Author Archives: Tina Huang

Democratic by Design – new book with rich diversity of democratic approaches

 

By Richard Register

In the perfect world of politics and economics rolling along, direct and official accountability to the public, through free speech, open deliberation and voting (decision making) and taxing and spending (getting real about doing something) would be mainly through government and the law-making practice. The idea is to have open debate and a beautifully informed public. Everything is then supposed to work out nicely for “the People” as they like it. In people-initiated government-independent work, generally meaning business, sometimes non-profit organizations, just to keep the bad actors in line with a little bit of regulation for the common good… and all’s well that continues harmoniously.

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  Gabriel Metcalf, from the book jacket

When I went to Norway for the first time, in 1988, I said to my host and friend there, Kirsten Kolstad, “I’d like to visit some environmental organizations; where can we find some?” She looked at me a bit puzzled. READ MORE

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Ecocity Economics 101

Richard Register

Some of you regular readers of our Ecocity Builders Newsletter might be interested in the way my mind works, which is largely through visual representation, so this article is one version of that. This will be something of an introduction to my book also, World Rescue – an Economics Built on What We Build, which is coming out this very month, available via Amazon. (Don’t have a mainstream publisher yet but expect to get there later.)

I’ll also look at Naomi Klein’s partial conversion and transformation (she says she’s a convert herself) in her recent book This Changes Everything. She says she used to be a climate change denier, but not any more. She even likes some things the World Bank has done and sees a little positive in some capitalism. READ MORE

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And the Climate Solution is…

Not to sound like a television game show, and certainly not to offer a $64 billion dollar prize for the answer, as if money would do it all… but what is the best answer? That’s in the singular. Is there one? Skip oil; go solar? Are there a dozen? Find deeper causes? Are there as many as there are people on the planet about now?

The latter should be the democratic answer, but maybe they would all converge, the elite and the salt of the earth, in an approach that makes the best sense.

Another question is why would I presume to know something about all that? Welcome to democracy! We are all supposed to have worthwhile, helpful thoughts and exercise freedom of expression to do our best with them and it, thoughts and expression. READ MORE

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ECOCITY CONFERENCE PUTS MELBOURNE’S SUSTAINABILITY CREDENTIALS CENTRE STAGE

Melbourne will showcase its sustainability credentials to experts worldwide when the prestigious Ecocity World Summit comes to the city in 2017.

Around 1,000 leading international urban planners, architects and environmental specialists will gather in Melbourne to discuss world-leading sustainable city initiatives.

“Melbourne has excellent eco-city credentials, with many positive changes over recent years, such as investment in new technology that is improving the city’s sustainability and which we can profile at the Summit,” said Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention Bureau.

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Changes Toward Ecocities

I’m sitting in a restaurant late in the evening after giving a talk at the San Simon University of Cochabamba, Bolivia, student body 80,000. I’m amazed that what I’ve been seeing here and, just a few days earlier in Colombia, fits so well with what I was thinking about writing about for this issues of our newsletter, that is, good news: the progress toward ecocities in the last few years. Yes I know we are still – and rather massively – loosing ground to cars and asphalt in the developing world and the move toward seriously curbing greenhouse gasses in the United States and China is glacial. But some serious idea seeds and vigorous sprouts abound. I’m heartened by the overflow crowd for my talk an hour ago here at the University, and back in Bogota just three days earlier, the day I spoke there was “Car Free Day.” Thousands of mostly young people gathered in the main square in front of the Mayor’s office listening and dancing to reggae music; there must have been two bicycles for every three persons. READ MORE

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