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  • seandodson 5:08 am on August 31, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , carbon footprint, , environment, global warming, , mike davis, oil, , , ,   

    Mike Davis: the Gulf’s vast wealth has been cut off from its rightful owners 

    Mike Davis, author of the entirely precient City of Quartz, is back. His new essay. Living on the Ice Shelf: Humanity’s Meltdown makes a devastating critique of global climate change policy. Davis singles out the “supercharged” Gulf States, such as Dubai, as laying the heaviest carbon footprint on the planet, even though the wealth it has generated is patently failing to trickle down. He predicts trouble ahead (via).

    “And what if growing environmental and social turbulence, instead of galvanizing heroic innovation and international cooperation, simply drive elite publics into even more frenzied attempts to wall themselves off from the rest of humanity? Global mitigation, in this unexplored but not improbable scenario, would be tacitly abandoned (as, to some extent, it already has been) in favor of accelerated investment in selective adaptation for Earth’s first-class passengers. We’re talking here of the prospect of creating green and gated oases of permanent affluence on an otherwise stricken planet.”

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  • seandodson 11:25 pm on June 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , environment, , , relationship with china, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, west   

    Amelia Roberts: Brighton graphic designer ruminates on the West’s consumption of China 

    I am impressed with the work of the student graphic designer Amelia Roberts, who is currently studying at the University of Brighton. Roberts has just produced this pair of splendid posters (above) that offer a wry commentary on how “the West blame China’s carbon emissions as a main cause of Global warming. Yet … seem unaware that they are fueling China’s industrial revolution.

    I like it. Her work is direct and memorable and attractive. The last shadow puppets to impress me as much as this were Tim Noble and Sue Webster. Their work lit up Saatchi’s Apocalypse exhibition at the Royal Academy a few short years ago. This work does it better.

    (via it’s nice that)

  • seandodson 3:59 pm on May 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: animal welfare, bioarts, bioarts international, clone, cloning, environment, , genetic, Genetic Savings & Clone, , nurture, pet, pet cloning, ,   

    Bring you best friend back from the dead. Prices start at $100,000 

    The first commercial cloned dog looks like it’s just turned up at the door and is scratching like hell to be let in. On Wednesday BioArts International, a US company, let loose its Best Friends Again pet cloning service and began auctioning the opportunity, if we can call it that, to clone five pet dogs in return for cash. It accepts bids from $100,000.

    It’s not the first attempt to make a buck from bringing dear old Muffin back from the dead. The first commercially-cloned pet has earlier been announced. An American woman has asked Korean scientists to clone her current pooch: a pit-bull terrier.

    My instinctive liberal “dog-whistle” response is this: is it right to clone domestic animals when loads of them go to the knackers yard every day? Although there’s some scope , I suppose, for protecting endangered species and perhaps cloning working animals, like dogs for the blind. The cloning of domesitc animals seems somehow out the whole spirit of raising an animal for a pet. Can you ever love Muffin2 or Luigi6 as you did the original?

    And can you really replicate old Muffin?  And more to the point would you want to? The whole environment that created him is already lost to time. Most people know the old adage that a dog takes on the characteristics of its owner and its a good environment that fosters something, well, beautiful between an owner and their pet. Recreate the environment and you can recreate a similar relationship.

    • Niki 2:34 am on February 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi there. i am very interested in knowing how this thing works. my dog has past away on Tuesday on the 10/2/09 just wanted to know whether it is possible to bring it back from the dead. it died from pneumonia what are the chances?

      someone please get back to me.

    • Cynthy 12:06 pm on January 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Good Post. Can you email me back, please. Thanks so much.

  • seandodson 8:17 pm on May 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , environment, , , , ,   

    Rethinking the airship 

    Far more likely to get off the ground than a solar-powered plane would be a photo-voltic zeppelin and, somewhat surprisingly, at least two companies already have designs in this area. The image above left is of the Strato-cruiser, a beautiful reimagining of the Zeppelin by Tino Schaedler, a London-based German set designer and thinker. It’s a wonderful flight of fancy designed to incorporate a gourmet restaurant, swimming pool and resident DJs and so on.

    A less attractive, although far more prosaic redesign of the airship comes in the form of the US Aeroscraft, above right, a 400-ton hybrid airship, of which we are promised the first prototype later this summer. Powered by an electric motor, the airship has green credentials of its own. According to EcoGeek, such airships “do not require any energy to keep them aloft … Depending on their size, a modern airship could be significantly more energy efficient than even a Greyhound bus.” While Treehugger reckons that compared to a passenger jet of similar carrying capacity “it should require only half the fuel to operate.”

    There’s more to this than meets the eye. According to Airship World that the Zeppelin is returning to the US after a gap of 70 years. The Zeppelin NT, the fourth to be sold by the German company, will be shipped to California later this year. Airships have been floated beforein recent years, but mostly as cargo vessels. This next-generation of dreamliners could have enough space for 1,000 people to sit comfortably on a lower deck, while an upstairs there could be tennis courts and movie theaters, well at least for those in first-class, that is.

    • Bryson Nitta 9:39 pm on May 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply


      That is the coolest thing I’ve seen this week. Ha! I’d love to take a ride on a blimp, that’d be amazing!

    • Dennis Meizys 1:17 am on May 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      How exciting! Old, efficient technology is being renewed. Like Biodiesel, which preceded petroleum diesel in Rudolf Diesel’s first engine, these airships are also more nature-friendly.

      Living within 30 miles of an airport in Maryland, I am already dreaming of the day when the soft buzz of the airship’s propeller drives replaces the scream of the jets over my house.

      Not to mention, the safety advantages! Would you rather be sitting in a jet airplane or a blimp when you overhear the words “engine failure” spoken by someone coming out of the cockpit?

      So we get to our destinations a little slower? Relax and read a book, or if they have wireless access, a blog!

  • seandodson 11:10 am on May 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: alternative energy, , environment, , , , green energy, , solar, solar power,   

    Solar-powered aeroplane floats on the winds of change 

    Solar powered aviation has travelled a long way since the heady days of the Gossamer Penguin. But could it actually one day power commerical flight? Trouble is, a quick look at the prototypes reveals that most solar-powered planes remain a world away from passenger aviation. But that could be subject to change. Although we are not quite at the stage of the easyJet ecojet just yet, what might be just over the horizon is something like the Hy-Bird, a hybrid of hydrogen, solar-power and lithium-polymer batteries. The Hy-bird still looks like a bit like a prototype, but it is beginning to look more like a proper plane. If you squint your eyes, it could pass for a private jet. Lisa Airplanes, the Hy-bird’s manufacturer, is planning to take the plane on a voyage that will circumnavigate the planet later this summer.

    According to Inhabitat, the Hy-bird gets just 10% of its power from solar, which may not mean that solar power can work on its own, that’s still a significant contribution to my mind. Yes, we should all fly less if we want to reduce CO2. But the prospect of a truly green-powered aeroplane is enough to spark the imagination of those that both want to save the planet but still dream of flight.

    • Jeremy 11:32 am on May 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, this is a far cry from being a commercially useful enterprise, but it may go some way to inspiring change. I’d love to see someone put up a solar equivalent of the Ansari X-prize. Those kind of initiatives really seem to stimulate innovation.

  • seandodson 8:12 pm on April 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , building, construction, , environment, , kuwait, , skyscraper, tapei 101, , world's tallest building   

    Why great cities want to join the mile-high club 

    The next-generation of super-tall buildings threaten to reach into the skies over a kilometer high. Trendhunter reports on the reinvigorated race to become the “biggest, tallest, most tremendous building in the world.” Surprisingly, although the list covers several extremely tall edifices climbing above the Gulf States, London features at the top.

    Populararchitecture describes the Super Tower (above left) as a building “of unprecedented scale conceived not as a building so much as a vertical extrusion of the city – a new town in the sky complete with parks, public squares, schools and hospitals.” The shadow it would cast across the city would be incredible, although if it will be built is anyone’s guess given the current hoohar about about tall buildings in London.

    Elsewhere, the post points towards the Burj Mubarak Al-Kabir (above right) in Kuwait. Standing over a kilometer high, the structure will be, again if it ever gets built, almost twice the height of Taipei 101, officially still the world’s tallest building. It has already won preliminary planning permission. Of course several engineering and logistical challenges have to be overcome to break into this new bracket of super-tall buildings. While questions about their ecomomic and environmental sustainability have to be asked. But the audacity of these designs is striking.

    • Kamal Kumar 6:31 am on October 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply


      We are working on children book (school and library) for “Franklin Watts” series “Superstructures” titled ” Incredible Skyscrapers “.We need this computer generated imagery of ” Burj Mubarak al-Kabir, Kuwait “ displayed.

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  • seandodson 10:44 pm on October 15, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: environment, green travel, , PRT, , ,   

    The transport of tomorrow 


    Personal rapid transit (PRT) is a futuristic form of public transport that is due to arrive at Heathrow Terminal 5 some time next autumn. The pod-like, driverless taxis will ferry people from the car parks to the new Rogers Stirk Harbour + partners building. Advanced Transport Systems, the company building the network, is making impressive claims about how clean and green it all is … although exactly how much difference zero emission vehicles will make between car park and the runway is admittedly moot.

    The Guardian’s technology section has published a longish feature of mine which delves into the background of PRT (it’s almost 50 years old)  before discussing how it might – just might –  be woven into the the infrastructure of our cities, where zero-emission vehicles would really start to count. Although the idea was fostered in the US and Sweden, it’s lovely to see a UK technology company get there first.

    • Garri 11:36 am on October 16, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Transport of tomorrow? That’s London Underground for you 😉

      What we want is the transport of yesterday, here, right now, and on time!

  • seandodson 2:47 pm on October 9, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: alternative transport, environment, sustainability, taxi, text,   

    Text T for Texxi 


    The poster above demonstrates that during the years of wartime scarcity, it was considered unpatriotic – perhaps even traitorous – to waste valuable resources. Back in the day, car-sharing clubs were introduced as a way in which people could preserve precious petrol rations and, in turn, keep Hitler at bay.

    Just like the blackouts, car sharing clubs went out like a light at the end of the war. Thus, sharing your car went from being something noble to something needless. Indeed, the whole notion of public transport was eventually downgraded, to the point where it was seen as something rather grubby. There is a – possibly apocryphal – quote from Margaret Thatcher, that goes, “‘a man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.”

    Texxi is a new system, operating in Liverpool and elsewhere, that basically gives a new twist to car-sharing. What is does is combine three new technologies: text messaging; advanced journey algorithms and real-time data. Its also being touted as not just a cheaper form of transport, but a greener one too. Could it work? Well maybe. It depends, I suppose, on how much trust is embedded in the system at the end of the night.

    It shows how climate change is at last starting to make people think twice about how we travel around our cities. But its not new to this world. You come across shared taxis in a lot in places, especially the middle east. But to catch on in the UK the idea needs something else. I’ve written before about how the internet is helping promote car-pooling schemes, but this time i can see how mobile technology can offer the promise of improved ease and efficiency, even for very short journeys.

    In my backpacking days, I took advantage of shared taxis and taxibuses and Sheruts to get about Cyprus, Egypt and Israel . At the very least, they were a lot more exciting and interesting than taking the scheduled bus service where you rarely got to speak to a single soul.

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