Ideas

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Minimum Viable Planet: On determined focus versus wide-eyed wonder (Coach Beard talks to the trees)

I wake up in the middle of the night to read Suzanne Simard. So, it seems, does Coach Beard, the sleeper fave character on the charming and messy TV show, Ted Lasso. By Sarah Lazarovic Minimum Viable Planet From the CBC : The character of Coach Nate, played by Nick Mohammed, is complaining he never gets credit for his tactical […]

October 24th

Corey Doctorow: The true, Terry Pratchett-esque origins of the trillion-dollar coin (to end the debt ceiling impass)

The debt ceiling debate is genuinely absurd: Congress authorized the spending of new dollars, so the Treasury has to create them. For Congress to turn around and force the Treasury not to create the dollars it ordered the Treasury to create is an obvious political gimmick. By Corey Doctorow Pluralistic Hence the trillion dollar coin – a […]

October 23rd

None of the 2021 science Nobel laureates are women – here’s why men still dominate STEM award winning

All of the 2021 Nobel Prizes in science were awarded to men. That’s a return to business as usual after a couple of good years for female laureates. In 2020, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna won the chemistry prize for their work on the CRISPR gene editing system, and Andrea Ghez shared in the physics […]

October 15th

Corey Doctorow on Kim Stanley Robinson: “What kind of emergency is the climate emergency?”

Last month in the Financial Times, Kim Stanley Robinson pondered the nature of the current climate emergency, trying to capture the “structure of the feeling” of our current moment. By Corey Doctorow Pluralistic In 2020, Robinson published an astonishingly good, optimistic and furious novel about the climate emergency, “The Ministry For the Future,” whose goal […]

October 13th

Minimum Viable Planet: You down with OPP? And other acronyms of the heart

My delightful friend Oonagh recorded a little video for our climate education experience that explains how I felt about the climate crisis, and all the other wicked problems of the world, for most of my life. In it, she asks the $64,001 question that allows us to make the climate crisis OPP (other people’s problems): If it was really bad, wouldn’t […]

October 9th

Cory Doctorow: If $3.5 trillion is too much, fund infrastructure for 4 years (and let the GOP try to repeal it!)

Last week, millions played Congressional Kremlinology, guessing when House/Senate Dems would have the votes for the $3.5T reconciliation package, playing Fantasy Football Sophie’s Choice to cut programs if corporate Dems whittle it down. By Corey Doctorow Pluralistic But as Harold Meyerson writes for The American Prospect, there’s a high-stakes, high-risk gambit that would let the […]

October 4th

Democrats’ inept messaging: It’s NOT a $3.5 trillion bill, it’s just $350 billion a year

Why are the Democrats so inept at framing their messages in a way that appeals to people instead of scaring them off? They’re busy declaring that they want to pass $3.5 trillion in new federal spending for important and goals like child care, paid family leave, fighting climate change, increased Medicare benefits, lower prescription drug […]

September 29th

Cooler, cleaner megacities, one rooftop garden at a time

The view of Cairo from the air is one of concrete buildings and tangled overpasses stretching as far as the eye can see. Green areas comprise less than 4% of the total urban built area, and recent construction projects have resulted in the destruction of tens of acres of the city’s already-sparse green space. By Marianne Dhenin Yes! magazine […]

September 12th

Minimum Viable Planet: Judging your climate impact (and mine)

Everyone hates the preachy envirotwerp. When someone annoying says you can’t eat steak or fly to Bora Bora or buy the double-decker limited edition Yeezy Hummer, the backlash effects are profound. Eco-Insufferables make you want to buy two tickets to Bora Bora (Bora Bora Bora Bora?) just to spite them. By Sarah Lazarovic Minimum Viable Planet My […]

September 11th

How much is enough? What we WANT vs what we NEED

Given the current climate emergency and the broader ecological breakdown that looms, there are few issues more pressing than that expressed by the single word: enough. Yet, it is possible to satisfy humanity’s universal needs fairly—and keep the world livable. By Stan Cox Yes! magazine What is enough? Put that question to any economist or politician, […]

August 29th

Explainer: What is a tipping point, and why should I care?

Lately, you may have heard someone say that we have reached a “tipping point.” This year alone, with the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the sustained civil unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, we have witnessed dramatic shifts in our social and economic states of […]

August 24th

Minimum Viable Planet: A back to basics pep talk after the big IPCC Climate Report

Last weekend I girded. I encircled myself with mental armor in preparation for the latest IPCC report, over which climate twitter was already angsting. I told myself I would just read the toplines, and leave it to colleagues to go deep on the policy. I told myself I wouldn’t dwell. There was nothing new except further conclusivity […]

August 22nd

Why the climate movement must do more to mobilise older people

Some say age is only a number. Others associate age with wisdom. Or perhaps it is a state of mind. Whatever it is, age is a factor in climate progress, and 2021’s renewed climate momentum must mobilise the oft-overlooked elderly demographic. By Aled Jones, Anglia Ruskin University and Bradley Hiller, Anglia Ruskin University The Conversation […]

Reducing poverty can actually lower energy demand, finds research

As people around the world escape poverty, you might expect their energy use to increase. But my research in Nepal, Vietnam, and Zambia found the opposite: lower levels of deprivation were linked to lower levels of energy demand. What is behind this counter-intuitive finding? By Marta Baltruszewicz, University of Leeds The Conversation After all, the […]

Minimum Viable Planet: The planetary penumbra (for climate)

Hello! Penumbra is a neat word, isn’t it? It sounds like Harry Potter spellery, a tiny incantation that Hermione would utter to make writing implements appear. Pen…umbra! By Sarah Lazarovic Minimum Viable Planet Beyond its original, shadowy definition, the academics Andrew Gelman and Yotam Margalit propose a fresh meaning for this excellent word: The political influence of a group […]

June 5th