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July 24, 2007

How high is the climate change bar?

READERSHIP SURVEY
Thank you, you 299 wonderful respondents. First results are
at the end of this newsletter.

HOW HIGH IS THE CLIMATE CHANGE BAR?
This sounds dry but I have a feeling it 's an important development.
Carbon Trust and the UK's Environment Ministry, Defra, have joined
with the British Standards Institution (BSI) to develop a standard
method for measuring the embodied green house gas (GHG) emissions in
products and services. Once completed, a "Publicly Available
Specification" (PAS) will ensure a consistent and comparable approach
to supply chain measurement of embodied GHGs across markets. There's
a way to go, of course, before the problem of "greenwash" disappears.
But PAS creates an important part of the architecture for a global
system that will enable people to make a meaningful comparison
between whole-system enviromental performance of competing
products and services.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2007/070530a.htm

RESOURCE WARS
Clashes over resources, both major and minor, are often the unseen
factor behind chaos and violence and we need to develop fairer systems
the distribution of resources. A new book by Wolfgang Sachs and other
specialists from the internationally renowned Wuppertal Institute
explains what is involved in resource conflicts and the new regimes
needed to eliminate them. Resource Conflicts, Security, and Global
Justice, London: Zed Books, 2007.
http://www.zedbooks.net/fairfuture

SLOW TRADE, SOUND FARMING
Agricultural trade policies pursued in the last decades have
contributed to price instabilities for agricultural goods and an
increase in market concentration and the industrialization of
agricultural production at a global level. A two-year dialogue
among farmer representatives, trade analysts, policy advisors,
and researchers from Southern and Northern countries led to this
proposal for a new system. Wolfgang Sachs/Tilman Santarius et al.,
Slow Trade - Sound Farming. A Multilateral Framework for
Sustainable Markets in Agriculture. Aachen/ Berlin:
Misereor/ Heinrich Boell
Foundation, 2007.
http://www.ecofair-trade.org

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AND DESIGN
In terms of someone's carbon footprint, a single holiday in New
Zealand is equivalent to 60 short domestic visits to the North East of
England by a UK citizen. But those sixty trips are not sustainable if
they stimulate a wasteful use of finite resources by visitors and
their host businesses. This is a pressing dilemma: Tourism is
fundamental to the North East's economic strategy and in many other
regons around the world. So how might we re-shape tourism to be
consistent with sustainabiity? Designs of the time (Dott07) has asked
expert speakers to address this queston on 12 July in Newcastle. Chris
Little heads Tourism Development Unit at One North East. Leandro
Pisano and Alessandro Esposito develop ICT strategies for development
of rural areas in South Italy. Beth Davidson is the mapping creative
lead on Mapping The Necklace. And Ross Lowrie is a project leader of
the Tyne Salmon Trail. The event is free but you need to reserve a
place with Beckie Darlington:
beckie.Darlington@dott07.com

WHERE'S MY PHONE?
Thirty per cent of people who keep their phone in a pocket, and 50
percent of bag carriers, sometimes or always miss incoming mobile
phone communications. Ace street researcher Jan Chipchase ran a study
in eleven countries across four continents to find this out. He
extended the study to include the carrying of keys & money - the
so-called mobile essentials (but did not include the reading glasses
which I also have to locate in order to send a text message). Before
long we'll be able to distribute the functional components of a phone
around our bodies and clothes - so what will a "phone" look like then?
Answer, says the report: a Japanese bondage bunny.
http://www.janchipchase.com/wheresthephone

THE LOST INNOCENCE OF DESIGN
If you read Italian, I wrote this piece for La Stampa's new magazine.
http://www.lastampa.it/_settimanali/specchio/editoriale.asp

FREE INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURES
The traditional meeting for the free civil networks in Catalonia (SAX)
has been extended to new participants worldwide affiliated to the
WSFII (World Summit for Free Information Infrastructures).
Registration is free and everyone interested in developing
non-proprietary networks is invited.
http://guifi.net/ca/SAX2007En

DON'T INVENT, SEARCH
In a new book the economist William Easterly emphasizes the role of
'Searchers', groups throughout the world who are experimenting with
piecemeal interventions and altering them in response to feedback.
A project in Ethiopia run by Water Aid concentrates on a single
objective: providing clean water to some very poor villages in
the Rift Valley and involving local villagers in direct management
of the work. GlobalGiving.com promotes decentralised
methods of distributing aid.
http://www.adb.org/Economics/speakers_program/easterly.pdf

READERSHIP SURVEY
Thank you (x10) for your 299 thoughtful and incredibly helpful
responses to our readership survey last month. For the record: 53% of
you are male and 47% female; your ages range between 20-70 (spread
pretty evenly across the decades); 27% of you are designers, but no
other occupation exceeds 10%; 33% of you are self-employed, 10% are in
a micro-enterpise, 21% are in education (as a student or teacher). You
live all over the world, with 31% in North America and 31% in Europe.
When asked, "how does reading this newsletter leave you feeling?" you
answered: "inspired" (38%) "thoughtful" (41%) "im gonna be rich!" (2%)
and "irritated" (2%). To the question, "If we set up a group for your
fellow readers on Linked In, or similar, would you join it?" 79% of
you answered yes. And 79% answered yes to the question "If monthly
Doors get-togethers were organised by volunteers on a local basis,
would you attend them? You proferred many suggestions about ways we
might improve this newsletter. A lot of you requested a clearer
organisation of content and better usability. Quite a lot of requests
for podcasts. We need to keep the width to 70 characters. We'll act on
these asap. 25% of you said you would donate between $2 and $25 per
month to help pay for the changes (OK, OK: 23% said $2). Hmmm.

AAA! THE WINNER
I fed all the responses into random.org and the winner of a free lunch
is someone called "aaa_matrix". I'm eager to hear from her/him/it.

WHAT MIGHT LIFE IN A SUSTAINABLE REGION BE LIKE?
And what design steps are needed to get us from here, to there? Make a
note of the Dott Festival dates: 16-28 October 2007, Baltic Square,
Gateshead, UK.
http://www.dott07.com/

Posted by John Thackara at July 24, 2007 08:22 AM