Stephen Gardiner On Climate Policy in a Perfect Moral Storm

Stephen M. Gardiner from the University of Washington visited UTK today to speak about climate change and environmental ethics. He identified three major “storms” that we face when trying to deal with global warming. The first is a global storm of political failure. Since 1990 there have been a number of international attempts to limit the release of carbon dioxide. So far those attempts have failed. Carbon dioxide concentrations continue to grow at an accelerating rate.

Will Steger and the Northwest Passage, or Change-Is-A-Coming

Back in my youthful glory days I remember watching with interest the adventures of Will Steger and his arctic band of adventurers. In 1986 Steger and seven colleagues traveled to the North Pole by dogsled. I even attended a speech by Ann Bancroft, the only woman in the 1986 expedition, in the late 1980s. The expedition left March 7 and reached the pole fifty-five days later, which works out to May 1st.

Connecting Conservatism and Liberalism Through the Environment

My recent trawls around the internet have brought up some interesting finds that seem to cross ideological lines. A week ago David Brooks fired off a column linking the recent recession to a decline in America’s financial values. Brooks decries the growth of debt and consumption as a falling away from our previous virtues of hard work and thrift. I put on my very skeptical hat whenever I hear someone talking about decline from a previous golden age, but I think that Brooks may have something.

Vestigial Design and the Everyday Sound Environment

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority has changed the sound of the ‘stop requested’ bell on their buses sometime in the last few days. Before, there was an anonymous electronic beep sound when you pulled the cord to signal the driver to stop, and then a female voice recording ‘stop requested.’ The electronic bell was similar to an elevator signal, but not quite as tinny and a bit longer duration. Now the single beep sound has been replaced by what sounds like a badly digitized three-stroke bell sound - clang-clang-clang.