from the world's big
Smart Protest: The Rise of we20
If you thought the G20 could change the world, try the
we20--the people's answer to the G20 group of nations. The grassroots organization announced the launch of its website at we20.org on Sunday, enabling individual people and groups anywhere in the world to host their own G20 summits and formulate plans for economic recovery.
According to a news release, we20 offers a refreshing alternative to the street violence and protest surrounding the G20.
"It's large-scale community involvement in planning the world's economic revival. People visiting we20.org can organise their own meetings, in their own communities, to draw up action plans - local, national or international - to fix economies. We20 plans are voted on at we20.org and the top we20 plans have the chance of appearing on the official G20 London Summit website.
we20's twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Communities are growing fast, plans have already been submitted to we20.org from the UK and Sweden, and we20 meetings are pledged in USA, Australia, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Sudan, Thailand, Nigeria and the UK, representing communities in the media industry, local government, students and healthcare workers. As the we20 movement grows, it's expected that thousands of we20 meetings will take place around the world through 2009, with a goal of the first thousand to take place by the end of April 09.
The website at we20.org acts as a facilitator and hub for these meetings. Visitors to the site can find an existing meeting or set one up to discuss and agree on a local, national or global challenge, or to read and vote on plans from other we20 meetings. Each we20 user gets 20 votes to award to the best recovery plans. The organisers of we20 hope to help favourite we20 plans become future realities as we20 develops.
The we20 concept was hatched on January 6 this year by a group of volunteers in London who want to help people through the recession. The site was then developed entirely by voluntary contributions to become the start of a resource which its organisers hope will grow to be a public engagement platform alongside the G20.
As a body, we20 is independent and neutral. The plans proposed on the site belong to the groups which propose them.
Paul Massey, an internet lawyer from London and one of the volunteers organising we20 in his spare time, says: "The we20 initiative is a neat idea to help people organise their own G20 meetings of up to 20 people. There is speculation about what the London G20 Summit will achieve but we've already seen we20 meetings produce some great action plans to fix the economy. we20 sees the G20 Summit as a rallying call for everyone to work together to pull ourselves out of this economic mess."
He continues: "There's no restriction on the challenges addressed and the plans formulated by people's we20 meetings. They may be directed towards, local, national or global issues, from the IMF, World Bank or climate change to local economic issues such as redundancies, plans for local shops, sports teams or growers' initiatives. we20 is driven by volunteers and word of mouth, and we are constantly amazed by the support we are receiving from across the board."
Part of the inspiration for we20 arose from Barack Obama's use of the internet, demonstrating how ordinary people can make change happen by connecting on the internet and then meeting face to face.
Massey concludes: "After the G20 Summit, we20 will assess its impact in consultation with members, continue to encourage the implementation of we20 plans and work towards future goals including the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit. we20 hopes to strengthen the policies produced by the G20, ensure transparency and encourage good governance. Whatever comes out of the London G20 Summit, we20 looks set to stay as a force of community empowerment for the longer term."
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.