Lester Brown at PopTech
Brown’s the head of the Earth Policy institute and author of Plan B 2.0, which outlines many of the interrelated crises of energy and resources facing our civilization. Here, he gives a hopeful but realistic talk at the recent PopTech conference. (link via Patrick Tanguay)
Notable: he discusses the political stability issues associated with using food grain for ethanol, and comes down on the side of aggressive wind and solar development and using plug-in hybrids as a better starting point towards moving away from oil and car dependence.
Takeaway quote: “The Soviet system failed because its market could not tell the economic truth; capitalism may fail because our markets aren’t telling the ecological truth.”
He also brings up the often-overlooked point that when we really need to, “if we’re really serious about this,” we can change our economy around very quickly, as we did in World War II.
Billionaire Tom Friedman
New York Times columnist, pundit, and author Tom Friedman has the ear of many people these days, with The World Is Flat being a mega-best seller, and his recent declarations that “green is the new red, white and blue,” previously covered in this space, now expanded into the cover feature essay in the NYT Magazine.
However, if you do a bit of digging, a lot of Friedman’s arguments are based not on research and measurable statistics, but on what CEOs tell him. He isn’t really reporting on globalization as a phenomenon, so much as he is a rah-rah booster of it.
Friedman is the mouthpiece for many economic policies that, examined more closely, support his true peers - namely, the richest people in America - rather than average Americans, even though his wisdom is spun out as being from the perspective of an intelligent middle-class professor. The NYT and his publishers are very careful to play down the fact that Friedman is the heir to a $2.7 billion shopping mall development company; his wife’s family, the Bucksbaums, are powerful, influential and well-connected.
Continue reading “Billionaire Tom Friedman”
Retro Weekend: Canadian 80s Videos
The 80s were a special time in pop music: New Wave, post-punk, electro-pop, hip-hop and 2nd-wave ska! And coupled with the new medium of music video, it was all so fresh bright, and colourful, just like this endearingly silly, but really well-edited clip from M+M (aka Martha and the Muffins, at that point down to the duo of Martha Johnson and Mark Gane).
It’s None More Toronto In The Eighties: the neon colours, the “showing how the video is made” conceit, the line-of-random-people-dancing, Mark Gane’s electric-blue, high-waisted tapered pants…awesome.
Next up is everyone’s cheesy favourite, Gowan, sorry, make that Larry Gowan, sorry, make that Lawrence Gowan, strike that, make that Sir Lawrence de Dennis-Miller-If-He-Wanted-To-Be- The-Toronto-Version-Of-Peter-Gabriel Gowan, aka, the current lead singer of Styx (!!!) with Strange Animal.
Ohh those poofy poodle cuts…and a guy playing a Chapman Stick!
Last up is of course, the eternal inspiration for electro-disco remixers the world over, Corey Hart’s Sunglasses At Night - here presented as a mash-up with Justin Timberlake’s SexyBack: