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Tipping Points

By |June 26th, 2017|

Anyone who’s watched a huge, carefully constructed domino palace fall into a pile of disjointed plastic knows it’s true: it is easier to destroy than to create. If we’re honest, we know it can also provide a certain rush. Just watch this video if you have any doubts. It’s shows 128,000 dominoes fall […]

Asking the Right Question

By |June 19th, 2017|

We are creatures of habit. When something works, we tend to stick with it until it doesn’t anymore, often even ignoring better alternatives when they come along. Sometimes it’s for reasons of nostalgia, or just a perfectly normal resistance to planned obsolescence. Maybe we stick with an old cell ph […]

A Thoreau Review

By |June 12th, 2017|

Simplify, Simplify.

–Henry David Thoreau
Innovation and invention, and, perhaps more importantly, reinvention, are iterative processes. We all observe that, whether we acknowledge it or not. We’d all be disappointed if the automobile stopped advancing with the Model T. In fact, the first genera […]

A Million Things to Do

By |June 5th, 2017|

It’s no small thing to save the planet. It seems like it should be at the top of the list, right? Let’s see, how does that list look these days?

Take kids to soccer practice—well, encouraging fitness is important.
Fix deck steps. Yes, can’t save the planet with a broken ankle.
Get […]

First, Do No Harm

By |February 24th, 2017|

Don’t stop me, even though you’ve heard this one before. A man walks into a doctor’s office waving his arm up and down. “Doc,” he says, “It hurts when I do this.”

“Then don’t do that,” the doctor tells him.

It’s good advice, and we ought to be taking it as a society.

80 billion plastic wate […]

Word Play Part II

By |February 8th, 2017|

I was talking last time about the need to find common ground in the valley that separates some on either side of the sustainability debate. It starts with an understanding of the word sustainable. We’ve given it a powerful context around the environment and our natural resources. With that context i […]

Word Play Part I

By |February 3rd, 2017|

If I took a survey on the word sustainable—if I called a thousand households and asked them for their reaction to the word, a phrase, a definition, an image it brings to their mind, I wonder what exactly I’d get. I’m sure I’d get a full range of responses, including hang ups. With no context, it mig […]

Detour Ahead

By |October 13th, 2016|

Sometimes people are not very good at long-term thinking. Many of us, as individuals, have gotten better at it. But, as a species, we’re really built more for avoiding bears than avoiding bear markets. And why not? For most of our history, we simply haven’t stayed around long enough for long-term to […]


By |August 30th, 2016|

There’s a great mobile app called Duolingo. It makes learning a new language a game. You can spend a few minutes a day, or, if you’re like some of us, you could actually replace a lot of time-wasting (checking social media, crushing candy, hurling birds at farm animals) with an equally addictive but […]

Go Boldly in the Right Direction

By |July 11th, 2016|

Star Trek has been entertaining viewers for nearly 50 years now—in fact, it turned 50 this year. It presents a bright and optimistic future, one in which most of mankind’s troubles—poverty, racism, scarcity—have been overcome. Technology is a huge part of that. The food replicator makes whatever you […]