Sunday, February 28, 2010

Why do we need GREEN TAX?

The main purpose of energy or carbon taxes cited by its proponents is to reduce CO2 emissions and to respond to concerns about climate change and global warming. Of the nearly 22 billion tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere worldwide every year, one forth is generated by the United States, with only 4 percent of the world population, as a change in policy in this one country, even if other nations do not go along, would have great benefit. There are many other advantages as well. A Study of the economics of Japan, the US, the erstwhile U.S.S.R and the E.E.C. in the period of 1976 to 1990 showed that economic performance was directly correlated with energy prices. The more costly the price of resources, as in the case of Japan, the greater the technological innovations and economic growth. On the other hand, where energy and resources were subsidized and below market value, as they were in Soviet Union, economic growth and innovation lagged significantly higher levels than the U.S, but not as high as the Japanese. This correlation should come as no surprise, since it is higher prices that goods and urge companies and individuals toward better design and more efficient technologies and systems

While carbon taxes will initially lower CO2 emissions by greatly increasing energy efficiency, their ultimate purpose is to the replacement of carboniferous fuels with sustainable, clean burning energy sources that do not vitiate the dynamics of our atmosphere and climate. The timing of the imposition of the tax is one of the foremost  concerns about it. If the taxes on energy go up overnight ( as they did, in effect during the oil embargo of 1973), they cause inflation, dislocation and chaos. But if green taxes on energy should gradually rise to the level where it is less expensive for individuals and industry to rely on alternatives to carbon based fuel. Wind, water and solar radiation provide permanent sources of energy, and they will always be available, while coal, oil, and gas in finite supply. Fossil fuels are useful but too damaging to be squandered out of exhaust pipes and Smoke stakes. Furthermore, they give us a false and deceptive view of our carrying capacity with respect to the environment. No business in the world can longer survive on its capital reserves. Every businessperson understands this, yet many ignore the fact that this same principle applies equally to energy and environment: No culture will long survive drawing downs its energy capital, and so any worthwhile green tax will eventually halt the depletion of the world's resources. The task in energy, as in food, clothing, and shelter is to create an economy that lives off of current income, not capital resources. Thus, the purpose of green taxes is to raise the economic stakes to the level where we cannot afford to live off of capital - where it simply becomes prohibitively expensive to deforest, degrade or destroy the environment.

Although we cannot or need not capture all the energy that arrives every day from the sun, we can harness more than enough to meet our present and foreseeable needs, as long as those needs do not continue to involve a runaway, frenetic world of cars, planes, commuting, and travel. Relying on solar energy does not eliminate all waste, but it eliminates the bulk of CO2 buildup in the atmosphere, as well as most of the smog and air pollution. Solar energy does not pollute, does not cause asthma and emphysema in the L.A basin, does not acid rain, does not run aground and spill into the ocean, does not seep into groundwater, pollute rivers, or create Super-fund sites. These and your gas, turn on your heater, even buy your food. By relying upon an that more people can have more things, we will absolutely create a world where we will have less and less, and imbalance between rice and poor will continue to grow more pronounced and inequitable. 

the comfort of DYING!!

The hospital environment is not designed to ease the process of dying for it is entirely oriented to preventing death. People who are old, infirm, immobile, helpless and in pain are left in brightly lit rooms, usually with another patient, and are treated with a scripted efficiency in an attempt to hold costs down. It is, as everyone knows who has witnessed it, an extremely unpleasant way to die. Beyond the emotional stress, families of the dying often face another shock, and that is the medical bills that pile up. It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of the health care cost in one's lifetime will occur during the final year of life, and half of those costs in the final ninety days. In rough dollars terms, this means we spend $200 to $300 billion annually in "health" care during the final year of life, $100 and $150 billion during those last ninety days. 

What is restorative company?

A restorative company "finds the shortest, simplest way between the earth, the hands and the mouth". Wendell Berry in his essay "Conservation is good work," decries the elaborate market systems that have effectively alienated us from our roots while wasting our earth: "The dilemma of private economic responsibility is that we have allowed our supplies to enlarge our economic boundaries so far that we cannot be responsible for our effects on the world. The only remedy for this that I can see is to draw in our economic boundaries, shorten our supply lines, so as to permit us literally to know where we are economically. The closer we live to the ground that we live from, the more we know about our economic life; the more able we will be to take responsibility for it. The way to bring discipline into one's personal or household economy is limit one's economic geography

To rebuild an economy to honor the natural communities on which the human society depends involves a patient reconstruction of the commercial ties and connections that bind and separate us. It is one thing for corporation to promote individual responsibility as a means to "save the earth", and quite another for an enterprise to conceive and design itself so that choices are enlarged. If changing from linear or cyclical processes is a key to re-creating business in an ecological manner, then an important component of that redesign will be feedback, accountability and responsibility. Local ownership, while not guarantee ring such a result,makes it much easier for producers and customers to know, understand, and respond to one another. Further, it also helps to maintain capital pools in the community of origin and strengthen local economics. 

Sustainable business take responsibility for the effects they have on the natural world. One of the outgrowths of Earth Day was the emphasis in the media on stories about what the consumer could do to "save the earth". Books were published, lists were drawn up, children were galvanised, as if subtle or radical changes in personal consumption and Individual activity in empowering, but it cannot of itself change the nature of modern corporate capitalism, however inadvertently or purposefully, to put itself in the best insignificant when compared to the demands placed upon the environment by corporation themselves. Consider this fact: If the items used in households in America were all recycled, this would reduce our solid waste by only 1 to 2 percent. 

Advertising - invasive expression of commerce

Advertising is needed to inform, direct and educate, but in its present form, it is an invasive expression of commerce. Advertising creates envy and sense of inadequacy; it is responsible for mediocre TV programming because the lower denominators for taste produce the highest ratings; it deceives young and old alike into purchases that are inappropriate, unnecessary, or wasteful, feeding the frenzy of consumption that is responsible for civilization's overshooting present carrying capacity. it is a type of 'disvalue', the removal of value from a motion and hyperbole instead. Mass-market advertising reinforces economic centralization because of the high costs required; it is anti-democratic because it is not designed to allow dissenting voices that challenge the product's value or merits, and serves no social needs. Advertising permeates our soul, and denigrates women, the intellect and spirituality. It has been called the "paradigmatic science" of the twentieth century. 


Saturday, February 20, 2010

The power of our Muse

photographer: Gueorgui Pinkhassov

The power of our Muse lies in her meaninglessness. Even the style can turn one into a slave if one does not run away from it, and then one is doomed to repeat oneself. The only thing that counts is curiosity. For me personally, this is what creativity is about. It will express itself less in the fear of doing the same thing over again than in the desire not to go where one has already been."

Pinkhassov's interest in photography began while he was still at school. After studying cinematography at the VGIK (the Moscow Institute of Cinematography), he went on to work at the Mosfilm studio and then as a set photographer.

In 1978 Pinkhassov joined the Moscow Union of Graphic Arts and obtained the status of an independent artist. His work was noticed by the prominent Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who invited Pinkhassov to the set to make a reportage about his film ‘Stalker’ (1979).

Documentary BITES


To sit with a director and view professionally shot documentary footage is to reexperience the power and glory of cinema, and the promise of developing a dramatic story. Meticulous attention is paid to the composition of each shot; objects withing a frame are brought into or out of focus for dramatic emphasis: color and light are deftly used to accent who or what is speaking to viewers within the frame. Even the movement of the camera is choreographed with seamless dexterity: the shutter opening, perhaps with a shot of a watery sky, panning down in perfect focus to the film's subject in the distance, having what would otherwise by a private moment with a friend in the park; the shot is held steadily in the wide angle just long enough before zoomin in to one person's face, capturing every delicate reaction. Nothing escapes the documentary cameraperson's lens and little is included by an accident.

Listening to the nuances of the scenes, and seeking out what will be of interest to the editor - and, eventually, the audience - are the center of the documentary cinematographer's craft.
"its about the image", Cinematographer Buddy Squires explains, "But you have to know and sense which image is likely to be the most telling at any given moment. It may well not be the person speaking. It may have nothing to do with the person speaking. I think anybody who doesn't listen has no business working with live humans"

Over the years, Squires has employed many novel approaches to cinematography by experimenting with camera technology and taking calculated creative risks to inform the story through style

On the Danner Party, he filmed a turning wagon wheel in slow motion and it became a visual metaphor for the exertion and struggle of immigration. On Brooklyn Bridge, Squires took still pictures of the bridge throughout the day, then Ken Burns and editor Amy Stechler used his photographic images as well as time lapse film sequence over Frank Sinatra's vocals as an eloquent transition between the two sections of the film - history and symbolism. Here Squires shares to techniques that he's used on different projects to facilitate visual storytelling.

on Las Vegas, a film for the PBS Series American Experience, Squires was tasked with creating an imaginative way to communicate the mood of the familiar desert city
"Recently I've been working with Stephen Ives of Insignia Films on a project he's doing on the history of Las Vegas", Sequires explains, "We were in Las Vegas and Ives was trying to get a sense of the energy of the place and the lights, and how that's all played into the glitz. Of course, we've all seen a million images of Las Vegas"
In trying to come up with a novel way to capture the city and its aura, Squires thought of the unique experience of time in Vegas - with clockless casinos and restaurants open all day and all night
"it interest me to use tools that weren't necessarily available ten years ago, so I said, 'Maybe we should try doing a moving time-lapse,' I was working with the field producer at the time, and I just grabbed my film camera, and held it in the front windshield of a van as a test. We did a drive down in Las Vegas Strip rolling at one second exposure, meaning one second per frame - so, its full second of exposure for an entire trip up and back the Strip, having that shutter open the entire time
By photographing the famed Vegas Strip in this way, Squires delivered unusual semi-abstract imagery that appears smudged, colorful and almost ghost-like, "I was using what's really a still photograping tool, which is the long exposure, and then applying that to the motion picture realm. The result was this wonderful, streaky, impressionistic view of Las Vegas - an extended time-lapse. This shot couldn't possibly have been captured in real time, because it was a nonliteral sense of the place, its energy, motion, glitz and lights"

there's often a temptation to use multi camera approach to ensure covering the action well, but most documentary cinematographer differ with this approach.
Buddy Squires says: "With a single camera, there is that sense of real time. there's something about the continuity, about continuous action, that's very different than cutting back and forth between camera angles"

I ask, "What is going to let that person express themselves, what's going to allow one to see them?" The person tends to be the brightest thing in the frame, or at least the brightest thing in that part of the frame. For me, its like the eye. The eye is always going to go to the candle; it's going to go the brightest thing in the frame. So, if you put some blasting window over there, chances are my eyes is going to keep slipping off. its going to go over there, and i don't want it to go there, I want the audience eyes to connect with the speaker's eyes. I want there to be a connection between the person telling the story and the person receiving the story

fat or skinny bodies


"I'm known for taking pictures very close, and the older I get, the closer I get."

Bruce Gilden's childhood in Brooklyn endowed him with a keen eye for observing urban behaviors and customs. He studied sociology, but his interest in photography grew when he saw Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blow-Up, after which he began taking night classes in photography at the New York School of Visual Arts.

Gilden's curiosity about strong characters and individual peculiarities has been present from the beginning of his career. His first major project, which he worked on until 1986, focused on Coney Island, and on the intimacy of the sensual, fat or skinny bodies sprawled across the legendary New York beach. During these early years Gilden also photographed in New Orleans during its famous Mardi Gras festival.

Photographer: Bruce Gilden


PHOTOGRAPHER: Rinko Kawauchi

In her still and subdued works, Rinko Kawauchi (1972), one of the most celebrated Japanese photographers of her generation – tries to capture the brief and transient beauty of the everyday things we often overlook. Playing on such themes as the family and our interaction with the cycle of nature and life, this artist looks for wonder in details. It is astonishing that her sensitive yet forceful way of observing the world around her and of catching fleeting moments in a photo actually results in an exquisite fragility – which is also evident in her meticulously constructed compositions.

Kawauchi uses the micro-momentary as a compass and this, like surfing on a wave, has unpredictable results and as an experience is holistic. In these invariably subjectively-charged images, it is not the explicit that gains in importance, as is usual in photography, but the implicit. Kawauchi's pictures are permeated with the Greek kairos, a unit of psychological time or subjective parenthesis that is independent of linear, chronological time and creates depth in the moment.

Rinko Kawauchi’s themes of human interaction with nature and the cycle? of life are photographed in pastel colours. Her work reveals exquisite delicacy, achieved through poetic composition, a good eye for texture and the cultivation? of a beautifully clear, clean, often whitish light giving one the sense of a dreamy and nostalgic memory.

Rinko kawauchi was born in 1972 in Shiga, Japan. She discovered photography whilst studying at seian junior college of art and design. Kawauchi gained international acclaim in 2001 with the simultaneous release of three photography books with little more publishing : utatane (catnap), hanabi (fireworks) and hanako, for which she was awarded with the 27th ihei kimura photography award.?in a matter of a few years she published another three significant books : aila (2004) with little more publishing; cui cui (2005) and the eyes the ears (2005)?with foil publishing, at times she presented her work alongside her own haiku poetry.

Her thoughtful debut photo-book won awards for its graceful contemplation of mortality.

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