Capitalism and Climate Change

Nearly every political or economic dialogue of the past few years has featured talk of “green jobs” and the prospects offered by “the clean-energy economy.” L. Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen seek to make tangible the actual business economics of de-carbonization and sustainable development in their new work Climate Capitalism (Hill and Wang, $26).  Much … Continue reading

“Eaarth”: The Same But Different

Hegel, in the words of philosopher Slavoj Zizek, says that a good portrayal looks more like the person who is portrayed than the person itself.  In other words, a good portrayal makes reality more what it already is.  Its goal, as Zizek points out, is to introduce a change that makes us “see better.” Bill … Continue reading

Computer versus Humanity: which is most human?

Computer chess programs now routinely beat even the best human competition. A recent match between the former Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter and a computer (IBM’s “Watson”) resulted in the dismantling of the humans on the famous game show. For those who wonder if there is any competition remaining in which humanity has … Continue reading

The Road to Sustainability: 4.5 billion years in the making

Australian sustainability professor Tim Flannery wants to solve the many crises humanity is facing (environmental, economic, resource, health, nutrition, social inequality). One way he did this was by writing Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet (the Text Publishing Company, Melbourne, 2010), which explains the need for taking a holistic approach to climate … Continue reading

Doctor Joseph Graziano: Scientist and Philanthropist

Entering the 40th year of his research, Dr. Joseph Graziano is just now finding one of the joys of his career.  Renowned for developing the drug to treat childhood lead poisoning, he currently is working to find and combat the arsenic in drinking water in Bangladesh.  I met with him on one of the first … Continue reading