Thursday, November 19, 2009

Clear "Solutions"

Gone before you even knew what they were: the slender-billed curlew and the white lemuroid possum - and they sounded lovely, didn't they.

One billion hungry people in the world. Floundering polar bears. Flounder. Every Damn Thing Down the Damn Drain. But they say there's a tipping point, triggering action, and now it seems, the bucket's toppled, and here, sopping it all up is "Solutions."

A hybrid itself: both "peer-reviewed science journal and glossy coffee table book" launched this morning to showcase and provide a forum for bold, innovative ideas solving "the world's environmental, ecological, and socio-economic problems" taking a more media-savvy, sustained approach to environmental science and advocacy.

Writers, thinkers, an engaged public (that would be many of you) contribute approaches and project reports. The publication's audience is policy makers, business leaders, researchers.

In addition to being a platform for research and discussion, "Solutions" provides a core around which scholars are no long just describing, but actually implementing "a sustainable, just, and livable global civilization."

A little weirdly, everyone associated with the publication are like little ecologies themselves: embodiments of diversity and fecund productivity, like omnipotent, puckish managing editor Ida Kubiszewski, astronomer, physicist, (currently pursuing her PhD in environmental economics), who co-founded The Encyclopedia of Earth, and is managing editor of the Environemental Review out of UVM, and is currently working on her PhD in Environmental Econ at the Gund Institute.

Interestingly, many of journal founders are trained as Architects, like Paul Costanza the ecological economist, one of the first people to conceptualize the valuation of ecosystem services, and biodiversity ("He was at UMd when I was," she said modestly) and Paul Orr who talks (and acts) to further environmental literacy in higher education and environmental design.

Glossy as a wet leaf, but not - well, you know - slick, the Web site too is an amalgam: multimedia, linked, telegenic. It's like a skeleton, a mycelium. Like an ecosystem.

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