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One of the problems with climate change is that it is a global, or planetary issue. Our major form of political organization currently is nationalism which is too small to establish a global response as the tragedy of the commons is almost ensured to occur short of some massive leap in human morality. – Cam Riley

Sustainability, particularly in the form of compact urbanism with bright green innovation, concentrates human interactions with each other and networked systems, making it easier to suffuse daily life with the sort of intelligence that allows data to be gathered, shared and connected. The Net and the public square, as Castells wrote, are symbiants. – Alex Steffen

We seek to share with all parties to the UNFCCC the vision of, and together with them to consider and adopt in the UNFCCC negotiations, the goal of achieving at least 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050, recognising that this global challenge can only be met by a global response, in particular, by the contributions from all major economies, consistent with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. – G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit

These ideas tend to be fairly polarizing. People either believe that material wealth is either totally infinite (Flat World) or it’s finite and getting close to being used up (environmentalists). Belief in technology as our savior is proposed as a path that can keep our current way of life but just change the components (electric cars, hydrogen economy, alternative power, etc…). Environmentalists debunk the technology as savior idea by saying it is too little, too late. […] There is another possibility. At the risk of being called a Pollyanna, I think there may be a path that acknowledges that material resources are limited but also recognizes a powerful role for technology in helping us adapt. The basis for my theory is simple: material resources are limited but ideas are infinite. – Dave Sohigian in

Societies have a long record of adapting to the impacts of weather and climate. But climate change poses novel risks often outside the range of experience, such as impacts related to drought, heat waves, accelerated glacier retreat, and hurricane intensity. These impacts will require adaptive responses such as investments in storm protection and water supply infrastructure, as well as community health services. Adaptation measures essential to reduce such vulnerability, are seldom undertaken in response to climate change alone but can be integrated within, for example, water resource management, coastal defence, and risk-reduction strategies. The global community needs to coordinate a far more proactive effort towards implementing adaptation measures in the most vulnerable communities and systems in the world. – R K Pachauri, Chairman, IPCC

Global warming is a unique geological event, more akin to the scale of nuclear war than saving the spotted owl. So why are we treating it as if it is a spotted owl? – Sheril R. Kirshenbaum

The seasonal cycle in atmospheric CO2 shows that the lifetime of a CO2 molecule in the air before it is exchanged with another in the land biosphere is about 12 years. Therefore if the trees could simply be persuaded to drop diamonds instead of leaves, repairing the damage to the atmosphere could be fast, I suppose. – Dave Archer in

Actually, the party’s just beginning. It’s just a different kind of party, but it’s one that will be no less fun. Building a whole new kind of world, seeing how you can live well and put out less carbon, well what’s cooler than that? Lots of opportunities to think outside the box, and many of them a lot of people are going to make a lot of money out of as well. Like maybe heat pumps for home heating. They exist, but the creative engineering on them has just barely begun. –raypierre

There should be a gallery that collects, displays, and sifts such works over centuries and millennia, and develops ways to preserve them. That is exactly Burtynsky's plan - a 10,000-year Gallery to accompany the 10,000-year Clock. –

a photovoltaic panel manufacturing plant can be made energy-independent by using energy derived from its own roof using its own panels. Such a plant becomes not only energy self-sufficient but a major supplier of new energy, hence the name solar breeder. Lindmayer J. The solar breeder. Proceedings of the photovoltaic solar energy conference 1977 p. 825–35.

Objections to [Al Gore's idea to Make All US Electricity From Renewable Sources] cannot be framed as support of a status quo, because the status quo doesn't exist. Nor can it be framed as against a free market, as OPEC is a cartel. It needs be to be framed as the costs of doing something as opposed to the population-crushing costs of doing nothing. […] Ozone Man has taken on the vaporous, smoky proportions of Banquo's Ghost. –Bruce Sterling

Old categories need to collapse before we can begin to create a different dialogue on aesthetics in a sustainable culture. We will need a new aesthetic to embrace the three categories of object, participation, and action without privileging the conventional formal characteristics of objects. In this aesthetic, the distinctions between art, design, and architecture will blur as critics discover new relations between the value of form and the value of use. (…) Imagination is an artist’s greatest asset. It can produce bold visions of what a sustainable future might be like. People can be moved and aroused by powerful environments, innovative designs, and practical demonstrations of active engagement. With open minds and a willingness to collaborate, those who seek a place in the culture of sustainability must move forward. The problem of “ecological aesthetics” will solve itself. –Victor Margolin

The new American energy moguls. The dot-greenies. Could they be any worse than oil sheiks, Nigerians and Russians? As a Viridian, I dare to hope that they might have better aesthetic taste than Moscow blingbling and Dubai skyscraper fever. Maybe this latest crop of Silicon Valley zillionaires will flaunt their millions with stuff like Ross Lovegrove “Tech Nouveau” furniture. –Bruce Sterling



various things the participants are inspired by, involved with, or […] points of discussion and points of departure.

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