Category Archives: Leaders

Leaders, heroes, politicians and people making a mark in the environment and sustainability.

Richard Louv on ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ (video playlist)

American author Richard Louv has played a leading role in highlighting the growing disconnection between people and nature.

This video series pulls together useful interviews and talks with Richard. He explains ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’, why we should be concerned and some of the solutions to this new challenge.

Why we need to get kids into nature (quotable quotes from Richard Louv)

In his book ‘Last Child in the Woods’, Richard Louv coined the term ‘nature deficit disorder’ to highlight the growing disconnection between kids and nature. In his follow up book ‘The Nature Principle’ he says “the more high tech we become, the more nature we need.”

We interviewed Richard Louv as part of our series on environmental leaders. In researching his story, we found lots of great quotes from Richard – which articulate why we need to get kids into nature.

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Michael Reynolds – inspiring words from the maverick eco architect

Michael Reynolds was the focus of the award-winning film ‘Garbage Warrior’ – a documentary about his 40 year struggle to build sustainable houses.

The Environment Show recently interviewed Reynolds as part of our new series on environment leaders. We found so many great Reynolds quotes in our research, we thought we’d compile them for good keeping. (We couldn’t bear to let them get away.)

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The fall on an environmental leader: Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed

Who is Mohamed Nasheed and why does he matter?

Until last week Nasheed was President of The Maldives – a string of 1200 tiny islands in the Indian Ocean where the average elevation is just 5 feet above sea level.

After Nasheed came to office in 2008, he made world headlines when he declared the Maldives was in the market for a new homeland for its doomed population – given predictions of sea level rise due to global warming.

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Why we need a “fundamental shift” to a sustainable economy (and the role of creativity to get there)

Professor Jeff Sachs: "We need to re-think economic development."

Last year I heard a speech by Professor Jeff Sachs which crystalised a lot of things for me. (Sachs is a Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.)

I’m giving a speech myself soon at The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. It’s for Design Week and it’s about ‘the importance of creativity for sustainability’. In preparing I’ve found myself coming back to Sachs’s talk at Sydney Uni.

Reason being Sachs puts the whole damn thing in context. He describes how we got to where we are now, how special our time is, and how we are at a watershed moment in human history where we’re going to have to make a fundamental shift to a sustainable economy.

In this post I’ve included a synopsis of the Sach’s speech and links to a podcast of it. I’ve also posted some notes from my proposition that creativity is going to be key in re-thinking and changing how we live.

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2008: only the 7th warmest year on record!

Global temperature rise since the industrial revolution - from NASA

2008 – a not so hot year compared to the last few, but ….. it looks like the only way is up! This is the global temperature trend since the industrial revolution.

Maybe we’re so used to hearing about global warming, the 7th warmest year on record doesn’t sound so bad. But remember most of the other warmest years have all occurred since 1998 – as you can see in the chart above.

These figures have been compiled and were released yesterday by NASA’s Goddard Institute and the World Meterological Organisation.

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Jan Gehl – the urban planning rock star (part 2)

Cities like Sydney and New York can shake their car culture and get people to walk and ride bikes. It can be done. It’s happened in Copenhagen. It’s even part of the Danish national health policy. Jan Gehl tells us all about it.

He also tells us about the transformation of the Melbourne CBD (thanks to his plans.)

More common sense and dry Scandinavian humour from the urban planning rock star.

The ‘urban planning rock star’ changing city environments around the world

Wall to wall vehicles. Thats how Jan Gehl describes Sydney’s CBD. He says Sydney has squandered its beauty and it’s time something was done about it.

Professor Gehl was commissioned by the City of Sydney to re-think its centre. He’s proposed to divert cars and give streets back to the people. Sound radical? His plans have been implemented in other cities like Copenhagen and Melbourne, and surprise, they’ve made life heaps better. And, interestingly, not just for people. Businesses have thrived too.

Check this interview out – Jan’s quite a character. No wonder he’s been called an ‘urban planning rock star’.

His next commission, by the way, is to develop a plan for New York City.