Could U2 Leader Bono Brand the USA?

| Wednesday November 16th, 2005 | 6 Comments

bonou2.jpgIf social marketing is the planning and implementation of programs designed to bring about social change using concepts from commercial marketing, U2 singer Bono might be the master of it.
Through his plan: “One campaign to make Poverty History” launched this year, Bono has been signing up his audience as members. He hoped to get a million people, he got 2 million members so far since March. During an interview with the SF Chronicle, Bono announced that: “By the next election, the One Campaign to make Poverty History will be larger than the National Rifle Association”. Perhaps one of the U2 singer’s most important steps is the recent cancellation of debts owed by a number of Third World countries to the world’s richest countries. In the past, Bono was successfully focusing on funding AIDS and malaria relief after volunteering in 1984 with his wife for six weeks in an Ethiopian refugee camp. The ultimate proof of his tremendous impact in the world is that he is seriously considered as a Nobel Peace Prize candidate.

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A Manhattan Congestion Charge?

| Tuesday November 15th, 2005 | 1 Comment

ccharge.jpgIf any US city could sucessfully implement a London-style congestion charge, it would be the New York City borough of Manhattan. The New York Times reports yesterday that this may indeed happen, someday. In my opinion, cars ought to be banned from large swaths of the island because their utility is negligable compared to the amount of land devoted to them. That aside, there are externalities associated with congestion charging that should be considered. Mainly, the massive operating costs. London’s charging scheme employes a great many people, and cost millions of pounds to implement. It is claimed that the costs are being covered by fees, and NYC ought to be certain that it can replicate that success before embarking on a similar plan – and that any extra money goes straight to public transportation, or other public good, such as parks and greenspace.
However, if you’ve every ridden a midtown bus (don’t, it’s faster to walk) then a 30% reduction in the number of cars on the street (as has occured in London, should be music to your ears.

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This Week’s Carnival of the Capitalists is Up

| Tuesday November 15th, 2005 | 0 Comments

This week’s Carnival of the Capitalist is being hosted by Belmont University’s Jeff Cornwall, and it’s especially good! Check it out.

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The Second Weekly Carnival of the Green!

| Monday November 14th, 2005 | 7 Comments

cotg.gifOnce again, I’m happy to start your week with a fantastic Blog Carnival. Last time it was the “Carnival of the Capitalist” and this time, it’s the “Carnival of the Green”, which will be (obviously) less about economics and money and more about the environment, and some funky alternative ideas too. I’ve made a little bit of commentary and tried to categorize things a bit! If you have a blog and would like to contribute an entry, write to: carnivalofgreen at gmail.
Without further ado enjoy the carnival!

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Live Blogging from Net Impact Part 2

| Friday November 11th, 2005 | 0 Comments

What would you say to mainstream MBAs? Gary Hirshberg – the big deal now is major companies making the switch to a more sustainable vision. Imagine Dannon (who own 80% of Stonyfield, but allow it to funciton fairly independantly) deciding to go organic. rest assured that if they do, Nestle and others will follow. That magnitude of change will require traditional MBAs, and other people “with letters after their name” to speak a language that major companies can understand, to help them bridge the link to get where they want, and need, to be.
Greg Steltenpohl – reiterates that point – look at Whole Foods, quickly gaining the market from traditional supermarkets.

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Live Blogging from Net Impact Part 1

| Friday November 11th, 2005 | 0 Comments

ni_logo.gifIt’s Net Impact Conferece time, this year hosted by the Stanford Business School. Following this morning’s opening address by the honorable Al Gore, we’re here in the wifi equipped auditorium about to hear former Odwalla CEO & current Adina CEO Gary Steltenpohl as well as Stonyfield Farms CE-YO Gary Hirshberg. Let’s see if I can live-blog it.

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Pyron Solar – The Innovation We’ve Been Waiting For?

| Friday November 11th, 2005 | 3 Comments

pyron.jpgLa Jolla, CA bases Pyron Solar has something that sound’s almost too good to be true – a massively powerful solar energy unit that’s both compact and economical to produce. The key – small lenses that focus the sun’s rays on the solar cells – like burning an ant with a magnifying glass. The 23-foot wide prototype pictured here can power 6 homes and costs $2000 after rebates. Wow. (via Treehugger)

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House Strikes ANWR Language from Budget Bill

| Thursday November 10th, 2005 | 3 Comments

anwr.jpg

Amazing. The US House has dropped Oil Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the budget bill. This is like watching a neck and neck superbowl in overtime. Nothing is quite set in stone yet, so I’ll mention it one more time – watch the video “Drawing the Line” which makes an economic argument against opening the refuge and please pass it on to as many people as you can, especially your elected reps!

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China Moves to Ban Electric Bikes in Some Areas

| Thursday November 10th, 2005 | 0 Comments

electrobike.jpgWhy is a massive car-culture considered the only way to a strong, modern economy? Is there a better way? I keep thinking, optimistically, that there has to be a sane compromise. Nonetheless, according to the South China Post, some Chinese cities are moving to ban electric bicycles in favor of automobiles. This ban follows similar bans on regular bikes in certain areas.
Cars are certainly not “bad”, but if they become the only option they cause an immense amount of pollution and rampant consumption, not to mention congestion and undesireable sprawl-style development. Ironically, with the luxury of hindsight, many European cities are reinstating pedestrian and bicycle dominance in urban areas. So, chalk it up as a phase for China, one that hopefully dosn’t erase the other options altogether.

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Triple Pundit Founder Speaking at PlaNetwork Next Week

| Thursday November 10th, 2005 | 0 Comments

Well, this is cool! I’ve been invited to speak at PlaNetwork’s monthly East Bay get together at the Hillside Club in Berkeley on Wednesday the 16th. Details Here. PlaNetwork is basically a forum of IT professionals and other interested folks working to use the internet and other technologies for “truly democratic, socially just and ecologically sane future”. Drop by if you’re in the neighborhood!

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100% Recycled – A Greenwashed Claim that Still Persists

| Wednesday November 9th, 2005 | 9 Comments

recyc1.jpgI’ve written in the past about the misleading nature of the term “100% Recycled”. When consumers see this term, they tend to think the item they are buying is made of material that was actually used by someone, discarded, and then recycled. Or at the very least, that they are somehow preventing material from entering the waste stream.

In reality, “100% recycled” means next to nothing – legally speaking, scrap material that winds up on the floor and is thrown back into the raw materials bin, is considered recycled. Material that was actually used in a product by a consumer, then returned to some sort of recycling facility to be reprocessed has a second term attached to it – “post-consumer recycled”. That’s why you’ll often see both terms used on say, your roll of expensive recycled toilet paper. Only the “post consumer” percentage, which is very rarely 100% actually meets people’s expectations for what recycled really means. Confused?

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Habitat Jam Offers Online Discussion of Urban Issues Dec 1-3

| Wednesday November 9th, 2005 | 4 Comments

HabitatJAM-logo.gifThe Government of Canada, in partnership with IBM and UN-HABITAT, have put together a 72-hour online event in preparation for the World Urban Forum, to be held enxt summer in Vancouver. It’s called “Habitat Jam” and it’ll basically be a, dare I say, jam session about urban issues – poverty, water, sustainability, safety, and business. You can register to participate for free right here.

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A Five Minute Survey For A Presdio Project

| Wednesday November 9th, 2005 | 0 Comments

I hope you’ll have a few minutes today to take a survey that was put together by a collegue of mine concerning the different sorts of ways we use the internet to find activating information – the kinds of things that engage you, inspire you, and make you feel you can make a difference. It’ll only take 5 min – I promise!
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A Useful Listing of Right/Left Blogs

| Tuesday November 8th, 2005 | 1 Comment

leftright.jpgI’m of the opinion that “right” and “left” don’t really mean anything. Most issues, if you spend more than a few minutes thinking about them, are full of common ground. Irrational misunderstanding, bad reporting, and jumping to conclusions are the causes of this strange obsession with right/left blue/red and the myth that there is some kind of unbreachable gap amongst us.
Anyway, that said, there are still many who think this way, and I thought I’d pass on two great links which might help you out. From The QandO blog (which is itself slightly right) – a listing of RIGHT WING BLOGS and LEFT WING BLOGS. I highly recommend glancing at both and bookmarking some of them. Sometimes both sides are full of crap, sometimes they’re both full of insight. Either way, if you’re not reading outside your box, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

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Kraft decides to Fight Obesity Among Children in a Big Way

| Tuesday November 8th, 2005 | 0 Comments

kraft.jpgBetween the 1960s and 1980s, the percentage of overweight children in the US hovered around 6%. Since 1980, the rate of obesity in children aged 6 to 11 has more than doubled, and the rate in adolescents has tripled to 16%. Currently one child in five is overweight. The increase is in all age, race and gender groups. The main culprits are the same as those for adult obesity: eating too much and moving around too little. Almost half of children aged 8-16 years watch three to five hours of television a day. Kids who watch the most hours of television have the highest incidence of obesity, not only because little energy is expended while viewing but also because of concurrent consumption of high-calorie snacks. Other factors of obesity are: poor nutritional habits, life style, heredity.
Since obesity in kids is now epidemic in the United States, Kraft is taking a stand and addressed the issue by banning some food ads targeting children and by introducing healthier food for children (lower content of fat and sugar). Under Kraft’s new policy (at work since 2003), any product advertised on a TV show where more than 50% of the audience is under 12 (as measured by Nielson Media Research) has to meet the nutritional standards set by the company.

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