February 24, 2014

Year of the Horse: Hot Off the Starting Gate

I hear that according to Chinese zodiac lore, this year of the wood horse brings a "fast-paced spurt of extroverted forward propulsion".

So far so fast.

Photo Gabby Canonizado

Here's what's been happening for me: I've been to several sustainability meetings in my town. At one, I proposed a Pay-Per-Throw scheme for household waste pickup. Another one was on traffic and transportation: how could I stay away from that? I was very happy to see a large number of people there were thinking rationally about traffic calming while making sure all parts of town stay accessible to everybody, regardless of age and mobility. This is the kind of inclusive consensus building you need to make things move forward.

Next step: I'm going to bend the ear of the person working on specific proposals for Complete Streets. After all, my home town is arguably the European pioneer for traffic calming and accessibility for all, I've lived many of the Complete Streets measures for years.

Education wise, I've now completed the World Bank's MOOC on global warming, through Coursera. It was a four week course, and a sobering overview of the consequences of climate change in the daily lives of millions. If you've missed the course but want to see what was in it, you can read the World Bank report on which it is based: Turn Down the Heat.

And just when I had handed in my final project for that MOOC, I started on another, this one a Global Warming Science course taught by MIT's Kerry Emanuel through EDX. It's time for me to got down to the nitty gritty.

Meanwhile, I have become more active at a Facebook group, Global Warming Fact of the Day. I'm now compiling Resources for learning about climate change at GWFotD's website, which also has current news and a toolkit for debunking climate myths (see their news widget on the right sidebar of this blog). The resources are accessible to anyone from those completely new to climate change, to those already reasonably familiar. It is very much a work in progress, so check back often for new materials.

Because of snow days, my talk at CelloPlayer's school has been postponed; it will happen in March. Further, I'm lobbying my public library to arrange a viewing of "Years of Living Dangerously", a multi-part documentary on climate change to be aired on Showtime TV in April.

And who knows what the rest of the year will bring!


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