- Food news:
- Christie Wilcox covers in more depth what I wrote about briefly, how concerned should we be about pesticide residue on food? “To date, there is no scientific evidence that eating an organic diet leads to better health.”
- Two interesting graphics-how the world wastes food and a fun set of glimpses of what a more Sustainable food system might look like.
- Researchers have found a marginal improvement in the health of the average american diet but also a growing inequality in healthiness as well.
- The New Yorker piece on Dr. Shiva continues to spark dialogue with Raj Patel giving us a more data based look at the period of the Green Revolution in India and Manu Joseph uses the controversy as a jumping off point for discussing the links between activism and delusion.
- Meanwhile, Specter seems unperturbed by it all, critiquing GMO labeling initiatives in his latest New Yorker piece.
- Adding bike lanes has actually reduced traffic on many New York streets1)David Owen would not be as excited-anything that makes driving more pleasant is bad while bike sharing programs create suprisingly complex math problems— maybe the Chinese have some ideas?
- Electric (or at least hybrid) buses may be more impactful to roll out than private electric cars-Daniel Gross reports on one company’s efforts.
- An initiative to watch: Helsinki launches a fully integrated transport system to make car ownership obsolete.
- Big problems in suburbia:
- Robert Self gets us up to speed on the dark history of American suburbs from their dependence on cheap hydrocarbons to their racist beginnings.
- Reihan Salam makes an excellent point that the suburban lifestyle was designed for one parent to be at home maintaining the place full time, a situation that is increasingly rare-thus making suburban living increasing unviable for more and more people.
- Meanwhile the suburbs are ever more segregated, especially the “inner ring”.
- And the solution that many local governments have arrived at is to increase court fines-hammering minorities and poor the hardest.2)This might be the most regressive form of taxation since feudalism.
- A new study finds that there is “99.999% certainty humans are driving global warming.”
- Nice case study on how Palo Alto has gotten to 100% carbon-neutral electric power.
- “Questions of ‘what goals?’ and ‘who decides?’ that are my fundamental concerns with the ecosystem services concept,” are fundamental for all Sustainability issues.
- And finally some really good news: the eastern north pacific blue whale population is believed to have recovered fully to their carrying capacity! We really can Achieve Sustainability.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↑||David Owen would not be as excited-anything that makes driving more pleasant is bad|
|2.||↑||This might be the most regressive form of taxation since feudalism.|
3 thoughts on “SustainabLINKS September 8, 2014”
It is very interesting the work you mention on bike strategies!!
Math problems are everywhere. Another math ideas related with Sustainability I really like are these from Scott Aaronson from MIT:
“In the two previous comment threads, we got into a discussion of anthropogenic climate change, and of my own preferred way to address it and related threats to our civilization’s survival, which is simply to tax every economic activity at a rate commensurate with the environmental damage that it does, and use the funds collected for cleanup, mitigation, and research into alternatives. (Obviously, such ideas are nonstarters in the current political climate of the US, but I’m not talking here about what’s feasible, only about what’s necessary.) As several commenters pointed out, my view raises an obvious question: who is to decide how much “damage” each activity causes, and thus how much it should be taxed? Of course, this is merely a special case of the more general question: who is to decide on any question of public policy whatsoever?”
While hard science has a lot it can help with objective answer, ultimately the variables included, who benefits and what levels of damage are acceptable are all social questions with no “answer”.
I forgot the link to Aaronson blog: