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Hawai’i’s Shared Futures By Vision Foresight Strategy

Climate Change Video Set

The Council on Foreign Relations has an interesting little video set about Climate Change.  Those of you who attended the Summit this year might compare this with the presentation given by Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute, looking at Climate Change, energy, and carbon emissions.

One of the interesting things you find in the climate change/sustainability discourse is the tension between those who are looking at large scale changes and those who are looking at small scale changes.  There emerges from different quarters a difference in the basic strategic approach advocates for change have adopted for addressing both climate change and sustainability.  Some see the challenge as great in scope and advocate for major structural changes, such as new generations of technologies or significant shifts in infrastructure and processes.  Others believe in advocating change on an individual basis, promoting the implication that what’s needed are only small personal changes in order to address the roots of climate change or unsustainable lifestyles.

But a reliance on only either of these approaches is likely incorrect.  If observing complex systems has revealed anything, it is that they usually do not produce the outcomes we desire simply in response to a single strategy of change.  Complex adapative systems are composed of many agents, each involved in different relationships with other agents.  When we act, that input resonates through the system in usually unpredictable ways.  Unlike making a single great shot as we do in billiards, when trying to effect change in CAS we probably need to take a much more tentative approach, one comprised of many experiments with lots of feedback and adjustment.

One of the things that Hawai’i lacks is a really good strategic framework that presents a number of strategic approaches to effecting change to deal with both climate change and sustainability.  We need approaches that address the structural realities of modern living, as well as approaches that galvanize individuals to make their small (in-system) alterations in behavior.  Change on the scale that we talk about here requires us to address the many different levels of modern living, and eschewing the traditional and outdated belief in single strategies or ‘silver bullets.’

If you can dig this kind of thinking, then join us on Summit Net, the network for people who are concerned with the big-picture, rule-changing possibilities for Hawai’i’s futures.

Filed under: Change, Climate Change, Hawai'i, Sustainability, Uncategorized

Wind Turbines

Scan: There’s been recent chatter about new wind power technology under development: wind turbines that use maglev in place of traditional mechanics and ball bearings. The new turbines are purported to be much more efficient, due to the dramatic improvement in output and increase in longevity with much lower maintenance costs (over traditional wind power towers). The Maglev Wind Turbine is under development in Arizona in the US and facilities for production are reportedly also under development in China.

maglev2.jpg

Related:

Filed under: Built Environment, Climate Change, Energy, Technology

Alaska as Early Indicator

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As we’ve explained to many in the past couple of years, anyone who has lived in Anchorage, Alaska over the last decade can attest to the changes in the winters there.  Anecdotally, this was an example of tracking global climate change, but a USA Today article laid out precisely that proposition a couple of years ago.  They even included video clips to explore the changes underway in Alaska’s climate and environment.

Related:

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year released its fourth round of assessments on climate change.  Download our quick read highlights of the Summary document or visit them for the full detailed works.

Filed under: Climate Change

Terra without homo sapiens sapiens

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Alan Weisman’s new book is The World Without Us, which takes as its premise the sudden and complete disappearance of humanity from the Earth.  In the book, he explores what would happen to our built environment, everything from the giant steel and glass edifices to the bronze and plastic implements we use, and how and how quickly the nonhuman environment would reclaim the abandoned spaces.

Weisman feels that the book can serve as more than just a thought experiment: that it can help alleviate the anxieties that prevent so many people from clearly and calmly considering the critical and natural processes that go on around us all the time, and to which we must pay better attention as we come to grips with the extent of global climate and environmental changes that may be on the horizon.

Check out the Scientific American article interviewing the science writer about this new book.

Related:

  • I Am Legend: a trailer for the upcoming movie starring Will Smith about the last man on Earth
  • Apocalypse of the Honeybees“: a quirky little article from SF Gate about the “karmic bitch-slap” that humanity may bee in for from the collapse of bee colonies and the end of food production
  • New Economics Foundation: a UK-based organization working to redefine economics “as if people and the planet mattered”

Filed under: Built Environment, Climate Change

More Desalination

Scan:
Texas has a new $2.2 million pilot project desalination plant in Brownsville, part of Texas’s initiative to build a full-scale $150 million plant in 2010. A Texas spokesperson quoted in an ENN article claims desalination is just one of the more than 4,000 water management ‘strategies’ that the state has in its plan. The article goes on to explain that desalination has not become the obvious and widespread option for creating potable water because of the huge energy requirements. Currently, desalinating water costs about $650 for every 326,000 gallons (enough to supply two homes for one year), whereas purifying non potable fresh water sources costs about $200.

Related:

  • Teatro del Aqua: a new design for water desalination that capitalizes on the natural water cycle driven by the Sun near sea water, with innovative visual design and social applications
  • Global Water Intelligence: a monthly newsletter that provides information and data on the international water market

Filed under: Built Environment, Climate Change, Technology

Water desalination: harming the environment?

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A recent study by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) concludes that the increasing employment of desalination around the world to supply more water to cities and populations damages coastal environments, emits green house gases, and could exacerbate climate change. The study contends that turning to desalination is not the most responsible strategy, and that people should increase their conservation of water.

Related:

Filed under: Built Environment, Climate Change, Technology

Gas Prices and Policy

Scan:
A recent BusinessWeek article takes a quick look the issue of high gas prices (the photo for the article shows a pump in San Francisco with 87 octane going for $4.339) and identifies the various prominent stakeholders and lobbyists for legislation and also lays out the most common policy proposal and what impacts they might have.

Related:

Filed under: Climate Change, Energy

Adjusting to Climate Change

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Tech Review article on planning for the new global climate looks at how researchers are struggling with the need for climate change forecasts and models for regional and local levels, to aid decision makers, planners, and responders with dealing with global climate change on a local and actionable level.

Related:

Filed under: Built Environment, Climate Change

Cities to Undergo ‘Greening’

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The William J. Clinton Foundation, in collaboration with the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, is implementing the ‘Clinton Climate Initiative.’  Under this initiative, sixteen major cities around the world New York, Chicago, and Houston, will be renovating municipal-owned buildings with green technologies.  Major financial institutions will be contributing $1 billion to the renovations, and companies such as Honeywell International and Siemens AG will conduct audits to ensure that the expected energy savings are obtained.  If not, they will pay the difference or make further modifications to the buildings.

Related:

Filed under: Built Environment, Climate Change

Hawai’i: the Reboot

2 days. 200 innovators. A new future for Hawai'i.


The Hawai'i Futures Summit 2009 October 16 and 17, 2009


SummitNet

Vision Foresight Strategy

We work with organizations to anticipate strategic change and to craft the strategies that will shape their desired futures.


To learn more about how we can help you, visit www.kikilo.biz

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