Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fall 2013 Slow News Summary

I'm back to regular life, and gradually catching up on all the writing I've been putting off! I'd like to thank my friends and followers who stuck by me through my foray into covering the municipal election for the Local Good, which we did on the principle that engagement with local politics is consistent with locavorism. I know my twitter and Facebook feeds were pretty #yegvote-heavy from August through October, and I'm sure anyone not in Edmonton who is still following me was muting the hashtag by the end. Here's a summary of what I learned in the process. It was pretty interesting, but I'm delighted to be taking my other interests off the back burner. Speaking of...

On sustainability and environment:

Let's start with the bad news. Arctic sea ice is not recovering. Ice on Arctic islands is melting for the first time in 44000 yearsOver 80% of terrestrial ecosystems are at risk from climate change, and ocean acidification likely means all ocean ecosystems are also at risk - and many marine species are already under intolerable pressure from overfishing and plastic pollution. The global food supply is also at risk from climate change, and National Geographic's interactive sea rise map demonstates that unless we can turn things around, many of the world's coastal cities will eventually end up underwater. The most recent IPCC report (even with revisions) is very clear that climate change is anthropogenic and only drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions can prevent unprecedented consequences. The somber tone and stark language being used by scientists trained to speak conservatively with lots of caveats is striking; it brings to mind cold-war-era language around the possibility of triggering a nuclear winter.

So, we have an enormous challenge ahead of us, an enormous responsibility to bear - and an enormous opportunity. The solutions we create as we build our cities and live our lives and move toward a zero-carbon-emissions future will need to be innovative and exciting. Let's do this thing.

An augmented-reality sundial bench by Joshua Barnes, shown at London Design Festival 2013, via designboom. An app allows users to record memories associated with the shadow cast by the dial.
On slow design, slow making, and slow home:

Balmaseda ‘Tafoni jacket’ at the ‘Art of Slow Fashion’ event in New York (photo by Abigail Doan, from her wonderful LOST IN FIBER Tumblr)
On slow fashion:
On slow food:
On slow travel:
On slow living, slow parenting, slow money, and so forth:

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