Big green ideas for the workplace

Last summer I had a vision of life in a world post-climate change catastrophe. It was around midday on July 20. I was sitting on the 5th floor of an office building in London when the sky suddenly and dramatically turned black, as though night had descended.

And then the heavens opened, dumping two month’s rain in just a few hours, leading to the worst flooding in years.

Whether last summer’s floods had anything to do with global warming is far from certain, but as the torrents rained down on that day last July, what did we all do? We went back to our desks and carried on working. The lights were already on, the air conditioning was on, and after a few moments’ distraction, we simply ignored it.

While at home we may compost, recycle and insulate our roofs; at work it’s just not our responsibility.

Or is it? If you are an eco-warrior at heart and really want to make a difference, then in many ways the workplace is actually your best chance. Rather than turning off a few lights in your house, at work you can turn off thousands.

Read more @ Big green ideas for the workplace by Adharanand Finn - guardian.co.uk.

Not everything wild gets on well in cities

Environmental activists, scientists and green organizations, first and foremost the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), have over the past few years been making an effort to protect the remaining natural assets in urban areas. Apparently there is no clear worldview about the characteristics of urban nature, its importance and the means of preserving it.

Now the Deshe (Open Landscape) Institute, which operates as part of the SPNI, has published a paper, “Urban Ecology,” on the subject by Inbal Brikner Brown from the Institute of Desert Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. It deals with, among other things, what is worthwhile and possible to preserve on the basis of existing scientific knowledge.

Read more @ Not everything wild gets on well in cities – Haaretz – Israel News.

A climate of change

You’ve just installed energy- saving lightbulbs, only to hear that if one of them breaks you might have to evacuate the room to avoid toxic mercury. You’ve been sponsoring a patch of rainforest but now reports say the jungle is healing itself. You’ve been recycling your newspapers and glass bottles for years, but you’ve also bagged cheap flights for those lovely little city breaks. Guilty? Ashamed? Confused?
Welcome to the world of green fatigue.

Read more @ A climate of change – The Scotsman.

Green Roof Proposed For Stretch Of California Highway

A plan has been submitted to cover a stretch of California highway with a 24-acre park. It would be built on a deck constructed over the below-grade portion of the Hollywood Freeway (US-101). Organizers argue that by placing a “cap” over one of the world’s most congested freeway systems, the necessary ventilation system would clean the air before re-circulating it back into the environment — creating a positive improvement in air quality for LA. Additionally, the park would also provide a nexus between East Hollywood and Central Hollywood–”alleviating the strain on the community from the initial creation of the freeway through this section of Hollywood.”

Read more @ GroovyGreen.com – Green Roof Proposed For Stretch Of California Highway

Dongtan Eco city shouldn’t be a marketing piece – Planners

Two countries will lead the world in eco-cities: China and Britain.” The words of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown lingered in the cold Shanghai winter air long after he had given tacit approval to the Dongtan ‘eco-city’, set to be constructed on the formerly preserved wetlands of Chongming Island, near Shanghai. Dongtan was initiated by Shanghai Industrial Investment Corp, which contracted British engineering firm Arup to work on the development.

The heavily hyped, and controversial, development is being marketed as the world’s first “self-sustaining eco city” – designed to house up to 90,000 people by 2010, with 90 per cent of all waste to be recovered, recycled or reused. Last November, it was recognised as one of the “most innovative and outstanding buildings in Asia” by the MIPIM Asia Awards in Hong Kong.

However, speculation persists about the yet-to-be-constructed Dongtan’s actual ecological credentials, and rumours have surfaced that its near-neighbour may be a Disneyland theme park (reported here).

China Business News and Business in China – BizChinaUpdate.

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