Crystal Ball

By | 2017-07-12T00:11:01+00:00 July 17th, 2017|

I don’t have a crystal ball, but there are a few things I feel comfortable predicting. The sun will come up tomorrow, for instance, even if the clouds make it hard to spot. Too cute? Alright, I’ll go out on a more substantive limb by saying computer power is going to get smaller and cheaper per unit [...]

The Time is Now

By | 2017-07-12T00:11:01+00:00 July 10th, 2017|

We’ve talked a lot in this space about what others are doing to solve the sustainability problems associated with plastic and other materials. We’ve talked about recycling and other steps that society can take to help alleviate the spread of plastic waste in our landfills and oceans. Today, though, [...]

Independence Day

By | 2017-06-07T15:44:56+00:00 July 4th, 2017|

Independence is a relative thing. This time of year, certainly, we think in terms of independence from foreign powers or from governments that would impose their will unjustly. But the truth is that bondage doesn't require anything so nefarious or even deliberate. In fact, I propose that there are t [...]

In At the Start

By | 2017-06-07T15:12:34+00:00 July 3rd, 2017|

“I was there when it happened.” It’s a phrase many of us enjoy using with our children or grandchildren. “I saw people dancing as the Berlin Wall fell,” we tell them, meaning probably that we watched it on TV. “We gathered around our sets when men walked on the moon.” We take credit for those events [...]

Tipping Points

By | 2017-07-12T00:11:01+00:00 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 | 2017-07-12T00:11:01+00:00 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 | 2017-07-12T00:11:01+00:00 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 generation [...]

A Million Things to Do

By | 2017-06-07T14:58:49+00:00 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 project notes to t [...]

First, Do No Harm

By | 2017-07-12T00:11:01+00:00 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 water bottles [...]

Word Play Part II

By | 2017-07-12T00:11:01+00:00 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 [...]