A GOOD Production. Very nicely done. Check it.
Archive for the 'environment' Category
Just Do It.
I just hate it when it rains on days like this. It’s a real challenge to my convictions.
Am I serious about making a difference? Am I willing to do this despite the inconvenience?
May is National Bike Month as well as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and today, May 16, is National Bike/Walk to Work Day.
Since my undergrad days studying urban planning at Rutgers I’ve been an advocate for less cars on the road and more bikes. I’d like to see that cyclists be given more preference than motorists. I’m actually OK with the fact that gas prices are going up as a way to discourage our dependency on cars as they attempt to do in Europe. They have parking lots full of bikes. Imagine that!? European cities has a good record of creating initiatives to encourage bike culture. Many places of employment encourage it by offering locker rooms for showering. There’s places to store your gear and equipment at train stations for longer commutes. Get around the city using bikes and bike taxis. We could do that. We’ll even be a healthier nation.
However, every year I’ve become more dependent on our highways and my two cars.
Inches have also been added to my waist. One child too.
So one way to do this is promote bike culture. Perhaps instead of choosing to go to that big church miles and miles away that you drive that gas guzzler to, invest in a faith community closer to home so that you can together impact where you live and bring a new vibrancy to smaller churches. Bike to church together.
So I missed posting anything on Earth Day last week but I wanted to highlight a part of the Q conference that I was blessed to experience. We each had an opportunity to participate in what was called a Learning Journey. These were experiences throughout the city where we can learn how to engage culture. I was fortunate to journey with 50 other leaders to experience Sustainable South Bronx [SSBX], an environmental justice project created by Majora Carter to “Green the Ghetto. They’ve really made an impact in the community and address real needs. They’ve installed about 4 green roofs on buildings which has generated green collar jobs as well as providing a way to reduce the temperature below the roofs for residents which further reduce air condition needs. SSBX is one of the leaders of the green collar revolution.
When we arrived at Hunts Point we hiked up many flights of stairs to a roof that had been greened. Our guide explained how SSBX gave him a chance when no one else would because of his record. Now he loves horticulture and being green. He’s found a purpose for his life.
Apart from the green roofs the real impact has been Majora’s initial project, Hunts Point Riverside Park, the area’s first new park in 60 years. She was able get over $3 million in contributions and once where there was landfill is now two acres of green space for local residents to stroll, play and kayak on the water. The park is an amazing third place for the community.
What I find most exciting about SSBX is their ability to do something many others fail to do which is change culture and the way a community thinks. I was there with my friend Samuel Chez. We both grew up in Brooklyn in a different era (as if we were that old) and we were reminiscing about what it was like for us to grow up in the city. The thought of kids growing up in the ghetto having access to a park like this where they can learn to canoe left us both agreeing this is the real deal.
• Fermi Project / Q co-founder Jeff Shinabarger shares his experience
WALK THE GREEN LINE
MAJORA CARTER: 5 QUESTIONS
• Charles Lee also was with us in this learning journey shares his thoughts.
• Sustainable South Bronx [SSBX] official site
• Watch Majora Carter’s TED Presentation
More on China’s roaring growth and the rising of an epic pollution problem.
Check out the NYTimes special on Choking on Growth examining the human toll, global impact and political challenge of China’s epic pollution crisis.
The Top 10 World’s Worst Polluted Places in 2007 (as voted by the Blacksmith Technical Advisory Board, an environmental health organization) are:
La Oroya, Peru
China. O China. That’s just 2 in the top 10. There are other Chinese provinces cited.
Potentially Affected People: 3,000,000
Type of Pollutant: Air pollution, chemical/heavy metal, river pollution
Source of Pollution: Automobile and industrial emissions
Lanzhou, the capitol of China’s Gansu province, is one of the most polluted cities in
China and was once named by World Resources Institute as one of the world’s most
polluted cities. The city is highly industrialized although not nearly as prosperous as
many of China’s other major cities. Major industries include petrochemical
manufacturing and oil refineries. Heavy industrial emissions and the use of coal as
the primary fuel source are the main sources of pollution. Illegal industrial
discharges are commonplace and frequently reported in the local press. Lanzhou is
on a tributary of the Yellow River and is a major contributor to increasing pollution
The city is located in an arid valley and wind circulation is minimal. Frequent
sandstorms (thirteen in 2006) and a major lack of precipitation further aggravate the
climatic conditions. These natural circumstances, together with industrial and
automobile emissions combine to produce intolerable air pollution. The mayor has
made public calls for residents to walk to work.
Respiratory ailments are commonplace, as can be expected. A study comparing
three polluted Chinese cities found that Lanzhou had the highest rates of respiratory
diseases, including pneumonia.