I want to tell you about a course I'm helping to teach at NYU and about my plan to turn a NYC parking space into a park, but first, according to the BBC:
"People should consider eating less meat as a way of combating global warming, says the UN's top climate scientist.
"Rajendra Pachauri, who chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will make the call at a speech in London on Monday evening.
"UN figures suggest that meat production puts more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than transport."
Meat production is responsible for 18% of manmade greenhouse gases (the transportation sector is responsible for only 13%). The problems come from the clearing forested land, the making and transportation of fertilizer, the burning fossil fuels in farm vehicles, and the front and rear end emissions of cattle and sheep.
"But the biggest source globally of carbon dioxide from meat production is land clearance, particularly of tropical forest, which is set to continue as long as demand for meat rises."
So guess what? You know that totally cool professor at NYU I wrote about, Natalie Jeremijenko, who looks for ways to help structure citizen participation in responses to our environmental emergency? Well, she's asked me to act as an adviser on one of her courses.
The course's central assignment is to produce a visual essay for publication on Jeremijenko's How Stuff is Made, a collaborative encyclopedia that documents the impact on workers and our habitat of the production of a wide range of products. The aim of the project is to find and advocate improved practices.
If you happen to be an NYU student and you're interested--and I think you should be--there is still enrollment left. Read more here.
Meanwhile, the time of year for Park(ing) Day--the international citizen action to convert parking spaces for cars into little parks for people--has rolled around again. You may remember that for last's year's Park(ing) Day, as I wrote then:
I am squatting in a New York City parking space and, with a group of friends, transforming it into a mini-park as part of an effort to demonstrate what cities could be if they were dedicated to people instead of cars. I’ve written before about how the current environmental crisis also offers us the potential to have, not only more planet-friendly cities, but cities that are more pleasant to live in (read here and here).
This year, my Park(ing) Day partner, Jen Petersen, and I are hoping that you might help and get involved with our mini-park. If you're interested in helping out, the list of volunteer opportunities are listed here.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.