Vegans in Hummers or Beef Eaters in Priuses

Michael Pollan dropped a one-liner at the recent PopTech conference that took me by surprise. He said, “I hope I’ve driven home the point that our meat eating is one of the most important contributors we make to climate change. A vegan in a Hummer has a lighter carbon footprint than a beef eater in a Prius!” So much of the chatter I read about greening has been focused on artifacts of one kind or another. Food kind of slips by unnoticed in the great green accounting system. I suppose that’s because we tend to think of food as an essential and unavoidable part of consumption. In the most general… Read More

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Solid as a Rock

I came across an [article](http://www.alternet.org/story/144204/our_lives_are_filled_with_worthless_crap_that’s_destroying_the_earth:_here’s_what_you_can_do?page=entire) today on [Alternet](http://www.alternet.org/) touting durability as a potential partial solution to the energy drain. The summary says, “The way to lower the quantity of energy required to make and distribute short-lived consumer goods is to make them durable, repairable and upgradable.” This is a lot more genteel than its headline, which read, “Our Lives Are Filled With Worthless Crap That’s Destroying the Earth: Here’s What You Can Do.” In spite of the provocative headline, the article is well-done and draws on some excellent and authoritative sources. Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin, the author, includes one of my favorite quotes which I used in my book. > The literature… Read More

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Re-entry Blues

I’ve been back from my travels to Turkey for four whole days and am slowly becoming re-immersed in the culture I passionately believe has to change if we are to find sustainability. I think my generation’s (grandparents’) chances to see a world where this possibility looms large are somewhere between very small and nil. I see signs, small and large, everywhere that shout wake up, but without much effect. It took just this short time back to tune into the current news and find this conclusion inescapable. It shows up in little things, like trying to compensate for the serious side effects of a popular piece of technology with another.… Read More

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Turkey Is No “turkey”

I am just back from a fantastic trip through Turkey. First thanks to my son, Tom, who filled in for me while I was traveling. I have invited him to continue as a permanent guest. The pejorative sense of “turkey the bird” is absolutely not justified by any reference to Turkey the country. Admittedly short on the history of the region before I left, I was continually stunned by the richness of the civilizations that dwelled there over 6-7000 years or more. The first evidence of human habitation dates from around 20,000 BCE, and by 10,000 BCE settlements existing on agricultural production spread throughout Anatolia. Ephesus, the jewel of the… Read More

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Pump Up The Volume

How can we make consumption a more, not less, mindful experience? That’s the question that came to me at a gas station pump this weekend. It was Sunday evening and I had stopped at a service area on the Mass Pike after dropping my oldest daughter off at college. I was a bit tired (like many drivers on these long interstate highways I would assume) and didn’t think much about the annoying din on the gas station pump as I filled up. But then something about the moment sparked me—and I suddenly felt a crazy surge of anger and bewilderment when I realized that the top portion of the gas… Read More

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Towards Experienced Experts

Thanks Dad for entrusting me with this space. A quick post today on a recent New York Times op-ed that had nothing to do with sustainability, and yet, to me, had a lot to do with sustainability. In this terrific article lamenting the end of Gourment magazine, Cook’s Illustrated founder/editor Christopher Kimball worked his way up to the following conclusion about the role of media and opinion-leaders in our all-too-cluttered world: The shuttering of Gourmet reminds us that in a click-or-die advertising marketplace, one ruled by a million instant pundits, where an anonymous Twitter comment might be seen to pack more resonance and useful content than an article that reflects… Read More

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