Daily Green Wrap-Up 16.October, 2011

Just describing climate change poses a formidable challenge for communicators. Its causes are many and not necessarily intuitive to grasp. Likewise, its impact is difficult to comprehend, especially given how interconnected Earth’s natural systems are.

One possible way to address this challenge is to reframe the climate change conversation around water.

The price of gasoline and oil fluctuate so much and so often that the average person has no idea why the cost of fuel is skyrocketing or plummeting, which factors are contributing to the price flux (is it demand, is it speculation) or where the money goes

Many cities, as well as private citizens, are making small leaps to reduce energy consumption. What many overlook, or are too under-funded to take on, are large commercial buildings- arguably the largest drainer of resources in urban areas.

Did you know that the solar technology installed on college and university campuses throughout the United States could power up to 40,000 homes?

With 137 megawatts installed, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in HIgher Education (AASHE) reports that the amount of solar generation capacity in higher education has grown by 450 percent over the past three years alone.

There is more to wilderness than drawing in visitors who can support local businesses, expand payrolls, and enlarge gateway communities’ revenue bases, as important as those are.

David Brower once said, “A world without wilderness is a cage.” Edward Abbey once wrote, “Every square mile of range and desert saved from the strip miners, every river saved from the dam builders, every forest saved from the loggers, every swamp saved from the land speculators means another square mile saved for the play of human freedom.”

The first annual SXSW Eco conference was a success by many measures. The number of attendees exceeded the organizers’ expectations, the sessions were lead by well-known industry pioneers and up-and-comers, and the discussion was informative and productive. Here were some of the highlights we found most applicable.

  • The green movement is losing the messaging war.
  • Most of us will live in or near cities by mid-century.
  • The children are our (environmental) future.
  • It’s all about food.
  • We need to have uncomfortable conversations.
  • Listen before talking.
  • Life, sustainability, and the pursuit of happiness.

In a relatively few years, farmers markets have become fixtures in many US communities: the combination of fresh, local food (at reasonable prices), direct access to farmers themselves, and communal spirit of these events makes them irresistible to many of us.

In the US, these markets create a good arrangement for those of us who want to choose fresh, local, and (often) organic produce. In places like Tlaxcala, Mexico, this same sort of market — the Alternative Market of Tlaxcala – is providing sustainable economic opportunity in the region, especially for rural women who find themselves short on time, money, and adequate healthy food for their families.

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