The oil industry has stalled action on climate change from the inside and sold America on fossil fuels – and its influence goes back further than people realize
by Jie Jenny Zou of the Center for Public Integrity
As cities across the country, from Los Angeles to New York City, take “zero waste” pledges, it is clear that “zero waste” is transforming from a trend into a movement. From a sustainability perspective, the central goal of most “zero waste” initiatives — achieving 90 percent diversion — is a clear winner.
But from a communications perspective, “zero waste” is still unclear and potentially confusing. Not only does the term “zero waste” not necessarily mean what it says, but it can be polarizing. How can we most effectively communicate the waste reduction message encapsulated in the term “zero waste”? Do we need the term “zero waste” to guide our consumption and waste behaviors, or are we better off without it?
I’m an expert on how technology hijacks our psychological vulnerabilities. That’s why I spent the last three years as Google’s Design Ethicist caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked.
When using technology, we often focus optimisticallyon all the things it does for us. But I want you to show you where it might do the opposite.
Where does technology exploit our minds weaknesses?
“Oh, that’s like me,” Underhill says, reaching for it. “That’s my kind of plant.”
The Botanical Garden’s therapeutic horticulture program has grown in popularity in recent years, offering connections with nature to those enduring serious illness, developmental disabilities, or physical or mental trauma. It includes sessions at the garden, in a part known as the Sensory Garden, as well as outreach at area treatment centres such as Siteman.
Gary Snyder’s life and work as a poet spans from the Beat Generation and San Francisco Renaissance in the 1950s to today. He’s won a Pulitzer Prize for his poems, and his blend of Buddhist spirituality and environmental activism have earned him a reputation as the “poet laureate of Deep Ecology.”
Gary Snyder has published more than 20 books of poetry and prose, and that earned him a spot in the California Hall of Fame at tonight’s ceremony hosted by Gov. Jerry Brown. Capital Public Radio’s new environment reporter Ezra David Romero joins to talk about Gary Snyder’s poetry and his work.
If assembled, innovations from three spheres of economic activity – those using natural ecosystems, social and collaborative innovation, and efficient technology – enter into symbiotic relationship.
The earth possesses five major pools of carbon. Of those pools, the atmosphere is already overloaded with the stuff; the oceans are turning acidic as they become saturated with it; the forests are diminishing; and underground fossil fuel reserves are being emptied. That leaves soil as the most likely repository for immense quantities of carbon.
Now scientists are documenting how sequestering carbon in soil can produce a double dividend: It reduces climate change by extracting carbon from the atmosphere, and it restores the health of degraded soil and increases agricultural yields. Many scientists and farmers believe the emerging understanding of soil’s role in climate stability and agricultural productivity will prompt a paradigm shift in agriculture, triggering the abandonment of conventional practices like tillage, crop residue removal, mono-cropping, excessive grazing and blanket use of chemical fertilizer and pesticide. Even cattle, usually considered climate change culprits because they belch at least 25 gallons of methane a day, are being studied as a potential part of the climate change solution because of their role in naturally fertilizing soil and cycling nutrients.
In these times of increasing uncertainty and volatility we must remain adaptive and responsive to the world’s most significant challenges in order to achieve global prosperity.
One solution is a circular economic system that restructures finance and business to prioritize sustainability and accessibility across our global resource supply chain, thereby guaranteeing livelihoods around the world. This regenerative system will be formed by a new era of social and cultural awareness, one that truly appreciates the interconnectedness of mankind’s socioeconomic systems and our surrounding environment. The main challenge will be to ensure that the global system aligns with the fundamental and universal principles of life.
Evidence keeps mounting that, in stressful times, there is much to gain by surrounding yourself with plants and trees.