Not Quite 10 Stories (Okay, 8) We’ve Got Our Eyes On

Sometimes it’s fun to snitch on an editorial meeting. Leak what’s in the hopper, float some trial balloons, show a little leg. There are always meaningful stories in play beyond the latest solar-powered e-reader or bamboo coffeepot. And in an effort to expose ourselves a little, here’s a look at what’s on our minds these days, and a tease of what’s on our near-term reporting horizon:

Climate control freaks?


Geoengineering is exactly what it says it is – engineering our geo. But here’s a cooler definition from the National Academy of Sciences:  “Options that would involve large-scale engineering of our environment in order to combat or counteract the effects of changes in atmospheric chemistry.” Consider this: when Mt. Pinatubo, in the Philippines erupted in 1991, its bad-ass belch of some 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide dropped world temperatures by an average of half a degree. Scientists now have the technology get the same job done without any help from the volcano gods; they can use airplanes to inject sulfur dioxide right into the stratosphere. One way to combat global warming? Maybe, but hey, maybe it’s a good idea to set up some rules here before we get all crazy, no?

Who’s upstairs?


There are lots of breakthroughs these days regarding our knowledge of what’s happening at the helm of our own personal wheelhouses. While we’re always going on about how we should all be thinking, buying and even voting green, how much control do we really have as to where our minds and dollars go? What we’re getting here is, do you know what the “neuromarkerters” are up to these daze? Do you know the role they played in this month’s election? Stay tuned in (if you can) for tales about who’s trying to take control of your controls.

Insides Out


While we’re looking at what’s under the hood, how about them stem cells? We’re all about sustainability here, right, and what could be more sustaining than potentially life-giving research opportunities? Well it depends on who you ask. What’s happening on the biotech ground – from university and corporate labs to the halls of the Hill – affect our current and future quality of life every day, and the latest rules and regs and funding issues are playing a major role in how we approach these issues as a society. Who are the players on these issues and what do they have cookin’ up in their petri dishes?

It’s in the air


Blown away by all the wind-generated energy hubbub? Swept up by the grand promises while suffering though the doldrums of slow-to-no progress? Well, we are too. With plans for massive “farming” projects everywhere from the Great Plains to off our coastlines, there are a lot of questions to explore about what’s the right way to go about an effective wind grabbing. What are the costs? What are the potential rewards? Who’s primed to make coin on these deals that could make large-scale engineering efforts like the Hoover Dam seem like specs in our collective rear view mirror? And as a nation, are we interested in taking the innovation lead?

What’s happening?


Save the date! Our global(ish) eco-social is coming up this month in sunny Cancun, Mexico, where the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is guaranteed to entertain. And who better to cover the red carpet happenings than EcoSalon? The background from the UN is this: “Over a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. More recently, a number of nations approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures.” Here’s the subtext for this 16th meeting: Might a new binding treaty emerge? Don’t hold you breath – or maybe hold it. In any case, we’ll be covering the event! (In fact, we should send a reporter, right? Um, editor at ecosalon dot com. Tell her Scott sent you.)

OMG! It’s getting warmer in here!


If you thought we were going to leave Rep. Shimkus alone (note our shot across the bow last week), you’re mistaken. Not that we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with a Godly approach to life, but if he is speaking to us at all, he’s probably saying “knock it off with the greenhouse gases!” Anyway, it’s not just Shimkus we’re worried about. We’ll be keeping our eye on the climate control-busting shenanigans class of 2011. No quarter here. That’s a promise.

Duck and cover


Picking up on the Shimkus wave, we’re here to remind you that the War on Science is alive and well – and well-funded. Science denial seems to reaching a crescendo these days, whether deniers are taking on Einstein or climate change, the span between what science is telling us and what we believe seems to be growing. What are the facts on this issue? Does anyone care? Who wants you not to know better?

Is this thing (still) on?


Do I really need a new laptop already? It seems like I just bought one. Well, surprise, surprise, my breakdown might have been planned to go down well before my box was boxed. Planned obsolescence is a story not only about marketing and corporate greed, but about product footprints, waste and and throwaway culture. As our pal Brian Clark Howard recently said over at The Daily Green, “The issue has big environmental implications, because our insatiable appetite for stuff drives carbon emissions and pollution.” Quick, before the warranty expires, let’s take a look at this issues, and why it’s not necessarily an all-bad phenomenon.

Okay, so there’s a little EcoSalon skin. Hot huh? We missing anything? Thoughts? Ramblings? Send us a note at contact at ecosalon dot com.

Images: World Economic Forum, flydime, Liberal Democrats, James & Vilija, , phault
World Economic Forum, danielfoster437, woodleywonderworks, m.gifford

Scott Adelson

Scott Adelson is EcoSalon's Senior Editor of HyperKulture, a monthly column that explores opening cultural doors to initiate personal change. He is also the author of InPRINT, which reviews and discusses books, new and old. You can reach him at