Tag Archives: building

Resilience Practice – Brian Walker & David Salt

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Resilience Practice

Building Capacity to Absorb Disturbance and Maintain Function

Brian Walker & David Salt

Genre: Nature

Price: $27.99

Publish Date: August 6, 2012

Publisher: Island Press

Seller: INscribe Digital


In 2006, Resilience Thinking addressed an essential question: As the natural systems that sustain us are subjected to shock after shock, how much can they take and still deliver the services we need from them? This idea caught the attention of both the scientific community and the general public. In Resilience Practice , authors Brian Walker and David Salt take the notion of resilience one step further, applying resilience thinking to real-world situations and exploring how systems can be managed to promote and sustain resilience. The book begins with an overview and introduction to resilience thinking and then takes the reader through the process of describing systems, assessing their resilience, and intervening as appropriate. Following each chapter is a case study of a different type of social-ecological system and how resilience makes a difference to that system in practice. The final chapters explore resilience in other arenas, including on a global scale. Resilience Practice will help people with an interest in the “coping capacity” of systems—from farms and catchments to regions and nations—to better understand how resilience thinking can be put into practice. It offers an easy-to-read but scientifically robust guide through the real-world application of the concept of resilience and is a must read for anyone concerned with the management of systems at any scale.

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Resilience Practice – Brian Walker & David Salt

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We Rise – Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

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We Rise

The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that Restores the Planet

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $11.99

Publish Date: September 5, 2017

Publisher: Rodale Inc.

Seller: Rodale Inc.


Challenge the status quo, change the face of activism, and confront climate change head on with the ultimate blueprint for taking action. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a 16-year-old climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful new voice on the front lines of a global youth-led movement. He and his group the Earth Guardians believe that today’s youth will play an important role in shaping our future. They know that the choices made right now will have a lasting impact on the world of tomorrow, and people–young and old–are asking themselves what they can do to ensure a positive, just, and sustainable future. We Rise tells these stories and addresses the solutions. Beginning with the empowering story of the Earth Guardians and how Xiuhtezcatl has become a voice for his generation, We Rise explores many aspects of effective activism and provides step-by-step information on how to start and join solution-oriented movements. With conversations between Xiuhtezcatl and well-known activists, revolutionaries, and celebrities, practical advice for living a more sustainable lifestyle, and ideas and tools for building resilient communities, We Rise is an action guide on how to face the biggest problems of today, including climate change, fossil fuel extraction, and industrial agriculture. If you are interested in creating real and tangible change, We Rise will give you the inspiration and information you need to do your part in making the world a better place and leave you asking, what kind of legacy do I want to leave?

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We Rise – Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

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Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe – J. Richard Gott

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Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe

The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time

J. Richard Gott

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Mariner Books

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


A Princeton astrophysicist explores whether journeying to the past or future is scientifically possible in this “intriguing” volume (Neil deGrasse Tyson).   It was H. G. Wells who coined the term “time machine”—but the concept of time travel, both forward and backward, has always provoked fascination and yearning. It has mostly been dismissed as an impossibility in the world of physics; yet theories posited by Einstein, and advanced by scientists including Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne, suggest that the phenomenon could actually occur.   Building on these ideas, J. Richard Gott, a professor who has written on the subject for Scientific American , Time , and other publications, describes how travel to the future is not only possible but has already happened—and contemplates whether travel to the past is also conceivable. This look at the surprising facts behind the science fiction of time travel “deserves the attention of anyone wanting wider intellectual horizons” ( Booklist ).   “Impressively clear language. Practical tips for chrononauts on their options for travel and the contingencies to prepare for make everything sound bizarrely plausible. Gott clearly enjoys his subject and his excitement and humor are contagious; this book is a delight to read.” — Publishers Weekly J. RICHARD GOTT III is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. For fourteen years he served as the chairman of the judges of the National Westinghouse and Intel Science Talent Search, the premier science competition for high school students. The recipient of the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, Gott has written on time travel for Time and on other topics for Scientific American , New Scientist , and American Scientist .

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Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe – J. Richard Gott

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What if Baywatch were … better?

A report on the employment practices of green groups finds that the sector, despite its socially progressive reputation, is still overwhelmingly the bastion of white men.

According to the study, released by Green 2.0, roughly 3 out of 10 people at environmental organizations are people of color, but at the senior staff level, the figure drops closer to 1 out of 10. And at all levels, from full-time employees to board members, men make up three-quarters or more of NGO staffs.

Click to embiggen.Green 2.0

The new report, titled “Beyond Diversity: A Roadmap to Building an Inclusive Organization,” relied on more than 85 interviews of executives and HR reps and recruiters at environmental organizations.

Representatives of NGOs and foundations largely agreed on the benefits of having a more diverse workforce, from the added perspectives in addressing environmental problems to a deeper focus on environmental justice to allowing the movement to engage a wider audience.

The most worrisome finding is that fewer than 40 percent of environmental groups even had diversity plans in place to ensure they’re more inclusive. According to the report, “Research shows that diversity plans increases the odds of black men in management positions significantly.”

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What if Baywatch were … better?

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Phil Klay’s Resistance Reading

Mother Jones

Courtesy of Phil Klay

We asked a range of authors, artists, and poets to name books that bring solace or understanding in this age of rancor. Two dozen or so responded. Here are picks from author Phil Klay, who served in Iraq prior to landing on the New York Times bestseller list for his riveting fictional stories of war and the experience of coming home.

Latest book: Redeployment
Reading recommendations: I’ve been reading A. Scott Berg’s anthology World War I and America, a fascinating collection of essays, articles, diary entries, and speeches from 1914 to 1921. Among the riches there are several articles by W.E.B. Du Bois and James Wheldon Johnson, showing first-rate minds grappling with which political course to advocate in a world gripped by a massive war abroad while black Americans routinely faced horrific acts of domestic terrorism.

I’ve also been thinking increasingly about Teddy Roosevelt’s 1883 speechThe Duties of American Citizenship.” Though some of his positions are dated—”the ideal citizen must be the father of many healthy children”—so much of it holds up as solid, practical advice in how to go about creating political change. Roosevelt continually stresses the hard work of building up organizations and institutions as the key component of American political life. “A great many of our men in business,” he says, “rather plume themselves upon being good citizens if they even vote; yet voting is the very least of their duties.” (Sadly, he has little to say on the possibility of tweeting your way to a greater democracy.)

Few things make me happier than reading Sandra Boynton’s Muu, Bee, Así Fue to my 14-month-old son. I don’t know if there’s any direct link between that book, which is mostly an excuse to make animal noises, and our current moment of political rancor, but I’d like to believe that the process of reading to my child is slowly teaching me to be a kinder person.
_______

So far in this series: Kwame Alexander, Margaret Atwood, W. Kamau Bell, Jeff Chang, T Cooper, Dave Eggers, Reza Farazmand, Piper Kerman, Phil Klay, Bill McKibben, Rabbi Jack Moline, Karen Russell, Tracy K. Smith, Gene Luen Yang. (New posts daily.)

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Phil Klay’s Resistance Reading

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Why Were Three White House Officials Trawling Through Highly Classified Documents?

Mother Jones

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Now there are three people involved in revealing classified information to Rep. Devin Nunes:

One of those involved in procuring the documents cited by Nunes has close ties to former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The official, Ezra Cohen, survived a recent attempt to oust him from his White House job by appealing to Trump advisers Jared Kushner and Stephen K. Bannon, the officials said….After assembling reports that showed that Trump campaign officials were mentioned or inadvertently monitored by U.S. spy agencies targeting foreign individuals, Cohen took the matter to the top lawyer for the National Security Council, John Eisenberg.

The third White House official involved was identified as Michael Ellis, a lawyer who previously worked with Nunes on the House Intelligence Committee but joined the Trump administration as an attorney who reports to Eisenberg.

This is an amazingly far-reaching conspiracy considering that the documents don’t actually seem to have contained anything very interesting. You’d think that at some point one of these guys would have the common sense to call off this Keystone Cops affair.

And as long as we’ve mentioned Michael Flynn, here’s the latest on him:

Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, has offered to be interviewed by House and Senate investigators who are examining the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution, according to his lawyer and a congressional official.

I didn’t bother mentioning this yesterday because, frankly, I sort of figured that Flynn was hoping for immunity and then wouldn’t say anything very interesting. Last night Josh Marshall opined that “you only get immunity if you deliver someone else higher up the ladder,” but this morning he seems to have changed his mind:

Flynn’s lawyer states rather grandly that his client “has a story to tell and … very much wants to tell it.” But Alex Whiting of Harvard Law School argues pretty convincingly that what we learned last night likely means either that Flynn doesn’t have a story prosecutors are willing to barter for or isn’t yet willing to tell it.

So probably Flynn doesn’t have much to say after all. Which gets us back to the clowns in the White House. What were they doing trawling through highly classified reports anyway? Barton Gellman says this is the key unanswered question so far, and it’s related to the allegation that some of the names in the reports had been unmasked, something that happens only if a “customer” asks for it:

If Nunes saw reports that named Trump or his associates, as he said, the initiative for naming names did not come from the originating intelligence agency. That is not how the process works. The names could only have been unmasked if the customers—who seem in this case to have been Trump’s White House appointees—made that request themselves. If anyone breached the president’s privacy, the perpetrators were working down the hall from him. (Okay, probably in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door.) It is of course hypocritical, even deceptive, for Nunes to lay that blame at the feet of intelligence officials, but that is not the central concern either.

If events took place as just described, then what exactly were Trump’s appointees doing? I am not talking only about the political chore of ginning up (ostensible) support for the president’s baseless claims about illegal surveillance by President Obama. I mean this: why would a White House lawyer and the top White House intelligence adviser be requesting copies of these surveillance reports in the first place? Why would they go on to ask that the names be unmasked? There is no chance that the FBI would brief them about the substance or progress of its investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to the Russian government. Were the president’s men using the surveillance assets of the U.S. government to track the FBI investigation from the outside?

That reference at the end to “the president’s men” is no coincidence. This whole thing looks more Watergate-ish by the day. Maybe it’s time to start calling it Russiagate.

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Why Were Three White House Officials Trawling Through Highly Classified Documents?

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Green Travel or ‘Greenwashing’?

Everyone is trying to cash in on the eco-tourism boom. Here are six tips to help you be a savvy eco-minded traveler.

As ecotourism has grown in popularity, many travel providers and hotels have jumped onto the green travel bandwagon while doing little to actually support its sustainable practices and conservation efforts.

Greenwashing claiming to be eco-friendly without making a significant effort to minimize environmental impact occurs in all industries, andtravelis no exception. A hotel chain, for example, might promote itself as green because it allows guests the option of reusing towels or sleeping on the same set of sheets for more than one night. But, according to the University of Oregons Greenwashing Index (GWI), this policy actually does very little to save water and energy where it counts on its grounds, with its appliances and lighting, in its kitchens, and with its vehicle fleet.

There is no internationally recognized group that certifies the environmental practices of the travel industry, so its mostly up to individual vacationers to make their getaways as green as possible. These suggestions can help you be a savvy eco-minded traveler:

  1. Research companiesthat market themselves as being green, advises the GWI. Can you easily find more information about the companys sustainable business practices on its website? Does it have a comprehensive environmental story? Is there credible information to substantiate its green claims? If not, let the buyer beware.
  2. Look for a seal or certification markfrom a recognized, independent third-party organization that specializes in verifying green advertising such as the U.S. Green Building Council or Rainforest Alliance and check with the certifier to verify the companys marketing claims.
  3. Ask tour operators and hotels directlyabout their waste-management operations and conservation policies, as well as the percentage of employees who are local residents and whether they support any projects that benefit the localcommunityor environment.
  4. Avoid tripsthat involve interacting with wild or captive animals, such as riding an elephant or petting a lion cub.
  5. Support local tradespeople and artisans,but dont buy products made from endangered plant or animal species or remove natural features, such as wildflowers, rocks, or shells, from the landscape.
  6. Consider purchasing carbon offsetsto minimize the environmental impact of vacation flights.

Find more tips atwww.responsiblevacation.com.

Written by Maggie Fazeli Fard. This post originally appeared onExperience Life.

Photo Credit: Trekking Rinjani/Flickr

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Green Travel or ‘Greenwashing’?

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Is Obamacare Already Dead?

Mother Jones

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Paul Ryan and President Trump have been insisting for months that Obamacare is collapsing, failing, imploding, spiraling quickly into death. This is ridiculous, of course. It’s covering more than 20 million people at a lower cost than originally projected, and by any fair appraisal it’s been hugely successful.

But that’s not to say it has no problems. The Obamacare insurance pool is skewed toward the old and sick, and this has made it hard for insurers to turn a profit. Several smallish insurers have already left the market, and there are hundreds of counties in the US with only one insurer left on the exchanges. This is probably not fatal—CBO says the Obamacare market is stable—and it’s a problem that could be addressed fairly easily and inexpensively. Still, it does put the Obamacare market in modestly perilous shape.

But what now? Even if the godawful Republican repeal effort fails, there’s every reason to think that Congress will try again. What’s more, it’s clear that they’ll do everything they can to undermine Obamacare along the way. In a few months, insurance companies have to decide whether they want to participate in the exchange market in 2018, and I wonder what they’ll decide? The uncertainty is sky high now, and that means they have little incentive to continue. Remember, most insurers swallowed big losses early on in hopes of building a stable, profitable market later. But what’s the point of absorbing losses if it looks like—at best—years and years of chaos ahead?

It may be that 2018 is safe. The exchanges are pretty close to profitable now, and it’s probably worth it for most insurers to stay on board for at least another year to see what happens. Still, I wonder. Merely by upending everything and making it clear just how dedicated they are to cutting taxes on the rich and cutting health coverage for the poor, have Republicans already managed to effectively repeal Obamacare without passing a single page of legislation?

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Is Obamacare Already Dead?

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Don’t Blame Oroville on Environmentalists

Mother Jones

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Victor Davis Hanson is a native Californian who hates California because it’s become too brown and too liberal. Today he takes to the LA Times to use the Oroville Dam disaster as a way of riding all his usual hobbyhorses:

The poor condition of the dam is almost too good a metaphor for the condition of the state as a whole; its possible failure is a reflection of California’s civic decline.

….The dam was part of the larger work of a brilliant earlier generation of California planners and lawmakers….The water projects created cheap and clean hydroelectric power…ensured that empty desert acreage on California’s dry west side of the Central Valley could be irrigated…spectacular growth in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles Basin.

….Yet the California Water Project and federal Central Valley Project have been comatose for a half-century….Necessary improvements to Oroville Dam, like reinforced concrete spillways, were never finished….A new generation of Californians — without much memory of floods or what unirrigated California was like before its aqueducts — had the luxury to envision the state’s existing water projects in a radically new light: as environmental errors….Indeed, pressures mounted to tear down rather than build dams. The state — whose basket of income, sales and gas taxes is among the highest in the country — gradually shifted its priorities from the building and expansion of dams, reservoirs, aqueducts, bridges and highways to redistributionist social welfare programs, state employee pensions and an enormous penal archipelago.

LOL. The reason the Oroville Dam wasn’t upgraded ten years ago is because all those salt-of-the-earth farmers that Davis admires didn’t want to pay for the upgrades via higher water rates. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News:

Environmentalists noted Friday that they had tried in 2005 to persuade the federal government to require the state to cover the emergency spillway with concrete. But the agency that was relicensing the dam, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, declined after opposition from the state Department of Water Resources and the State Water Contractors, a group of 27 water agencies who were concerned about the cost.

Hanson should have listened to his initial instincts: the Oroville Dam is too good a metaphor for the condition of the state as a whole:

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Don’t Blame Oroville on Environmentalists

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America First? How Do We Know If President Trump Fulfills His Promise?

Mother Jones

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Donald Trump wants American corporations to invest in America, and he’s promised to enact policies that will make America First. So how do we measure whether he’s successful? I don’t know, but I’ll toss out a possible metric:

During the past eight years, US corporations invested about $300 billion overseas each year. If Trump is successful, this number should go down.

Or, perhaps some ratio would be a better measure: foreign investment as a percent of total investment. Or maybe something entirely different. In fact, I’m mostly publishing this as a provocation: if this is the wrong measure, what’s the right one? What’s the best way of knowing if US corporations start to direct more of their investment dollars into domestic expansion instead of building or buying overseas? Any trade economists want to weigh in on this?

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America First? How Do We Know If President Trump Fulfills His Promise?

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