SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE
ALL PUMPED UP The spectacular growth of spare room rental platform, Airbnb.com
COME WORK WITH METhe pros and cons of shared offices
CROWDFUNDING10 must do projects
IN THE NEWSFrench frackers, smart cars, climate chaos, missing dawns, and other key news from the world of sustainability.
And so much more inside
The rise and rise of sharing economies
Many years ago I used to publish a comedy magazine in Singapore. Yeah, I know, half way to funny in itself, but true. It was actually very popular and paid for itself by selling ads, which, generally speaking people paid for with money. Until that is, one of our regular customers, a wholesale beer importer phoned me up to say that he wouldnt be able to pay his bill on time that month. On account of having used up his cashflow buying a huge amount of beer that hed been offered at les than half the normal price. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and, just on the off-chance, how would I feel about being paid in beer instead?
What the heck, I thought. He was offering me nearly twice the value of the bill in beer in terms of what it would cost me to buy it at the supermarket, he had some really interesting brands from all over the world, and Ive always been a sucker for beer. True to his word, the
following morning one of his trucks turned up and offloaded a huge stack of beer at our office, and I can honestly say it was way, way more exciting than receiving a cheque.
Over the next few weeks we gradually sold the beer at half price to our readers, who like
us were rather thrilled. At the end of the day the ad cost the beer man about a quarter of the cash price, our readers got half price beer and we ended up with our money. Everyone a winner, as 70s disco band Hot Chocolate once so aptly put it..
It was my first experience of what is formally known as barter, but it wasnt my last. Sharing our spare capacity, which is what we were actually doing, is coming back into fashion in a big way thanks to the internet. Spare beds, spare seats in
cars, seldomly used golf clubs, spare working hours, you name it, theyre sharing it. For more, see our main story about the growth of sharing economies on page 20 entitled, Share and Share Alike.
Plus our normal round up of news from the world of
sustainability (page 6), an in-depth look at the phenomenal growth of spare room rental site Airbnb (page 42) and a selection of worthy crowdfunding
projects and gadgets in our regular closing section The Crowd, on page 60.
Its been a pleasure sharing our thoughts this month on the subject of sharing, and wed love to hear from you if yo have any thoughts youd like to share right back with us.
Enough using the word sharing? Yeah, I agree. Until next time.
Spare beds, spare seats in cars, seldomly used golf clubs, spare
working hours, you name it, theyre sharing it.
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CONTENTS 6 Sustainability News
20 Share and Share Alike
40 Using is the New Having
42 The Airbnb Story
48 A Matter of Trust
50 Come Work With Me
60 The Crowd
Depth of support for peer-centred sharing economies on show in car sharing test case
PEERS.ORG MEMBERSFLEX MUSCLES IN SEATTLE RIDE SHARING FIGHT
Being billed the Last Stand in Seattle, the fight between Seattle City Council and its burgeoning ride sharing movement has stepped up a gear as Peers.org, a member-driven organization that supports the sharing economy movement, rallied in support.
The Council is currently considering passing new regulatory legislationwhich will make car sharing illegal, but has been caught off-guard by the depth of opposition to their plans from the general public.
Hundreds of Peers members from the area joined forces with other ride-sharing advocates on the steps of Seattle City Hall to make the council aware that they want to see more sharing not less in their city.
Peers members ChrisTiana Obey and Ben Nimmons spoke at the rally, along with John Zimmer, co-founder and president of Lyft, and Alex Lofton, a committed Peers leader.
The message at the rally was clear: Seattle should save ridesharing. If the current rules on the table pass, many people
will be unable to continue a big setback for the thousands who have come to depend on the sharing economy to get around.
We believe in smart regulations, said Lofton. Peers members are fighting for rules that are fair, safe, and will allow innovation and transportation options to flourish. In cities everywhere, as we transition to a society that owns less and shares more, we need more transportation options, not less.
After tough debate between member states, the EC has proposed binding targets for reductions in CO2 emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels.
This will be achieved by domestic measures alone and not offsetting with credits from other countries.
Also included is a 27% target for renewable energy production: some countries such as the UK and Poland had argued for more flexibility and while this is binding at an EU level, no individual state targets are set.
Pressure groups were disappointed that the energy efficiency target for 2030 of
a 25% improvement is only indicative and that targets for emissions from fuels will be dropped.
The proposals will need to be approved by member states and European Parliament before implementation.Source: theguardian, bbc.co.uk
European Commission targets:40% emissions reduction and27% Renewables production by 2030
EU 2030 CLIMATE GOALS PROPOSED
El Nio is the warm phase of a natural climate cycle in the pacific; the shift in distribution of warmer water influences rain and storms around the world.
Global warming will cause the sea temperatures to rise making it easier for an extreme el Nio event to occur.
Historically the researchers focussed on modelling potential sea temperature rises, but this work was inconclusive. However, a new study from CSIRO, an Australian government body, defined an
extreme el Nio by its associated effects: an increase in rainfall by a factor of 10. The results showed a likely increase of extreme events to every 10 years (from 20).
Whilst in some areas an increase in rainfall may be welcomed, previous extreme el Nio events have brought devastating droughts, wildfires and flooding to nations on the Pacific Rim..Source: csmonitor.com
THERE MAY BE TROUBLE AHEAD...New research predicts extreme weather events every 10 years instead of every 20
Image: February 8th 1983, a massive reddish-brown cloud advanced on the city of Melbourne. The dust storm was a consequence of devastating droughts induced by the extreme El Nino of 1982/83. The frequency of such extreme El Nino events occurring in the future as the Earths climate warms further is predicted to double[Credit: Australia Bureau of Meteorology/Trevor Farrar]
CLEAN COAL,DIRTY WATER
Chemical spill leaves 300,000 without water in West VirginiaUp to 5,000 gallons of the chemical used in the washing of coal, was released into the Elk River from a facility 1 mile upsteam from the states biggest water processing plant.
The governor declared a disaster; banned tap water use and the National Guard arranged to hand out bottled water.
The ban affected not only residential use, but restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes. Clean
water was flushed through the system but it wasnt until 10 days later that the ban was fully lifted.
The responsible site had not been inspected since 1991: after the spill, its owner filed for bankruptcy protection.Source nbcnews.com, foxnews.com, chicagotribune.com
Negative comment around electric cars has feared that the electric grid will not be able to cope with the increased levels of demand and would require restructuring and upgrade.
A report from Navigant Research shows that this is a misconception stemming from a misunderstanding of the actual energy consumption of electric cars.
12,000 miles a year usage would add about a third to home electricity demand requiring only minor grid upgrades: this has already happened to much of the grid due to demand from air-conditioning.
Furthermore, as cars