July 29, 2015

Mark your calendar for People's Climate March 2015

The date is 29 November, 2015. It's a Sunday. Mark your calendars.

This is the day of the 2015 People's Climate March, the day before the COP21 climate talks start in Paris.

Here is our chance to tell world leaders that we care about our planet's climate, that we need it to remain livable, for us, for our children, for all who come after us, and for all creatures with whom we share this blue marble.

400,000 people walked in last year's Climate March. We stunned the world. In New York, so many people showed up that there was literally no end to the march: the organisers had to cancel the closing ceremonies because there was no time, and no space, for all of us to attend it.

The 2015 People's Climate March can be bigger than that.

July 24, 2015

Urban Design and Traffic

My kinswoman Danielle (I like her too much to think of her as my step-grandniece twice removed), knowing my interest in sustainable transportation, loaned me one of the books she used for the urban design studies which she recently completed.

I took it home and, as often happens with loaned books, spent a few days admiring the cover photo, and the heft of the book.

Then one day last week, I actually opened it. It hasn't let me go since. The very first random page I landed on had diagrams of residential neighbourhoods showing the layout of homes and roads, specifically designed so that there was a safe route to school from nearly each home, requiring at most one or two road crossings.

July 11, 2015

The Melon

The other evening, I came home in my aunt's old car, and fished a large melon from the passenger seat before carefully locking the car. The melon was football shaped with a nice heft and a beautiful pattern on its skin; my aunt had given it to me as part of a string of exchanges that would have impressed David Graeber, the anthropologist author of "Debt: the first 5,000 years", in which he describes various forms of social, non-monetary debt.

Here's the story.

Earlier this spring, my ancient dad had a small car accident. Nobody was hurt: he had caused his car to scrape by a sidewalk pole. I think the pole, a sturdy concrete thing, wasn't even hurt. Only the car needed body work.