TreePeople Have Plan for Saving LA’s Water

Source: WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: T.R.E.E.S. in LA: TreePeople, Integrative Design, and "Trans-Agency Resources for Environmental and Economic Sustainability".

TreePeople’s goal is all of LA, and they’re now "installing a citywide system across Los Angeles of cisterns and infiltrators to help capture water runoff and recharge the aquifer – just like a mature oak tree."

As their web site puts it: If fully implemented, T.R.E.E.S. can: Reduce fresh water imports to our region by up to 50% Create up to 50,000 jobs Dramatically reduce pollution into Santa Monica and San Pedro Bays Remove the 100 year flood threat on the L.A. River Eliminate "greenwaste" from the waste stream, thereby reducing landfill content by 30 percent Significantly improve air quality

TreePeople’s initial focus, was to plant trees in LA. As it’s matured, its mission has grown: to restore the forest, and reknit the fabric of community. Lipkis shared one page of that big story.

LA got hit with a 100 year flood in 1978 — and again in 1980 — likely a result, in part, of Los Angeles being two-thirds paved, impermeable surfaces. The familiar piecemeal response: bring in the Army Corps of Engineers to raise the walls of the LA River.

TreePeople took an integrative approach. "The city spends $1 billion a year moving water in," Lipkis noted. "Rainfall provides half the water we need, but we throw most of it away – and spend more money to do that."

"’It’s cheaper to build canals,’ a county flood control agency told us, ‘and you’d need 20k gal swimming pool at a million homes’ for a water capture strategy."

In contrast to the Corp of Engineer’s philosophy of "keep water and people apart," TreePeople seeks to "inspire people to take personal responsibility for environment and participate in its healing." So TreePeople challenged the project’s EIR, and secured US Forest Service funding to demonstrate better alternatives. A four day, 100 person design charrette considered how to retrofit the city, and developed best management practices (BMPs) for industrial sites, commercial buildings, schools, apartments and single-family homes.

The resulting Planbook offers "a blueprint for an ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable Los Angeles, and an implementation plan implementation planproposes public policy and financial strategies that can facilitate the widespread use of the BMPs."

The project employs technologies that mimic the "sponge and filter" function of trees. It also demonstrates the technical and economic feasibility (and desirability) of retrofitting a city to function as an urban forest watershed.

Integrated resource planning — coupled with whole system economic analysis that showed significantly lower capital costs and operating costs — didn’t persuade the powers that be. What did persuade was a demonstration project. TreePeople retrofitted a single family house, on a typical lot, to capture rainwater and store it in a below ground cistern, invited the public agencies that hadn’t been persuaded by the plan, and held a flash flood in full view of the media, of course — dumping 4,000 gallons of water on the home in five minutes. Not a drop ran off the site.

Emotional Decision Hinder Investing, Research Shows

Source: Today in Investor’s Business Daily stock analysis and business news

Emotion can be your biggest enemy when it comes to investing. In fact, people physically incapable of feeling emotion may have a big edge on other investors, say some scientists.

A study published in June in the journal Psychological Science found that emotionally impaired people are more willing to pursue aggressive growth investing strategies. Researchers asked 41 people with normal IQs to play a simple investment game. Fifteen of the group had suffered lesions on the areas of the brain that affect emotions.

The result? Those with brain damage outperformed those without. The scientists found that emotions led some subjects to avoid risks, even when the potential benefits far outweighed the losses. Antione Bechara, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Iowa, says the best investors are those able to feel no emotions while trading. He called such investors "functional psychopaths." The study’s co-author, Baba Shiv of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, says many CEOs and top lawyers may also share the same ability to suppress emotion in making key decisions.

Antione Bechara, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Iowa, says the best investors are those able to feel no emotions while trading. He called such investors "functional psychopaths."

The study’s co-author, Baba Shiv of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, says many CEOs and top lawyers may also share the same ability to suppress emotion in making key decisions.

"Emotions serve an adaptive role in speeding up the decision-making process," said Shiv. "However, there are circumstances in which a naturally occurring emotional response must be inhibited, so that a deliberate and potentially wiser decision can be made."

Cowboy Reincarnation poem

Cowboy Reincarnation by Wallace McRae

"What does Reincarnation mean?"
A cowpoke asked his friend.
His pal replied, "It happens when
Yer life has reached its end.
They comb yer hair, and warsh yer neck,
And clean yer fingernails,
And lay you in a padded box
Away from life’s travails."

"The box and you goes in a hole,
That’s been dug into the ground.
Reincarnation starts in when
Yore planted ‘neath a mound.
Them clods melt down, just like yer box,
And you who is inside.
And then yore just beginnin’ on
Yer transformation ride."

"In a while, the grass’ll grow
Upon yer rendered mound.
Till some day on yer moldered grave
A lonely flower is found.
And say a hoss should wander by
And graze upon this flower
That once wuz you, but now’s become
Yer vegetative bower."

"The posy that the hoss done ate
Up, with his other feed,
Makes bone, and fat, and muscle
Essential to the steed,
But some is left that he can’t use
And so it passes through,
And finally lays upon the ground
This thing, that once wuz you."

"Then say, by chance, I wanders by
And sees this upon the ground,
And I ponders, and I wonders at,
This object that I found.
I thinks of reincarnation,
Of life and death, and such,
And come away concludin’: ‘Slim,
You ain’t changed, all that much

from Cowboy Curmudgeon (1992)

via Fred1st

Lions, Tigers, and Bears: Saved by Green Viagra?

I hope little men with big wallets can be happy with pharmaceutical solutions to their problems.

Source: WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Green Viagra.

So it turns out that the various pharmaceutical tools for curing erectile dysfunction have an environmental side-effect: their growing popularity in China is reducing the use of endangered species as cures for impotence. The Times of India reports on research by William von Hippel, a psychologist from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and his brother Frank von Hippel, a biologist from the University of Alaska in Anchorage, on whether patients return to the use of traditional treatments — medicines made from seal penises and reindeer antler velvet — once they’ve tried a Western medical treatment. In the group studied, none of those who had tried traditional treatments before went back to them. This matches up with controversial 2002 research from the same scientists showing that the trade in traditional impotence medicines was declining.

There’s much to be skeptical about with this research, of course: it was funded by Pfizer; the size of the studied group is fairly small; and impotence medicines are just one of many uses of animal parts in Chinese traditional medicine, so the overall impact on endangered animals is likely to be relatively low. That said, if true, it’s an example of the sometimes unexpected sources of environmental progress.

Jimi Hendrix Plays the Spangled Banner at Woodstock

Source: One Man’s Anthem

It was 8.30 in the morning of August 18, 1969. After three days and nights, 32 acts, 210 songs, two births and two deaths, Woodstock was grinding to a halt. Most of the legendary half a million had dispersed; the 40,000 who remained were bleary-eyed, sore-headed and seriouslyhungover.

There was only one way to get them going. Half an hour into his set, Jimi Hendrix launched into his version of the Star Spangled Banner; for the next three minutes and forty-two seconds, time stopped at Woodstock. Upstate New York was 11,000 miles from Vietnam but one man and his guitar brought the war home, using every electronic aid — feedback, sustain, fuzzface — at his disposal and his own peerless skill to rewrite the American national anthem.

Even today, on an anodyne stereo and in the aseptic environs of your own home, you can hear the Vietnam War in this track: the screams of the bombers, the bombs and the bombed, the rush of blood as the United States tangled with yet another unequal foe.

Probably the single greatest moment of the sixties,’’ said New York Post critic Al Aronowitz. ‘‘You finally heard what that song is about, that you can love your country but hate your government.’’

Ironically, Hendrix didn’t intend it to be social or political comment but merely an exercise in musical creativity. It was typical of the man, arguably the most creative and certainly the most enigmatic guitarist of all time.