thenextwave

Urban trees – chopped by insurance claims

Posted in cities, emerging issues, environment, Nokia, reports, sustainability by Andrew Curry on 30 June, 2007

Battersea trees I mentioned an impending report by the Greater London Assembly’s environment committee on London’s trees a while back but forgot to say that it had now been published, with the catchy title ‘Chainsaw Massacre’.

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Health shows the limits of affluence

Posted in affluence, health, social, trends by Andrew Curry on 30 June, 2007

Two stories in the past week remind us that health is one of the things that consistently shows the limits of affluent societies. The first is data which show that the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions have doubled in ten years. The second is a report from several charities which says that obesity strongly increases the risks of contracting dementia.

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Rupert, MySpace, and social class

Posted in business, digital, media, technology, trends by Andrew Curry on 30 June, 2007

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Rupert Murdoch earlier this month (in the middle of News International’s takeover campaign for the WSJ parent Dow Jones). It’s long, and more interesting for his views on newspapers than online, but he”s clearly convinced that Google is going to destroy the newspaper advertising base, and doesn’t seem so sure about his expensive acquisition (which cost $800m in 2005) of MySpace anymore. But the apparent shift towards Facebook is a more complex social issue, as a recent essay suggests.

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How England might get proportional representation

Posted in emerging issues, politics by Andrew Curry on 30 June, 2007

There are interesting articles in the Welsh political and cultural magazine Planet on the recent Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament elections. In Wales, John Osmond writes that Labour’s position as the largest party is now on a knife edge – the long-term trend in their vote appears to be downwards and they hold nine of the ten most marginal seats. From a Scottish perspective, the historian Christopher Harvie, newly elected as a nationalist MSP, observes that Labour’s strongholds have been reduced through PR to Glasgow and Lanarkshire. Between them, these hold clues to electoral change in England.

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How communities get to low carbon

Posted in climate change, energy, environment, sustainability, trends by Andrew Curry on 30 June, 2007

findhorn1.jpg There’s a short article in the current print edition of Resurgence magazine on how the Scottish ‘ecovillage’ of Findhorn comes to have the lowest ecological footprint ever recorded a community in the affluent ‘North’. Three factors explain this: the way the community shares goods and services; the way its food is managed; and short travel to work distances.

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