny 52 public ownership 92 public transport 171 purposeful shopping 212 Qatar 2 quality 96–7, 98, 101, 109 Index quantum mechanics 56 quantum wires 56 quiet materials 56 radiation, EMF 251 radio 117 randominoes 57 ranking 34, 83, 109, 116, 134, 207 Ranking Ranqueen 186 reality mining 51 Really Cool Foods 185 rebalancing 37 recession 139–40, 202, 222 recognition 36, 304 refrigerators 197–8 refuge 121 regeneration 233 regional food 200 regional politics 63 regionality 178, 192–3 regulation 124, 137, 143 REI 207 Reid, Morris 90 relationships, online 38 religion 16, 58 remote diagnosis 228 remote monitoring 154, 168, 228, 242 renting 225 reputation 34–5 resistance to technology 51 resorts, enclosed 273 resource shortages 11, 15, 146, 155, 178, 194, 254, 300 resources, natural 2, 4, 11, 64, 73–4, 143, 298–9 respect 36, 304 restaurants 186–8 retail 20–21, 202–27, 298 pop-up 216, 224 stealth 215 theater 214 trends 202–3 Revkin, Andy 77 RFID 3, 24, 50, 121, 126, 149, 182, 185, 192, 196, 205 rickets 232 risk 15, 124, 134, 138, 141, 149–50, 162, 167, 172, 191, 265, 299–300, 303 Ritalin 232 321 road pricing 166 Robertson, Peter 49 robogoats 55 robot department store 209 Robot Rules 44 robotic assistants 54, 206 concierges 268 financial advisers 131–2 lobsters 55 pest control 57 soldiers 41, 55, 60 surgery 35, 41, 249 robotics 3, 10, 41, 44–5, 60, 238, 275, 285–6, 292, 297 robots 41, 54–5, 131, 237, 249 childcare 57 emotional capacity of 40, 60 industrial 42 personal 42 security 209 therapeutic 41, 54 Russia 2, 69, 72, 75, 80, 89, 92–3, 125, 174, 232, 254, 270, 295, 302 safety 32, 36, 151, 158–9, 172–3, 182, 192, 196 Sainsbury’s 215 Salt 187 sanctuary tourism 273 satellite tracking 166–7 Saudi Arabia 2, 69 Schwartz, Barry 186 science 13, 16, 40–62, 300 interruption 53 trends 40–42 scramble suits 57 scrapbooking 25, 108, 225 Sears Roebuck 137 seasonality 178, 193–4 second-hand goods 224 Second Life 133, 207–8 securitization 124, 140 security 16, 31, 151 security robots 209 self-driving cars 165 self-medication 242 self-publishing 103, 113–14 self-reliance 35, 75 self-repairing roads 57 322 self-replicating machines 23, 44 Selfridges 214 sensor motes 15, 50, 196 sensory internet 56 Sharia-based investment 125 Shop24 209 shopping 202–27 habitual 212 laser 212 malls 211–5 purposeful 212 slow 213 social 207 Shopping 2.0 224 short-wave scalpels 57 silicon photonics 56 simplicity 169–70, 179, 186, 202, 218, 224, 226, 272 Singapore 241 single-person households 19–20, 202–3, 208–9, 221, 244, 298, 304 skills shortage 293, 302 sky shields 57 sleep 159–60, 188, 228, 231, 246–7, 265 sleep debt 96, 266 sleep hotels 266 sleep surrogates 57 slow food 178, 193 slow shopping 213 slow travel 273 smart devices 26–7, 28, 32, 35, 44, 50, 56, 57, 164, 206, 207 smart dust 3, 15, 50, 196 smartisans 20 Smartmart 209 snakebots 55 social networks 97, 107, 110, 120, 133, 217, 261 social shopping 207 society 13, 15–16, 17–37 trends 15–16 Sodexho 193 solar energy 74 Sony 114, 121 South Africa 84, 149, 242 South America 82, 270 South Korea 2, 103, 128–9 space ladders 56 space mirrors 47 space tourism 271, 273 FUTURE FILES space tugs 57 speed 164, 202, 209, 245, 296–7 spirituality 16, 22, 282, 298, 306 spot knowledge 47 spray-on surgical gloves 57 St James’s Ethics Centre 282 stagflation 139 starch-based plastics 64 stealth retail 215 stealth taxation 86 Sterling, Bruce 55 storytelling 203 Strayer, David 161 street signs 162–3 stress 32, 96, 235, 243, 245–6, 258–9, 265, 257–9, 275, 277, 283–5 stress-control clothing 57 stupidity 151, 302 Stylehive 207 Sudan 73 suicide tourism 236 Super Suppers 185 supermarkets 135–6, 184–6, 188, 191–2, 194, 202–3, 212, 215, 218–19, 224, 229 surgery 2, 31 anti-ageing 2, 237 enhancement 249 Surowiecki, James 45 surveillance 35, 41 sustainability 4, 37, 74, 181, 193–5, 203, 281, 288, 298–9 Sweden 84 swine flu 38, 251, 272 Switzerland 168, 210, 215 synthetic biology 56 Taco Bell 184 Tactical Numerical Deterministic Model 49 tagging, location 86, 88 Taiwan 81 talent, war for 275, 279, 293; see also labor shortages Target 216 Tasmania 267 Tata Motors 174, 176 taxation 85–6, 92, 93 carbon 76, 172 conscientious objection 86 Index fat 190 flat 85–6 green 76 indirect 86 stealth 86 Tchibo 217 technology 3, 14–16, 18, 22, 26, 28, 32, 37, 40–62, 74–5, 82–3, 96, 119, 132, 147–8, 154, 157, 160, 162, 165–7, 178, 182, 195–8, 208, 221, 229, 237, 242–3, 249, 256, 261, 265–6, 268, 275–6, 280, 283–4, 292, 296–7, 300 refuseniks 30, 51, 97 trends 40–42 telemedicine 228, 238, 242 telepathy 29 teleportation 56 television 21, 96, 108, 117, 119 terrorism 67, 91, 108, 150, 262–3, 267, 272, 295–6, 301 Tesco 105, 135–6, 185, 206, 215, 219, 223 Thailand 247, 290 therapeutic robots 41, 54 thermal imaging 232 things that won’t change 10, 303–6 third spaces 224 ThisNext 207 thrift 224 Tik Tok Easy Shop 209 time scarcity 30, 96, 102, 178, 184–6, 218, 255 time shifting 96, 110, 116 time stamps 50 timeline, extinction 9 timeline, innovation 8 timelines 7 tired all the time 246 tobacco industry 251 tolerance 120 too much choice (TMC) 29, 202, 218–19 too much information (TMI) 29, 51, 53, 202, 229; see also information overload tourism 254–74 cultural 273 ethical 259 food 273 323 local 273 medical 2, 229, 247 sanctuary 273 space 271, 273 suicide 238 tribal 262 Tourism Concern 259 tourist quotas 254, 271 Toyota 48–9, 157 toys, mind-control 38 traceability 195 trading down 224 transparency 3, 15, 143, 152, 276, 282, 299 transport 15, 154–77, 298 public 155, 161 trends 154–6 transumerism 223 travel 2, 3, 11, 148, 254–74 economy 272 luxury 272 slow 273 trends 254–6 trend maps 6–7 trends 1, 5–7, 10, 13 financial services 123–5 food 178–80 healthcare 228–9 media 96–8 politics 63–5 retail 202–3 science and technology 40–42 society 15–16 transport 154–6 travel 254–6 work 275–7 tribal tourism 262 tribalism 15–16, 63, 127–8, 183, 192, 220, 260 trust 82, 133, 137, 139, 143, 192, 203, 276, 282–3 tunnels 171 Turing test 45 Turing, Alan 44 Turkey 2, 200, 247 Twitter 60, 120 two-way identity verification 132 UAE 2 UFOs 58 324 UK 19–20, 72, 76, 84, 86, 90–91, 100, 102–3, 105, 128–9, 132, 137, 139–42, 147–9, 150, 163, 167–8, 170–71, 175, 185, 195–6, 199, 200, 206, 210, 214–16, 238, 259, 267–8, 278–9, 284, 288 uncertainty 16, 30, 34, 52, 172, 199, 246, 263, 300, 303 unemployment 151 Unilever 195 University of Chicago 245–6 urban rental companies 176 urbanization 11, 18–19, 78, 84, 155, 233 Uruguay 200 US 1, 11, 19–21, 23, 55–6, 63, 67, 69, 72, 75, 77, 80–83, 86, 88–90, 92, 104–5, 106, 121, 129–33, 135, 139–42, 144, 147, 149, 150, 151, 162, 167, 169–71, 174, 185, 190–3, 195, 205–6, 209, 211, 213, 216, 218, 220, 222–3, 237–8, 240–8, 250, 260, 262, 267–8, 275, 279–80, 282–4, 287, 291 user-generated content (UGC) 46, 97, 104, 289 utility 224 values 36, 152 vending machines 209 Venezuela 69, 73 verbal signatures 132 VeriChip 126 video on demand 96 Vietnam 2, 290 Vino 100 113 Virgin Atlantic 261 virtual adultery 33 banks 134 economy 130–31 protests 65 reality 70 sex 32 stores 206–8 vacations 32, 261 worlds 157, 213, 255, 261, 270, 305 Vocation Vacations 259–60 Vodafone 137 voice recognition 41 voice-based internet search 56 voicelifts 2, 237 FUTURE FILES Volkswagen 175 voluntourism 259 Volvo 164 voting 3, 68, 90–91 Walgreens 244 Wal-Mart 105, 136–7, 215, 219–20, 223, 244, 282 war 68–9, 72 war for talent 275, 279; see also labor shortages war forecasting 49 water 69–70, 74, 77–9, 199 wearable computers 55 weather 64 weather insurance 264 Web 2.0 93, 224 Weinberg, Peter 125 wellbeing 2, 183, 188, 199 white flight 20 Wikipedia 46, 60, 104 wild swimming 273 Wilson, Edward O. 74 wind energy 74 wine producers 200 wisdom of idiots 47 Wizard 145 work 275–94 trends 275–94 work/life balance 64, 71, 260, 277, 289, 293 worldphone 19 xenophobia 16, 63 YouTube 46, 103, 107, 112 Zara 216–17 Zipcar 167 Zopa 124, 134


Your Own Allotment : How to Find It, Cultivate It, and Enjoy Growing Your Own Food by Russell-Jones, Neil.

Berlin Wall, British Empire, carbon footprint, Corn Laws, David Attenborough, discovery of the americas, information retrieval, Kickstarter, mass immigration, spice trade

People are focusing increasingly on green issues, the environment and well-being; and the increased interest in allotments is symbolic of a reaction to concerns about the quality and healthiness or otherwise of mass-produced food. There is also concern at the lack of choice in the produce offered: for instance, few of the many interesting and tasty varieties of apples that once abounded in the UK are now available. A number of factors started us on our venture into the world of allotments. My family and I wanted to know where our food came from; how it was produced; and also to ensure that the ‘carbon footprint’ was as small as possible. We had both been brought up in or near the countryside – rather than in cities – and remembered things as they were (or might have been – nostalgia is rose-tinted). We wanted our children to share the experiences that we remembered. There is nothing like plucking peas straight from the pod; or picking a strawberry and popping it into your mouth. The flavour of sweetcorn taken off the plant and cooked within minutes cannot be matched by corn flown thousands of miles which has turned to starch; and the intense pleasure of harvesting, cooking and then eating your own potatoes has to be experienced to be appreciated.

Many items are grown on large industrial agri-business farms across Europe or even further afield, where techniques have been developed to allow for mass sowing, uniform ripening and mass harvesting, often at the expense of taste and flavour (the cotton wool wrapped in yellow wax that purports to be a French Golden Delicious is neither golden nor delicious). Or they are imported from across the globe, travelling long distances to reach us and, therefore, stuffed full of preservatives; or picked to ripen en route away from the plant and making a huge ‘carbon footprint’. Either way it is less than ideal. Fresh in many cases, therefore, merely means as fresh as it can be, given the circumstances. This is not to say it is a bad thing necessarily – as global trade is generally good for all – but importing food that is also, or could be, grown locally does seem illogical – even to give a wider choice. There is very little true, crushing poverty in the UK anymore, and few need to grow food in the same way as in earlier centuries, but the demand for allotments is, after a depressing decline in the 70s and 80s nevertheless, rising.

1 • All About Allotments 9 G They can choose exactly what to grow (not necessarily what will grow or grow well, however; that is random, depending on your location, soil, pests, diseases, weather and luck). G They can experiment with new and interesting varieties, unusual crops, intercropping, new techniques, etc. G They can ‘get back to their roots’ and ‘commune with the land’. G It helps to deal with the stresses of modern life. G It is a fun and rewarding experience (if hard work sometimes). G It is a good family activity – providing quality time together. G It leaves a smaller carbon footprint, which is important to many. G It provides a great deal of healthy exercise (digging, walking, cycling). And so, lacking space at home, they choose to have an allotment. Politics and agriculture have long been linked – the Corn Laws in the eighteenth century; the wasteful and heavily subsidised European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which encourages use of pesticides and creates large unwanted mountains and lakes of produce; the general subsidies allocated by many countries to farmers; the difficulty in getting real free trade to help third-world countries, etc.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

Essays on a Failing System (New York: Verso, 2016), 219. 30 Phil Longman, The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity (New York: New America Books, 2004); Joel Kotkin, “Death Spiral Demographics: The Countries Shrinking the Fastest,” Forbes, February 1, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2017/02/01/death-spiral-demographics-the-countries-shrinking-the-fastest/#4ae48b38b83c. 31 Alex Gray, “The troubling charts that show young people losing faith in democracy,” World Economic Forum, December 1, 2016, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/12/charts-that-show-young-people-losing-faith-in-democracy/. 32 Amanda Taub, “How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red,’” New York Times, November 29, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/world/americas/western-liberal-democracy.html?_r=0. 33 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1992), 12. 34 Emily Atkin, “Al Gore’s Carbon Footprint Doesn’t Matter,” New Republic, August 7, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/144199/al-gores-carbon-footprint-doesnt-matter; “How Electricity Became a Luxury Good,” Spiegel, September 4, 2013, http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/high-costs-and-errors-of-german-transition-to-renewable-energy-a-920288-2.html; Dagmara Stoerring, “Energy Poverty,” European Parliament, November 9, 2016, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/607350/IPOL_STU(2017)607350_EN.pdf. 35 Salena Zito and Brad Todd, The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics (New York: Crown Forum, 2018), 3, 246. 36 Guilluy, Twilight of the Elites, 15; Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, “The Failure of the French Elite,” Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-failure-of-the-french-elite-11550851097?

Cantor, Medieval History: The Life and Death of a Civilization (New York: Macmillan, 1963), 25. 34 Lyman Stone, “In a State of Migration,” Medium, December 30, 2019, https://medium.com/migration-issues/more-thoughts-on-falling-fertility-366fd1a84d8; Rachel Lu, “The Problem with the ‘Science’ Behind Having Fewer Children for the Planet’s Sake,” National Review, July 15, 2017, https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/07/climate-change-study-population-reduction-childlessness-recommendation-preposterous-carbon-footprint/; Paul A. Murtaugh and Michael G. Schlax, “Reproduction and the carbon legacies of individuals,” Global Environment Change, vol. 190 (2009), 14–20, https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/pdfs/OSUCarbonStudy.pdf. 35 Simon Evans and Rosamund Pearce, “Global coal power,” Carbon Brief, March 25, 2019, https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-worlds-coal-power-plants; China Is a Highly Suspect Leader on Climate Change,” Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-is-a-highly-suspect-leader-on-climate-change-1496394151; Keith Bradsher and Lisa Friedman, “China’s Emissions: More Than U.S.


pages: 189 words: 52,741

Lifestyle Entrepreneur: Live Your Dreams, Ignite Your Passions and Run Your Business From Anywhere in the World by Jesse Krieger

Airbnb, always be closing, bounce rate, call centre, carbon footprint, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, financial independence, follow your passion, income inequality, iterative process, Ralph Waldo Emerson, search engine result page, Skype, software as a service, South China Sea, Steve Jobs

Vision-MAP for Village Green Energy After working on clean energy projects as an investment banker, I co-founded a company called Village Green Energy (VGE) to work directly in the carbon credit and compliance market. VGE purchases clean energy credits from solar, wind and biogas energy generators and sells them retail to businesses and households who want to reduce their carbon footprint. We also built a Facebook application which addressed sustainability in the wine industry. The company was sold in 2010. Vision: Provide a realistic way for concerned businesses and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint and communicate their efforts with customers, friends and family. Mission: Build a portfolio of renewable energy generators to sell VGE wholesale energy credits. Build a network of businesses and customers to purchase retail energy credits. Actions: Design VGE Renewable Energy Certificates.


pages: 445 words: 105,255

Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization by K. Eric Drexler

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Bill Joy: nanobots, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crowdsourcing, dark matter, double helix, failed state, global supply chain, industrial robot, iterative process, Mars Rover, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, performance metric, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Thomas Malthus, V2 rocket, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game

CHAPTER 14How to Accelerate Progress PART 6BENDING THE ARC OF THE FUTURE CHAPTER 15Transforming the Material Basis of Civilization CHAPTER 16Managing a Catastrophic Success CHAPTER 17Security for an Unconventional Future CHAPTER 18Changing Our Conversation About the Future Appendix I: The Molecular-Level Physical Principles of Atomically Precise Manufacturing Appendix II: Incremental Paths to APM Acknowledgments Notes Index A NECESSARY PRELUDE IMAGINE WHAT THE WORLD might be like if we were really good at making things—better things—cleanly, inexpensively, and on a global scale. What if ultra-efficient solar arrays cost no more to make than cardboard and aluminum foil and laptop supercomputers cost about the same? Now add ultra-efficient vehicles, lighting, and the entire behind-the-scenes infrastructure of an industrial civilization, all made at low cost and delivered and operated with a zero carbon footprint. If we were that good at making things, the global prospect would be, not scarcity, but unprecedented abundance—radical, transformative, and sustainable abundance. We would be able to produce radically more of what people want and at a radically lower cost—in every sense of the word, both economic and environmental. This isn’t the future most people expect. Over recent decades the world has been sliding toward a seemingly inevitable collision between economic development and global limits.

Once again, APM-based production can improve the cost and performance of the necessary equipment, and beyond this, APM-level technologies can provide new capabilities for capturing and sequestering toxic materials from groundwater and soil, and for more subtle challenges of remediation. Reversing the Primary Driver of Climate Change With APM-based production and products, energy sources and most energy uses can be engineered for a zero net carbon footprint; liquid hydrocarbon fuels, for example, can be produced using hydrogen from water and carbon from recycled CO2. Reversing the effects of past emissions, however, would require atmospheric CO2 capture on an enormous scale—some three trillion tons—a remediation task that appears to be beyond the capacity of the industrial civilization that created the problem. The energy requirements are daunting.

Adding up costs in a summary overview: Source of cost component Typical ratio Reason for cost reduction Raw materials < 1/10 Low product masses, low-cost raw materials Energy inputs ~ 1 Low product masses offset increments in per-mass energy cost Land required < 1/100 Compact high-throughput process equipment Labor inputs < 1/100 No direct process intervention Waste disposal < 1/100 Low mass processed, precise process control, zero carbon footprint Accidents < 1/100 No hazardous materials or direct human exposure Physical capital < 1/1 High-throughput, low cost production equipment With a wide range of performance improvements relative to current products and a wide range of current dollar-per-kilogram production costs, cost-reduction ratios of 1/10 to 1/1000 can be expected. Chapter 12: Today’s Technologies of Atomic Precision 179Chemists make compounds/molecules, the objects of their own contemplation: R.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, Travis Kalanick, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

Collectively, miners spend nearly: Mark Gimein, “Virtual Bitcoin Mining Is a Real-World Environmental Disaster,” Bloomberg, April 12, 2013, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-12/virtual-bitcoin-mining-is-a-real-world-environmental-disaster.html; Tim Worstall, “Fascinating Number: Bitcoin Mining Uses $15 Million’s Worth of Electricity Every Day,” Forbes, December 3, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/12/03/fascinating-number-bitcoin-mining-uses-15-millions-worth-of-electricity-every-day/. In 2013, the Bitcoin community: Michael Carney, “Bitcoin Has a Dark Side: Its Carbon Footprint,” Pando, December 16, 2013, http://pando.com/2013/12/16/bitcoin-has-a-dark-side-its-carbon-footprint/. A British programmer decided: Nathaniel Popper, “Into the Bitcoin Mines,” New York Times, December 21, 2013, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/12/21/into-the-bitcoin-mines/. Charlie Lee, a former Google: Danny Bradbury, “Litecoin Founder Charles Lee on the Origins and Potential of the World’s Second Largest Cryptocurrency,” CoinDesk, July 23, 2013, http://www.coindesk.com/litecoin-founder-charles-lee-on-the-origins-and-potential-of-the-worlds-second-largest-cryptocurrency/.

Many of Bitcoin’s competitors seek to correct perceived shortcomings in Bitcoin itself, including its limited (and thus potentially deflationary) supply; its “irreversibility,” which does not allow for errors to be corrected; and even its negative environmental impact. Mining requires significant computing power, which in turn requires significant energy. Serious bitcoin miners can spend upward of $150,000 a day on electricity nearby. Collectively, miners spend nearly $15 million in electricity each day. In 2013, the Bitcoin community had a comparable carbon footprint to Cyprus: 8.25 megatons. One solution to electric costs and overheated computers is to mine in cold weather if there is a cheap power source for electricity. A British programmer decided to build his mine in Reykjanesbaer, Iceland, so his computers can run on geothermal and hydroelectric energy while being cooled by the arctic air. Litecoin markets itself as being more abundant and faster to mine than bitcoins.


pages: 427 words: 111,965

The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth by Tim Flannery

Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon footprint, clean water, cross-subsidies, decarbonisation, Doomsday Clock, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, uranium enrichment, Y2K

(519) 268-6500 www.enerworks.com GreenHeat (613) 728-0822 www.greenheat.org Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (416) 977-4441 www.ontario-sea.org Positive Power Co-op (Hamilton-based) (905) 971-5366 www.positivepowerco-op.com Windshare (416) 977-5093 www.windshare.ca Quebec: Hydro-Quebec 1-800-363-7443 www.hydroquebec.com EASTERN CANADA The Maritimes: Maritime Electric 1-800-670-1012 www.maritimeelectric.com Nova Scotia Green Power (An Emera Company) www.nspower.ca/GreenPower/index.shtml 1-800-428-6230 SOLAR HOT WATER AND PANEL MANUFACTURERS There are a number of solar hot-water manufacturers in Canada. A full listing of accredited manufacturers is available from Canadian Solar Industries Canada. (613) 736-9077 www.cansia.ca SOLAR HEATING AND OTHER SOLAR PRODUCTS Conserval Engineering Inc. (416) 661-7057 www.solarwall.com SolSmart Energy Solutions (416) 876-2376 www.solsmart.com CARBON FOOTPRINT You can calculate your carbon footprint, including household, car and air travel emissions, and then, for the cost of a coffee, neutralize them. Go to www. climate-friendly.com/calc.php AUTOMOBILES For ratings on the environmental performance of vehicles sold in Canada, go to the office of energy efficiency site at http://oee.nrcan. gc.ca HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND ENERGY CONSERVATION For ratings on the most energy-efficient home appliances, go to http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/ Publications/infosource/Pub/ appliances For Energy Star ratings that identify the most energy-efficient products on the market in Canada, go to oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energystar/english/consumers/index Acknowledgments This book could not have been written without the help of many people.

CLIMATE CHANGE CHECKLIST ACTION IMPACT Change to an accredited Green Power option = Eliminate household emissions from electricity Install a solar hot-water system = Up to 30% reduction in household emissions Install solar panels = Eliminate household emissions from electricity Use energy-efficient household appliances = Up to 50% reduction in household emissions from electricity Use a triple-A rated shower-head = Up to 12% reduction in household emissions Use energy-efficient light bulbs = Up to 10% reduction in household emissions Check fuel efficiency of next car = Up to 70% reduction in transport emissions Walk, cycle or take public transport = Can reduce transport emissions Calculate carbon footprint = Can eliminate transport and household emissions Suggest a workplace audit = Up to 30% reduction in emissions Write to a politician about climate change = Can change the world GREEN POWER Shortly after the publication of this book, the Conservative Federal Government, as part of their 2006 budget, discontinued or scaled back many environmental programs, claiming they had “completed their work.”


pages: 202 words: 62,901

The People's Republic of Walmart: How the World's Biggest Corporations Are Laying the Foundation for Socialism by Leigh Phillips, Michal Rozworski

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carbon footprint, central bank independence, Colonization of Mars, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, corporate raider, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Elon Musk, G4S, Georg Cantor, germ theory of disease, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, liquidity trap, mass immigration, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, post scarcity, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, strikebreaker, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing

For comparison, barely 3 percent of cars in eco-friendly but market-enthralled California are electric. The up-front costs of some of these changes pose one important obstacle. Take, for instance, nuclear power. From a system-wide perspective, conventional nuclear power still represents the cheapest option thanks to its mammoth energy density; it also boasts the fewest deaths per terawatt hour and a low carbon footprint. The only energy source with a lower carbon footprint is onshore wind. But, like large-scale hydroelectric projects, construction costs are considerable. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that while nuclear energy is clean and non-intermittent, and has a tiny land footprint, “without support from governments, investments in new … plants are currently generally not economically attractive within liberalized markets.”


pages: 179 words: 59,704

Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames

"side hustle", Airbnb, asset allocation, barriers to entry, basic income, buy and hold, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, financial independence, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, index fund, indoor plumbing, loss aversion, McMansion, mortgage debt, passive income, payday loans, risk tolerance, Stanford marshmallow experiment, universal basic income, working poor

As Nate and I were rescuing a perfectly good lamp and dresser from a roadside pile of trash one Saturday morning, I had an epiphany: frugality is excellent for the environment. Under the auspices of frugality, Nate and I were consuming less and reusing more. We drastically reduced the amount of stuff we bought, and when we did buy something, we almost always got it secondhand. By diverting used items from the waste stream, we were simultaneously decreasing the carbon footprint inherent to producing new materials and preventing usable goods from clogging landfills. Nearly every frugal strategy doubles as a boon for the environment. I’m of the belief that you can’t buy your way to green because consumption, by its very action, usually has a negative impact on the environment. Frugality, conversely, incorporates environmentalism into your lifestyle. It’s also true that the less we consume, the more we respect and care for the things we already own.

It encourages us to discard anything we’re bored with, buy more, and gobble as many resources as we can possibly swallow. Consumerism made me into an insatiable, grabbing taker, whereas frugality transformed me into a mindful, grateful giver. Once I turned on this mind-set of spending less, and as a consequence using fewer natural resources, I was amazed at all the areas where I could simultaneously conserve money and fossil fuels. This unanticipated benefit of upping our environmentalism and decreasing our carbon footprint redoubled my commitment to lifelong frugality. My frugality became about something broader and more momentous than simply the money I could save in my bank account. It was about my impact on our earth. It was about what I could do with my time and how I could interact with the world. The concept that we had enough also began to influence the way we ate. I abolished food waste from our kitchen.


pages: 415 words: 113,875

The World According to Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith; Robert Ian MacKenzie

carbon footprint, Malacca Straits

After that day’s meeting, it was taking some time for him to move back from the professional to the personal. Here, approaching him, was a sixty-year-old woman, with two point four children, twenty-three years to go, with a weekly income of … and so on. Now there were carbon footprints to consider, too, and that was fun. This woman was walking, but had probably taken a bus. She did not go on holiday to distant destinations, Spain at the most, and so she used little aviation fuel. Her carbon footprint was probably not too bad, particularly by comparison with … with those who went to international conferences on carbon footprints. The thought amused him, and he smiled again. “You laughing at me, son?” The woman had stopped in front of him. Stuart was startled. “What? Laughing at you? No, not at all.” “Because I dinnae like being laughed at,” said the woman, shaking a finger at him.


pages: 367 words: 117,340

America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom by Meghan McCain, Michael Black

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, carbon footprint, Columbine, fear of failure, feminist movement, glass ceiling, income inequality, obamacare, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, white picket fence

Let me tell you something: going green is difficult and expensive and Hollywood is not doing anything to make it easier or more accessible for the rest of the country. Can you blame Americans for not wanting to be lectured to by multimillionaire celebrities who go on and on about saving the environment, yet spend a majority of their time on private planes that leave a carbon footprint larger than many towns people live in? Laurie David is the ex-wife of Larry David (the creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm). She is a big, big environmentalist, dedicating pretty much her entire life to the green movement and trying to educate Americans on what they can do to help reduce their carbon footprint. She also produced the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth and wrote a book for children, The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming. Laurie David also has come under fire because she demolished seventy-five acres of undeveloped wetlands and replaced them with swimming pools during a six-year construction project for her house on Martha’s Vineyard.

I do not want it to be a “liberal” issue because, at the end of the day, it is a human issue. I think both sides are unreasonable and painfully unaware of the damage they are doing. Republicans cannot ignore the problems we are facing with the environment just because it goes off the general litmus talking points, and liberals need to start being more cognizant of the real issues facing average Americans. For better or worse, carbon footprints are not going to be one of their main focuses or concerns. I wish we could meet someplace in the middle, but I don’t have the highest of hopes. Environmental issues are still rarely talked about in Republican politics, and Democrats act as if Republicans are stupid and ignorant to not make it their number one issue. Both are wrong and doing damage. Let it be said that I am woman enough to admit that my ears start tuning out anytime I hear a self-righteous liberal going on a tangent about climate change and going green.


The Data Journalism Handbook by Jonathan Gray, Lucy Chambers, Liliana Bounegru

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, business intelligence, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, eurozone crisis, Firefox, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, game design, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Julian Assange, linked data, moral hazard, MVC pattern, New Journalism, openstreetmap, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, social graph, SPARQL, text mining, web application, WikiLeaks

On a happier topic, National Geographic magazine produced a deceptively simple chart showing the connections of three US cities—New York, Chicago and Los Angeles—to major wine-producing regions, and how the transportation methods bringing product from each of the sources could result in drastically different carbon footprints, making Bordeaux a greener buy for New Yorkers than California wine, for example. “SourceMap,” a project started at MIT’s business school, uses flow diagrams to take a rigorous look at global procurement for manufactured products, their components and raw materials. Thanks to a lot of heavy research, a user can now search for products ranging from Ecco brand shoes to orange juice and find out from what corners of the globe it was sourced from, and its corresponding carbon footprint. Showing Hierarchy In 1991, the researcher Ben Shneiderman invented a new visualization form called the “treemap” consisting of multiple boxes concentrically nested inside of each other.


pages: 257 words: 67,152

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein

addicted to oil, carbon footprint, clean water, glass ceiling, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), LNG terminal, oil shale / tar sands, profit motive, Saturday Night Live, the scientific method

Occasionally the fertilizer effect will be mentioned as a trivial impact, not worthy of discussion, because the greenhouse effect will allegedly outweigh it so much with “too much” heat. This is dubious, given the observable increase in plant growth under conditions of increased CO2 and given that the heat predictions are failures. What’s also striking is how, even though we all know that plants live on CO2, almost no one in the culture thinks of potential positive impacts when he thinks about his “carbon footprint.” This is prejudice—the belief that man-made impacts on our environment are necessarily bad, that the standard of value is nonimpact, and that there’s no possibility of improving on Mother Nature. Given that the climate naturally changes and human beings have generally thrived the warmer it has been, it is quite possible that a higher global temperature with higher CO2 levels would be a great boon.

ability, energy as, 119 abuse-use fallacy, 162–63 agriculture: and biomass, 55–57 calories produced by, 56 and climate, 129 fertilization, 82–83, 116 food prices, 56–57, 57 improvements in, 122–23, 126 mechanization of, 81 resources needed for, 56 air: clean, 19, 142, 149–50 particles emitted into, 7 and smog, 20, 79, 143, 152, 158 see also pollution air-conditioning, 128 alcohol, as fuel, 55 aluminum, 74 American Meteorological Society, 21 Arrhenius, Svante, 108 “artificial” fallacy, 168–69 atmosphere: and climate livability, 93 CO2 in, 114, 121, 138 water vapor creation in, 94, 97, 99 atmospheric conditions, 93 battery technology, 72 Becquerel, Edmond, 47 bias, cause of, 29 big picture: evaluating risks and benefits in, 15, 28–29 in fossil fuel technology, 86–88, 113–14, 138–40 health trends, 174–76, 174 ignoring, 18, 20, 116, 126 integrating knowledge in, 28, 33 biofuels, 55 biomass: energy from, 3, 55–58, 65, 135 and farming, 55–57 and food prices, 56–57, 57 inadequacy as energy source, 56, 57–58, 65, 135 as natural source, 55 niche uses for, 58 renewable, 55, 57–58 storage system of, 55 Bissell, George, 73 blackouts, 50 Bonk, James, 90 Borlaug, Norman, 81, 82, 83 boron, 49 Bosch, Carl, 83 BP oil spill, 159 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 28 Bradley, Robert Jr., 9–10 Brazil, coal consumption in, 67 Bryce, Robert, 152 Bush, George W., 3 cadmium telluride, 49 calories, 40–42, 56, 77–78 carbon atoms, 66, 68 carbon dioxide emissions, see CO2 emissions carbon footprint, 116 Carson, Johnny, 6 Carter, Jimmy, 16 catastrophe, dire forecasts of, 4, 6–8, 16, 18, 21–25, 33, 106, 108, 109 cause and effect, 165–66 Center for Industrial Progress, 24, 201 charcoal, 66 chemicals, 166–69 China: fossil fuels used in, 13, 14, 15, 67, 137 infant mortality in, 15 smog in, 20, 79, 152 technological progress in, 137, 158 toxic waste in, 155–56 Chipko movement, India, 32–33 cholera, 147–48 Christy, John, 103 civilization: durable, 25 high-energy, 126–27 climate: dangers of, 22–25, 127–29, 142 dependency on, 128–29 human impact on, 29, 31–32, 126 livability in, 92, 93–96, 126–29, 133, 137, 138 mastery of, 132–34, 138, 194 predictions of, 101, 103, 103, 108, 126 and sea level, 106 use of term, 93–94 volatility of, 94–95, 106 climate change: believers vs. deniers, 91–92 computer models of, 100–104, 102, 103, 108, 138 dire forecasts of, 4, 16, 21–25, 100, 106, 108, 109 global, 94 and greenhouse effect, 21–22, 23, 91–93, 96, 99, 106–8 man-made, 94 and political goals, 109, 111 public statements about, 3, 8, 109, 112 use of term, 94 climate dishonesty, 104 equating greenhouse effect with catastrophic climate change, 106–8, 107 misrepresenting extreme weather, 105–6 97 percent fabrication, 109–11 climate ethics, 111–14 climate justice, 136–37 climate-related deaths, 23–25, 24, 120–26, 121–25, 137 climate science, 90 climate sensitivity, 100 climate system, global, 94 Club of Rome, The Limits to Growth, 6 CO2 emissions: atmospheric, 93, 114, 121, 138 in burning coal, 68 and clean energy sources, 54 and climate change, 7, 106, 108 and climate ethics, 113–14 and climate-related deaths, 24, 24, 120–26, 121–25 computer models of, 100–104, 102, 103, 138 and energy effect, 92 and greenhouse effect, 91, 92, 97–101, 99 increasing, 23–24, 53, 89, 103–4 as plant food, 92, 114–17, 115, 208 reduction of, 3, 26, 88 and temperature, 22, 23, 108 coal: availability of, 12, 17, 66, 156, 1 91–92 by-products and risks of, 154–57, 159, 192 consumption of, 11, 44, 44, 67, 68 energy from, 3, 66, 67–69, 157–58, 191–92 export of, 192 nineteenth-century technology, 43 pollution from, 68, 79, 152–53, 153, 156–57, 165 reducing pollution from, 156–59 reliability of, 12, 52 resources required for production of, 49–50, 49 for transportation fuel, 68 coal miners, 139, 159–60 common good, 160 computer models, 100–104, 102, 103, 108, 138 speculative, 164–65 concentrated solar power (CSP), 47–48 conservation, use of term, 12 Cook, John, 110 copper indium gallium selenide, 49 corn, energy from, 56 Crookes, William, 82 dams, 59–60, 131 death sentence, early, 43, 88, 126 decisions, evaluating risks and benefits in, 26, 28–29, 134 Deepwater Horizon, 159 Desrochers, Pierre, 172–73 development: improvement via, 170, 192 reversal of, 179 use of term, 142 diesel engines, 71, 82 diluteness, 48–50, 49, 65 disasters, statistics about, 120–26, 121–25 diseases: carried by insects, 128, 142, 145–46, 173 eradicating, 145–47, 146, 175 medication for, 166–67 Drake, Edwin, 73 droughts, deaths from, 23, 121, 122–23, 122, 126 dung, energy from, 55 earthquakes, 142, 167 economic system, computer models of, 102 Edison, Thomas, 157 Ehrlich, Paul: and climate ethics, 113 dire predictions of, 6, 7, 8, 16, 80, 196 Global Ecology, 179 influence of, 7, 8, 9–10, 194 The Population Bomb, 80–81 electric grid, 69 electricity: base-load power, 69 battery-powered vehicles, 72 blackouts, 50, 53 from coal, 157–58 excess, 53 inadequate, 38–39, 42–43 lack of, 126, 139 opponents of (1970s), 9 peak load, 69 reliability of, 52–53 resource intensity of, 49, 49 storage of, 53 emissions targets, 206–7 energy: as ability, 119 and accidents, 159–60 availability in U.S., 41–42 from burning fossil fuels, 2–3, 97, 114 by-products of, 47 cheap, plentiful, reliable, 15–25, 33, 42–45, 58–59, 60, 137, 139, 177, 194, 198 conservation of, 12 definition of, 40 future resources of, 73–76, 178 growth needed in, 57 from hazelnuts, 45–47, 55, 56 and life, 37–39 as life and death issue, 54 and machine calories, 40–42 as master industry, 84 and power, 41 production of, 12, 43, 46–47, 57–58, 68, 139 progressive, 76 rationing of, 9 reliability of, 50, 52–53 from renewable sources, 3, 12, 55, 57–58 supply and demand, 12 and technology, 129 uses of, 86 what we all must do, 206–9 workable source of, 46–47 world use of, 11–13, 11, 44, 44 energy effect, 92, 119, 133–34, 138 energy revolution, 201 England, coal pollution in, 79 environment: human-centered view of, 169–71, 183 human nonimpact on, 31–32, 197 improving quality of, 4, 86, 141–45, 175–76, 198 pollution of, 6, 19, 153 quality of, 13, 21, 194–95 transformation of, 32, 85, 200–202 as wilderness, 170 Environmental Defense Fund, 136 ethanol, 12, 56, 68 experts: as advisers, not authorities, 26–28, 92, 135 combined knowledge of, 28 dire forecasts of, 4, 6–8, 33 focus on negative outcomes, 15, 18, 25 in real-estate bubble, 27 what they don’t know, 27, 93, 113–14 extinction, 173–74 Fallon, Jimmy, 45 false-attribution fallacy, 163–66 famine, 80 farming, see agriculture Fenton, John, 162 fertilization, 82–83, 116 fertilizer effect, 92, 114–17, 115, 138 fleas, 146 flood control, 130–31 floods, deaths from, 23, 121, 124, 124 food prices, 56–57, 57 food production, 81–82, 126 fossil fuel industry: author’s recommendations to, 202–6 Green movement vs., 191, 194–200 in jeopardy, 190–91 as moral industry, 201, 205, 206 prejudice against, 135–36, 193–94, 198–200 thanks to, 140 fossil fuels, 65–88 addiction to, 3, 5–6 alternatives to, 12, 46, 58 benefits of use, 4–5, 16–25, 92, 100, 137, 143, 181, 193 bias against, 29 complex interdisciplinary questions about, 27–28 from dead plants, 65–66, 114, 151 energy from burning of, 2–3, 97, 114 and the environment, 85–86, 175–76, 198 extraction of, 18, 66, 139 future uses of, 182–86, 207–8 hidden and trapped, 66, 73 and human progress, 77–78, 77, 119–20, 137 as hydrocarbons, 67, 68 and life expectancy, 13, 14, 15, 30, 77–78, 77, 119–20 as moral choice, 13, 30, 33–35 and more resources, 16–19 as necessary for life, 88 as nonrenewable, 6, 8 pollution from, see pollution reliability of, 12 restricting use of, 3–4, 8, 9, 10, 26, 30, 58 risks and side effects of, 15, 26, 28–29, 92, 134, 151–54, 156–59 in underdeveloped nations, 136–37 use of term, 66 worldwide use of, 10, 11–13, 11 Fox, Josh, Gasland, 162–63 fracking, 26, 70, 161 and abuse-use fallacy, 162–63 and “artificial” fallacy, 168–69 and false-attribution fallacy, 163–64 and no-threshold fallacy, 167–68 freighters, 82 Friedman, David, 110 Friedman, Milton, 42 Fukushima nuclear accident, 62 G7 countries, climate-related deaths in, 124–25, 125 Gambia, The, 38–39, 40, 50, 78, 197 gas: fertilization, 82 natural, see natural gas supply issues of, 69 gasoline, burning, 66, 159 gasoline engines, 71 GDP, 77, 78 genetic science, 81 Germany: air quality in, 165 solar and wind in, 50–55, 51, 52 global cooling, 21 global greening, 114–17 global warming: beneficial, 138 clarifying the questions of, 91–92 focus on, 21–23, 23, 89–91 and greenhouse effect, 99 97 percent fabrication, 109–11 overpredictions of, 102 Goklany, Indur, 23 Gore, Al, 132, 194 An Inconvenient Truth, 106 Graber, David M., 30–31, 197 Great Recession, 102 greenhouse effect, 7, 90, 96–104 and climate change, 21–22, 23, 91–93, 96, 99, 106–8, 107 computer models of, 100–104, 102, 103, 138 diminishing effect of, 98–99, 98 discoverers of, 108 fear of, 96 logarithmic, 108 positive feedback loop of, 99 use of term, 92 what it is, 97–98 Green movement, 191, 194–200 green revolution, 82, 83 guano, 82 Haber, Fritz, 83 Hansen, James E.: on the evils of fossil fuel companies, 135–36 failed models of, 102, 102 on greenhouse effect, 7, 22, 96 happiness, pursuit of, 84–85, 133 hazelnuts, as energy source, 45–47, 55, 56 health trends, 174–76, 174 heavy metals, 154, 168 Holdren, John, 8, 9, 179, 194 Holocene era, 127 Hull, Gary, 189 human beings: adaptability of, 127, 132, 171 calories needed by, 40 impact of, 94, 126 ingenuity of, 18–19, 41, 170, 181 perspective of, 85 weakness of, 40 human life: environmental nonimpact of, 31–32, 197 flourishing, 13, 85, 87, 119–20, 175 protecting, 25 as standard of value, 30, 60, 84, 85, 88, 92, 114, 136, 173, 197, 201 hunger, 80–81 hurricanes, 24, 25, 106, 125 hydraulic fracturing, see fracking hydrocarbons, 67, 68 hydroelectric power: limitations of, 59–60 opponents of, 54, 60, 135 reliability of, 12, 59 as supplement, 44 hydrofluoric acid, 154 hydrogen atoms, 66, 196 Ice Age, return to, 21 ideas: in history, 184 track records of, 5 Idso, Craig, 111, 114 Idso, Sherwood, 114 income: and fossil fuel use, 13, 14, 15 as leading indicator of human flourishing, 119–20 India: Chipko movement in, 32–33 fossil fuels used in, 13, 14, 15, 67, 137 infant mortality in, 15 technological progress in, 137 transportation to, 82 Indonesia, prosperity in, 100, 127 industrialization, 125, 131, 137 industrial progress, 200–202 Industrial Revolution, 78, 152 infant mortality, 15, 67, 128, 174–75, 174 infrared absorbers, 97 insects, disease-carrying, 128, 142, 145–46, 173 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 3, 26, 130, 147 intermittency, 48, 50–53, 65 internal combustion engine, 68, 132 Internationl Energy Agency, 28 irrigation, 83, 123, 126, 128 Jackson, Lisa, 164 Japan: Fukushima accident in, 62 tsunami in, 130 jet engines, 71 Jevons, William Stanley, The Coal Question, 78–79 Kennedy, Robert F.


ECOVILLAGE: 1001 ways to heal the planet by Ecovillage 1001 Ways to Heal the Planet-Triarchy Press Ltd (2015)

Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Food sovereignty, land tenure, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, off grid, Ronald Reagan, young professional

The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) was founded in 1995 to make visible an emergence that was already taking place, and to provide a link between communities being developed by thousands of grassroots pioneers. GEN serves as an alliance between rural and urban, traditional and intentional communities aiming for high-quality, low-impact lifestyles. GEN has settlements with some of the lowest recorded per capita carbon footprints. GEN works through five regional organisations: the Ecovillage Networks of North America (ENA), Latin America (El Consejo de Asentamientos Sustentables de las Américas / CASA), Oceania and Asia (GENOA), Europe and the Middle East (GEN-Europe), and of Africa (GEN-Africa). NextGEN brings together the youth movement. Together these networks connect to the impressive work done in over 10,000 communities on the ground in more than 100 countries worldwide.

For 99.9% of our evolutionary history, humans lived in tribes. We are hardwired for community and for belonging to each other and our natural world. Sirius and other ecovillages are rekindling this deep need and knowing and they are helping us create new cultures and new stories in which we can truly experience our interbeing-ness, with each other and all life. www.siriuscommunity.org Keyword for Solution Library: Earth Deeds — measuring carbon footprints and funding sustainability projects solution.ecovillage.org The Edge Effect EcoVillage Ithaca / USA EcoVillage Ithaca, founded in 1991, is the largest ecovillage in the United States. Its 3 co-housing neighborhoods and 3 organic farms show university students and the mainstream public that the American way of life can be changed in small but significant ways, to enable people to live with more social and ecological sustainability.


pages: 54 words: 13,620

No. More. Plastic.: What You Can Do to Make a Difference – the #2minutesolution by Martin Dorey

carbon footprint, David Attenborough, food miles

In the supermarket, water costs anywhere between 30p and 60p per litre, which means that if you buy a litre of bottled water a day in the UK you could be spending up to £220 a year on something that’s available from a tap. And you’ll pay around 500 times more for it in bottled form. Big scam? Probably. Bottled water comes in plastic, usually made from virgin plastic (non-recycled), which is made from oil and has to be transported (with a high carbon footprint). It sits on a shelf until you buy it, where it may leach chemicals – such as BPA and dioxins as well as microplastics – into the water. And while it has to pass safety standards, it is only tested when it is bottled. Recent studies also showed that 93% of bottled water showed signs of microplastic contamination. The #2minutesolution So here it is: use the tap. In the UK, tap water is some of the best on the planet.


pages: 275 words: 77,017

The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers--And the Coming Cashless Society by David Wolman

addicted to oil, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, cashless society, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, Diane Coyle, fiat currency, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, German hyperinflation, greed is good, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, offshore financial centre, P = NP, Peter Thiel, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steven Levy, the payments system, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

A 2010 British government report entitled “The UK’s Payment Revolution” put it this way: “With around a billion bank notes created, distributed, collected and destroyed every year, the production and secure transportation of notes is an expensive and environmentally costly business paid for by the tax payer. A progressive move away from cash could hold many benefits.”8 In the United States, between 2008 and 2010, the coining process alone used up more than 32,397 tons of zinc, 41,245 tons of copper, and 4,185 tons of nickel. And cash’s carbon footprint doesn’t stop there. Metals like zinc, nickel, and copper have many other, arguably more important, uses, like in the wiring of homes or in electric-car batteries. According to the multinational mining giant BHP Billiton, world consumption of copper over the next twenty-five years will exceed that of all copper ever mined to date.9 Pollution? Nickel smelters belch sulfur dioxide, which is the main cause of acid rain.

See United States: Bureau of Engraving and Printing BerkShare currency Bernanke, Ben Bhat currency BHP Billiton Biases Bible Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Bill of Rights Bills of credit Biometric devices Birch, Dave Bitcoin Black market Blind/visually impaired Americans Bling. See also Jewelry Bloomberg News Boca Raton, Florida Boggs, J.S.G. Borges, Jorge Luis Brazil Bribery Brinks Britain De La Rue printing firm in Digital Money Forum in London transit system Royal Mint Serious Fraud Office See also Bank of England Brixton Pound currency Budapest Buffett, Warren Bulgaria Bush, George W. California Cambodia Canada Capitalism Carbon footprint Cash anonymity of carried by average American consumer cash deposits into ATMs cashless battlefield cashless societies cash transactions on planes and cheating costs concerning and crime (see also Counterfeiting; Robberies) and cultures doing without and emergencies emotional forces concerning (see also Biases) end of (see also Cash: war on cash: Mark of the Beast) and envelope method evolution of fungibility of inconvertibility of and poverty for small-value transactions as stealth tax and tax evasion transporting war on cash(see also Cash: end of) See also Coins: Paper money Casinos Catcher in the Rye Cellphones adoption rates bought by poor people (n) selling airtime minutes for used for money transactions See also Smartphones Centers for Disease Control Certificates of deposit Chaloner, William Chandan, Ravi Chant, John Chase, Salmon P.


pages: 258 words: 77,601

Everything Under the Sun: Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet by Ian Hanington

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, Exxon Valdez, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), oil shale / tar sands, stem cell, sustainable-tourism, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, urban planning, urban sprawl

We know how much carbon dioxide can be reabsorbed by all the green things in the oceans and on land, and we know we are exceeding those limits. That’s why carbon is building up in the atmosphere. So our goal is clear. All of humanity must find a way to keep emissions below the limits imposed by the biosphere. The only equitable course is to determine the acceptable level of emissions on a global per capita basis. Those who fall below the line should be compensated for their small carbon footprint while those who are far above should be assessed accordingly. And the economy must be aligned with the limits imposed by the biosphere, not above them. 6. It’s Getting Hot Down Here CLIMATE CHANGE IS a reality. We’d all love it if it weren’t, if the deniers and industry PR folks were right. But mountains of scientific evidence and direct observation show that by burning fossil fuels, humans have added too much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which has contributed significantly to global warming.

Aside from their merits as a sustainable food source, small fish are inexpensive, typically caught without using a lot of fossil fuels, and are among the healthiest foods a person can eat. Health experts recommend that pregnant women eat sardines and similar seafood because they are valuable sources of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, calcium, and protein. Because these fish are found in tight schools, capturing them requires little chasing around, dragging of nets, or setting of lines, so their carbon footprint is low. Some research suggests that small pelagic fish may be the most efficient protein system in the world in terms of the energy used to capture them. In 2009, sardine fishermen in British Columbia got about three cents a fish. I could go to Port Hardy during sardine season and buy a truckload for the price of an average Canucks ticket, $150. This same mass of halibut would cost about $15,000—one hundred times more.


pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

This may seem like hard work, but we should know better than to live behind the lies of numbers divorced from the ecosystem. When it comes to the environment, there is an element of personal responsibility that people don’t feel with other issues, a sense that particularly a younger generation has innately grown up with. Many seventh graders in America log on to CarbonRally.com as part of a nationwide competition to reduce their carbon footprint. Citizen activists promote causes town by town, from flushing toilets less frequently to Paul McCartney’s “Meat Free Monday” campaign in favor of vegetarianism—a “low-carbon” diet—to preserve forests slashed for cattle grazing in Brazil. In New Delhi, the paper versus plastic debate in supermarkets and bazaars has been settled in favor of cotton: keep and reuse. And in Hong Kong, an NGO recycles rice sacks into sturdy grocery bags labeled “re-sack-le” and makes them available across the densely populated city.

In a world where less than fifty cities cause most of the greenhouse gas output, curbing emissions is as much the job of mayors and governors as presidents. Stockholm and London began congestion pricing earlier this past decade, while Copenhagen has steadily removed parking places in the city center to encourage people to take buses, ride bicycles, or walk. Berlin has contracted companies to green fifteen hundred buildings, reducing the city’s carbon footprint by 25 percent. The greening of the Empire State Building presently under way in New York City is self-financing through savings in utility bills and will achieve the emissions reduction equivalent of taking nineteen thousand cars off the street. Even poor cities can change citizen and consumer behavior, leapfrogging to low-carbon, off-grid solutions such as distributed power networks that draw from multiple sources of energy.


pages: 265 words: 77,084

Alone on the Wall: Alex Honnold and the Ultimate Limits of Adventure by Alex Honnold, David Roberts

carbon footprint, Elon Musk, income inequality, risk tolerance, side project, trade route

The plan that winter was for Cedar and Renan to come down to Mexico to make a short film if I decided to solo Sendero. Almost at once, however, I had my qualms about the project. Ever since my “epiphany” in Chad, I’d agonized over the environmental impact of my climbing. To fly the three of us down to Mexico—not to mention other crew members to operate automated drones to capture footage high on the wall—would be to leave a sizable carbon footprint. Could I really justify burning all that jet fuel and using pricey high-tech hardware just to capture my several hours of play on Portrero Chico? What if we got everybody down there, ready to film, and I chickened out because I decided I wasn’t comfortable going up on the wall without a rope? In my mind, our Newfoundland trip in 2011 was a classic example of waste. Both a waste of our time and a waste of natural resources.

—my cue to start jugging as fast as I could up the rope he’d tied to his anchor. That way, Cedar could conserve the energy he otherwise would have wasted on belaying and rope management. I tried to jug each pitch in four minutes flat. It was at this point, however, that the ethical dilemma of my little “project” started to nag at me. Traveling to places like Chad has made me acutely mindful of my own impact on the world around me. At first, I’d assumed that my carbon footprint would be much lower than that of the average American, because I lived in a van and didn’t own many possessions. But as I read more about the issue, I realized that the amount of flying that I did still left me near the highest percentile of environmental impact. My next thought was to buy carbon offsets—until I researched them and discovered that they weren’t the cure-all I was hoping for.


pages: 257 words: 76,785

Shorter by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

8-hour work day, airport security, Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, centre right, cloud computing, colonial rule, disruptive innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, game design, gig economy, Henri Poincaré, IKEA effect, iterative process, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, means of production, neurotypical, performance metric, race to the bottom, remote working, Second Machine Age, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, women in the workforce, young professional, zero-sum game

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS Reducing working hours could also lead to substantial reductions in carbon emissions and energy consumption. As one study of working hours and energy use in OECD countries put it, “working hours are significantly associated with greater environmental pressures.” As countries lengthen their workweeks and people work more hours, they consume more energy and expand their carbon footprints: one study found that a 1 percent increase in working hours raises energy use by up to 1.3 percent, carbon footprint by 1.3 percent, and overall environmental footprint by 1.2 percent. Researchers estimate that by reducing commuting, lowering workplace energy use, and other effects, adopting a four-day workweek would cut a nation’s carbon emissions by between 16 and 30 percent (though the higher range assumes that wages would also fall). One Swedish study concluded that reducing working hours to an average of thirty hours per week by 2040 “would result in a significantly slower growth of energy demand, which would also make it easier to reach climate targets.”


pages: 520 words: 129,887

Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future by Robert Bryce

addicted to oil, Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, flex fuel, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Menlo Park, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Boone Pickens and former vice president Al Gore to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and media darling Amory Lovins, the chairman and chief scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado-based think tank. For Pickens, the bogeyman to be slain is foreign oil. For Gore, the villain is carbon dioxide. And while the sin to be cured varies with the preacher, the message of deliverance is largely the same: Repent. Give up those evil hydrocarbons and embrace the virtues of renewable energy before you face the eternal damnations of foreign oil, global warming, and a carbon footprint that’s bigger than Boone Pickens’ ego. Lovins is among the most quoted purveyors of energy happy talk. In 2007, he wrote a short piece called “Saving the Climate for Fun and Profit” in which he said that curbing carbon dioxide emissions “will not cost you extra; it will save you money, because saving fuel costs less than buying fuel.”1 In 2008, he claimed that the issues of “climate change, oil dependence, and the spread of nuclear weapons—go away if we just use energy in a way that saves money, and since that transition is not costly but profitable, it can actually be led by business.”2 Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla is another veteran happy talker.

But the potential offered by thorium, modular reactors, pebble-bed reactors, and other reactor designs is obvious.19 Furthermore, it’s clear that nuclear power must be part of the energy mix if the world is to achieve any significant progress in cutting the growth of carbon dioxide emissions. In its 2009 World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency declared that “nuclear technology is the only large-scale, baseload, electricity-generation technology with a near-zero carbon footprint.”20 If policymakers are going to agree that carbon dioxide is a problem, then, as the Pulitzer Prize–winning author Richard Rhodes has put it, “nuclear power should be central.” In 2000, Rhodes—who has probably written more about nuclear weapons and nuclear power than any other author—along with Denis Beller of Los Alamos National Laboratory, writing in an article in Foreign Affairs called “The Need for Nuclear Power,” concluded that “despite its outstanding record, [nuclear power] has ... been relegated by its opponents to the same twilight zone of contentious ideological conflict as abortion and evolution.

Cap-and-trade plans Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), myth about Carbon credits, buying, issue with Carbon dioxide emissions of the developing world myths involving and natural gas offsetting, happy talk on per-capita total, of OECD countries vs. non-OECD countries world average, comparing countries to (fig.) yearly, expectations for See also under specific countries Carbon dioxide emissions reduction as a global priority nuclear power and See also Global climate change; Kyoto Protocol; Zero-emissions Carbon footprint Carbon intensity, reductions in, comparing (fig.) “Carbon neutral” claims, issue with Carbon tax, myth involving Cardinal Mine(fig.) Carter, Jimmy Causation, issue of Cellulosic ethanol Center on Global Change Central African Republic CEPOS (Danish Center for Political Studies) Chad Charcoal, issues with Cheatham, Don Cheney, Dick Chernobyl nuclear accident Chesapeake Energy Chevron Chile(fig.)


pages: 436 words: 141,321

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux, Ken Wilber

Albert Einstein, augmented reality, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, different worldview, failed state, future of work, hiring and firing, index card, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Rogoff, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, the market place, the scientific method, Tony Hsieh, zero-sum game

Green Organizations consider their social responsibility an integral part of how they do business, contrary to their Orange counterparts who often deem such reports a distracting obligation. Social responsibility is often at the core of their mission, and it provides the motivation that spurs them on to innovate and become better corporate citizens. Green Organizations work with their suppliers in developing countries to improve local working conditions and prevent child labor; they try to reduce their carbon footprint and their use of water; they strive to recycle their products and reduce packaging. Leaders in Green Organizations maintain that the “stakeholder perspective” might come with higher costs in the short term, but it will deliver better returns in the long run for all parties, including shareholders. Family as the guiding metaphor Where Achievement-Orange views organizations as machines, the dominant metaphor of organizations in Pluralistic-Green is the family.

The same holds true for social concerns: when we come from a place of wholeness, we feel compelled to do our share to heal our broken relationship with life in all its forms. The organizations in this research have not yet reached the ultimate goal of zero waste, zero toxicity, and zero impact on ecosystems, but many have taken significant steps in that direction. AES, for instance, started planting millions of trees in the 1990s to offset the carbon footprint from its coal-fired plants, at a time when global warming was not yet center stage. It’s not so much in what they do, but in how they do it, that Teal Organizations have a different approach to dealing with their environmental and social impact. They look at the matter from a different angle. Instead of asking the question What will it cost? they start with the deeper, more personal question: What is the right thing to do?

Casey Sheahan, Patagonia’s current CEO, explains the journey the company took and its unexpected consequences: About four years ago, we took what was a traditional Corporate Social Responsibility report and we put everything online and it’s called the Footprint Chronicles. … We actually took video cameras, we took tape recorders and still cameras into the factories. We told our factories: we intend to show our customers where everything is made, how it’s made, what the conditions are like, what the impact of transportation and water usage is on the overall carbon footprint. The Footprint Chronicles talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly of everything we make. It’s tracking about 40 styles right now, which represent hundreds of our overall styles in our annual seasonal output. The factories at first, like all of us, were reluctant to go down this path of total transparency. But … what happened was that customers, biologists, and efficiency experts would give us ideas about how to do a better job of manufacturing and shipping apparel, providing that information to us via email.


pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

Months later, Guy Lane, an Australian environmental scientist, came up with his BitCarbon method for calculating the carbon footprint of bitcoin. Based on his assumption that a bitcoin miner will on average spend 90 percent of the value of the mined bitcoin on electricity, Lane calculated that a $1,000 bitcoin price would result in 8.2 million tons of carbon per year, about the size of Cyprus’s emissions, and that a $100,000 bitcoin price would produce 825 megatons annually, or the equivalent of Germany’s emissions. If the bitcoin’s currency exchange rate ever got to $1 million, a number that some argue is feasible if bitcoin becomes a world-dominant payment system, its network would have a carbon footprint of 8.2 gigatons, or 20 percent of the planet’s carbon output. Bitcoin’s Mining Hashrate over Time (Source: Blockchain.info) The problem with these alarming projections is that they were based on flawed data from Blockchain.info, which was still using outdated GPU-based assumptions about electricity usage.

Abed, Gabriel Abridello, Mike accelerators Accel Partners Adams, Douglas Afghan Citadel Afghanistan Africa A-Grade Investments Ahmadi, Parisa AIG Airbnb Akimbo Alamgir, Nadia Alcoholics Anonymous Aleph Alibaba Alipay Alisie, Mihai Allaire, Jeremy al-Qaeda altcoins dogecoin litecoin Realcoin Alyattes, King Alydian Amazon Amazon Cloud American Express AME Ventures Amidi, Saeed Andolfatto, David Andreessen, Marc Andreessen Horowitz Andresen, Gavin Android angel investors anonymity anonymous remailers AntMinter Antonopoulos, Andreas ANX Apache tribe APIs (application programming interfaces) Apple Argentina exchange houses in trust problem in Aristotle Armstrong, Brian ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) chips Assange, Julian assassination AstroPay AT&T Atlas ATS Australia Austrian school of economics automobile loan payments Avalon Average Is Over (Cowen) Babylonians Back, Adam Bacon, Francis Bagehot, Walter Banco Popular Banga, Ajay Bank of America Bank of England (BOE) bankruptcy banks, banking central fees of fractional reserve Glass-Steagall Act and ledger and Medici modern payment system centered around people excluded from system of shadow system of tellers in too-big-to-fail Baran, Paul Barbados Barbie, Johann Barclays Barrett, John barter Beckstrom, Rod Bel Bruno, Joe Bell, Jim Bernanke, Ben Betamax BitAngels BitCarbon bitcoin(s): addresses in artwork and songs about balance in blockchain ledger in boom in brand of carbon footprint of as commodity community around creation of; see also Nakamoto, Satoshi crime and cryptography mailing list and culture of as currency defined as deflationary currency dollar and double-spending of early adopters of encryption in evangelists of exchange rate of fraud and future of Genesis Block in imitators of, see altcoins issuance of meetups for mining, see bitcoin mining and miners merchants accepting as movement as payments protocol as property regulation of, see regulation release of reward program in security and software for symbols of as technology thefts of traceability of transaction confirmation in transaction fees and transaction malleability bug and transaction volumes of trust and value of volatility of wallets for wealth concentration and Wild West phase of work in Bitcoin 2.0 (Blockchain 2.0) bitcoin barons bitcoin.com Bitcoin Decentral Bitcoin Faucet Bitcoin Forum Bitcoin Foundation Bitcoinica Bitcoin Magazine Bitcoin Market bitcoin mining and miners ASICs in cloud at data centers Dr.


pages: 347 words: 88,114

The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less by Amy Korst

airport security, business climate, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, if you build it, they will come, Mason jar, Parkinson's law

Any way you slice it, plastic is not good for the environment. It can’t be recycled, only downcycled, and really, humanity can use only so many plastic benches. Compostable toothbrushes (environmentaltoothbrush.com.au): Toothbrushes made with a bamboo handle and biodegradable bristles are another option to consider. These are sold by an Australian company, so you’ll also want to think about your carbon footprint if you choose to order them. They come in sets of twelve packaged in cardboard and paper. After use, these toothbrushes can be placed in your home compost pile, where they naturally biodegrade. Toothpaste Until recently, the Tom’s of Maine toothpaste company manufactured their toothpaste in recyclable aluminum tubes. The company’s switch to plastic toothpaste tubes left a number of zero-wasters in the lurch, for we had long relied on Tom’s of Maine products.

Besides the packaging garbage created from the plastic sleeves the flowers come in, there is a significant environmental impact created from cutting and transporting exotic flowers halfway around the world to the coolers of our grocery stores. You can minimize this impact by seeking out a local flower shop or nursery. Try to find locally grown, in-season flowers—they will have a much smaller carbon footprint if they were grown close to home. I once received a lovely gift from my eco-conscious husband—a single rose wrapped in a sleeve made from a banana leaf and tied with twine. You can also consider gifting a potted plant, which is a much better investment for the planet. St. Patrick’s Day Luckily St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t create much trash. The revelry of this holiday is mostly limited to food and libations.


pages: 362 words: 83,464

The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bob Noyce, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Graeber, deindustrialization, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, energy security, falling living standards, future of work, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, McJob, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, payday loans, Peter Calthorpe, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Indeed, despite all the talk of increased mass transit usage, the percentage of Americans working at home has grown 1.5 times faster over the past decade; there are now more telecommuters than people who take mass transit to work in 38 out of the 52 U.S. metropolitan areas.88 This emergence of the “electronic cottage,” to borrow Alvin Toffler’s phrase, reflects the potential for democratization in the information age. It also represents an enormous environmental bonus, as it greatly reduces both energy use and commute times. Indeed, a study by Global Workplace Analytics finds increased telecommuting could reduce carbon emissions by over 51 million metric tons a year—the equivalent of taking all of greater New York’s commuters off the road. Additional carbon footprint savings will come from reduced office energy consumption, roadway repairs, urban heating, office construction, business travel, and paper usage (as electronic documents replace paper). Traffic jams idle away almost 3 billion gallons of gas a year and account for 26 million extra tons of greenhouse gases.89 The rapid shift toward home-based business may also enhance the prospects of the Yeoman class in coming decades.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Andrew Gray, “The Economic Effects of Hydrofracturing on Local Economies: A Comparison of New York and Pennsylvania,” Growth and Prosperity Report, no. 1, May 2013, http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/gpr_01.htm. 97. Fred Siegel, “The Poverty of Environmentalism,” Society, vol. 51, no. 3 (June 2014): 258–61. 98. Karl Sharro, “Density or Sprawl,” in Dave Clements et al., The Future of Community, pp. 68–77. 99. Witold Rybczynski, “Behind the Façade,” Architect, November 2013. 100. Bruce Nussbaum, “Al Gore’s Carbon Footprint Is Big,” Bloomberg Businessweek, February 27, 2007, http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/NussbaumOnDesign/archives/2007/02/gores_carbon_fo.html; David Zahniser, “Do As We Say, Not As We Do,” LA Weekly, May 30, 2007. 101. Karrie Jacobs, “It’s a Small World,” Metropolis Magazine, April 2013; Susan Johnston, “Micro Apartments Offer Small Slice of City Living,” U.S. News and World Report, November 15, 2013; Carolyn Said, “Micro-Apartment Developments on Rise in S.F.,” SFGate, November 11, 2013, http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Micro-apartment-developments-on-rise-in-S-F-4951775.php; Roger Vincent, “$50-Million Complex of Micro Apartments Finished in Santa Monica,” Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2013; Matt Johnson, “Micro Apartments?


pages: 322 words: 84,580

The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All by Martin Sandbu

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, collective bargaining, debt deflation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mini-job, mortgage debt, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, pink-collar, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, social intelligence, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, universal basic income, very high income, winner-take-all economy, working poor

Nordhaus thinks the global carbon price today is at best one-tenth of what it needs to be. A $91/tonne carbon tax would be needed to keep temperature rises below 3 degrees beyond preindustrial levels, and as much as $225/tonne to stay below 2 degrees.25 Such taxes would be a direct blow at the left behind, who, in the short run at least, bear the lion’s share of higher carbon prices. Carbon use roughly follows consumption overall, so the richer you are, the bigger your carbon footprint—but taxing that footprint can hurt the left behind more. This is in part because those with a lower income spend a larger share of it on essential energy and transport costs. It is in part because cities are more energy efficient than the less densely populated left-behind areas where car use is unavoidable and public transport poor. Finally, it is partly because those in precarious economic situations cannot easily afford to adapt to economic incentives for less carbon-intensive behaviour (by paying more for energy-efficient cars and appliances, say).

James Hansen, a founding father of climate science, proposed it first.26 Canada is trying to implement it; official economic advisers in France and Germany are advocating it.27 This would create a permanent direct cash stream into everyone’s pocket. Anyone who uses less than average amounts of carbon would receive more in payments than they lost in higher prices—protecting the most vulnerable while rewarding anyone who reduces their carbon footprint. The cash stream would give struggling groups the wherewithal to respond to such incentives in ways that work for them—by upgrading to more energy-efficient equipment, say. It would also at a stroke create a constituency in favour of increasing environmental taxes further (and this idea could be extended to other environmental problems than carbon emissions). If that constituency were large enough, it would overcome the culture war.


pages: 1,199 words: 332,563

Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert N. Proctor

bioinformatics, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, index card, Indoor air pollution, information retrieval, invention of gunpowder, John Snow's cholera map, language of flowers, life extension, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, publication bias, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, speech recognition, stem cell, telemarketer, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

American automobiles emit an average of about 4.4 tons of carbon per year (driving 12,000 miles), which means that if cigarettes were to disappear from the United States the country would see a carbon benefit equivalent to taking nearly 4 million cars off the road.7 The benefit would actually be significantly higher than this, however, since EIOLCA modelers measure the carbon footprint of an industry (or product) only as far as the factory gate. Ignored are whatever emissions may stem from transporting cigarettes to retail outlets, or from smokers driving to the store to get their fix. More important, though, are the carbon costs of the medical care required to treat illnesses caused by smoking. Health care in the United States is estimated to have a total carbon footprint of about 550 million metric tons of carbon dioxide,8 and since about 5 percent of all U.S. health care costs stem from tobacco—about $100 billion per year—we can assume that about 5 percent of this health care carbon burden could be avoided by eliminating smoking.

Snodgrass in the United States Tobacco Journal.6 Snodgrass was talking only about the United States, but the global toll is now larger by more than an order of magnitude. Six billion kilograms of cigarettes are smoked worldwide every year, which doesn’t count the packaging, cartons, or cases in which they are housed and transported. So it should hardly come as a surprise that cigarettes are leaving a sizable carbon footprint on the planet. Global climate change has stimulated a great deal of interest in what are known as “life cycle” comparisons, meaning comparisons of how different industries contribute to greenhouse warming. And sophisticated models have been developed to calculate impacts for different kinds of industry. In 2002, for example, according to the Economic Input-Output Lifecycle Assessment (EIOLCA) models developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Green Design Institute, the $47 billion tobacco industry in the United States was responsible for generating about 16 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents.

A WIN-WIN-WIN SITUATION Cigarettes contribute substantially to the global climate crisis. In the United States alone, eliminating cigarettes would yield carbon savings equivalent to raising the fuel efficiency of all cars and trucks by several miles per gallon—or to converting the entire electrical grid of a state like Massachusetts to solar power. Eliminating cigarettes would probably make a bigger dent in the country’s total carbon footprint than is presently made by all of the nation’s wind and solar energy combined. We tend of think of saving the planet as involving painful sacrifices or breakthroughs in science and technology, but in this case global environmental health could be boosted by eliminating the world’s leading cause of preventable death. This is a win-win-win situation, given that most smokers don’t even enjoy their cigarettes—and wish they didn’t smoke.


pages: 475 words: 155,554

The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, WikiLeaks, working-age population, zero-sum game

Plenty of leading Indian businessmen treat climate change as if it was a neo-colonialist conspiracy to keep the BRICS countries down. Mr Ramesh had an especially blunt message for the British negotiator at the failed Copenhagen climate talks, now the leader of the Opposition at Westminster. ‘This constant preaching from Ed Miliband, for example. On India and China he became an evangelical, you know, but I can tell you that Ed Miliband’s carbon footprint is probably twenty times my carbon footprint.’ The global debate about climate change becomes tangible in India. Should all its people be connected to the electricity grid? Should Indians who want to travel from Mumbai to Kolkata have to catch a twenty-six-hour train, or should they be able to fly? The growing assertiveness of India and of China in recent years has caused the collapse of negotiations on both world trade and on the environment.

If we in the West readjust our lifestyles, then the carbon in that Iraqi oil field, in that Siberian gas field, in that Indian coalfield, might just remain under the ground – and not end up in the atmosphere. The carbon traders of Kingston upon Thames Europe did come up with a method of trying to restrict carbon output, a method dreamt up by the high priests of high finance. It was called carbon trading. Greed can never have been so good. At one point, because ‘almost everything has a carbon footprint’, the proponents of carbon trading believed that carbon could one day become the most traded commodity on the globe. Half the current trading comes through London, and the City of London is emerging as the world centre for carbon capitalism. Kingston upon Thames is an unlikely hub for anything, but nestled in the greenery beside the River Thames lies a futuristic office block designed to accommodate a small army of planet-saving, carbon-dioxide-sapping capitalists.


pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, disruptive innovation, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Casey Sheahan, the CEO of the outdoor-apparel company Patagonia, admits that even a company such as his—with a strong, well-defined mission that is tied to encouraging outdoor activity and protecting the environment—has to revisit questions about purpose and mission regularly. “There is great tension every day7 in the company between being successful in terms of growth, and what this means in terms of our environmental impact.” The bigger Patagonia gets, the more challenging this becomes. Sheahan grapples constantly with the question How can we minimize the environmental impact of the tremendous carbon footprint of operating a $570 million business? What helps guide the company at all times, he said, is the knowledge of how it began. “When the company was started by the founders, it was basically about protecting what they loved, nature, and trying expand the sphere of influence in order to inspire others.” Not only is that the reason Patagonia exists—it’s also the reason people come to work there, to this day.

How can we save a little bit of money, make it a little more efficient, where can we cut costs? Why does the world need another company? Why should anyone care about us? How in the world are we going to break through? Why are we in business? (And by the way—what business are we really in?) Who have we (as a company) historically been, when we’ve been at our best? How can we minimize that [environmental] impact given that there is a tremendous carbon footprint operating a $570 million business?, (Patagonia’s enduring question) What was our higher purpose at the outset? And how can we rally people around that today? Who must we fearlessly become? What is true about us, at our core? Are we really who we say we are?, (HBO’s big question) Was it an original and worthwhile idea? And was this show the very best realization of that idea? What if a running shoe could run your life?


pages: 302 words: 92,507

Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places by Bill Streever

Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Exxon Valdez, Mason jar, refrigerator car, South China Sea, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, University of East Anglia

Stadials such as these (and the Little Ice Age) remind us of the variability of climate, but this variability should not be confused with the kind of variability that is occurring now, which appears to be much more significant and linked to greenhouse gas emissions. JUNE According to the Environmental Protection Agency, burning a gallon of gasoline releases almost twenty pounds of carbon dioxide. Many carbon footprint calculators are available on the Internet. The carbon footprint of even environmentally conscious people is shocking. No one would willingly and knowingly dump ten or twenty pounds (or more) of garbage from their car during the daily commute to and from work, yet that is exactly what most people do every day. Joseph Fourier’s 1827 essay “Mémoire sur les températures du globe terrestre et des espaces planétaires” (“Report on the Temperature of the Earth and Planetary Spaces,” Mémoires de l’Académie Royale des Sciences, vol. 7, pp. 569–604) is often cited as the first description of the greenhouse effect.


Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead by Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman

AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hive mind, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, lone genius, Lyft, megacity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, performance metric, precision agriculture, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed

Friction-free personal mobility One of the great unknowns about driverless cars is whether their convenience will worsen traffic congestion and its accompanying evils. An optimistic scenario would be that driverless cars will improve the efficiency of urban transportation systems, and hence reduce private vehicle ownership, thereby reducing congestion and therefore reducing the size of a city’s carbon footprint that’s related to transportation. Another, less environmentally friendly scenario is that as people embrace the convenience of friction-free mobility, driverless cars will wind up actually logging more vehicle-miles per year on average, leaving a larger carbon footprint. Convenience can be a double-edged sword. People are drawn to convenience like iron filings to a magnet. Sometimes, however, convenience carries with it a price: unexpected and negative consequences. The friction-free personal mobility offered by driverless cars might solve the worst excesses already inflicted on us by automotive technology.


A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution by Jennifer A. Doudna, Samuel H. Sternberg

3D printing, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, carbon footprint, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, double helix, Drosophila, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, mouse model, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker

The gene-spliced salmon contains an extra growth hormone gene, resulting in a fish that reaches market weight in half the time of a conventionally farmed salmon and without any changes to its nutritional content or any increased health risks for either the fish or the humans who eat it. Advocates argue that high-yielding farmed salmon would be a boon to the environment because they would reduce depletion of wild fish stocks, decrease the amount of salmon imported into the United States (currently 95 percent), and deliver fish to the market with a carbon footprint that is around twenty-five times less than for conventional salmon. Still, as with GMO crops, the backlash against genetically modified salmon has been intense; opponents have branded the animals “Frankenfish” and claimed that the salmon endanger consumers’ personal health as well as wild fish ecosystems. A 2013 New York Times poll found that 75 percent of respondents wouldn’t eat GMO fish, and consumer criticism has led more than sixty grocery-store chains across the United States—including retail giants such as Whole Foods, Safeway, Target, and Trader Joe’s—to promise not to sell the salmon.

at a cost of over eighty million dollars: C. Harrison, “Going Swimmingly: AquaBounty’s GM Salmon Approved for Consumption After 19 Years,” SynBioBeta, November 23, 2015, http://synbiobeta.com/news/aquabounty-gm-salmon/. without any changes to its nutritional content or any increased health risks: A. Pollack, “Genetically Engineered Salmon Approved for Consumption,” New York Times, November 19, 2015. a carbon footprint that is around twenty-five times less than for conventional salmon: W. Saletan, “Don’t Fear the Frankenfish,” Slate, November 20, 2015, www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/11/genetically_engineered_aquabounty_salmon_safe_fda_decides.html. 75 percent of respondents wouldn’t eat GMO fish: A. Kopicki, “Strong Support for Label­ing Modified Foods,” New York Times, July 27, 2013.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

Many commentators have rightly pointed to the history of technological change to show that it need not lead to mass unemployment. However, the primary periods of automation coincided with significant reductions in the working week; employment was often sustained by redistributing the work. A second benefit of this policy is its various environmental advantages. For instance, reductions in the working week would lead to significant reductions in energy consumption and our overall carbon footprint.76 Increased free time would also mean a reduction in all the convenience goods bought to fit into our hectic work schedules. More broadly, using productivity improvements for less work, rather than more output, would mean that energy efficiency improvements would go towards reducing environmental impacts.77 A reduction in working hours is therefore an essential plank in any response to climate change.

Without these technologies, postcapitalism would risk repeating all the economic problems already seen in the first communist experiment.108 Second, global logistics makes possible the use of a wide array of comparative advantages – not simply wage differentials. To cite one example: research has found that it is more environmentally friendly for certain agricultural goods to be produced in New Zealand and shipped to the UK, as opposed to being produced and consumed in the UK.109 Even after being shipped across the world, they still have a smaller carbon footprint. The simple reason for this is that reproducing the appropriate climate in the UK would involve intense energy consumption. Such environmental comparative advantages only exist where there is an efficient and global logistics network. Finally, logistics is at the forefront of the automation of work, and therefore represents a prime example of what a postcapitalist world might look like: machines humming along and handling the difficult labour that humans would otherwise be forced to do.


pages: 313 words: 92,053

Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life by Colin Ellard

augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, megastructure, more computing power than Apollo, Oculus Rift, Peter Eisenman, RFID, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, sentiment analysis, smart cities, starchitect, the built environment, theory of mind, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen

Writing in the 1970s, Negroponte foresaw the promise of combining computer power with building materials in such a way that a structure could respond intelligently to events that took place in and around it.22 Most work so far in this field has focused on finding ways to enhance environmental sustainability in buildings by designing features that minimize their carbon footprint. The North House, for example, a design that originated in the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture and was spearheaded by Beesley, was a response to the challenge of building a zero carbon-footprint house in northern climates. The North House accomplishes this by means of a set of sensors that can respond not only to the weather outside, but also to the internal environment and the positions, movements, and activities of its occupants. On a larger scale, responsive envelopes for major buildings have been developed that minimize energy costs by responding to environmental events.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy and hold, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Early efforts have been very promising for business and people alike. Juliet Schor, a sociologist at Boston College, believes we must overcome our fear of appearing fanciful or naïve and get on with the business of reducing work hours.51 Her research shows that more working hours do not lead to a better economy, a better environment, or a better quality of life. Countries that have just begun instituting worktime reduction already have smaller carbon footprints than those that haven’t. Schor has also shown how spending fewer hours on the job frees people to pursue the sorts of things they already do for free and that ultimately contribute even more greatly to the economy—from caring for the sick to teaching children. In the words of New Economics Foundation researcher Julia Slay, “What would the cost to your business be if your workers were never potty trained?”

Robert McMillan, “The Inside Story of Mt. Gox, Bitcoin’s $460 Million Disaster,” wired.com, March 3, 2014. 37. Ryan Lawler, “Bitcoin Miners Are Racking Up $150,000 a Day in Power Consumption Alone,” techcrunch.com, April 13, 2013. 38. Mark Gimein, “Virtual Bitcoin Mining Is a Real-World Environmental Disaster,” bloomberg.com, April 12, 2013. 39. Michael Carney, “Bitcoin Has a Dark Side: Its Carbon Footprint,” pando.com, December 16, 2013. 40. Lawler, “Bitcoin Miners Are Racking Up $150,000 a Day.” 41. Jon Evans, “Enter the Blockchain: How Bitcoin Can Turn the Cloud Inside Out,” techcrunch.com, March 22, 2014. 42. Vitalik Buterin, “DAOs, DACs, DAs and More: An Incomplete Terminology Guide,” blog.ethereum.org, May 6, 2014. 43. David Johnston, Sam Onat Yilmaz, Jeremy Kandah, Nikos Bentenitis, Farzad Hashemi, Ron Gross, Shawn Wilkinson, and Steven Mason, “The General Theory of Decentralized Applications, Dapps,” github.com, June 9, 2014. 44.


pages: 269 words: 91,325

The Allotment Chef: Home-Grown Recipes and Seasonal Stories by Paul Merrett

carbon footprint, food miles, Google Earth, nuclear winter, sensible shoes

I have not discussed this with the family yet but it is obvious to me that we will never be able to go on holiday in August again, or July or September for that matter; we will have to limit our fun to February when the allotment is relatively quiet. Besides, we are now trying to be responsible human beings and live a slightly greener lifestyle in general, so perhaps a foreign holiday involving air travel is something we have to forgo altogether, right? Our new-found greenness, which MJ was also so keen to encourage, demands that we consider our ‘carbon footprint’, correct? A green activist cannot pick and choose which aspects of planet saving appeal most. Who am I kidding? I’ll be crucified. The days leading up to our departure are spent harvesting, eating and freezing what we can. As well as lettuce and beans, we are now picking tomatoes and spinach. In my opinion, spinach really does need to be eaten as soon as it is picked, because it doesn’t freeze easily.

MJ explains that they are not in season and we will have to wait until the summer for our sugar snaps. Ellie is not one to be fobbed off so lightly, however, and she quickly points out that you can get sugar snaps at Waitrose and Tesco whenever you want. Top marks for debating skills but, quite frankly, after all this time, our children are completely missing the point when it comes to seasonal eating, food miles and carbon footprints. This does, however, inspire a general conversation with the kids about what food they do like and what food they don’t. I suggest they write a list of all the stuff they hated when we first began growing our own vegetables and what they still hate now having eaten the fresh, home-grown organic versions. In the case of both Ellie and Richie the lists are the same and they are clear – what they hated then, they apparently still hate: I tell them that I will keep their lists and show them when they are older, by which time I assure them they will love every vegetable on their lists, including purple sprouting.


Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere by Christian Wolmar

Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, BRICs, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, deskilling, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, wikimedia commons, Zipcar

There were fewer than 2 million motor vehicles in the United Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere Kingdom in 1950, compared with 37 million today. The 1950s was a golden age when it seemed that motoring offered unparalleled freedom to travel with literally no downsides. As Steven Parissien, author of a history of the motor car, puts it: ‘no one in the fifties worried about emissions, about carbon footprints or … about the ready supply of cheap oil’.1 Cars transformed the way people lived. The very geography of towns and cities changed as suburbs, whose location had previously been limited by the need to be close to a railway station or tram stop, could spring up anywhere. Planning laws were adjusted to take into account this new-found access to mobility. The growth of low-density suburbs was a direct result of greater access to cars.


pages: 315 words: 99,065

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson

barriers to entry, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, clean water, collective bargaining, Costa Concordia, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, index card, inflight wifi, Lao Tzu, low cost airline, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, trade route, zero-sum game

In 2005, long before they started to collaborate with Wal-Mart on the CFL drive, GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt launched their ‘Ecomagination’ business push, which was neatly encapsulated by the slogan ‘Green Can Be Green’ (as in the ‘greenback’ dollar). Among a multitude of projects ‘Ecomagination’ has spawned programmes like ‘Ecomagination Nation’ a global power and water initiative designed to reduce GE’s carbon footprint, energy and water use. To date eighteen global sites are participating, reducing water use in 2012 by 669 million gallons, the equivalent to shutting down Niagara Falls for seventy-seven minutes. Another GE programme has produced the natural gas-powered ‘Flex Efficiency’ power plant – the emissions reduction in a year from operating just one of these instead of a coal-powered unit is the equivalent to eliminating the annual CO2 emissions of nearly three million cars in Japan.

The Carbon War Room’s research team is constantly working to identify opportunities that have cost-negative, billion ton per annum carbon reduction potential over the next ten years and has to date found seven of them: industry, forestry, agriculture, waste management, transport, energy and construction. Across seventeen sub-sectors these seven sectors combined could account for a fourteen per cent reduction in the world’s CO2 annual emissions! If these numbers sound ambitious, they are. But Christopher Columbus was told the same thing when, with nothing but the courage of his own convictions, he went in search of the East Indies. And just look at what happened there – without any carbon footprint whatsoever! All these huge numbers are very grand, I know, and a common question is what does all this mean for existing small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to start one? The simple answer is – a lot. In the long term, value or purpose-driven entrepreneurs stand a much better chance of succeeding in a global marketplace in which regulators everywhere are steadily tightening the compliance rules.


pages: 371 words: 98,534

Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy by George Magnus

3D printing, 9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, Malacca Straits, means of production, megacity, money market fund, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old age dependency ratio, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk tolerance, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, speech recognition, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade route, urban planning, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

The proof of the pudding will lie partly in China’s investment in clean energy, and the rigorous implementation of regulatory and administrative measures affecting the environment. At the same time, China will also have to demonstrate a willingness to embrace continuous coal production capacity and usage cutbacks, markets in carbon trading, and measures to relieve water scarcity and improve the distribution and efficiency of water allocation. China’s attempts to improve its carbon footprint and turn its back on pollution-oriented growth are mixed. It has cancelled numerous new coal-fired power plants and shut down capacity, but announced cutbacks in capacity often fall short of actual shut-downs. There have been several examples of over-ambitious or ill-thought-out plans to cut coal-fired power or switch to natural gas that have either had to be reversed or postponed because of disruption, inadequate heating supplies, or a failure to allow for the development of alternative energy infrastructure.

The long-distance freight train connections and journeys certainly appeal to China’s Silk Road narrative, and to widely shared, sometimes romantic ideas about long-distance train travel. Yet running freight trains halfway across the world is probably more meaningful to rail enthusiasts than it is to the global economy and global commerce. Sending goods by train to Europe is faster than sending them by sea or road, but it is also twice as expensive and leaves bigger carbon footprints. It’s much cheaper than sending goods by air, and there is a limit to what you can put in the hold of a cargo plane. Yet, even though freight traffic between China and Europe is growing quickly from a zero baseline, it’s small. It accounts for about 1 per cent of the volume of total trade. Trains have to stop many times along the way to switch locomotives and trucks to cope with different railway gauges and signalling systems.


pages: 118 words: 35,663

Smart Machines: IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing (Columbia Business School Publishing) by John E. Kelly Iii

AI winter, call centre, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, demand response, discovery of DNA, disruptive innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, global supply chain, Internet of things, John von Neumann, Mars Rover, natural language processing, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Feynman, smart grid, smart meter, speech recognition, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

They needed a digital model of a city that they could experiment with.So they built a framework of knowledge about each individual’s activities, including detecting meaningful locations, segmenting trips, calculating the duration of stays, identifying the purpose of each trip, plotting origins and destinations of each trip, tracking the time of day, and specifying the mode of transportation. They even estimated the carbon footprint of each trip. Then they aggregated all of the information about individuals to generate citywide patterns. The team used the results to optimize the routes and schedules for the city’s bus system. The objective was to minimize the sum of operator costs, user costs, and unsatisfied demand costs for the entire network. Costs aren’t just expressed in dollars. For users, for instance, they include factors like waiting, walking, and driving a car.


pages: 380 words: 104,841

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, Internet of things, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microbiome, nuclear winter, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the High Line, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

When roads, power lines, and sewers lie closer together, they require fewer resources. Apartments are insulated by the civil geometry of the buildings, making them easier to heat, cool, and light. Crowded neighbors can share public transportation, and most destinations tend to be close, within walking or biking distance; people rarely need cars. As a result, city-dwellers actually create a much smaller carbon footprint than rural-dwellers do. Cities like New York boast the lowest amount of energy use per household and per person, and so, paradoxically, although the city as a whole uses more energy, each person uses less. It seems counterintuitive, but city life can be a more eco-friendly way for humans to live. Cities in developing countries also use less energy—but that’s because the number of poor tends to be higher there and they consume less, including less food and fresh water.

Worldwide, in such ways, the outdated idea of travel serving only to carry people from one place to another is gradually melting into the notion of piggybacking and recycling—transportation with bonuses. This pertains to cars and buses, of course, with companies aiming for ever greater mileage on ever less fuel of a preferably renewable sort such as hydrogen or electricity. A new twist on that is the Green Apple concept car, so named because it’s designed for use as a taxi in New York City, offering “street hails” in all five boroughs. Not adding to the carbon footprint, it could actually erase part of it. A three-seater shaped like an aerodynamic space helmet, it’s powered by turbines that whip in polluted air and purify it before exhaling it back onto the street. A snarky air-scrubber. Remember riding on the vacuum cleaner Mom or Dad propelled? Yes, the air could be called what it is, “recycled waste,” but where’s the fun in that? Speaking of fun, some wind-harvesting ideas look like they’ve sprung from either an aviary or pages of sci-fi.


pages: 335 words: 111,405

B Is for Bauhaus, Y Is for YouTube: Designing the Modern World From a to Z by Deyan Sudjic

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, dematerialisation, deskilling, edge city, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, illegal immigration, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, light touch regulation, market design, megastructure, moral panic, New Urbanism, place-making, QWERTY keyboard, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, urban renewal, urban sprawl, young professional

But then I also began to think about what I really had in my hand with a fourth-generation iPhone. This was a replacement for a telephone, a music system, a camera, an emailer, a library and a GPS. Think of all the things that it has done away with: the film, the chemicals to process the film, the paper on which the prints are made, the record players, the vinyl, the factories in which the vinyl is made, the shops in which they are sold, the carbon footprint that visiting that shop entailed. There is no way yet to be definitive. Millions of iPhones are acquired and discarded every year. They have to be fed by the strip mining of lithium needed for their batteries – life expectancy of remaining sources is estimated at another forty years. The toxic by-products of dumping exhausted batteries in landfill are being addressed. But we still simply don’t really know enough to understand the balance between the resources consumed by disposability and the resources saved by the versatility of appliances rendered immaterial by digitalization.

It started with Mumbai’s most recent incarnation, the financial centre of India (and of much of Asia and the Arabian Gulf too), where the hotels are moored like giant luxury liners blazing light tethered at anchor. They were self-contained worlds floating in the dense urban fabric around them, full of gold and cut glass, international chefs and grand dinners, film stars and visiting academics, ecologists and carbon-footprint specialists, doctors and accountants, performing tirelessly for one another. This was the world that terrorism invaded in the brutal attack on the Taj Hotel and its neighbours in 2009. Then there was the Victorian municipal city, its fretwork skyline erupting over the Maidan Oval and its balletic cricket players. The ground is still ringed by statues of nineteenth-century worthies, with Zoroastrians and Jains rendered in the manner of nonconformist Bradford cloth merchants, remembered for their good works for the poor in their day.


Discover Greece Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

car-free, carbon footprint, credit crunch, G4S, haute couture, haute cuisine, low cost airline, low cost carrier, pension reform, sensible shoes, too big to fail, trade route, urban renewal

By choosing to travel on the ground instead of the air, you’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint. It’s a win-win situation. CLIMATE CHANGE & TRAVEL Every form of transport that relies on carbon-based fuel generates CO2, the main cause of human-induced climate change. Modern travel is dependent on aeroplanes, which might use less fuel per kilometre per person than most cars but travel much greater distances. The altitude at which aircraft emit gases (including CO2) and particles also contributes to their climate change impact. Many websites offer ‘carbon calculators’ that allow people to estimate the carbon emissions generated by their journey and, for those who wish to do so, to offset the impact of the greenhouse gases emitted with contributions to portfolios of climate-friendly initiatives throughout the world. Lonely Planet offsets the carbon footprint of all staff and author travel.


pages: 137 words: 36,231

Information: A Very Short Introduction by Luciano Floridi

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, bioinformatics, carbon footprint, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, industrial robot, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of writing, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Laplace demon, moral hazard, Nash equilibrium, Nelson Mandela, Norbert Wiener, Pareto efficiency, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, RFID, Thomas Bayes, Turing machine, Vilfredo Pareto

The physics of information can be highly energy-consuming and hence potentially unfriendly towards the environment. In 2000, data centres consumed 0.6% of the world's electricity. In 2005, the figure had increased to 1%. They are now responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions per year than Argentina or the Netherlands and, if current trends hold, their emissions will have grown four-fold by 2020, reaching 670 million tonnes. By then, it is estimated that the carbon footprint of ICTs will be higher than that of aviation. However, according to recent studies, ICTs will also help to eliminate almost 8 metric gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions annually by 2020, which is equivalent to 15% of global emissions today and five times more than the estimated emissions from ICTs in 2020. This positive and improvable balance leads me to a final comment. The greenest machine is a machine with 100% energy efficiency.


pages: 121 words: 36,908

Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

Airbnb, basic income, bitcoin, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, fixed income, full employment, future of work, high net worth, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, litecoin, mass incarceration, means of production, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart meter, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

And we will have to reconstruct everything, from our cities to our transportation networks to our power grids, in line with a new way of relating to the ecosystem. In order to consider what kind of social system could take up this task, it’s worth stopping to characterize the relationship between humans and nature in any future postcapitalist world. Considerations of ecology often tend toward a duality between humans—and their technologies—and nature. Talk of “conservation” or of reducing our “carbon footprints” implies that nature exists in some pristine state and that the task of humans is to withdraw from nature in order to save it. This way of thinking is ultimately a denial of humans as natural, biological beings, inseparably a part of nature—just as much so, in its way, as those forms of transhumanism that yearn to upload consciousness into computers in order to be free of the organic world altogether.


pages: 428 words: 117,419

Cyclopedia by William Fotheringham

Berlin Wall, British Empire, carbon footprint, Fall of the Berlin Wall, intermodal, Kickstarter, Northern Rock, éminence grise

Wilkinson reached close to 80 mph on long descents, and covered the distance in 41 hours, 4 minutes, 22 seconds including a stop of almostan hour to replace a rear axle. Dick Poole’s End-to-End Eats = Between Land’s End and John O’Groats in 1965 Poole got through 2 pounds of fruitcake, 11 packets of malt loaf, a gallon of rice and fruit salad, 7 pints of Complan, 12 oranges, 8 pints of coffee, 13 pints of tea, and 8 pints of Ribena. ENVIRONMENT Cycling is now a recognized means of lowering one’s carbon footprint. The figures speak for themselves—100 calories takes a cyclist 3 miles, a car all of 280 feet. In 2009 research indicated that if cycling use in cities doubles from 4 percent of journeys to 8 percent, there would be a total drop of 1.1 percent in carbon emissions. If those journeys are intermodal (public transport + bike), the figure can go up to 1.8 percent because greater distances can be covered.

If those journeys are intermodal (public transport + bike), the figure can go up to 1.8 percent because greater distances can be covered. On the other hand, cycling as a pastime rather than a means of transport is by no means carbon friendly. Driving from London to the south of France with a bike on the roofrack creates 360 kgm of CO2; taking the train and hiring a bike creates 100 kgm; flying with the bike in the hold creates 850 kgm, more than heating the average house for a year. Few studies exist into the carbon footprint of bike races but the number of vehicle miles involved suggest that it is horrendous. That is borne out by a study from the International Institute for Sport Science and Technology, which calculated that the Tour of Romandie, a six-day stage race for pros, produced 138 tons of CO2, which is just under the amount of CO2 emissions produced by Nauru, an island state in the South Pacific. ÉTAPE DU TOUR The most celebrated CYCLOSPORTIVE event, and the first with the now universal format of prerace party, classic route, accurate timing, well-filled goody bag, and ample technical support.


pages: 138 words: 40,525

This Is Not a Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook by Extinction Rebellion

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, feminist movement, full employment, gig economy, global pandemic, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, mass immigration, Peter Thiel, place-making, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, Sam Altman, smart grid, supply-chain management, the scientific method, union organizing, urban sprawl, wealth creators

This latest meeting took place over three days and, though it was only the start of May and the leaves had not long been on the trees, the temperature was rising to match the architecture, the first taste of a relentless summer when forests would burn and wells run dry. At the end of the first day Kevin Anderson, deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, took to the stage. Before he was a climate scientist, Kevin built oil rigs for a living. He has the bluntness of an engineer, together with the moral clarity of a man who hasn’t flown in many years, rejecting the logic of many in his field who justify their carbon footprints on the grounds of the importance of their work. His message was stark: to have a chance of meeting the goal agreed by governments in Paris, to keep climate change within a limit of 2 degrees Celsius, impossible things need to happen. Things beyond the bounds of what even the most progressive elements in mainstream politics have been willing to contemplate, even on their best days, over the past thirty years.


pages: 366 words: 123,151

The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today by Ted Conover

airport security, Atahualpa, carbon footprint, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Google Earth, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, Ronald Reagan, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, urban renewal

That distinction, meanwhile, belongs to the United States, and Chinese have a point when they say that those in developed countries who complain about China’s pollution are like ex-smokers who walk into a room of people smoking and declare, “No smoking!” When you are the world’s factory you necessarily make a bit of a mess, and most of it, after all, affects you more than anybody else. One could also note, in China’s defense, that the typical Chinese person’s carbon footprint remains tiny. The average person in China travels about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) per year, compared with 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles) per year for Europeans and over 24,000 kilometers (14,913 miles) per year for Americans. In 2004 there were only 9 cars per 1,000 people in China, compared to 700 per 1,000 in the United States, “400 in Japan, 350-500 in Europe, and 150-200 in middle income countries like Mexico, Brazil and Korea.”

Last, roads have long provided a solution, in American life and elsewhere, to disappointments and the lack of local opportunity. You go somewhere else, you start again. Or you get started for the first time. As Bruce Springsteen sang in “Thunder Road”: “It’s a town full of losers / And I’m pulling out of here to win.” That ethos might be poised for reassessment in light of high oil prices, the concept of the carbon footprint, and the notion that, given the disappearance of the frontier and the recognition that there is limited space on earth for ever-growing numbers of people, we need to stay put and clean up after ourselves, not simply forever move on. And yet, stasis is not an option. In the words of Ibn al-’Arabi, a twelfth-century philosopher from Spain, “The origin of existence is movement. Immobility can have no part in it, for if existence were immobile, it would return to its source, which is the Void.


pages: 144 words: 47,632

My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face by Michael Ian Black

carbon footprint, late fees

Don’t use charitable giving as a way to feel smug. This one’s going to be hard for me because charitable giving is one of my primary ways of feeling smug, both toward the people to whom I am donating and toward the people who did not give. It’s two-for-one smugness and it has to stop. 39. Clean out my high school locker. It’s been almost twenty years, and I imagine things are getting a little rank in there. 40. Cut down on my carbon footprint by making everybody come to me instead of the other way around. Let the dead Earth be on their consciences for once. 41. Learn and use cool handshakes. 42. Learn and use my children’s names. 43. Pitch my idea for the television show World’s Strongest Rock Star. When an executive asks, “Will anybody care how far Hootie can shot-put?” answer, “Yes.” 44. Give serious consideration to adopting a baby, but don’t. 45.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social intelligence, social software, standardized shipping container, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

Some people in the blockchain ecosystem are making back-of-the-envelope calculations that become memes in the community. Estimates liken the bitcoin network’s energy consumption to the power used by nearly seven hundred average American homes at the low end of the spectrum and to the energy consumed by the island of Cyprus at the high end.11 That’s more than 4.409 billion kilowatt-hours,12 a Godzilla-sized carbon footprint, and it’s by design. It’s what secures the network and keeps nodes honest. In early 2015, The New Republic reported that the combined processing power of the bitcoin network was hundreds of times greater than the aggregate output of the world’s top five hundred supercomputers. “Processing and protecting the more than $3 billion worth of bitcoins in circulation requires more than $100 million in electricity each year, generating a volume of carbon emissions to match.”

BitFury, for example, has two data centers—one in Iceland and another in the country of Georgia—with plans for additional centers in North America, and it acquired the Hong Kong–based start-up Allied Control, which specializes in immersion cooling technology.21 And so BitFury is working to reduce the ecological impact of the bitcoin infrastructure. Even if these initiatives limit mining’s carbon footprint, we still have the rapid consumption and disposal of these continually upgraded devices. Miners who want to make a career of it must continually upgrade and specialize their systems. Most mining equipment has a useful life span of three to six months.22 Bob Tapscott likened firms such as BitFury to those Yukon shopkeepers during the great gold rush: they made their real fortune by selling better and better shovels to the miners.23 We found one miner’s description of his Cointerra TerraMiner IV bitcoin with an ASIC chip that was so energy intensive that his home’s electrical system couldn’t handle it.


pages: 489 words: 132,734

A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook

Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, joint-stock company, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pearl River Delta, Potemkin village, profit motive, rent control, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, starchitect, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

For all their “local” bells and whistles, Dubai’s Arab pride malls are Western shopping malls filled with Western stores that fail to respond to the complexities of their location, environmentally as well as culturally. Environmentally, Dubai’s air-conditioned megamalls only fulfill Sheikh Mohammed’s desire to be number one in one respect: they have helped make the UAE the only country on earth to top America in energy use and carbon footprint per capita. Culturally, such malls are just multi-million-dollar exercises in psychological overcompensation for the least Arab city in Arabia. As the late Arab-American journalist Anthony Shadid wrote in The Washington Post, Dubai’s globalization strategy is to “[bring] success to an Arab city by shearing away the qualities that have long defined it as Arab.” Indian expats knowingly call Dubai “the best city in India” while Iranians dub it “the best city in Iran.”

., 113. 370 numbering over a million: Krane, City of Gold, 199. 370 approximately one hundred thousand: Ali, Dubai: Gilded Cage, 112. 370 “Talk to a Local” booths: Davidson, Dubai, 203. 370 foreigners make up 99 percent of the workforce: Ali, Dubai: Gilded Cage, 7. 371 Emirati teachers are paid more than twice what expatriates make: Kathryn Lewis and Kareem Shaheen, “Low-Wage Teachers Take on Second Jobs,” The National (Abu Dhabi), January 30, 2010. 371 receives $55,000 a year: Ali, Dubai: Gilded Cage, 168. 372 “This is particularly disappointing”: Davidson, Dubai, 166. 374 “Arabian-inspired”: permanent exhibition, Burj Khalifa visitors’ center, Dubai, visited January 14, 2010. 375 energy use and carbon footprint per capita: Krane, City of Gold, 223–224. 375 “success to an Arab city”: Anthony Shadid, “The Towering Dream of Dubai,” Washington Post Foreign Service, April 30, 2006. 375 “the best city in India”: Raymond Barrett, Dubai Dreams: Inside the Kingdom of Bling (London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2010), 61. 375 “the best city in Iran”: Vali Nasr, Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World (New York: Free Press, 2009), 46. 376 every three hundred meters: Doug Kelbaugh, executive director of Design and Planning, Limitless, interview with author, Dubai, January 22, 2010. 376 “If a stone as big as seven pregnant camels”: permanent exhibition, Siraaj: The Guiding Light, Dubai, visited January 16, 2010. 376 seven million tourists: Ali, Dubai: Gilded Cage, 8. 377 attracts nineteen million visits a year: Simeon Kerr, “How Developer Weathered the Storm,” Financial Times (UK), July 2, 2012. 378 387-building housing development: Nakheel, “Nakheel Hands Over First Building at International City,” press release, October 5, 2005, accessed June 18, 2012, http://www.dubaicity.com/news/Nakheel-hands-over-first-building10-5.htm. 379 “I think it’s a flattering statement”: Krane, City of Gold, 304.


pages: 389 words: 210,632

Frommer's Oregon by Karl Samson

airport security, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

You can also listen to podcasts, connect with other Frommers.com members through our active-reader forums, share your travel photos, read blogs from guidebook editors and fellow travelers, and much more. 03_537718-flast.indd viii 3/17/10 2:03 PM 1 The Best of Oregon To 19th-century pioneers, Oregon was the promised land, a land of plenty, a land of opportunity. Things haven’t changed that much in the ensuing 150 years. People looking to start new lives are still moving to Oregon in droves, and many native Oregonians are envisioning new ways to make Oregon a better place. Farmers are pioneering organic and sustainable farms close to urban centers so that the farms can reduce their carbon footprint. Urban pioneers, young creative types, are eschewing cars in favor of bicycles and public transit. There are organic wineries and breweries, microdistilleries, and tiny coffee roasters. There are mountains and beaches and deserts and vineyards. Together the people and the landscape spell the good life in Oregon, and for the visitor, it is these same factors that make the state such a great vacation destination.

MEDITERRANEAN/SEAFOOD This casual little place may ostensibly be a Mediterranean restaurant specializing in seafood, but lots of people know it for its great fish and chips, which are available with a variety of seafood, including salmon, albacore tuna, shrimp, and oysters. However, they also do a good cioppino. At dinner, try the pesto halibut or the sole piccata. Clemente’s also works hard to reduce its carbon footprint, purchases local ingredients as much as possible, and has its waste oil converted to biodiesel. Clemente’s 1198 Commercial St. & 503/325-1067. www.clementesrestaurant.com. Reservations recommended. Main courses $10–$15 lunch, $12–$31 dinner. AE, DISC, MC, V. Tues–Sun 11am–3pm and 5–9pm. Columbian Café VEGETARIAN/SEAFOOD With offbeat and eclectic decor, this tiny place looks a bit like a cross between a college hangout and a seaport 10_537718-ch07.indd 180 3/17/10 2:06 PM diner, and, indeed, the clientele reflects this atmosphere.

T H E CO LU M B I A G O R G E Nora’s Table NORTHWEST South Indian mussel curry; house-made gnocchi with brown butter, hazelnuts, sage, pumpkin, and bleu cheese; seared rockfish tacos with chipotle slaw; coho salmon on white beans, chard, and celeriac with tomato confit and fennel frites. The menu here is as eclectic as the population of Hood River. And everything is so delicious, you just want to keep going back again and again. Owner Kathy Watson formerly operated the restaurant Viento across the river in Bingen, Washington, and that restaurant was also a favorite of mine. If you’re concerned with sustainability and carbon footprints, note that the wine list here is exclusively wines from the Columbia Gorge. Look for Nora’s downstairs and just off Oak Street. 509 Cascade Ave. & 541/386-5737. www.sixthstreetbistro.com. Reservations recommended. Main courses $7–$11 lunch, $13–$21 dinner. AE, MC, V. Sun–Thurs 11:30am–9:30pm; Fri–Sat 11:30am–10pm. HOOD RIVER AFTER DARK Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom This little brewery produces some of the most distinctive brews in Oregon and is one of my favorite brewpubs in the state.


pages: 196 words: 54,339

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, disintermediation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, game design, gig economy, Google bus, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, invisible hand, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, new economy, patient HM, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Vannevar Bush, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

The narratives all depend on linear, forward-moving, growth-based progress rather than the recognition of cycles or the retrieval of wisdom. Such utopian projects make heroes out of the billionaires who envision them, while helping us justify our refusal to make any substantive changes to the way we live right now. If we bought fewer smartphones, we could enslave fewer children to produce them. If we ate less red meat, we would reduce our carbon footprint more than if we gave up our automobiles. Right now, today, we can do those things. We don’t need to build a network of solar-powered adobe homes on Mars. The future is not a discontinuity or some scenario we plan for so much as the reality we are creating through our choices right now. We just need to observe the flows, recognize the patterns, and apply them everywhere we can. We can apply the regenerative principles of organic soil management to making the economy more circular.


pages: 468 words: 150,206

The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins

Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, clean water, complexity theory, double helix, Exxon Valdez, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), laissez-faire capitalism, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Rosa Parks, telemarketer

Comparing eating little or no animal products with driving a Prius, and likewise comparing eating meat with driving a Huninier, may seem farfetched. But this comparison, as striking as it is, actually understates the amount of greenhouse gases that stem from meat production. In 2006, a University of Chicago study found that a vegan diet is far more effective than driving a hybrid car in reducing our carbon footprint.'' The scientists who did the calculations said that a Prins driver who consumes a meat-based diet actually contributes more to global warming than a Hummer driver who eats low on the food chain. As Ezra Klein wrote in the Washington Post in 2009, "The evidence is strong. It's not simply that meat is a contributor to global warming; it's that it is a huge contributor. Larger, by a significant margin, than the global transportation sector."'""

Similarly, a 2009 report published in Scientific American remarked that "producing beef for the table has a surprising environmental cost: it releases prodigious amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. ""` The greenhouse gas emissions from producing a pound of beef, the study found, are 58 times greater than those from producing a pound of potatoes. Some people thought the Live Earth concert handbook was exaggerating when it stated that, "Refusing meat is the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint," but it wasn't. This is literally true. Even Environmental Defense, a group hardly known for taking radical stands, calculates that if every meat eater in the U.S. swapped just one meal of chicken per week for a vegetarian meal, the carbon savings would be equivalent to taking half a million cars off the road. Not surprisingly, the U.S. meat industry has claimed that livestock production isn't to blame for global warming, and has tried to persuade the public, opinion leaders, and government officials that the FAO indictment of meat is overstated.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Getting food from the farmer to the shop causes just 4 per cent of all its lifetime emissions. Ten times as much carbon is emitted in refrigerating British food as in air-freighting it from abroad, and fifty times as much is emitted by the customer travelling to the shops. A New Zealand lamb, shipped to England, requires one-quarter as much carbon to get on to a London plate as a Welsh lamb; a Dutch rose, grown in a heated greenhouse and sold in London, has six times the carbon footprint of a Kenyan rose grown under the sun using water recycled through a fish farm, using geothermal electricity and providing employment to Kenyan women. In truth, far from being unsustainable, the interdependence of the world through trade is the very thing that makes modern life as sustainable as it is. Suppose your local laptop manufacturer tells you that he already has three orders and then he is off on his holiday so he cannot make you one before the winter.

The distinction between needs and wants, as expressed by Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, is a mischievous one: people evolved to be ambitious, to start exaggerating their social status or sexual worth, long before they have satisfied their basic needs. See Miller, G. 2009. Spent. Heinemann. p. 41 ‘the entire concept of food miles is “a profoundly flawed sustainability indicator”’. Bailey, R. 2008. The food miles mistake. Reason, 4 November 2008. http://www.reason.com/news/show/129855.html. p. 41 ‘Ten times as much carbon’. See https://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/reports/foodmiles/final.pdf. p. 42 ‘six times the carbon footprint of a Kenyan rose’. Specter, M. 2008. Big foot. The New Yorker, 25 February 2008. http://www.new yorker.com/reporting/2008/02/25/080225fa_fact_specter. See also http://grown underthesun.com. p. 42 ‘just as it did in Europe in 1315–18’. Jordan, W.C. 1996. The Great Famine: Northern Europe in the Early Fourteenth Century. Princeton University Press. p. 43 ‘Today, 1 per cent works in agriculture and 24 per cent in industry’.


pages: 570 words: 158,139

Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism by Elizabeth Becker

airport security, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, BRICs, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, corporate governance, Costa Concordia, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, Masdar, Murano, Venice glass, open borders, out of africa, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, statistical model, sustainable-tourism, the market place, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave, young professional, éminence grise

We had to leave before sunset. Fuller said Bill Marriott was attracted by the enormity of this vision and by Dr. Viana’s modern business approach. After a thorough review by independent accountants Marriott contributed an initial $2 million to the project. It will never become a tourist resort or provide any income for the corporation. “This preserve works. It does what it says it would do and offsets some of our carbon footprint,” said Mr. Fuller. That matter-of-fact appraisal reflects the consensus among the elite ranks of the industry that tourism has to improve its environmental record. We trod carefully down the permanently damp stairs and climbed back into the boats. As we pulled out, a flock of parakeets rose above the trees, their cries echoing unimpeded in silence. In that clean evening sky, the sun turned a blood-orange before it disappeared behind the curve of the earth

., 385 Leon, Donna, 85–86 Leonardo da Vinci, 39 Leshan Giant Buddha, 339 Levy, Michael, 319 Liang Sicheng, 298 Liberia, 157, 161 ship registry of, 139, 140 Libya, 193 LICADHO, 110 Lichtenwald, Janice, 266 Lindblad Expeditions, 246, 248, 257 Lin Xi, 329–34 Living Planet report, 196 Livingstone, Zambia, 237 “Living Working Countryside” (Taylor), 74 Lloyds Cruise International, 164 London, 1851 Exposition in, 49 London Daily Mail, 72 Los Angeles Times, 30 “Lost Decade, The” (report), 360 Louvre, Abu Dhabi, 191, 192 Louvre, Paris, 38–39, 66 Lovdal, Trond, 225 Love Boat, The (TV show), 137 Luangwa River valley, 211, 212, 218 Lufthansa, 172 Lula da Silva, Luis Inácio, 272–73, 276 Lusaka, Zambia, 209–10, 229 Lustenberger, Joe, 372–73 Maasai, 242 Macao, 113, 295, 306, 314, 368–69 McBride, Kelly, 31 McCain, John, 366 McCartney, Mike, 387 McCullough, David, 248 McDonald’s, 243 McGhee, Dorothy, 376 McMafia (Glenny), 115 Madrid, 7–8, 34 Magic Planet, 176 Maine, 161 Malafante, Marco, 78, 82 Malawi, 218 Malaysia, 377–78 Malkovich, John, 73 Mall of Emirates, 167, 176 Malraux, André, 55–56, 59 Mam, Somaly, 117–18 Manaus, Brazil, 274 Mann, Thomas, 82 Manuel Antonio National Park, 261 Mao Zedong, 292, 297, 299, 300, 313, 330 Marchetti, Marco, 47, 70 Mardi Gras (cruise ship), 136, 137 Marina Bay Sands, 113, 369 marine life, threats to, 156 maritime transport industry: environmental standards for, 157–58 flags of convenience in, 139, 142, 256 pollution from, 156 Marriott, J. W. “Bill,” Jr., 44, 276, 359, 361 Marriott family, 367 Marriott International, 340, 380 Brazilian rainforest preserve of, 271, 274–76 carbon footprint of, 271, 276 Chinese hotels of, 313–14, 315, 322 Marshall Plan, 52–54 Martin, Esmond, 234–35 Masdar, UAE, 195 Masdar Initiative, 195 mass tourism: at Angkor temples, 91, 94–95, 98 dangers of, 47 in Venice, 75, 76–86 Matthews, Charlie, 63–64 Matthews, Kathleen, 270–71, 274 Maud’hui, Philippe, 47, 57, 66, 75 Mauriac, François, 62 Mavrogiannis, Anthony, 381–82 Maxa, Rudy, 32 Mayle, Peter, 72, 73 Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 181–85 media, see travel writers, travel writing medical tourism, 18–19, 348, 376–79 Medina, Saudi Arabia, 182 MediTour Expo, 377 Mérimée, Prosper, 56 Mexico, 116, 377 Meyer, Chris, 371–72, 374 Meyers, Arlen, 377, 378 Mfuwe Lodge, 211–12, 214, 219, 223, 225, 226–27, 240 Miami, Fla., 34 Miami Herald, 26, 27, 32 Miami News, 26 MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) business, 18, 370–74 middle classes, as tourists, 10, 12 Middleton, Drew, 28 Minc, Alain, 71 mining: in Costa Rica, 258–59 in Zambia, 210, 228, 236 Mitterrand, François, 38 Mitterrand, Frédéric, 67 Mohammed, Prophet, 185, 190 Mohammed Al-Maktoum, Sheikh, 169, 172 Moi, Daniel arap, 221 Moller, Eric, 324–25 Moloka’i, Hawaii, 152 Mona Lisa (Leonardo), 39 Monet, Claude, 47–48, 70, 309 Monterey Bay, 161 Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, 253–54 Morella, Connie, 348–49, 353 Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, 237 Motse Lodge, 240 Moulinier, Alain, 68 Mozambique, 208, 235, 238–39 M.


pages: 195 words: 58,462

City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World by Catie Marron

Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, do-ocracy, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, urban planning

Experts project some 75 percent of the global population will be city dwellers by 2050. Dozens of new cities are springing up in Asia, some from mass relocation programs that have cleared vast swaths of the Chinese countryside. Much of the growth is chaotic, badly planned and informal. Meanwhile, volatile gas prices and climate change have made suburban life costlier and the benefits of a diminished carbon footprint clearer. In the United States, growing numbers of university graduates and empty-nesters are rejuvenating downtowns. Since the late 1990s, the share of automobile miles driven by twentysomethings in America has fallen from 20.8 to 13.7 percent. The number of nineteen-year-olds opting out of driver’s licenses has tripled since the 1970s from 8 to 23 percent. Americans are still a long way from regarding cars as a luxury or superfluous.


Coastal California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, flex fuel, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, intermodal, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, Lyft, Mason jar, New Journalism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Even Santa Barbara’s Wine Country is getting into the sustainable swing of things. More and more vineyards are implementing biodynamic farming techniques and following organic guidelines. Many vintners and oenophiles are starting to think that the more natural the growing process, the better the wine, too. Sustainable Vine Wine Tours whisks you around family-owned sustainable vineyards. Minimize your carbon footprint even further by following Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail (www.urbanwinetrailsb.com) on foot. If you love both wine and food, Edible Santa Barbara magazine (http://ediblecommunities.com/santabarbara) publishes insightful articles about vineyards and restaurants that are going green. It's available free at many local markets, restaurants and wineries. Santa Barbara County abounds with ecofriendly outdoor activities, too.

The altitude at which aircraft emit gases (including CO2) and particles also contributes to their climate change impact. Many websites offer ‘carbon calculators’ that allow people to estimate the carbon emissions generated by their journey and, for those who wish to do so, to offset the impact of the greenhouse gases emitted with contributions to portfolios of climate-friendly initiatives throughout the world. Lonely Planet offsets the carbon footprint of all staff and author travel. Air ATo get through airport security checkpoints (30- to 45-minute wait times are standard), you’ll need a boarding pass and photo ID. ASome travelers may be required to undergo a secondary screening, involving hand pat-downs and carry-on-bag searches. AAirport security measures restrict many common items (eg pocketknives, scissors) from being carried on planes.

Weekend and weekly rates are usually the most economical. Airport locations may have cheaper rates but higher add-on fees; if you get a fly-drive package, local taxes may be extra when you pick up the car. Rates generally include unlimited mileage, but expect surcharges for additional drivers and one-way rentals. Child or infant safety seats are legally required; reserve them when booking for $10 to $15 per day. If you’d like to minimize your carbon footprint, some major car-rental companies offer ‘green’ fleets of hybrid or biofueled rental cars, but these fuel-efficient models are in short supply. Reserve those models well in advance and expect to pay significantly higher rates. To find and compare independent car-rental companies, try Car Rental Express (www.carrentalexpress.com). Avis (%800-633-3469; www.avis.com) Budget (%800-218-7992; www.budget.com) Dollar (%800-800-5252; www.dollar.com) Enterprise (%855-266-9289; www.enterprise.com) Fox (%855-571-8410; www.foxrentacar.com) Hertz (%800-654-3131; www.hertz.com) National (%877-222-9058; www.nationalcar.com) Payless (%800-729-5377; www.paylesscar.com) Rent-a-Wreck (%877-877-0700; www.rentawreck.com) Minimum rental age and under-25 driver surcharges vary at six locations, including in LA and the San Francisco Bay Area.


How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston

affirmative action, carbon footprint, Columbine, dark matter, desegregation, drone strike, housing crisis, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, supply-chain management, the scientific method, transatlantic slave trade

She loved that car and wielded it almost as if it were a part of her body. By the time I graduated from high school, we had traveled from Nova Scotia, Canada, to Disney World in it. I can only recall one plane journey in my childhood, but we moved about by Amtrak train quite often. When I was twelve, we took a nearly three-week train trip around the entire United States and deep into Mexico. In many of the places we visited, we chose highly efficient, low-carbon-footprint accommodations, also known as “camping.” The Mexico part of that epic train journey was a trip itself. I met travel writers in Los Mochis, saw forest fires from our bus on the Mexican highway near the U.S.-Mexico border, and heard country music blasting out of a car stereo for the first time in my life. I didn’t know it was even possible to blast country music! I’m not sure I thought it wasn’t possible.


pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, longitudinal study, means of production, Mitch Kapor, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, QR code, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

The most powerful source of purpose comes from this concept: purpose comes when we know we have done something that we believe matters—to others, to society, and to ourselves. From the small and mundane daily choices we make to systemic and historic impact, we strive to contribute to the well-being of the world around us. Societal purpose isn’t isolated to volunteering and philanthropy, or careers in education and social work. While these often spark feelings of purpose, we can also derive purpose through decisions about how we consume, from decreasing our carbon footprint to buying local produce at the farmers’ market. We can also discover meaning through our daily work, where we help the people on our teams and provide consumers with our products and services. Seventh Generation makes cleaning, baby and feminine personal care products that aim to be healthy and safe for the air, the surfaces, the fabrics, the pets, and the people within the home—and for the community and environment outside it.


Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood

carbon footprint, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, financial independence, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, trickle-down economics, wage slave

All religious leaders have realized that their mandate includes helping to preserve the Almighty’s gift of the Earth and have condoned birth control; there are no more noisy, polluting gas-powered leaf blowers or lawn mowers; and global warming has been dealt with at a summit during which world leaders gave up paranoia, envy, rivalry, power-hunger, greed, and the debate over who should start cutting down the carbon footprint first, and rolled up their sleeves and got on with it. There is Scrooge himself, looking very fit in a hemp suit, signing several enormous cheques for conservation organizations: rain-forest stewardship, underwater marine parks, bird habitats. “In this future,” says the Spirit, “the albatross has been saved; largely — I must add — through your efforts. I ought to say also that a lot of these miraculous changes have been brought about by a Victory Bond drive, in which people lent to their governments to finance eco-repairs; and through microeconomics, like that already being practised by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, whereby mini-amounts are lent at fair interest rates to very poor people to help them start local, small-scale businesses; and also through massive and voluntary debt cancellations on the part of the rich nations, like those of the ancient Israelites, who decreed a jubilee year every fifty years in which all debts became void.”


pages: 217 words: 63,287

The Participation Revolution: How to Ride the Waves of Change in a Terrifyingly Turbulent World by Neil Gibb

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, gig economy, iterative process, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kodak vs Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, performance metric, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, urban renewal

Once the focus was moved from what to why, people started to realise a lot of things they were doing could be outsourced, farmed out, and in many cases, just stopped. More crucially, there was a permission and pull to innovate. And once we started to think about the whole human experience, a whole set of new possibilities and innovations emerged. Teams started to compete with new ideas. Young engineers became interested in nurturing local talent in the developing countries the company was operating in, others in reducing the company’s carbon footprint through its supply chain. The company reorganised into three interconnected units: one focusing on maximising the value from its current assets; another on the development of new technologies beyond hydrocarbons; and the third on the transition between the two. At the same time, we took structure out. These weren’t top-down silos, but networked communities. We started to “gamify” the organisation, empowering teams to self-perform.


pages: 523 words: 61,179

Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI by Paul R. Daugherty, H. James Wilson

3D printing, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, friendly AI, future of work, industrial robot, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Lyft, natural language processing, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, software as a service, speech recognition, telepresence, telepresence robot, text mining, the scientific method, uber lyft

Crucially, when Aida encounters a question it can’t confidently resolve, it connects to human experts and learns from their interaction with a customer.5 (See figure 6-3.) AI at Airbus Designers at Airbus used Dreamcatcher’s AI capabilities to redesign a partition that separates the passenger compartment from the galley in the cabin of an A320. Engineers wanted the partition to be lightweight (to save fuel, so the plane would have a smaller carbon footprint), yet strong enough to anchor two jump seats for flight attendants. On the computer screen, designers watched the software cycle through thousands of bizarre, unexpected designs for the internal structure of the partition. The engineers ended up trusting one of the weird-looking ones. Instead of looking like a solid panel designed by professionals, the final partition looked more like a child’s scribbles in a coloring book, while still meeting the criteria for strength, weight, and manufacturability.


pages: 220 words: 64,234

Fewer, Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects by Glenn Adamson

big-box store, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, dumpster diving, haute couture, informal economy, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Mason jar, race to the bottom, trade route, white flight

Another celebrated instance is the development of LEDs (light-emitting diodes), a technology that was refined in the space program, though not in Adams’s lab. LEDs release no heat, are not particularly fragile, and last for a very long time, all of which makes them ideal for space—astronauts don’t want to worry about changing lightbulbs. Of course, the technology is now widespread here on Earth, and is helping to reduce our overall carbon footprint. As professionals involved in space exploration (who are dependent on public funding) like to remind us, this kind of breakthrough is fairly common in their work. Extreme conditions force designers to be smarter. They come to realizations that they might not have if they were working in a more permissive environment. This is the point of Adams’s story about the killer T-shirts in the Martian simulator, too.


pages: 606 words: 157,120