Look, I’m already on record about the value of Morano’s site. I also get a ton of traffic every time he links to me; I’m glad when it happens because as I have argued, he has a constituency that I think is important to communicate with. Let me also say I have a soft spot for him. The guy is unfailingly congenial and polite. And he has a sense of humor. If I was stranded on a desert island because of global warming and I had a choice to live out my days with either Morano or Joe Romm, it’s no contest.
If I was stuck with Romm, I’d be miserable watching him putter around with that sour puss, muttering, “I told them so…” Whereas a happy-go-lucky Morano would shrug his shoulders just once and say, “my bad…”
Seriously, Marc, sometimes you have to know when to exercise a little restraint and good taste.
They’re the ones that have destroyed newspapers, says Michael Moore, not the internet. Of course, he’s only half right, which is always good enough for Moore, and besides, he’s got a movie to plug. But there may soon come a day where he’s chasing a wild-eyed Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. through the streets of Times Square:
Moore said he tried to include the subject in his new film, but it became too large a topic and instead he may make an entire film about the fall of newspapers.
Environmentalists attacking Borlaug’s work are like creationists attacking Darwin’s work, substituting their religion for scientific reality.
How is this possible:
One year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the surprise is not how much has changed in the financial industry, but how little.
So now that the planetary panic has subsided, is it too late for institutional change? This is the passage from Alex Berenson’s saturday’s NYT article that caught my eye:
Robert J. Shiller, the Yale University economics professor who predicted the dot-com crash and the housing bust, said the window for change may be closing. “People will accept change at a time of crisis, but we haven’t managed to do much, and maybe complacency is coming back,” Professor Shiller said. “We seem to be losing momentum.”
And Greens wonder why it’s hard to get traction on climate change.
So let us at least ponder this essential question raised by one interviewee in today’s NYT investigative shocker:
“How can we get digital cable and Internet in our homes, but not clean water?” said Mrs. Hall-Massey, a senior accountant at one of the state’s largest banks.
She and her husband, Charles, do not live in some remote corner of Appalachia. Charleston, the state capital, is less than 17 miles from her home.
“How is this still happening today?” she asked
It’s an amalgam of engineering, architectural, and human qualities that he muses on here in the WSJ’s weekend edition.
Size is obviously important:
A city can’t be too small. Size guarantees anonymity””if you make an embarrassing mistake in a large city, and it’s not on the cover of the Post, you can probably try again.
Density is a must:
If a city doesn’t have sufficient density, as in L.A., then strange things happen. It’s human nature for us to look at one another”” we’re social animals after all. But when the urban situation causes the distance between us to increase and our interactions to be less frequent we have to use novel means to attract attention: big hair, skimpy clothes and plastic surgery.
Why can’t urban planners write like this?! Here’s Bryne’s dead-on observation that counters the nostalgia that too often infects most urbanites:
The perfect city isn’t static. It’s evolving and ever changing, and its laws and structure allow that to happen. Neighborhoods change, clubs close and others open, yuppies move in and move out””as long as there is a mix of some sort, then business districts and neighborhoods stay healthy even if they’re not what they once were. My perfect city isn’t fixed, it doesn’t actually exist, and I like it that way.
Those who despair over the future of the planet because of mainstream journalism’s shortcomings might want to glance at this online magazine. I once had high hopes that Grist would go this route. Instead they’ve turned into a web-version of Speaker’s Corner for green activists.
Via Poynter Online, here’s a nice description of the innovative, multi-media venture:
There is no silver bullet for a journalism revenue stream or the struggle to reinvent storytelling for the Web. But there are fragments of a bullet that we can piece together.
Jim Gaines, editor in chief of FLYP, an online magazine that combines traditional reporting and writing with animation, audio, video and interactive graphics, thinks he has found a piece of that bullet. It includes rethinking the way storytelling is done online.
Keith Johnson over at Environmental Capital nails it while sorting out the conflicting goals of Obama’s energy policy. Here’s the kicker of his post that should be read in full:
This whole debate just serves to highlight one big truth: The three pillars of Western energy policy””energy security, a cleaner environment, and proper markets””are devilishly hard to get at the same time.
If natural gas is the supposed bridge fuel to sustainable energy, then maybe think tanks (of all political and ideological stripes) will become a new bridge to an economically sustainable web-based journalism. (There are other emerging bridges in the non-profit sector.)
I’m in favor of this development, so long as the hallmarks of good journalism, such as editorial independence, are preserved. Based on this email interview Nieman Journalism Lab just conducted with award-winning investigative reporter Mark Flatten, who recently left a newspaper to join the conservative Goldwater Institute, that appears to be the case here.
At the rate the newspaper industry is crumbling, there soon might be more think thanks than newspapers. That should give anyone the shudders. But if more think tanks start hiring reporters, combined with all the other innovative initiatives underway, maybe the industry’s collapse won’t be as devastating to democracy as so many have feared.