What if action on climate change is impossible in a democracy?

A great piece by Mallen Baker which was posted 8 Jun 2015 which I wanted to share with you:

A recent YouGov survey has highlighted the fact that in the US and UK there is a significant percentage of people who “do not agree to any international agreement that addresses climate change.” In China, the position was quite different, with negligible numbers thinking the same. This was reported in the Independent as “UK and US main barriers to addressing climate change” which really doesn’t get us to the heart of what’s going on here.

For a start, because it was written up by a UK paper it didn’t actually include the full story. It wasn’t just the US and the UK – significant numbers of citizens in Norway, Finland and Sweden also wanted to avoid the topic.

What if action on climate change is impossible in a democracy? – CSR Articles by Mallen Baker.

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The truth about smart cities: ‘In the end, they will destroy democracy’ | Cities | The Guardian

The truth about smart cities: ‘In the end, they will destroy democracy’ | Cities | The Guardian.

The smart city concept arguably dates back at least as far as the invention of automated traffic lights, which were first deployed in 1922 in Houston, Texas. Leo Hollis, author of Cities Are Good For You, says the one unarguably positive achievement of smart city-style thinking in modern times is the train indicator boards on the London Underground. But in the last decade, thanks to the rise of ubiquitous internet connectivity and the miniaturisation of electronics in such now-common devices as RFID tags, the concept seems to have crystallised into an image of the city as a vast, efficient robot – a vision that originated, according toAdam Greenfield at LSE Cities, with giant technology companies such as IBM, Cisco and Software AG, all of whom hoped to profit from big municipal contracts.

Parag Khanna: Mapping the future of countries | Talk Video | TED.com

Parag Khanna: Mapping the future of countries | Talk Video | TED.com.

Many people think the lines on the map no longer matter, but Parag Khanna (@paragkhanna ) says they do. Using maps of the past and present, he explains the root causes of border conflicts worldwide and proposes simple yet cunning solutions for each.

This is taking political and economic geograpahy to a new level – you can see examples to illustrate @paragkhanna ‘s talk everyday. Having just spent two weeks in Greece, even there you can see how the German ‘lifeline’ has seen a growth in German cars on the highways of Hellas and a flood of Russian tourists lifting the economy. Between them, Russia and Germany, are running Greece.

I’d highly recommend you watch this excellent Ted.com talk – it will change your view on political boundaries and solutions to conflicts.

How to use open data to connect local government with the public | Guardian

How to use open data to connect local government with the public | Local Leaders Network | Guardian Professional.

Open data is the idea that certain data should be freely available for everyone to use and republish as they wish. The philosophy behind open data has been long established, but the term itself is relatively new and it is gaining popularity.

Here are a few examples of how open data is being used by local government.