Archive for July 2012
“The 2012 Olympics have finally arrived in London and with it came a sweep of Olympic-themed art, celebrating the games and the athletes participating in them. Artists continue to churn out new works idolizing the Olympians and the varied sports competitions in the summer games, but one artist named Gustavo Sousa has chosen to focus on the Olympic rings themselves to give some insight on global issues. Sousa says, “The rings represent healthy competition and union, but we know the world isn’t perfect. Maybe understanding the differences is the first step to try to make things more equal.“
The Brazilian creative director at Mother London uses the five colorful rings, representing each of the five continents taking part in the games every four years, to display a series of informative graphs about the world we live in today. The topics range from general facts like the world’s population to staggering statistics that reveal the ratio of people living with HIV, as symbolized by the size of the circle representing their continental location.
The eye-opening project that’s known simply as oceaniaeuropeamericasafricaasia includes a total of 16 prints to represent each day of the Olympics. Initially, the artist never revealed a key for the infographics, saying “You can almost figure that out as you read through; I thought that process of discovery was interesting.” “
via Eye-Opening Olympic Rings Infographics About Global Issues – My Modern Metropolis.
“In his new book Resilience, Andrew Zolli — the director of the global innovation network PopTech — uses the electrical grid as an example of a system that lacks just that. And in an increasingly interconnected world — financially, ecologically, politically — one in which small errors in one place can cascade into broader system failures, the ability to adapt, accommodate and bounce back is only going to become more important. From climate change to overpopulation to recessions, the threats facing the world are as unpredictable as they are varied — which is why we need to craft systems that are nimble, that can bend under stress rather than break. “If we cannot control the volatile tides of change, we can learn to build better boats,” writes Zolli. “We can design — and redesign — organizations, institutions, and systems to better absorb disruption, operate under a wilder variety of conditions, and shift more fluidly from one circumstance to the next.” “
via The Power Grid: From Rickety to Resilient – TIME.
“The Austro-Hungarian Empire did not collapse in 1918 because it failed to cultivate new ideas or nurture personal freedom. It was filled with expressive, entrepreneurial, and free-thinking groups. The problem was that the Habsburg political system, which for three centuries had held diverse groups together, generated remarkable wealth, and defeated foreign tyrants (notably Napoleon), failed to adjust to new demands for national independence and democratic participation. Franz-Josef served as Emperor for more than sixty years before his death in 1916, as a pious, hard-working, and fair-minded political leader. He even encouraged equality for Jews at a time of rising anti-Semitism throughout Europe. Nonetheless, the system of imperial monarchy that he directed failed to address the growing demands for independence, development, and wealth redistribution throughout his lands. Despite his efforts, he was a prisoner of a stagnant and outdated set of political institutions.
Even with the best of leaders and institutions, large societies cannot prosper if they cannot adjust to change. At the same time that the cosmopolitan city of Vienna entered a terminal crisis in 1914, much more provincial cities like Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Cleveland led a rapid growth in American wealth and power behind their flexible political systems of governance.”
via The Austro-Hungarian Legacy: Creative Citizens Need Innovative Governance | Global Trends 2030.
Now that the London 2012 Olympic Games are offically open, you can follow the Games in many ways….here is a site which moniters and shows info / data in a visual fashion…..
Visualizing the London 2012 Olympic Games | visualizing.org.
“When the impacts of electric and natural gas vehicles are combined with the rise of biofuels, in an environment of high prices, all against a backdrop of rising efficiency standards, it becomes clear that oil is facing significant pressures in its core market.
How oil producers will react to an eventual decrease in oil demand remains to be seen. Given how deeply many oil-producing countries rely on oil revenues to balance their books, there is little doubt that any sustained reduction in oil demand will have significant social, political and economic implications. While some may consider this a controversial thesis, the basic functioning of the market all but ensures that when substitutes emerge that can provide the same service at lower cost, consumers will respond. As energy thinker Amory Lovins is fond of pointing out, if these trends continue, oil will likely become uncompetitive even at low prices well before it becomes unavailable even at high prices.
This notwithstanding, the decline of oil is likely to be gradual, a process more like phasing one instrument out of the symphony than disbanding the orchestra altogether.
Oil will always have customers, for the simple reason that it can be refined into thousands of different products; still, it is likely that the 65 percent of it that is devoted to ground transportation will be gradually priced out of the market by the basic functioning of market competition in the decades ahead.“
via Guest Post: The Rise and Decline of Oil : Greentech Media.
“He said that despite the failures of successive governments – including his own 1992-2000 administration in the US – to forge working treaties on climate change, and to cut greenhouse gas emissions, people should take the initiative by working together and individually to reduce their own impact on the environment. He pointed to the work of the biologist EO Wilson, whose most recent work suggests that human beings and other complex natural societies prosper through co-operation. “I believe that in a complex world … these creative networks of co-operation have to triumph over conflict-driven models,” said Clinton.”
via Bill Clinton: cutting use of natural resources would help US economy | World news | guardian.co.uk.
“Profile: 100 Global Sustain Ability Leaders
Not one but 100 profiles in this issue.
The selected Global Sustain Ability Leaders from six continents include Nobel prize
winners, scientists, architects, designers, artists, and CEOs of international
companies. Besides the well-known, there are the quiet achievers who are making
a name for themselves and their NGOs, institutes, universities or businesses.
One is Alison Rowe (left) Fujitsu’s global head of sustainability and another
is Singapore’s Ho Kwon Ping (right).
Here’s the full list. “
via ABC Carbon » Blog Archive » Profile: 100 Global Sustain Ability Leaders.