Shut Up or the Kid Dies. What the Frack?

When hydraulic fracturing goes wrong, people get sick and corporations silence them. What the Frack? Climate Justice and Our Culture was the highlight of my final day at SXSW Eco 2013. This five-member panel was led by Dr. M.K. Dorsey, director of the Climate Justice Research Project at Dartmouth College. I was stunned by what I heard in this session; here are some highlights. If you're not familiar with hydraulic fracturing, click here for a simple summary. Hundreds of chemicals are mixed with sand and water, and millions of gallons of this mixture are blasted into the ground until the earth to cracks. Natural gas is collected as it escapes through these cracks, and much of the chemical cocktail remains in the earth. Details of the poisonous mixture are kept secret by gas companies, but about half of the ingredients are known. Many of the chemicals have been linked to cancer and others are known to cause respiratory damage. Some of this stuff can short-circuit the way your brain communicates with your body, it can also impact your fertility. We don’t know exactly how these chemicals affect children, but we do know that this crap has caused serious illnesses. During this session, Michael Green told a story so appalling that I thought it could only happen in some third-world country that I’m too lazy to read about; he explained how gas companies silence their victims. Green is some bigwig from the Center for Environmental Health, which is dedicated to protecting children from toxic threats. His story resembled that Erin Brockovich movie, but there’s more poison, less ethical behavior, no...

Surprise Live Blog: “Peak Stuff, Baby Pigeons and the Heartbeat of Cats” presented by Adam Werbach

We did another round of live blogging today, this time on keynote speaker Adam Werbach. Following are the results (in reverse order): Surprise Live Blog: “Peak Stuff, Baby Pigeons and the Heartbeat of Cats” presented by Adam Werbach 14:53 aaand the lights are on. – Stupidgregg 14:53 “THE HOPE of the human race lies in its generosity.” 14:52 AW has been using computer printers, and their immediate obsolesence as an example of a horrible product that shouldn’t besold. – Stupidgregg 14:52 14:51 Let’s see if Yerdle can help out with this. 14:51 He has found that a lot of things you want to buy are probably already available and unused by a friend. 14:51 People don’t realize how much stuff they have that they don’t want, and how much stuff they want, that their friends have but don’t want.  – Stupidgregg 14:50 Good point, this is hitting home. I need to look at all the stuff that I have that don’t use. 14:49 We had some slight technical difficulty there. 14:49 * Technical difficulties * 14:49   Sharing is important because many things that we use are designed for obselesence, and we have a lot of crap on our shelves. The lead designer from Braun was an icon of Jony Ive (Apple Inc.). His design principle was “Less is Better.” – Stupidgregg   14:48 14:42 Updated : 14:49 A concept from Mumbai inspiring Yerdle, a simple sharing platform. Which you can download from iTunes, here. 14:42 They want Yerdle to be used as a means for people to share all that junk that is sadly sitting in storage…alone, unused, unandled. 14:41 It’s available...

SXSW 2013 Oct. 7 Keynote Robin Chase – Quick Notes

Robin Chase has been busy. She’s the founder and CEO of Buzzcar, founder and former CEO of Zipcar and GoLoco. She also happens to be on and has been on multiple advisory boards. Check all that out here. With this post I’m going to simply list out some of the key points and statements made by Robin in the keynote. If anyone who attended the keynote finds anything erroneous please let me know by sending an email to hi@b2me2.com. ————— – Information was taken from the World Bank report on climate change. Some notable information taken from the World Bank site: “The report says today’s climate could warm from the current global mean temperature of 0.8°C above pre-industrial levels, to as high as 4°C by 2100, even if countries fulfill current emissions-reduction pledges.” She delved into a bit more by throwing out some numbers about how the climate is changing rapidly,  as opposed to how it has changed historically. Rather than simply regurgitate numbers, it would be best to read the reports (PDF): Turn Down the Heat – Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience Turn Down the Heat – Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided – Robin then went on to discuss something she has already spoken about in other media forums, including TED and Vimeo. “Companies like Buzzcar are commonly described as “peer-to-peer,” but Chase prefers the phrase “Peers Incorporated,” which implies not only sharing among members of a network, but also the involvement of a corporation as a go-between.” – Taken from http://blog.ted.com/2012/12/17/11-fascinating-peer-incorporated-businesses/ Following is her TED talk: – A primary example of a “peers incorporated” organization...

SXSW Eco Welcome: Christiana Figueres

  Scott Wilcox took the stage, starting off the event. After the initial introduction, Christiana was then on the big screen. She wasn’t able to make it to speak live, but had put together a nice video for those in attendance. She went over the fundamental aspects of climate change, and how we factor in the equation of undoing environmental damage caused by us (collective human race). I’m assuming she means damage that started with the industrial revolution, though she didn’t specify. The basic message from Christiana is that we all, from the private sector, to big government, have a call to...
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