Moths to the flame

I was mesmerised by last night’s tv ad for Westfield, a vast 150,000 square metre shopping mall that opens in West London next weekend. The ad features attractive and horny young people who turn into fairies. Fair enough, but they then start taking off and fly across the city’s rooftops in ever-denser swarms. Their destination […]

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It’s mad, but it’s not complicated

I imagine you’re having the same experience that I am? All around me, people are figuring out that the money situation may be mad, but it’s not complicated. As the Big Dipper of financial bloggers, Ilargi, writes today, for example: “Stocks are plummeting once more all around the world, and if you think that trend […]

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Alternate Reality Game?

I saw this poster outside St Etienne station. It portrays The Mongoose who is “an infamous hitman hired to carry out assassinations and other evil deeds…the cruel and cold-blooded murderer carries out his orders with eagerness and glee.” It says it’s a game, and that it’s is powered by “Unreal Engine”. Now is it me, […]

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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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