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Posts Tagged ‘social networks’

Projjal wanted to meet. He is the owner of the Aicon Gallery, a big gallery of contemporary Indian art. Projjal was trying to convince me to reconsider the director job for the gallery. It did not matter that I had already started helping Bruno with his startup. Projjal does not like to lose, and he wanted me. I did not budge. Our conversation left me thinking, however. Projjal wanted to know the reason for my decision. One of my arguments was that art is a frivolous activity, not a critical element of society . Given the state of the world, I told him, I wanted to devote my time to activities that were going to make a difference. Business, technology, and policy are what’s going to save us. His point was that art is essential to a democracy, and that a society without art no longer has a soul. He is right of course. And wrong also.

Global warming has thrown us back down a few steps along Maslow‘s hierarchy of needs. Collectively, we are no longer at the apex of the pyramid, where the actualization of our needs for aesthetics and creativity becomes an end in itself. Instead we are to deal with our more primitive needs, way at the bottom. The satisfaction of our needs for food, water, air, and safety, is being threatened once more, on a global scale. The very real anxiety I am feeling as a result, has caused me to reevaluate my actions, and to ask the question of, how can I contribute to the solution, given my set of talents and likes? I have become fascinated with the Internet, and its power to mobilize crowds and facilitate global change. With Bruno’s startup, I will get a chance to become a part of that whole movement.

 

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Is it green or not? That’s all I want to know. No in between, no nuances. Give it to me straight, so that my simple mind can get it. If it is not quite accurate, that’s ok. Better a simplistic answer that will get me moving, than an accurate one that leaves me wondering what to do next. I am looking for a place where I can find easy, practical answers, not comparative essays. Most of us know there is a big problem. Most of us are willing to do something about it. Next comes the difficult part. What to do? I yet have to find that one magical site on the Internet, that gives me all the answers I need. If you know of one, please drop a note, so that we can share it. And if I get desperate enough, who knows, I may just create such a place.

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It would be nice if I could place my individual actions within the larger context of climate change. How much do they each contribute, percentage wise, to greenhouse gas emissions? Activities such as: using the dryer, driving my car, eating meat, taking showers, flushing the toilet, using disposable plastic bags for groceries. I tried googling all the combinations I could think of, without much results. I found information on personal and family carbon footprint calculators, lists of recommended actions, general articles, but not the kind of meaningful data I was looking for. After several hours, I gave up.

It is true that I could adhere blindly to the list of recommended actions. I could just become a poster green girl, if I set my mind to it. I could, but I am not there yet. For each change in my behavior, each effort I will put in, I need to understand the net impact. Going back to the dryer example, what is the percentage of greenhouse gases generated as a result of dryer use in the US, and conversely what would be saved if we all went back to the old clothesline of my grandmother? I want to research this some more.

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I have spent the last few months exploring job opportunities with startups. One obvious path, for the green girl wannabe that I have become, would be to join a green venture. It is not so easy though. Many of the green startups I have looked into have lofty goals, but doubtful business propositions. Or they are financing companies, an area of lesser interest to me. The startups I have found, and that I could see myself having a viable future with, are in a different space, mostly consumer Internet. I love the Internet and the whole social networking gestalt. Pretty soon, today, in a week, . . . I am going to have to decide. Do I wait for the perfect green business opportunity, or do I give into my more frivolous side? I am getting impatient and eager to become a part of a creative business endeavor.

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