14 January 2011

The Impossible Toaster

Sourced from TED, January 2011

'It takes an entire civilization to build a toaster. Designer Thomas Thwaites found out the hard way, by attempting to build one from scratch: mining ore for steel, deriving plastic from oil ... it's frankly amazing he got as far as he got. A parable of our interconnected society, for designers and consumers alike.'

Reinventing our Economic GPS

Sourced from Australian Conservation Foundation, 11 January 2011

Watch Chuck Berger, ACF’s Director of Strategic Ideas, at TEDx Melbourne discussing how to integrate the environment and community into Australia’s key measures of economic progress.

'Most economists talk about the “economy” in terms of Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. But the GDP only includes things produced for financial gain; it ignores all of the value that nature provides to humans free of charge. And it also ignores all of the valuable productive work that humans do for each other outside of the marketplace – such as household work, parenting and volunteering.

What would our economy look like if we included in it all of the valuable contributions of our social and ecological systems? ACF’s new tool “The Whole Economy” will help paint a picture of this broader and more meaningful economy.

In fact, as the following chart illustrates, social production and ecological production are each worth over $1 trillion per year. Isn’t it time economists took this value seriously by including it in Australia’s national accounts?'

The Globe's Limitations: How Peak Oil Threatens Economic Growth

Sourced from The Nation, January 2011

'In the second video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” from The Nation and On The Earth productions, Richard Heinberg, senior fellow with the Post Carbon Institute, discusses how depleting oil supplies threaten the future of global economic growth. According to Heinberg, historically there has been a close correlation between increased energy consumption and economic growth. If the economy starts to recover after the financial crisis and there is an increased demand for oil but not enough supply to keep up with that demand, we may hit a ceiling on what the economy can do.

“What politician is going to be able to stand up in front of the American people and tell them the truth?” Heinberg asks. “Every politician is going to want to promise more economic growth and blame the lack of growth on the other political party…. The whole political system starts to get more and more polarized and more and more radical until it just comes apart at the seams.”

For Heinberg, however, there is still hope: alternative energy sources, though difficult to implement on a large scale, do exist, and a grassroots movement is strongly advocating for new thinking about our energy consumption.

Go here to learn more about "Peak Oil and a Changing Climate," and to see the other videos in the series.'

13 January 2011

Joining the Dots 101

Image from Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Image from Adelaide Now

Here is a test kindergarteners could pass...

Join the dots with these three headlines:

2010 Ties For Warmest Year, Emissions To Blame - National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (that would be the US Government)

Brisbane Faces Floods Clear-Up Of Post-War Proportions

Scientists See Climate Change Link To Australian Floods

Excerpts from Planet Ark, 13 January 2011

'Last year tied for the warmest since data started in 1880, capping a decade of record high temperatures that shows mankind's greenhouse gas emissions are heating the planet, two U.S. agencies said.

Global surface temperatures in 2010 were 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit (0.62 Celsius) above the 20th century average, tying the record set in 2005, the National Climatic Data Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Wednesday.

"These results show that the climate is continuing to show the influence of greenhouse gases. It's showing evidence of warming," David Easterling, the chief of the scientific services division at the NCDC, told reporters in a teleconference...'

'Deadly floods in Australia's third-biggest city were peaking on Thursday below the levels Brisbane had feared, but the state premier said they would require a reconstruction effort of "post-war proportions."...'

'Climate change has likely intensified the monsoon rains that have triggered record floods in Australia's Queensland state, scientists said on Wednesday, with several months of heavy rain and storms still to come...'

11 January 2011

Going into Bat for Orphans

These guys are too cute, wrapped up in their bunny rugs, hehehe :)

Reposted in full from
Adelaide Now/Sunday Mail, 9 January 2011

'Torrential rain has brought chaos to parts of Australia, and not just to the humans who live there.

Australian Bat Clinic and Wildlife Trauma Centre director Trish Wimberley and her carers have helped save 130 orphaned bats on the Gold Coast in past weeks. They saved 350 young bats during the 2008 storm season but this year think there's more going on than just wild weather.

Carers have visited several bat "camps" on the coast in recent weeks to find four-week-old babies on the ground covered in maggots and fly eggs. Trish said: "They're coming down to feed on the ground. That makes them vulnerable. It's not a natural occurrence and shows there is trouble in the environment. Bats are a barometer to what is going on in the environment. They're our canaries down the coal mine."

The babies will be bottle fed and kept hanging on clothes lines or in intensive care units until they are ready to fly again in about four weeks.'

Inside Job

Love the billing: 'The film that cost $20,000,000,000,000 to make'. Narrated by Matt Damon.

Make sure you see this film...really.

Sourced from Sony Pictures, 2010

10 January 2011

09 January 2011

The Changemakers' Toolbox

Sourced from New Organizing Institute

Campaign Strategy

Not the best videoing, which is a shame, because the content is good...

Sourced from YouTube, 15 May 2007

Chris Rose of Campaign Strategy provides a brief introduction to effective campaigning as outlined in his book.

Part 1 (10 mins)

Part 2 (10 mins)

Part 3 (3 mins)