Ecological Awareness: Dialogues on Ecological Intelligence

Daniel Goleman talks strategy with leading thinkers through the life cycle of ecological intelligence – from its roots in the deep interconnection of human and planetary health, to our emerging power as consumers to know and guide the ecological impact of corporate practice, to the business leaders that will evolve their practices to prosper and flourish in this new, radically transparent climate. AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FROM MORE THAN SOUND PRODUCTIONS

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Why Don’t Running Shoes Biodegrade?

Originally published at edge.org

Every manmade object — all the things in our homes and workplace — has an invisible back story, a litany of sorry impacts over the course of the journey from manufacture to use to disposal. Take running shoes.

Despite the bells and whistles meant to make one brand of running shoe appeal more than another, at base they all reduce to three parts. The shoe’s upper consists of nylon with decorative bits of plastics or synthetic leather. The “rubber” sole for most shoes is a petroleum-based synthetic, as is the spongy midsole, composed of ethylene vinyl acetate.»

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Transparency is Inevitable

This essay is also available at http://www.edge.org.

I live in a bowl-shaped valley on the edge of the Berkshire hills in New England. The prevailing winds come from the southwest. As it happens, a coal-burning electric plant sits in the dip next to the Holyoke Range at the southern edge of the valley, perfectly placed to fill the air with its unsavory mix of particulates – the plant is a dinosaur, one that due to various regulatory loopholes has been able to dodge costly upgrades that would make its emissions less toxic.

Nobody seems to mind. True, the head of pulmonary medicine at the local medical center bemoans the toll of the plant’s particulates on the respiratory tracts of those who live in the valley, particularly its children.»

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Kids and Lead: A Puzzle Solved

“What do you believe that you cannot prove?” was the question posed to me and maybe a hundred others by The Edge, a website devoted to cutting edge thinking.

In my answer, I proposed that children we unintended victims of larger technological and economic forces that inadvertently were hampering the development of emotional and social intelligence. I wrote: “The most compelling data come from a random nationwide sample, conducted by Thomas Achenbach at the University of Vermont, of more than 3,000 representative American schoolchildren aged seven to sixteen, whose behavior was rated by their parents and teachers—adults who knew them well.»

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