seattle dept. of transportation
…historically the stingiest, most fiscally conservative, most technologically resistant and investment-averse people ever, with the highest percentage of luddites per capita.
No, today’s princess is not about romance: it’s more about entitlement. I call it “girlz power” because when you see that “z” (as in Bratz, Moxie Girlz, Ty Girlz, Disney Girlz) you know you’ve got trouble. Girlz power sells self-absorption as the equivalent of self confidence and tells girls that female empowerment, identity, independence should be expressed through narcissism and commercialism.
vintage 1940 trolley bus from seattletransitblog.com
It’s a few days late, but CBS.com has finally posted the Letterman segment with author Bill McKibben. (Fast forward to the last 10 minutes of the video.)
Since I am probably the only McKibben reader who continues to own and use a TV set, I got to see this segment on its original air date. He forcefully argues that not only do we have to act to save the planet, but that we can.
…Nobel Peace Prize, here’s a lucid and elequent congratulatory essay by local-boy-made-good (and done good) Alex Steffen.
I first knew Steffen when he ran Steelhead, one of the most intelligent and handsome local zines this burg has ever produced.
Since then, he’s traveled much of the world, written a lot of important things, and in 2003 guest-edited the last, never-printed, issue of Whole Earth magazine, the last descendant of Stewart Brand’s old Whole Earth Catalog.
You’ll find vast acreage of smart prose by Steffen and compatriots at WorldChanging.com, his site dedicated to “bright green” eco-solutions.
I’m currently halfway through the huge (600-plus pages) WorldChanging book, edited by Steffen and written by himself and several dozen appropriate-tech experts. (Gore contributed a short introduction.)
WorldChanging’s shtick has been described as an update of the Whole Earth “Access to Tools” shtick, adapted for a generation of bloggers and a post-WTO sensibility.
Unlike a lot of the gloom-n’-doom nihilism preached by eco-leftists, Steffen and his team concentrate on solutions to the planet’s big and small problems. The book covers everything from urban planning and refugee camps to renewable energy and adequate water supplies. The emphasis throughout is on Things We Can Really Do About It.
If Barack Obama bills himself as the politician of hope, Steffen is its scribe.
As Steffen writes in his Gore piece today:
“If we do our jobs right, life will get better. The systems we currently rely on don’t just destroy the environment, they limit our happiness. We do not live in the best of all possible worlds. We know it is possible to create lives which are not only profoundly more sustainable, but more prosperous, comfortable, stylish, healthy, safe and fun. If we do our jobs right, a bright green future will be downright sexy.”
Without making a big PR fuss about it, KIRO-TV’s quietly moved into high-definition local production. Last night’s prime-time documentary special, Cold Facts About Our Warm Planet, was particularly notable.
With lush HD videography and few commercial interruptions, it showed the local effects of global warming. We saw shrinking glaciers, prematurely melting mountain snowpacks, tinder-dry forest lands, declining salmon runs, potential sea-level rises, and more.
It was all narrated by a low-key Steve Raible. (How’d he grow up so smart, when his fellow early Seahawks star Steve Largent went wingutty?) Raible calmly took us through the evidence and the arguments about our current warming trend. He explained the background science, with the help of UW scientists and experts.
Raible stayed away from casting blame or judgmentalism, and rightly so. If global warming really is influenced by human activity, and I believe it is, it’s taken the entirety of human civilization to get us there. Anti-SUV sanctimony won’t save the planet. That can only occur with a lot of big and small steps by a lot of people, including people whose current lifestyles are different from yours.
Kudos to Cold Facts’ writer-director Ben Saboonchian and videographer Peter Frerichs.
I don’t know if or when the station will repeat the special. It should, and it should put the whole doc up online.