You’re Going To School For What?

When I tell people I’m back in school, I give them a moment for a spit take and then wait for the following questions.

Q1. Didn’t you get an MBA a couple of years ago?

A. Yep.

Q2. And you’re back in school?

A. Yep.

Q3. (Pause) Why are you back in school?

A. I enjoy building voluminous debts.  It’s character building…  Also, I want to become an expert in Sustainable Development so that I can pair that knowledge with my MBA to work on some of the toughest problems facing humanity.

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Robert Reich Lays It Down (Video)

Berkeley prof and former labor secretary, Robert Reich, says the U.S. is letting itself go.  He cuts to the chase in this short video.

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Comparing Taxes (Corp & Total) as a % of GDP (Infographic)

Another Gem from Barry Ritholtz.

A good infographic requires little explanation.  A great one requires none.


While you’re here, you might as well check out this week’s most popular post, “A Visual Representation of Atmospheric CO2 (Video)




Can Tomatoes Save the World?

Image by: Thelonious Gonzo

I’m beginning to work on the term paper for my summer school class “Global Climate Change: The Science, Social Impact, and Diplomacy of a World Environmental Crisis” and thought I’d share my working concept to the good people of the internet for a little vetting/research suggestions.  The working concept is to measure  either the Greenhouse Gas or water (Possibly both) impacts of tomato gardening in comparison to that of industrial farming.  The goal would be to measure the opportunity for reducing impact via production and transport.  To measure the opportunity, I would have to find the difference in inputs between an industrial farm and that of an organic home farm.  I would also need to determine the difference in GHGs produced by the two methods.

The initial thought might be that the home gardening scenario would mitigate all transport, but that would necessitate having all inputs either being available on site, or within reasonable distance for walking, bicycling, or some other non-motorized transport.

So, please take your best shot at the concept.  Do you think it has merit, or am I off the reservation again?

Image by: fox_kiyo

Potential Research Items:

I’ve ordered the new book “Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit” by Barry Estabrook and am starting to work through the following resources:

As you can see this is my highly non-private beginning to my paper.  I’m certainly not looking to have my work done for me, but if an interesting question comes to mind, I’d love to see how it might fit in with my research.
As always, thanks for stopping by!

Al Gore’s Beautiful Polemic (Call to Action)

Image by: simone.brunozzi

Many of you will have already read Al Gore’s latest piece for the Rolling Stone, but I thought it was worth calling attention to the following passage.  (For those who haven’t had the chance yet, the full article is available here: “Climate of Denial“)

Finally, and above all, don’t give up on the political system. Even though it is rigged by special interests, it is not so far gone that candidates and elected officials don’t have to pay attention to persistent, engaged and committed individuals. President Franklin Roosevelt once told civil rights leaders who were pressing him for change that he agreed with them about the need for greater equality for black Americans. Then, as the story goes, he added with a wry smile, “Now go out and make me do it.”

To make our elected leaders take action to solve the climate crisis, we must forcefully communicate the following message: “I care a lot about global warming; I am paying very careful attention to the way you vote and what you say about it; if you are on the wrong side, I am not only going to vote against you, I will work hard to defeat you — regardless of party. If you are on the right side, I will work hard to elect you.”

You have to take notice when a former vice president suggests an issue has become bigger than party.  I’m with him.  It’s time to get serious about protecting the planet.  From a climate change perspective it wouldn’t matter which party won future elections.  Wouldn’t that shake things up a bit?

Here’s another passage which speaks to the paradigm shift which has to take place.  Scientific knowledge has progressed to the point where it has proven that the norm has changed.

But in this case, the President has reality on his side. The scientific consensus is far stronger today than at any time in the past. Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act.

The whole climate change argument reminds of Mahatma Ghandi’s famous quote on social change.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

We’re firmly rooted in stage three of that process.  It’s time to go for the win.

Image by: davew.wilson

If you liked this post, you might want to check out a stunning video I recently shared:

Visual Representation of Atmospheric CO2