Seattle is the first city in the nation to fine people for not properly sorting their garbage. The law took effect on Jan. 1 as a bid to keep food out of landfills and encourage composting instead.

Seattle Public Utilities estimates that every family in the city throws away some 400 pounds of food each year. And so the new law aims to incentivize recycling and composting. For now households that throw away food are warned with a bright red tag on their garbage bin — but fines will be imposed come Jul. 1. 

Rainforest Destruction - Once upon a time, rainforests wrapped around the earths equator like an unbroken green girdle - and that time was not long ago, though now rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate. These very special biological treasure houses contain a huge diversity of plants and animals. They are also home to many different indigenous peoples who have resisted the destructive march of modern civilisation. While many tribes remain, representing unique primitive cultures, others have simply been swept away along with their forest homelands. Quite apart from the catastrophic reduction of rich biological ecosystems containing all sorts of undiscovered pharmaceutical implications, the destruction of rainforests has other major ecological implications. Yet wholesale clearances happened throughout the 20the century and the pace of destruction has continued to speed up in the 21st century, despite widespread awareness of the negative consequences for the future of all life on Earth, including the future of the human race.

The world has an insatiable appetite for timber, and illegal logging with the tacit support of corrupt governments is a major cause of rainforest loss. So, too, is acute need for cash crops in poor countries blessed by huge expanses of rainforest. Coupled with rising demand for food and green fuel, his ensures that crude slash and burn is used to clear forest land where beef cattle can be raised or crops like Palm oil or soya grown. Rainforests are too valuable to lose, for the help regulate climate by absorbing one fifth of the harmful greenhouses gases emitted by human activity, thus slowing the potentially deadly process of flock warming and climate change. However, forest burning that contributes significantly to global warming continues apace, while those capable of preventing this unfolding ecological disaster of epic proportions are often complicit in accelerating rainforest destruction.

  • Students and faculty engaging planning practice and the profession as critical insiders. This can happen in lots of different ways—but involves faculty and students knowing and caring about planning practice and about the role of planning solving important problems in the here and now but with an eye for the long-term. It is about it being a planning program rather than urban studies, public policy, environmental studies, urbanism, and the like even if the program is part of a larger department or school.
  • Multiple faculty doing substantial work on how to face important contemporary challenges, making human settlements that are more just and that can sustain meaningful lives in the long term, for example, without obsessing about finding the NEW. In fields like high style architecture or social media the new is paramount. There are many grand pronouncements about ways forward. However, engaging important concerns over the long haul needs a different approach.
  • Acknowledgement that there are multiple paths to excellence in planning. Such a program would include faculty and students who represent different approaches. Planning is pluralistic and integrative. It needs generalists who also have specialties across a range of topics. It needs technical and ethical thinking. One could hope that there might be mutual respect and admiration for different camps but acknowledgement or acceptance is a minimum. And by that I mean enough acceptance that people actually learn from each other and don’t just dismiss alternate views, specialties, and methods.
  • Four to five faculty who are committed to the good of the whole. There are different ways to do this but one person cannot make a program; three could perhaps do it for a while but burn out. It needs more. This particular dimension can be difficult for students to ascertain but makes a huge difference to the cohesion of the program.
  • Students who are committed to creating learning opportunities for themselves and their peers so they can make a difference. Active students can make or break a planning program. Faculty can do some work admitting people who want to learn and make positive changes; they can support a culture of student action. But a lot of it comes down to students being proactive and forward looking.
  • Admissions processes need to be designed to create a perfect fit between students and program OR program need to have substantial flexibility and few absolutely required classes. It is easier to do the latter but possible to do the former.
  • Finally, the program should have an ethical sense. The program itself should give something back to its local community—however defined—through outreach of various sorts. But mainly it needs to help students prepare for their own role in making the world better in the long term.

A bun for everyone!
Also maybe a really dumb statement on conservation and environmentalism—-orrrrr maybe it’s just funny. You’ll never know!

I messaged my good buddy one night and asked him to write me a comic and then ten minutes later I had the beautiful script for this abomination.

Go follow his blog, it’s just as whack: horseshorseshorseshorseshorses
ALSO, you can download this from gumroad if you ever wanted to do that for some reason: