October 2009

Monthly Archive

Disturbing Report from Pew

Posted by on 27 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: research & reports


I  generally focus on solutions rather than preaching to the choir about the issues, but sometimes a report like this is a wakeup call for me and everyone who believes there is a good chance that human influence climate change (chaos!) is underway.

“Number of Americans who believe in climate change drops, survey shows only 57% of Americans feel that the planet’s atmosphere is warming, a fall from 77% two years ago”




More Use – Less Stuff

Posted by on 18 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: enablers, energy efficiency, guides


I just spent the last three days at the annual Bioneers Conference. The closing speaker was Ann Leonard – creator of The Story of Stuff. Her talk inspired me to put together a few thoughts and a ‘presentation’.

The fastest path to sustainability, to meeting the goals of Kyoto, 350.org, etc is to make exponentially more use out of the world’s limited resources. Buying more personal stuff – however ‘green’ – isn’t going to get us there. Instead we need to tap technology (and common sense) to radically increase the use of the products and resources we have today. Here are a few examples…

A Problem-Solver’s Guide to Copycatting

Posted by on 14 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: biomimicry


FastCompany giving biomimicry some attention:

Let’s say you’re looking to create a detergent that works superbly in cold temperatures. This would seem to be a Chemical Engineering Problem. But, as the zoo’s scientists tell us, it’s also an Antarctic Icefish Problem. When the icefish eats other fish, it has to digest the oils of its prey, and this process is remarkably similar to what happens in the wash with the oily taco stains on your T-shirt. Furthermore, the icefish typically dines in water as cold as — 2 degrees Celsius. (Try that, All-Temperature Cheer!) So, thanks to this cold fish, you have a working model for an ultra-low-temperature detergent — and it’s a solution that would have never occurred to an expert. Continued at FastCompany…

Biomimicry Symposium in San Diego

Posted by on 02 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: biomimicry, events


Congratulations to the San Diego Zoo, The Biomimicry Institute and Qualcomm/mirasol for putting on a GREAT conference in San Diego today.  The room was full and the event brought together a terrific cross-section of academia (students, teachers, professors), entrepreneurs (like me!), city officials (inc. Mayor of San Diego giving the opening keynote) and biologists (most notably the extraordinary Janine Benyus).

The zoo is promoting biomimicry to help its conservation efforts. If humans learn that nature is a treasure trove of engineering solutions perfected over millions of years, then conservation and environmental protection will take on commercial value, the reasoning goes. Continued at NC Times…

More on the event at http://www.sandiegozoo.org/conservation/biomimicry/ and I expect there will be additional stories in the coming days http://news.google.com/news