So what exactly, I wondered, is the Baltic Dry Index? And is it a good thing, or a bad thing, that it is plunging downwards at the fastest rate since records began etc etc? These turn out to be two good questions. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), I discover, measures the freight rates of raw […]

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I told you so

“We will not have any more crashes in our time.” “There is nothing in the situation to be disturbed about.” “… the outlook is favorable…” I couldn’t resist reproducing this 1927-1933 Pompous Prognosticators Hall of Fame Someone should stand by to make a similar chart plotting, against actuals, today’s confident statements that we should not […]

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Megacities after the meltdown

The received wisdom for a decade has been that the world will continue to urbanise, and that power and money will continue to congregate in a handful of megacity regions. The Megacities Congress in November begins to question these once-comfortable certainties. Well I will, anyway: I’m speaking on Friday 28th. The evening before (Thursday 27th) […]

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City Eco Lab: on site and building…

[ CITY ECO LAB RUSH part 1.Envoyé par cityecolab ] …only we’re pouring earth not concrete See you in our little shed!

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When red is green and up is down

George Monbiot, in today’s Guardian, also links the financial crisis and the ecological crisis.”The financial crisis shows what happens when we try to make the facts fit our desires”, writes Monbiot. “The two crises have the same cause. In both cases, those who exploit the resource have demanded impossible rates of return and invoked debts […]

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Measuring what matters

Totally lost amongst the financial news last week was discussion of a new report on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (Teeb). According to this EU-commissioned study, the global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis. The report puts the annual cost of forest loss at […]

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Toxic sludge machine

I was critical last week of commentators who describe the financial crisis as “psychological”. Those who blame a “lack of transparency” are on stronger ground – although ignorance of the facts or the law is not a valid excuse in other domains of life. The process chart above describes something called a Financial Products Markup […]

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I’m sorry, but if I hear one more “expert” on the box describe the financial crisis as “psychological” I’m going to barf. I also heard a French commentator today blame “the redemption factor” – which sounds biblical, but apparently refers to the price being put on that huge red chunk of the pyramid (see story […]

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The rain in Spain stays mainly in the Hog

Harvesting rainwater is key for any town or city determined to use its water sustainably. Rainwater HOG is a rain rescue and storage tank designed as a water-filled building block. It was conceived and developed by an Australian architect, Sally Dominguez, who had been designing drought-ready buildings but was frustrated by a lack of options […]

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