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Headlines from the Week of January 18

Worldchanging Interview: Dr. Lin Jiabin on Sustainability in China

Worldchanging ally Junko Edahiro, founder of the NGO Japan for Sustainability, delivered a presentation about Japanese citizen and NGO action in October at the China-Japan High Level Forum on Energy Saving and Environmental Protection Policies, hosted by the Development Research Center, State Council of P.R. China.

While in China, she interviewed Dr. Lin Jiabin, the Deputy Director of the Department of Social Development Research at the State Council. The two spoke about China's environmental policies, current Chinese efforts to address global warming, and the ways in which the two Asian nations can work and learn together as they face development challenges that are unique and unprecedented.
Below is an excerpt from Edahiro's longer interview.

EDAHIRO: When did you start addressing the issue of global warming, and how are you tackling it in China?

DR. LIN: We have made positive efforts to tackle it for about four or five years after the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held....READ MORE

From Nuisance to Asset: The Greening of Alleyways

Picture for yourself a concrete-laden alley, with rainwater pooling in its eroded depressions. Tall buildings border the alley, making it a dark and potentially dangerous place. Constructed for cars, trucks and trash, the space is covered in filth. Few people find reason to walk here, save to toss their trash or take out their dogs.

Most major cities harbor hundreds of miles' worth of alleyways like this. Although originally intended to create easy access to garages and to keep garbage bins and dumpsters hidden from view, many alleys in urban spaces have become more of a hindrance than a utility.

But a movement to redesign alleyways into useful spaces is quickly changing them from nuisance to asset. Green Alley projects are taking off across the United States and Canada as a way to reclaim these spaces as filtration and collection centers for rainwater, open spaces and corridors for community members to walk and play, and green space for creating natural habitat or starting local composting efforts....READ MORE

Field Notes of an Accidental Eco-Tourist: Part Two

The Moai Of Costa Rica’s Central Pacific
On the northern fringe of the Costa Rican beach town of Jaco, there stands at present a cluster of five half-completed high-rise condo towers. Were Jaco big enough to have a pre-existing skyline – were it not, that is, basically a single tourist-retail strip encrusted with the odd eight-story hotel – you could say these new towers were coming to dominate its skyline. The building closest to completion looks a lot like the kind of slapdash poured-concrete apartment tower that dominates the ‘70s-era suburbs of most North American cities.....READ MORE

Aptera update: Heading to Market in October '09

In 2006, Jamais Cascio generated a lot of buzz with his post in praise of the slick, three-wheeled, crash-resilient, diesel-electric hypercar, the Aptera.

At the time, the design was still just a concept. But in just a few months, you may see the first road-ready models pass you on the highway or snag the too-small parking spot you were eyeing ... that is, unless you're one of the nearly 4,000 people who've already reserved your very own.

The Aptera has undergone some noticeable changes -- it's now all-electric rather than a diesel hybrid, and carries a higher price point than originally predicted -- and it's expected to be ready for full production and distribution in October 2009. Southern California-based manufacturer Aptera Motors will initially sell the vehicles only in their home state, at an expected cost between US $25,000-$45,000. The company plans to distribute the Aptera to the rest of the United States by late...

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