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Will Civilization Get It Right, This Time?
July 2009


Terry Mock
Executive Director

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the French photographer who pioneered modern aerial photography, recently released his latest project called HOME, which captures the beauty of our planet in an awesome film stressing the general unsustainability of current land development practices all over the earth.

In order to achieve the widest possible distribution for HOME on World Environment Day, the film was premiered in open-air theaters worldwide and on YouTube. Its release on the same date in 50 countries is a world record for any film in history. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this project is that it’s completely not-for-profit and copyright-free, enabling the movie to freely circulate around the web. The high production values and original musical score were enabled by numerous sponsorships under the organization of the Good Planet Foundation.

YouTube has recently announced partnerships with Sony Pictures and other Hollywood studios and rolled out new platforms for watching feature-length movies. In this revolutionary first act, the film HOME makes the point about the need for sustainable land development best practices by comparing the failed historical example of Easter Island (HOME Making-Of : Easter Island) to modern day monument-raising practices around the world, culminating in the tallest building in the world in Dubai. The point is that history shows us that civilization has reached its current lofty perch before, only to collapse because of fundamental flaws in our understanding of the true relationship between humans and nature.

This unprecedented technological ability to transfer knowledge around the world now sets the stage for a quantum leap in global consciousness that will hopefully allow our civilization to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past while moving forward towards a sustainable future.

Your participation and comments are welcome.

Terry Mock
Executive Director
Sustainable Land Development International

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    In the June/July issue of Sustainable Land Development Today...

    • Minimizing Risks in the Booming “Green” Movement
    • Innovative Stormwater Project
    • Sustainable Recreation Project
    • Survey/Mapping, Brownfield Redevelopment
    • And so much more!


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    • Abu Dhabi Chosen as Headquarters of IRENA
      (July 2009) The announcement that the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) would be located in Abu Dhabi is a proud moment for the capital and the country. Yet criticism was raised at the time by some who pointed to the UAE’s carbon footprint, the second-highest in the world, and questioned whether it was an appropriate role model. Having secured the prize, the UAE now needs to show it is worthy of IRENA.
      Source: the National
    • Southern Oregon Coast Mixing Nature, Tradition, and Economics for Sustainable Future
      (May 2009) In a pilot sustainable land development project, Ocean Mountain Ranch and SLDI are embracing cutting-edge programs to foster a renewed stewardship of the land with the spirit that is in keeping with the independent elements found in this unique county by the sea.
      Source: Sustainable Land Development Today


    Headlines

    • T. Boone Pickens Fueling Clean-Energy Efforts
      (July 5, 2009) Last July, T. Boone Pickens, the oilman-turned-environmentalist, proposed a seemingly simple plan: Convert cars, especially big fleets operated by companies and municipalities, from gasoline to domestic natural gas. And start generating more electricity from wind.
      Souce: Dallas Morning News, Texas
    • Effort To Unify Green-Building Standards Countywide
      (June 28, 2009) San Rafael is leading a countywide effort among all cities and the county to adopt similar green-building regulations for new construction and remodeling.
      Source: Contra Costa Times, California
    • ITDI Develops Solar Technology To Clean Industrial Wastewater
      (June 28, 2009)The Industrial Technology Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology has eliminated pesticides in contaminated water by developing a technology using sunlight and ordinary cosmetics ingredients to clean industrial-wastewater pollutants.
      Souce: BusinessMirror, Philippines
    • UK Community Groups Compete For Greenest Public Building
      (June 28, 2009) A £2m contest that will push public buildings to out-green each other is being launched this weekend.
      Source: : London Guardian, England
    • Young Innovators’ Device Poised To Produce Clean Energy
      (June 28, 2009) Two 17-year-old classmates have devised a way to convert exhaust fumes and scrap metal into hydrogen - a potential clean energy source to produce electricity. Source: Jordan Times, Jordan
    • Research Station Goes Greener
      (June 28, 2009) The Kalamalka Research Station is going green, and it is using a fairly familiar natural resource to do it.
      Source: Vernon Morning Star, Canada
    • A New Sewage Treatment System Could Help Clean Minnesota Lakes
      (June 26, 2009) In a move away from individual septic systems, a Minnesota company has created a sort of micro sewage treatment plant. The system is designed to work best with a minimum of ten homes, and can handle up to one million gallons of waste per day.
      Source: Minnesota Public Radio, Minnesota
    • Putting A Financial Spin On Global Warming
      (June 24, 2009) Urging Congress to cast carbon dioxide as a pollutant will constantly swim against the tide of public opinion, an Oakland, Calif. think-tank urges. Instead, solving global warming should be cast as an economic opportunity in need of government investment.
      Source: Morning Edition, NPR
    • Need Hydrogen Storage? Think Poultry
      (June 24, 2009) Here's a case for which solving an energy problem could ease a challenging environmental problem as well. Researchers have discovered that carbonized chicken feathers could provide an inexpensive, environmentally friendly way to store hydrogen fuel for future motor vehicles
      Source: Science
    • China Commits To Offshore Renewable Energy
      (June 24, 2009) China is planning to construct a number of 10 GW wind power bases in the coming years, in a bid to further boost the development of the country's renewable energy industry, the country's top energy official said recently.
      Source: China Daily
    • Community Solar Power Is Within Reach
      (June 23, 2009) Many people want to make the switch to solar in their homes, but think it's too difficult or expensive. One San Francisco company is trying to demystify the process one community at a time.
      Source: MarketPlace
    • Tracking The Comeback Of The Cuyahoga
      (June 22, 2009) Forty years ago, the Cuyahoga was little more than an industrial sewer and the butt of national jokes when it caught on fire. Today, Northeast Ohio's "crooked river" teems with fish and wildlife.
      Source: Cleveland WCPN Radio, Ohio
    • More Studies Extol Virtues Of Green Jobs
      (June 19, 2009) Following on the heels of the Pew Charitable Trusts study, two reports from a broad coalition of environmental groups and research institutes suggest that clean-energy investments have the potential to kick-start the economy and employ millions of workers.
      Source: New York Times
    • When Nature Gets A Second Chance
      (June 18, 2009) Rutgers University professor, Steven Handel, and his team of graduate students helped turn a former landfill in Kearny, N.J., into viable ecosystems and parks where there was once an ecological desert. Urban restoration ecology is a discipline whose time has come, Handel says.
      Source: Christian Science Monitor
    • Top 25 Green Energy Leaders
      (June 18, 2009) It is no longer enough to just conserve energy. More and more corporations, government agencies and entire cities are making large, long-term commitments to ensure that the power they do use comes from renewable sources.
      Source: Scientific American

    Editor's Note: SLDI News Service may feature press releases submitted directly by organizations in SLDI's network. This content is not specifically endorsed or supported by SLDI and is not subject to SLDI's editorial process.

     

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