People, Planet & Technology #9

Ahoy folks 👋

It has been a long time since we last read each other and since then a lot has happened and my free time has almost halved. So that the quality of my emails to you does not suffer from it, I will send this newsletter from now on only once per month. You think this is stupid and want to help me? Please contact me ;-)

But now to the really important topics:
I attended a Resource Watch webinar this week. Resource Watch provides hundreds of datasets about the state of the planet's resources and citizens in one place. Free and open source. With this platform anyone, whether programmer or non-techie, can quickly visualise data on maps and uncover problems of our environment. Thanks to Corey from Resource Watch, I can share the webinar recording and additional materials with you: Click here for the record and slides.

Another great article appeared in the NYT with a guide on how to become an ethical tech consumer. Reading obligation!

I rarely find things on the Internet that I see and say: "Whaaaaat? There is such a thing? How cool is that? I have to rent a garage immediately to try it out this stuff". WikiHouse is such a project! The goal behind it is to develop an open-source blueprint for a cheap, functional, stylish and above all sustainable house. Almost an open source house in which everyone can participate in the development and which can be built relatively inexpensively anywhere in the world. I am thrilled... Does anyone have a piece of free land to give away?

And then I also came across a talk from the Chaos Computer Congress that inspired me. In his talk "Hacking Ecology" Theodor (a scientist from the field of biology AND computer science) talks about how technologists and data scientists can contribute to preventing the sixth global extinction. He wants to bring together a community of hackers and scientists to jointly develop solutions for the environment and biodiversity. Are you up for it? Then get in touch with him: There is a project website (still under construction), and you can find Theodor on Twitter.

👉 More great stories about people, planet and technology:

  • Scientists Want to Eavesdrop on Tropical Forests to Save Them From Annihilation (Earther)

  • Deadly weather: the human cost of 2018's climate disasters – visual guide (The Guardian)

  • The 2018's Top 10 climate papers (CarbonBrief)

  • Interactive data viz on how America Uses Its Land (Bloomberg)

  • Green movement vs. diversity? (grist)

  • Research on municipal pollution may help organizers push for equitable policy (CityLab)

  • How Might a ‘Green New Deal’ Impact the Internet? (Mightybytes)

  • Amazing data viz: A Closer Look at the Polar Vortex’s Dangerously Cold Winds (The New York Times)

  • A all-female research team is investigating what plastic does to our bodies (grist)

  • How Chicago tries to free itself from the floods before climate change turned them into a national crisis (Slate)

One last thing that's close to my heart: Do you work in tech and you know your company is building or selling tech that enables human rights abuses?

I hope you enjoy this issue. I want to encourage you to send me your feedback via mail (just reply), twitter or carrier pigeons 🐦.

We’ll read again in four weeks. 🙌

Take care. -Niklas