Thursday, December 20, 2007

Visit my YouTube page at Lonely_UN_13...

Just a quick follow-up from the conference post yesterday...
The UN must be feeling a little emo because they now have a blog. Actually, it's a fairly interesting space that updates far more than I do, giving a daily rundown all the UN activities your heart desires. Chris Crocker even submitted a compelling video exclaiming, "Leave Darfur Alone!"

Check out the UN blog HERE.


In other news: Bah Humbug.

I'm going to put on a helmet and lock myself in my house until January 2nd. I'm done with the holidays...

If I see on more inflatable-PVC-snow-blown-Santa-in-a-snow-globe tied down like an S&M submissive in Stepford, I'm going to buy an inflatable knife and go MSNBC Lockdown on it.

The trend astounds me! It started with plastic crap, grew to inflatable crap, and has degenerated in to a Walmartpalooza of inflatable crap FILLED with inflatable crap. It's a plastic Turducken.

Luckily, there's a website that feels my pain...

Tacky Christmas Yards!

Kat from The Burb Blog --like my wife-- emigrated from Orange County to the Midwest. As she states on her About page, she is now affectionately stuck here with her husband and dog. I myself, a replant to the Midwest, understand all too well what the word stuck means. The situation may vary, but the term of endearment (I swear) inevitably explains the sentiment.

Stuck is my wife yearning for Santa Ana winds on the 43rd day of Ohio snowfall/rain mush mix....Stuck is commuting to and from work in a state without carpool lanes or concepts of fast lanes/slow lanes....Stuck is seeing a very, very large Sam's club shopper load a pallet of Mountain Dew (diet) in to the back of their Nascar-inspired Monte Carlo....Stuck is having your cousin go to Cancun for Spring Break and exclaim that she's been "overseas."

And most importantly, Stuck is trying to figure out why more and more people are blowing (literally) umpteen bazillion-thousand dollars on tacky yard decorations.

Honestly, while I admit that I saw my fair share of plastic fantastic last week in Huntington and Laguna (in the bars AND in the yards), I'll bet a size XXXXL Member's Mark sweater that the Midwest has more Christmas kitsch per capita than any other region in the United States. Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned trip to Southern California, Rachel and I won't be able to afford travel for the next decade or two, so my hypothesis will have to wait. However, thanks to Kat, I can now take in the best of the best user-submitted blech.

And although she doesn't give locations, I think I used to live next to 65% of these people.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I ain't signin' nuttin....


Bravo, but definitely, definitely an ouch...

We seek your leadership. But if for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please get out of the way.

-Kevin Conrad, a Papua New Guinea delegate addressing the Unites States
delegation at the end of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali.

Well it ain't Kyoto, but it's a start. The United States has grudgingly accepted a compromise to agree to negotiate over the next two years (when worded like that, it doesn't sound like much of a start, now does it?).

In U-turn, U.S. agrees to global warming deal

BALI, Indonesia (CNN) -- In a dramatic reversal Saturday, the United States rejected and then accepted a compromise to set the stage for intense negotiations in the next two years aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.

The White House, however, said in a statement that it still has "serious concerns" about the agreement.

"The negotiations must proceed on the view that the problem of climate change cannot be adequately addressed through commitments for emissions cuts by developed countries alone. Major developing economies must likewise act," the White House said.

Under the global warming pact, negotiating rounds would end in 2009.

The head of the U.S. delegation, Paula Dobriansky, undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs, announced the United States was rejecting the plan. Her comments were met by booing from other delegations.

The White House said the negotiations must "clearly differentiate" and link responsibility with the level of emissions, size of the economy and energy use among developing countries.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

When will the US jump to the front of the parade? Well, just so you have an idea how ridiculously extreme our non-participatory attitude can be, here's an interesting infographic that shows Kyoto ratification. Sing it with me, "One of these things is not like the other."

Green means Signed and Ratified
Gold means Signed, Ratification Pending
Red means Signed, Ratification Denied
Silver means No Position

Some fun facts:

The United States was, as of 2005, the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98), which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States."

Although Bush won't sign it because he's unsure of the reality of climate change, Clinton is just as guilty for never submitting the protocol to the Senate for ratification. At least our idiocy is non-partisan.

The United States has, however, signed the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate; a similar (but non-enforceable) pact. The pact vows to reduce the US carbon intensity by 18% before 2012. Ironically, 18% is actually an increase in carbon intensity.

As of this year, the following states actively participate in state-level cap and trade emissions programs similar to the Kyoto Protocol: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Pennsylvania, Washington DC and Rhode Island actively observe the protocol, and California has signed their own Global Warming Solutions Act. That means 26% of the US is already observing the treaty (just 2% points shy of Bush's October approval rating).

Even individual cities are participating: Albany, New York; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Alexandria, Virginia; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Arlington, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Berkeley, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Charleston, South Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Des Moines, Iowa; Fairfield, Connecticut; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Hartford, Connecticut; Honolulu, Hawaii; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jersey City, New Jersey; Lansing, Michigan; Las Vegas, Nevada; Lawrence, Kansas; Lexington, Kentucky; Lincoln, Nebraska; Little Rock, Arkansas; Los Angeles, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Madison, Wisconsin; Miami, Florida; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; Oakland, California; Omaha, Nebraska; Pasadena, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; Providence, Rhode Island; Richmond, Virginia; Sacramento, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Antonio, Texas; San Francisco, California; San Jose, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Seattle, Washington; Sioux City, Iowa; St. Louis, Missouri; Tacoma, Washington; Tallahassee, Florida; Tampa, Florida; Topeka, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Vancouver, Washington; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; West Palm Beach, Florida; Wilmington, North Carolina.

Here's another infographic to get you going...

Note the asterisk. That's WITH 673 smaller cities unlisted.

So why haven't we ratified?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Your environmental

Those of you that work in the fields of marketing, advertising or promotions are undoubtedly aware of stock photography sites like Corbis, Stock Asylum, and Comstock. While those sites provide Ample (with a capital A) amounts of high-resolution pictures for your publication needs, I thought I should introduce you to another site that's broken ground. Green, fertile, organically composted ground.

Green Stock Media has soft-launched the beta version of their website. Similar to the aforementioned services, GSM sells rights managed and royalty free images for publication in books, magazines, digital products, presentations, websites and assignment photography, while also providing some images for purchase as fine art prints. No biggie, right?

Well, Green Stock Media has a small ace up their hemp cotton sleeve...

As the environmental movement continues to steam down the public transport track, more and more individuals and corporations are finding themselves cornered by the green, forced to explain their environmental stance. Websites, print publications, and press releases now need to convey that message in full. GSM provides the green imagery to compliment your memo, press release or website.

From GSM's web site:

Green Stock Media was created to visually promote the broad spectrum of environmental and sustainability issues, one image at a time. With demand growing for environmental information on a global scale publishers need fast access to high quality images documenting environmental problems, sustainable solutions, and the beauty and importance of nature. We are here to fill that need...

[Founder] Mike Kahn's career has focused at the crossroads of environmental education and digital media. Mike continues to work part-time for EcoIQ, a company promoting sustainability via a speakers bureau,, and a stock video footage agency, He holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from U.C. Berkeley and an Associate's degree in Interactive Media Design from the Art Institute of California - San Francisco. Fun fact: In 2000 Mike road his bicycle 5,125 miles from California to Maine taking digital photos and posting them to his natural science education website. His electronic gear was powered by solar panels attached to his bike.

We wish Kahn luck in his new endeavor.

An oldie to start the day...

If cars were designed by architects...

Your car would be designed based on what kind of road you live next to. This process would take several years, even though there are already many cars on the street you live on. After your car is designed, your town government will have to approve it. Then your neighbors may complain and force you to redesign your car. When the design is finally finished, your car will be built from scratch. Parts will be sent to your garage, where the workers will then proceed to assemble your car. This will take 50% longer than you expected, and cost 100% more than expected.

The finished car will look nothing like some of the older cars, although it will run on the same engine. It will look very impressive from the front, less so on the side, and even less so on the back. This is because all parking is tail-in.

Every few years you will have to repaint your car, both on the outside and on the inside. Periodically you will reupholster your car. The car itself will last over a hundred years if properly maintained, though you may need to strengthen the frame by adding steel bars to the outside.

Eventually when you want to get a new car, you will have to dismantle the old one first. If you're lazy you can simply blow up the car.