Solutions & sustainability - Mar 16
Click on the headline (link) for the full text.
Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
Profiles in Municipal Sustainability: An Interview with Dean Kubani
David Hsu, WorldChanging
Over the past year, as climate change and other environmental issues took their place at the center of public concern, cities and municipal governments have emerged as progress leaders.
City sustainability initiatives are now the norm, rather than the exception. In the past year alone, some of the nation's largest cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC, have launched sustainability initiatives or announced sustainability as a goal, joining noteworthy sustainability leaders such as Chicago, Austin, Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. PBS recently aired a series called Edens Lost and Found, featuring sustainability efforts in four cities. This movement among city governments is gaining broader attention for its ambition, as noted last month by Neil Peirce in the American Prospect.
...To better understand how these sustainability initiatives begin and continue to flourish, I decided to go to Dean Kubani for some perspective on the past, present and future of municipal sustainability efforts. He's the long-time sustainability coordinator for the City of Santa Monica, and one of the longest-serving coordinators.
(14 March 2007)
Onsite refuelling company helps keep the hungry fed through fuel crisis
Press Release, 4Refuel
4Refuel has kept the trucks rolling so that Second Harvest can keep delivering food to those in need throughout the GTA
Now in its third week, the effects of the Ontario fuel crisis have reached every corner of the province. While refineries still struggle to maintain a fuel supply, motorists are running on empty and businesses find themselves unable to move goods. So, amid this shortage, how does one of Toronto’s largest food programs continue to deliver food to thousands of disadvantaged children, seniors and homeless everyday?
4Refuel Canada, one of the country’s largest onsite refueling companies, has ensured that an uninterrupted supply of diesel fuel reaches Second Harvest’s small fleet of refrigerator trucks which pick up and deliver enough donated food for over 13,000 meals everyday. ..
(8 Mar 2007)
Not a solution readily extended but well done 4Refuel in targeting their contribution where it might have the greatest benefit.-LJ
Home Sweet Home (animation)
Anita Sancha, personal website
The animation is a mixture of clay and plasticine card and many digital effects. The story of planet earth coughing and spluttering under the stress of pollution from planes, cars and factories, the ending is a green revolution of cycling, sailing and a restoration to a green healthy planet, where animals thrive. It is charming sweet and the response is usually "ahhh!!! It is being used greatly as a discussion video on climate change in schools.
Note: The original link takes you to the automatic download on windows media player. Also available: Alternative download formats.
Anita Sancha is a designer, theatre performer, environmentalist, and lives in Hereford UK. (website)
Blogs can top the presses
Terry McDermott, LA Times
...The world headquarters of TPM Media [a blogger-journalist website] is pretty much like any small newsroom, anywhere, except for the shirts. And the dog. And the quiet. Most newsrooms are notably noisy places, full of shrill phones and quacking reporters. Here there is mainly quiet, except for the clacking keyboards.
It's 20 or so blocks up town to the heart of the media establishment, the Midtown towers that house the big newspaper, magazine and book publishers. And yet it was here in a neighborhood of bodegas and floral wholesalers that, over the last two months, one of the biggest news stories in the country - the Bush administration's firing of a group of U.S. attorneys - was pieced together by the reporters of the blog Talking Points Memo.
The bloggers used the usual tools of good journalists everywhere - determination, insight, ingenuity - plus a powerful new force that was not available to reporters until blogging came along: the ability to communicate almost instantaneously with readers via the Internet and to deputize those readers as editorial researchers, in effect multiplying the reporting power by an order of magnitude.
In December, Josh Marshall, who owns and runs TPM, posted a short item linking to a news report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about the firing of the U.S. attorney for that state. Marshall later followed up, adding that several U.S. attorneys were apparently being replaced and asked his 100,000 or so daily readers to write in if they knew anything about U.S. attorneys being fired in their areas.
For the two months that followed, Talking Points Memo and one of its sister sites, TPM Muckraker, accumulated evidence from around the country on who the axed prosecutors were, and why politics might be behind the firings. The cause was taken up among Democrats in Congress. One senior Justice Department official has resigned, and Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales is now in the media crosshairs.
This isn't the first time Marshall and Talking Points have led coverage on national issues.
...All of this from an enterprise whose annual budget probably wouldn't cover the janitorial costs incurred by a metropolitan daily newspaper.
"Hundreds of people out there send clips and other tips," Marshall said. "There is some real information out there, some real expertise. If you're not in politics and you know something, you're not going to call David Broder. With the blog, you develop an intimacy with people. Some of it is perceived, but some of it is real."
Marshall's use of his readers to gather information takes advantage of the interactivity that is at the heart of the Internet revolution. The amount of discourse between writers and readers on the Web makes traditional journalists look like hermetic monks.
(17 March 2007)
The story of how a small band of blogger-journalists broke one of the biggest stories of the year shows what can be done with the web. I think this is the future of journalism -- and for sure, it's where all the excitement is. -BA