Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson trumps end of our world

News of Michael Jackson's death has prompted action on the parts of millions of people worldwide -- maybe even hundreds of millions. So many people spread the news so quickly, it took Twitter down. Thousands stand in lines to create and see makeshift memorials. Hours are spent consuming music, video, and hashing and rehashing it all over with family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers.

Meanwhile, this same week, MIT researchers released the results of their new climate study. Using a detailed computer simulation of global economic activity and climate processes, they ran the model 400 times with possible tweaks. The result:

"without rapid and massive action," we will see an almost 10 degree rise in temperatures by 2100, more than double earlier predictions of a 4 degree rise.

There is little about the world we live in and rely upon today that will be familiar or viable in that world just 90 years from now. Water, agriculture, land use, species -- our survivability -- will be in a totally different territory. Really, not just metaphorically.

We need this reality to get at least as much attention as Michael Jackson's death. It should motivate more tweets, more street action, more conversations, more pondering about what life means, makes it worth living, legacies, life potential, and the fate of offspring.

If MJ's death motivated to you spend 4 minutes listening to song you wouldn't have listened to last week, then email your Senators and tell them the climate change bill before them is far too weak and too slow. Tell them that you'll willing to commit more than $175/year by 2020 in high energy prices (the impact of the House version of the bill), and then start talking with everyone you know.

Article about new MIT study

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Frightening stats on elder & teen driving

I found this table when I was looking into Massachusett's Graduated Licensing Program because my 18-year-old son decided he'd like to get a driver's license. It is shocking isn't it?! Twenty-two percent of 16&17-year-old drivers get in accidents in each year! Wow. But then, I read this statistic from a Boston Globe article on elder drivers:

"But elderly drivers, who typically have a small orbit, cause
almost four times as many fatal accidents as teenagers when you take
into account miles driven, according to a Carnegie Mellon study."

Double wow.

More reasons on why it is time to focus on more transportation options that don't involve cars.

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