Archives for July 2014

Should We Ditch The ‘Green Economy’?

Faced with pub­lic pres­sure to low­er their car­bon foot­print, and the high cost of set­ting up sus­tain­able ener­gy sup­plies, busi­ness­es and gov­ern­ments now have a third option.   The Unit­ed Nation’s ‘Sus­tain­able Ener­gy for All’ ini­tia­tive adds weight to the grow­ing voice push­ing low-car­bon ‘green’ growth over con­ven­tion­al ‘brown’ devel­op­ment and its heavy reliance on […]

Venezuela climate summit calls for end to “green economy”

UN-backed event ends with unusu­al call from civ­il soci­ety groups to end cap­i­tal­ism A UN-backed con­fer­ence in Venezuela has end­ed with a dec­la­ra­tion to scrap car­bon mar­kets and reject the green econ­o­my. The Mar­gari­ta Dec­la­ra­tion was issued at the end of a four-day meet­ing of around 130 green activist groups, which the Venezue­lan gov­ern­ment host­ed […]

Your iPhone may be rigged to spy on you

iOS foren­sic exam­in­er Jonathan Zdziars­ki may know more about iPhones than any oth­er non-Apple employ­ee. Yet even he can’t find a rea­son for some of the mys­tery fea­tures buried with­in the iOS oper­at­ing sys­tem, which look an awful lot like secu­ri­ty back­doors that bypass user-des­ig­­nat­ed data pro­tec­tions. The fea­tures could be there to let Apple […]

Urban development: mixed use, mixed results?

Ever since Jane Jacobs cel­e­brat­ed diverse, high-den­si­­ty neigh­bor­hoods in her 1961 clas­sic “The Death and Life of Great Amer­i­can Cities,” city plan­ners, politi­cians, aca­d­e­mics and even some devel­op­ers have been jonesing to recre­ate New York’s homey West Vil­lage where she lived back then. Of course, to adopt Jacobs’ pre­scrip­tions for the per­fect city — short, […]

Agenda 21: Home Sweet Home in Freight Shipping Containers

While the world is siz­zling and per­co­lat­ing in con­flicts and wars, and U.S. is roil­ing in man­u­fac­tured cri­sis after cri­sis, real or imag­ined emer­gen­cies, over­whelmed by the con­stant inva­sion of ille­gal immi­grants, The Wash­ing­ton Post writes on the front page, “Think­ing inside the box on D.C. hous­ing costs,” liv­ing in repur­posed dinged freight ship­ping con­tain­ers. […]

Poverty, environment, even traffic fatalities: UN’s sweeping sustainable development goals aim to fix everything — on paper

End glob­al hunger and all forms of mal­nu­tri­tion and pover­ty by 2030, along with all urban slums around the world. Halve the num­ber of deaths from road traf­fic acci­dents glob­al­ly (an esti­mat­ed 1.24 mil­lion in 2010, accord­ing to the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion) by the same date—and “reduce lev­els of vio­lence and halve relat­ed death rates […]

Blowback from the NSA Surveillance

There’s one piece of blow­back that isn’t being dis­cussed — aside from the fact that Snow­den has killed the chances of any lib­er­al arts major get­ting a DoD job for at least a decade — and that’s how the mas­sive NSA sur­veil­lance of the Inter­net affects the US’s role in Inter­net gov­er­nance. Ron Deib­ert makes […]

Two More Governors Turning Against Common Core

Two more state gov­er­nors have hopped on the anti-Com­­mon Core band­wag­on, urg­ing either a sec­ond look at it or push­ing for out­right repeal. Gov. Gary Her­bert of Utah ordered his attor­ney gen­er­al to con­duct a review of the con­tro­ver­sial mul­ti-state edu­ca­tion stan­dards Thurs­day, while Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walk­er announced that he wants the state’s leg­is­la­ture […]