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  • Getting to Green

    An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

March 20, 2009 - 3:48pm

Two quick postscripts to finish out the week.

After Wednesday's post about the shape of knowledge, I found mention of a study done at Los Alamos National Labs, mapping the interconnections and relationships among academic fields, based on clickstream data from online journals. No huge surprises, but one interesting conclusion: humanities and social sciences articles apparently provide significant inspiration (metaphors? marketing data?) to folks researching the hard sciences.

And in yesterday's bit, I said something about the fact that major corporations need to be co-opted, at least in the short term. One reason is that, according to the Environmental Defense Fund, sustainability opponents spent about $450 million last year on lobbying and campaign donations. That's more than $1,000,000.00 for every federal legislator and elected executive in Washington. A million dollars a person buys a lot of ... um ... "access". (Full disclosure: for a million dollars a year, I'd probably bat for the opposition. I can't be bought, but I can certainly be rented. Not that anyone's offering, you understand!)

As regards that later figure, Jim Hansen is quoted as saying that, as a result, the federal "democratic process" isn't working. Of course, that depends on whether you mean "working" in terms of "performing as advertised" or "performing as implemented". (Processes and systems always perform as implemented.)


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