Monday, March 03, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Write up a topic track on alternative views of sustainability: 3 Pillars/ 1996 Planner's Triangle and following/ Robert Muhammad's Planner's Pentagon/ as wrapped into our trihedron? http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=37afeb8c6eda63bc3f4a19bb251d3849
Call for Presentation Proposals
Submissions Due: January 27, 2014
GIS-Pro 2014: URISA's 52nd Annual Conference
September 8-11, 2014
New Orleans, Louisiana
Leveraging Spatial Technology to Support Sustainable and Resilient Communities
Why should you present at GIS-Pro?
Proposals for individual presentations, lightning talks, panel discussions and interactive session formats are welcome. But this year, we are encouraging submissions of complete sessions with specific learning objectives to make the attendee experience even more valuable.
The GIS-Pro 2014 Conference Committee has proposed a list of suggested topics organized according to the "3 Pillars of Sustainability": Society, Environment, and Economy. In addition, the Committee is inviting presentations on GIS Management to highlight best practices in support of GIS projects, and Solution Central, a track to showcase vendor-based solutions to technical challenges.
More Education in 2014:
2014 GIS/CAMA Technologies Conference
February 24-27, 2014
April 14-16, 2014
May 5-9, 2014
Calgary, Alberta Canada
September 8-11, 2014
New Orleans, Louisiana
October 13-17, 2014
Watch for announcements about URISA's 2014 Caribbean GIS Conference and an extensive line-up of virtual webinars and workshops! Also check out URISA chapter events in 2014!
Visit www.urisa.org frequently and follow us on Twitter @URISA
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Monday, January 06, 2014
- More efficient than all existing alternatives = less wasted electrons (though mining activity is another story entirely)
- More direct solution = person-to-person (P2P) transactions, eliminating the activities and pollution by middlemen, hegemonic overseers, or under-belly leeches.
- Global solution = not localized to a nation-state (as are centralized fiat currencies), so tender everywhere
- Micropayments possible = even the tiniest slivers of a crypto-currency can be transacted efficiently, yet responsive to the personal consent of those involved.
- Above-board = the transaction record is public, hugely redundant (so highly resistant to falsification) and decentralized (so no entity can intervene, interfere or inhibit transactions)
- No new physical infrastructure is required = adoption can occur over fully existing networks and using existing end user devices (though currently mining farm electricity proliferation is another matter). Over time improvements to the efficiency of technology will further assist adaptation efforts.
- Unconnected to spin machines = taxation of fiat money occurs before it is transacted with bitcoin or other crypto-currencies. Transactions within the crypto-currency ecosystem cannot be influenced compulsively by external policies and they ultimately support individual choice and responsibility.
- You might think that because of its person-to-person (P2P) nature, a crypto-currency could provide a loophole for compliance with the rule of law foundational to civilized behavior. However, democratic control over modern laws eroded under special, self-serving and increasingly anti-public interests. A centralized agency, regardless how large or powerful, cannot compel compliance that runs counter to the wishes of those involved with any transaction.
- Unjust laws will be effectively and publicly vetoed and the interests that sustain themselves by unjust means will wither. Worldwide laws establishing rates of taxation, fees, or government withholding will be transformed exclusively into economic incentives that will fight for and maintain overwhelming public buy-in (the actual real-time consent of the governed).
- Special interests, such as those who have obfuscated issues and prevented cohesive societal action to head off climate change, even if they maintain a stranglehold on centralized power systems, will lose their influence entirely over those participating in a non-inflating cryptographic financial ecosystem. This includes the central banks that oversee fiat currency money supplies.
- Without the deflationary effects on monetary units caused by bank fractional lending practices and the general price inflation that this causes, an apple can be compare to an apple throughout the global economy, across time and space. Real economic gains and losses will become publicly visible and will prompt appropriate actions through widespread inclusive consensus.
- Primary to rapidly turning away from fossil fuel burning in the open atmosphere is a fee-and-dividend approach conceded to by global energy interests and supported by the public (in case you missed it, I’ve discussed in past postings such as http://paulsuckow.blogspot.com/2013/02/houston-climate-justice-fight-or-switch.html). Use of a crypto-currency would allow easy integration of these payments and payouts for all who unearth or purchase fossil carbon resources. We would finally impose a just price (enwrapping former “externalities”) on additional fossil carbon entering the Earth atmosphere to incentivize retiring polluting sources as quickly as humanly possible.
I am part of a new endeavor to mainstream bitcoin direct deposits for workers everywhere. More at:
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Dr. John Anderson, Rice University professor of Oceanography and academic director of the Rice University Shell Center for Sustainability (Rice’s Shell Center), says science-based comprehensive planning is urgently needed to find ways to minimize the impact of sea-level rise on coastal communities. “We are seeing unprecedented change take place related to what has been happening over the past 1,000 years,” Anderson says. “The rate of sea-level rise is five times what it was 200 years ago, and that’s very important. Some coastal areas are not able to keep up.”
Dr. Anderson authored The Formation and Future of the Upper Texas Coast: A Geologist Answers Questions about Sand, Storms, and Living by the Sea (2007, Gulf Coast Books, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi). It quite bothered me that short shrift was being given Gulf Coast sea level rise based on the lack of upper bound for dynamical ice flow changes reported in the IPCC AR4, and because ground subsidence had appeared to stabilize under ongoing water/wastewater regionalization and a continued switch toward surface water utilization. Now after five years' recovery from (2008) Hurricane Ike, and the region's sharp 2011-2012 drought with its serious fire threat and renewed tight resource ground withdrawls, the good doctor's quote in October 2013 is indeed gratifying!
- "The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia."
- "Over the period 1901–2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17 to 0.21] m."
- "Global mean sea level will continue to rise during the 21st century." The best possible scenario where emissions fall to zero by 2070 and then go into reverse (an extreme effort to mitigate climate change) would watch sea levels rise by 1/4 to 1/2 meter by 2100. The worst scenario analyzed, where emissions do not peak until after 2250 by which time concentrations will have risen to over 2000 parts per million (7 times their preindustrial level), results in 1/2 to a full meter sea level rise (SLR) by 2100.
- Either way, with extreme efforts to combat global warming (~1.0 degree C further temperature rise to 2100 and ~1/3 meter SLR by then) or very modest efforts to fight global warming (~3.7 degrees C further temperature rise to 2100 and ~2/3 meter SLR by then), the sea is coming up in a way it hasn't before, and coastal Climate Change Adaptation Planning is necessary.
- "The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years."
- "CO2 concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions. The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification."
I returned to grad school 2004-2007 at Texas Southern University's Urban Planning-Environmental Policy Program at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs to learn all I could about what would become known as science-based Climate Change Adaptation Planning. I'm delighted at last to see the discipline begin hitting home. May continued colaboration and success grace the SSPEED Center, Shell Center for Sustainability, Institute for Regional Forecasting, Center for Houston's Future, Houston Tomorrow, H-GAC, City of Houston and Harris County (there are so many others that could equally bear mention) sustainable communities, emergency management, disaster mitigation and Hurricane Ike recovery efforts!
Super also to find a dear TSU professor, Walter J. McCoy PhD, JD, serving on the CleanHouston.org advisory board, source of Vicki Wolf's linked article and Dr. John B. Anderson's quote above.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Those of you who know, know that as a kid I used to construct plenty of plastic models. I've been following the development of home 3D printing with interest, and found this post to be most intriguing!
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
As the world burns, a
new movement to reverse climate change is emerging - fiercely, loudly and right
Read the article by Bill McKibben: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-fossil-fuel-resistance-20130411
- Resist falsehood- live in reality- consciously shape the future biosphere while we can yet affect it- act fearlessly on what is well known, ignoring faint hearts, ridiculing denial, fighting entrenched but increasingly harmful beliefs, and winning a future world for twice our population and countless other living species.
Let us price fossil carbon. Let the price rise slowly in concert with the natural variation of the global market. Let the full price paid be rebated directly back in equal share per capita to the citizens. Let the wise spend their seeming windfall wisely, adapting to a new economy and mitigating harms of old; let the foolish spend theirs foolishly, only to lose footing and thus learn wisdom. Government will tax commerce as it always has, so let these carbon fees and rebates eschew government coffers.
By making the price of carbon increasingly truthful, by steadily weaving in carbon's massive externalities, let us together achieve the levels of investment in clean living and clean working that lead to a far better future than the one so impudently imposed on the world's people today.
We seek no less than collegial merger of humanity's and nature's bedrock for the next two thousand years..at risk of sounding positively Californian, an "Age of Aquarius." If we did not, during some of those years either one or the other risks going missing from the Earth. And to risk sounding middle English, to this do we now "pledge our troth."