Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

The Nobel Peace Prize Watch

February 24, 2015 Leave a comment

The Nobel Peace Prize Watch.

The Nobel Peace Prize has become tainted over the past 25 years as it is being awarded over and over to people and organizations that have repeatedly acted against the tenets of the will in which Alfred Nobel stated his intention. The will is a legal instrument, with a binding obligation of its stewards. When the stewards act against its stipulations and fail to honor its purpose, then the committee is breaking the law.

This has become a matter being taken up in both the Swedish and Norwegian parliaments. If the challenge is successful, the Nobel Committee may yet be stripped of its authority.

I think this will still take 10 years longer to become a reality. But the people who are demanding a faithful and legal obligation to the Nobel testament will ultimately prevail. It is my hope that it will be before the escalating militarism in the world and the rising destructive powers of the world’s weapons makes life next to impossible in much of the region of eastern Europe, north Africa, and west Asia uninhabitable.


Taking down the Recount on Prop. 37 in California

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Proposition 37 in California would have mandated the labeling of all GMO food sold in California.  It was voted down in November 2012 under dubious circumstances, by a very small margin.

Many people lobbied for a recount, leading to a challenge headed by Tom Gourbat, former senior analyst for Los Angeles County.  After 2 county recounts, the viable and legally supported challenge was brought down in Fresno County by one person, Brandi Orth, the county clerk of Fresno. She arbitrarily set the charge for the recount to nearly 7 times the cost of the recount in Orange and Sierra Counties.  (Fresno Counties big employers include Kraft Foods, Del Monte, Sun-Maid and other giant agriculture firms, who profit immensely from GMO foods.)  And who selected Brandi Orth as county clerk?

This story was uncovered by Jon Rappoport, a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe.

Read the full story on: Jon Rappoport’s Blog.

Exhibition: “re:new tohoku” at Asia House

July 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Exhibition: “re:new tohoku” at Asia House.

We’ve been hard at work putting this exhibition together for the past 3 months… The last day of the expo in London is tomorrow.  Proud to have been a part of it, though I am certain that we could have done so much more…

This well-written blog post by the HaikuGirl is quite an honor.  Thanks!!!

A Sacred COW

March 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The last time I felt a similar sense of belonging and being a part of something really HUGE was when I watched for the first time the Future of Money video around a year ago.

It seems obvious to me that young people everywhere are not happy with what they see is the state of our world.  They understand this state in a way that very few people previously understood.  Part of this is the ubiquity of the internet.  Part of it is their sense that they can trust each other via social media much more than they can many of the companies, politicians, and organizations that surround them in their real-life communities.

But another part of their newfound understanding is due to the tenuous state of our world.  Environmentally, it seems that we are on the brink of ecological catastrophe.  Economically, it seems that there is no end to the greed that motivates the few to punish and persecute the many.  Militarily, it seems that the mighty continue to fuel instability in the lands of the less mighty in order to continue to maintain control of energy resources.  Politically, it seems that we can only elect people who are willing to pander to the corporate elite and continue the fiscal pyramid scheme that Wall Street propagates.  Socially, it seems that the gates of the Gentlemen’s Clubs are closed permanently as the wealthy get older and the older live longer and healthier lives.

Cover of "When Corporations Rule the Worl...

Cover via Amazon

The OWS and 99% movements, Arab Spring, and indigenous peasant movements of Latin America are only some of the signs that people are not happy with the direction of global corporate rule.  Naomi Klein‘s The Shock Doctrine and David Korten‘s When Corporations Rule the World

are but two of many voices of dissent that are reverberating throughout the socially connected world.

Coalition of the Willing

When G.W. Bush used the term “Coalition of the Willing”, he referred, of course, to the countries who supported, militarily or verbally, the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent military presence in post-invasion Iraq. The irony is that many of the nations in the coalition had their political arms twisted, included countries that do not have standing armies, and was eventually the butt of the joke that its acronym, COW, refers to the situation that the United States is being milked as a “cash cow”.

ExPrime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony B...

ExPrime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair shaking hands with President of the United States, George W. Bush, after they conclude a joint news conference at the Camp David (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But now, a new Coalition of the Willing is beginning to emerge that is truly a coalition of people who are willing to plan and act with the future at stake.  This new COW is, firstly, a collaborative animated film and web-based event – an online war against global warming in a ‘post Copenhagen’ world.

The film is a collaborative effort of 24 artists from around the world.  This is, in itself, a feat that probably could not have happened a mere decade ago.  If it could, it would have taken years to create.  I have no idea how long it took these artists to collaborate on the 15-minute film, but I assume it has been created over a period of a few months – or even weeks.  Full details on the 24 collaborators can be found on the COW Website.

The film is an incredible inspiration!

Life is All About (bi)Cycles

March 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Bill Nye the Science Guy at The UP Experience 2010

photo by Ed Schipul This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

It seems that Bill Nye – the Science Guy – is way more well known than I know. Being away from the United States for 25 years and not one to pay attention much to TV in general, I don’t come across TV shows that air in the US – even on PBS – unless they are really popular or become important politically.  Though sustainability and good science are extremely important, they certainly won’t win many popularity contests among the TV viewing public.

Reading about the Science Guy now, I find I’d appreciate his TV program.  I really like his passion for bicycles and for personal health.

“There’s no machine known that is more efficient than a human on a bicycle.  Bowl of oatmeal, 30 miles — you can’t come close to that.”

The first paragraph of Bill Nye’s biography on his personal website says this:

Bill Nye, scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor, is a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has been doing most of his life.

What a fabulous introduction!  Making science entertaining and accessible is something I love doing, too, and hope to do for most of my life.

In the “crazy Bill vision”, Nye predicts that weather-tight “bicycle arterials” will be built.  These, he says, will be cost-efficient when compared to a modern roadway.  I fully agree.  They would be much lighter than roadways and bicycles are unlikely to produce anything near the wear and tear produced by cars, buses, and especially trucks.

But is our society ready to make these commitments to green infrastructure?  Tellingly, Nye says, “You could do that if you were committed.”

I’d love to see a future in which Bill’s vision for bicycles form a critical component in a sustainable transit system.  I’d like if it were not limited to places like Portland Oregon and Seattle Washington, where Nye believes that the commitment is likely to grow.  While I realize that these cities and some areas in and around San Francisco – where I was once a bicycle messenger – have both the political perspective and the occasionally inclement weather that provide an impetus to build ideal infrastructure for cyclists, the need is even more fervent in communities hostile to cyclists such as Los Angeles, Manhattan, Washington D.C., and Tokyo.

I’m hoping that in the wake of the 3.11 disaster, many more Japanese start to awaken to the reality that on the one hand mass transit systems are important, but on the other distributed and local systems are required.  While I look upon Shinkansen with admiration and awe, it is the local streetcar and the bicycle that I look to as critical in the ideal communities of the future.  In this future, the sleek and elegant tubes would be bicycle highways, competing with the Shinkansen for technical prowess and hi-tech coolness.  And bicycle manufacturers would supplant Ferrari and Porsche as the supreme designers of machines for transit. But the biggest winners: you and me!! (and Bill Nye!)

The Story of Broke

February 23, 2012 Leave a comment

It seems that the world is full of people who are broke.  Heck, even nations, like Greece, are close to broke.  Or, if you think about how much they’ve put future generations in debt, then countries like the United States and Japan are broke.

Or, are they?

If you think about it, these nations are collecting more than a trillion dollars each year in taxes.  Sure, they are spending more than they “earn”.  But surely they can be better managed, without cutting on schools, healthcare, pensions, and social services.

Here is a simple and entertaining video illustrating why you should reconsider our government’s priorities.  Then, it is up to you to think and act upon this.  Our collective future depends on it.

12 Things Really Educated People Know

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

12 Things Really Educated People Know

This list was compiled by John Taylor Gatto, a teacher in New York City for 30 years and selected the state’s Teacher of the Year three times.  Gatto is the author of 6 books, including the wonderfully and colorfully titled Weapons of Mass Instruction (2008).

It is a wonderful and succinct list, one that I believe everyone should thoughtfully consider and most to enthusiastically adopt.  I am particularly fond of #s 4 and 5 on his list.

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