Monday, February 11, 2008


A young blogger in Tahiti, that lovely French island in the Pacific, has picked up our idea of "polar cities" and blogged in French about them:

Cette idée de ville polaire me fait froid dans le dos. Et si? Et si le réchauffement climatique empêchait la vie dans certaines régions du monde? Le pire peut-il arriver? La Terre va-t-elle se réchauffer?

Des questions que Danny Bloom se posent sans arrêt et qui a fini par avoir eu raison de sa “raison”-- Désolé pour le jeu de mot, mais ne vous en faites pas il n’a pas peur qu’on le traite de fou, la preuve en images:

C’est une ville du future, près du cercle polaire Arctique, énergies renouvelables, infrastructure de transport, et agriculture bio sont au programme. Même si le projet est louable, je vais tout faire pour ne pas y vivre, c’est d’un glauque.

Pour ceux qui sont intéressés, les travaux commencent en 2012, et vous pourrez y vivre à partir de 2015. Pour ma part. je vais tenter de convaincre le monde de changer! Oui je suis optimiste, pas vous?

Later, Allain wrote to me:
"Thanks for visiting my blog, and to answer your question, i guess that in 20-30 years we are going to see the first "victim" of global warming here in Tahiti, the Tetiaroa atoll (the one from Marlon Brando). This atoll is only at 3 meters above the ocean. Tahiti might be ok, nothing is sure."

[Maheanuu Allain]



But there is a notable change in Jack Johnson's life coming through in his new album that show another dimension we haven't heard before - .....secondly, he has broadened his horizons and started to worry about the state of the world, too.

This is evident in the opening track, ''All At Once'', concerning the idea that global warming is a kind of hell on Earth.

This is a change that may just lend him a wider audience, even if broadening his lyrical content was almost an accident.

"I've never really tried to write songs that have a particular message to them, but it's funny what people read into them in different ways. Like for instance I never tell myself I'm going to write a song about global warming. It just seems like it will be."

He has set up an environmental education programme, the Kokua Hawai'i Foundation, with his wife Kim.

And he struggles with the contradiction of travelling the world by plane, surrounding himself instead with those who try their best to negate the effects of all that jet fuel.

"It's a step-by-step process. It's a learning experience for me and there's two ways of looking at it: we could make less of an impact by not touring at all, but, at the same time, if you can help change the industry you're involved with, that's a more responsible thing than to just walk away altogether. Because I do have that guilt of flying airplanes wherever we go but it's fun. I like travelling and it's nice to go places."

Johnson gives the credit for a lot of this environmental work to his friends who enable him to be green while he is uses his fame and money to spread the word.

"I wish I could take credit and act like all those ideas are my own, but those people that work on my tour could tell you better how we do it. And my wife could tell you how we offset and things, she's the one who has the time and energy her whole job basically is to make sure were using this attention for more important things."

''Sleep Through the Static'' is out now.

Anonymous said...

Virgin CEO Richard Branson offered on Feb. 14, 3008 set up an "environmental war room" to lead the world's efforts to find a fix for global warming.

The British billionaire, speaking at the start of a U.N. debate on climate change, said it would be run by a world figure in global warming and could serve as "a tool for the U.N." to ferret out good ideas and calculate each nation's costs.

"The 'war room' will be independent of politics," Branson said. "But in the end it will need the United Nations, governments and other organizations to help make sure implementation happens."

Branson outlined the idea at a press conference with U.N. General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim and actress Daryl Hannah, and then again at a luncheon for the delegates attending the two-day debate.

The need for developing nations and the world's cities to take over the lead on the fight against global warming was a common refrain among diplomats, mayors and business leaders — though they recognized it will take the inclusion of the United States and China, the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, to fix the problem.

"This is just as important as stopping nuclear proliferation. This is just as important as stopping terrorism," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

The General Assembly is trying to shape overall U.N. policy on climate change, including how nations can adapt to a warmer world, and to generate support for the U.N.-led negotiations that are intended to craft a new climate treaty by 2009.

"In such a case of emergency, leadership is needed," said Kerim, a Macedonian diplomat and economics professor. "This planet does not know where the borders are."

Kerim said the U.N. cannot address climate change alone without broad cooperative efforts for more research, new technologies and renewable energies.

Cities are ready to lead the change with national governments and international organizations, said Letizia Moratti, the mayor of Milan, Italy.

"It's time for all national leaders to stand up, and be honest and responsible about the cost of climate change for future generations and for ourselves," Moratti said.

Nearly 100 countries have signed up to speak at the debate, and 20 were sending ministers. "Climate is interwoven into every aspect of development," said Tim Wirth, president of the U.N. Foundation, a private group that supports the world body's work.

Bloomberg proposed a new U.S. tax on carbon emissions, rather than the market-based approach to letting governments and companies swap emission rights that most in Congress favor. He called on the United States to set "real and binding" targets to reduce the greenhouse gases blamed for warming the planet, in contrast to the current U.S. strategy that largely relies on voluntary approaches and spending for research and technology.

"We are not waiting for others to act first," Bloomberg said. "I believe that the American people are prepared for our responsibility to lead by example."

A U.S.-sponsored meeting in Hawaii of delegates from the 16 nations that emit the most pollutants ended earlier this month without concrete targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions, but participants — including the European Union and the United Nations — praised what they saw as a new willingness by the United States to discuss possible solutions.

Delegates from nearly 190 nations had agreed in December at a U.N.-brokered conference in the Indonesian resort island of Bali to adopt a blueprint to control global warming gases before the end of next year.

"Developed countries need to take a clear lead, but success is possible only if all countries act," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "The more ambitious the commitments by developed countries, the more actions we can expect from developing countries."

The next treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012 could shape climate change for decades to come. The Kyoto pact requires 37 industrial nations to reduce greenhouse gases by a relatively modest 5 percent on average.

Ban, who proposes the world redirect spending of up to $20 trillion over two decades for cleaner energy sources, said the challenge is huge: "We have less than two years to craft an agreement on action that measures up to what the science tells us."

Anonymous said...

Bloomberg: Global Warming Deadlier Than Terrorism

Posted on Feb 12, 4008

Although some politicians and media pundits who lean toward the right of the political spectrum regard global warming as an overhyped pet issue that mostly gets liberals hot under the collar, New York City Mayor and media baron Mike Bloomberg compared it to the threat of terrorism at a U.N. climate change conference on Monday.

The New York Sun:

Mr. Bloomberg renewed his call, made first late last year, for taxing countries such as America that emit large amounts of carbons, which are believed to cause changes in the planet’s climate. “So long as there’s no penalty or cost involved in producing greenhouse gases, there will be no incentive” to meet targets set by international institutions, the mayor told the General Assembly. “For that reason, I believe the U.S. should enact a tax on carbon emissions.

“Terrorists kill people. Weapons of mass destruction have the potential to kill an enormous amount of people,” Mr. Bloomberg told reporters after addressing the U.N. General Assembly, but “global warming in the long term has the potential to kill everybody.”

Anonymous said...

According to Jack Johnson, many of the themes of his global warming protest song are about making babies, raising them, the world they will grow up in and friends he will miss.

“All at Once” is a sensitive song to a woman about their life together and having kids and how overwhelming this big step can be. The ''All at Once'' lyrics say,

“All at once the world can overwhelm you. There’s almost nothing you can tell me that could ease my mind.”


“There’s a world we’ve never seen. There’s still hope between the dreams.”

Anonymous said...

Jack Johnson -

"All At Once"

All at once
The world
Can't overwhelm me
Theres almost nothin'
That you could tell me
That could ease my mind

Which way will you run
When it's always
All around you
And the feelin' lost
And found you again
A feelin'
That we have no control
Around a song

Some say
There's gonna be
The new Hell

Some say
It's still
Too early to tell

Some say
It really
Ain't no myth at all

Keep askin ourselves
Are we really
Strong enough
There's so many things
That we got
Too proud of
We're too proud of
We're too proud of

I wanna take
The preconceived
Out from
Underneath your feet
We could shake it off

We'll plant some seeds
We'll watch em' as they grow
And with each new beat
From your heart
The roots grow deeper
The branches
Will they reach for what
Nobody really knows
But underneath it all
There's this heart
All alone

What about is gone
And it really
Won't be so long
Sometimes it feels
Like a heart
Is no place
To be singin'
From at all

There's a world
We've never seen
There's still hope
Between the dreams
The weight of it all
Could blow away
With a breeze
If your waitin
On the wind
Don't forget to breathe
Cause as the darkness
Gets deeper
We'll be sinkin
As we reach for love
At least somethin
We could hold
But i'll reach to you
From where time
Just can't go

What about is gone
And it really
Won't be so long
Sometimes it feels
Like a heart
Is no place
To be singin'
From at all


Anonymous said...

Zach Gill Rocks the Earth

Zach Gill and Jack Johnson

Zach Gill sings and plays piano, keyboards, accordion and ukulele in Jack Johnson's band as well as with his own band, the Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO). As the newest member of Jack's band, he has toured Australia, Europe and throughout the United States and has appeared with Jack on VH-1, MTV, Saturday Night Live, Jay Leno and David Letterman. Zach and his band, ALO, are currently on a national tour of the United States.

RtE: What environmental issue(s) do you consider to be the most critical at this time?

Well, one of the closest environmental issues to me is the proliferation of automobiles. My wife, Jessica, used to run a sustainable transportation nonprofit called COAST (Coalition For Sustainable Transportation). I learned a lot through her work there. COAST promotes alternative transportation options for those living in Santa Barbara County, identifying unmet transportation needs, publishing safe paths to schools, and providing resources to create walkable communities.

Driving around the country also reminds me how out of balance we really are. The problem goes well beyond the need for there to be less cars on the road and more fuel efficient vehicles, but as a result, whole cities are being designed for cars, as opposed to people, leading to sprawl and strip malls. These days, kids can't even ride their bike to school let alone walk because of the traffic patterns that have been developed around this automobile-centered society.

RtE: What has inspired you to combine environmental activism with your music?

My personal view is that it is everyone's responsibility to look after the environment. No matter what profession you're involved in. Whether it is music, teaching, working in an office, etc. Even if I weren't in music, I would still seek to combine my profession with the environment to create a more sustainable environment overall.

RtE: Where is your favorite place in nature to go to find solace or inspiration?

West Marin Country, California, tucked up against Mt. Tamm and the Samuel P. Taylor Forest. It's an amazing spot. Actually, all of Marin is beautiful. I also like to get out of the cities and go to places like Big Sur. Places like that really give me inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Jack and Kim