After becoming a renewable energy entrepreneur (think massive kites), Saul Griffith started wondering about the greenness of his own life—so he started counting. The exercise became an exploration, which resulted in the website WattzOn.com, a powerful opensource tool for personal impact calculation. Using the Embodied Energy Database, you can finally determine “the impact of wearing underwear versus taking holiday in Europe.” Griffith explains how WattzOn works (and how you can help perfect it), and why we miss the point when we obsess over
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Economist and trend-spotter Jeremy Rifkin predicts that the evolution of energy production and distribution — from fossil fuels to more decentralized renewable energy — will transform the global economy. He joins us to discuss his latest book, "The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World."
Science, technology, environment and health news and discussion from the makers of the NPR public radio program Science Friday with host Ira Flatow.
Chris Bangle: global car designer and ideas agitator Do you know this name, Chris Bangle? Car enthusiasts in the By Design audience will know him, in the world of car design he’s a star, but all of you know his work. Trends and Products: Pixel building - the greenest in Australia The Pixel building, as it is known, is the new Melbourne city headquarters for the developers Grocon - known for many of Australia´s major buildings. Eureka building on Melbourne´s Southbank is one of their most prominent. This is considered one of the tallest buildings in Australia. The Pixel building, though, is small, and an experiment in all things green. The building´s architects Studio 505 are one of Australia´s most innovative and thoughtful firms, with the co-founder Dylan Brady coming out of LAB Architecture, the firm that designed Melbourne’s Federation Square. Wallpaper: an on-again, off-again love affair On his deathbed in a Paris hotel room, Oscar Wilde famously quipped: ‘My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.’ In Australia, since the 1840s, fashions in wallpaper have come and gone in Australia during our long, on-off love affair with wallpaper. When the Lights Went Out: a history of blackouts in America Where were you when the lights went out? For whatever reason they went out, you´ll probably remember where you were when it happened because our electrically lit-up life has become so natural to us that when the lights go off, the darkness seems abnormal and memorable.
The superheroes of the comic book world have worked their way deep into the American imagination – and managed to hang on. They’ve been attacked and celebrated, and they’ve gone to Hollywood and Broadway.
This year, DC Comics, which created Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and many others, is celebrating 75 years of comic book publishing – from the first grainy, grinning, all-new format in 1935.
Paul Levitz, former publisher of DC Comics and a longtime writer for many of its most enduring characters, says comic books are our society’s way of creating myths. And they help us play out universal human feelings and aspirations.
“It’s a natural human reaction to dream of what it would be to being empowered, to be able to solve things that you can’t otherwise,” says Levitz, whose new book is 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. “The dilemmas that we face in the world – whether it’s the economy or what’s going on in our lives, our jobs, our personal lives – all are things that we wish we had more control over, more ability to affect. And the great superhero characters all reflect some element of that.”
DC Comics has also created such memorable characters as Lex Luther, The Joker, Robin, and The Green Lantern, and Levitz is celebrating the whole long list. He says the characters often embody a very compelling human longing.
“The fundamental fantasy of Superman – that Lois would realize that I’m an incredible person if she could look past my glasses and just see my inner Superman – that’s so basically human,” Levitz tells On Point. “How many of us have had that feeling at some moment, when we wish the other person would just get us?”
When you look at a chair what do you see? Perhaps you see a chair. What does Annie Leonard see? "It looks like mahogany or teak I wonder if it came from Indonesia or Malaysia I wonder if the Penang people got kicked off it looks like it’s PVC it could be leaching phthalates those endocrine disruptors there could be flame retardants— " Whew.
Leonard’s friends told her she needed to lighten up. So the fast–talking environmental activist made a cartoon. "The Story of Stuff" is a critique of the materials economy. It explains where our stuff comes from, where it goes once we trash it, and argues we’re buying too much, trashing the planet, and making ourselves unhappy. Leonard estimates the video has been viewed 10 million times. It’s shown in classrooms around the United States, to the dismay of Glenn Beck.
Annie Leonard spoke in her hometown, Seattle, at Town Hall on March 24, 2010. University Bookstore and the Town Hall Center for Civic Life sponsored the event.
Renowned paleontologist Peter Ward argues that life might be its own worst enemy. He proposes a provocative vision of life’s relationship with the Earth’s biosphere in The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life on Earth Ultimately Self-Destructive? Ward’s proposes that all but one of the mass extinctions on Earth were caused by life itself, and reveals that there is an alarming decline of diversity and biomass on Earth, caused by life’s own "biocidal" tendencies.
With cities contributing upwards of 75 per cent of global carbon emissions, urban design is increasingly important when planning for climate change. This discussion examines the creative urban design solutions coming out of the world’s cities. Saskia Sassen is Robert S Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. Richard Sennett is professor of sociology at LSE and NYU. Jonathon Porritti s the chair of the sustainable development commission and founder and director of Forum for the Future.
New surveys are out on the world’s most livable cities. The places you’d really like to be to raise a family, enjoy life, start a business, savor days and nights and, well, there’s hardly an American city in sight.
The top 25 from the Economist’s Intelligence Unit finds Vancouver, Canada at the top of the list with Vienna, Melbourne, Helsinki, Osaka close behind.
And not a single American city. Pittsburgh sneaks in at 29. Monocle magazine gives Zurich top honors. And Copenhagen, Tokyo. Only Honolulu makes it from the USA. What’s up?
Futurist Peter Schwartz leads a diverse panel discussing the building of green communities in China and throughout the world.
They explore how to make a city that is environmentally sustainable, economically feasible, and culturally appealing.
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