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How to green the desert and reverse climate change
“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And it's happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes -- and his work
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Mark Bittman on what's wrong with what we eat
In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what's wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it's putting the entire planet at risk.
3 warp-speed architecture tales
Danish architect Bjarke Ingels rockets through photo/video-mingled stories of his eco-flashy designs. His buildings not only look like nature -- they act like nature: blocking the wind, collecting solar energy -- and creating stunning views.
Tim Brown urges designers to think big
Tim Brown says the design profession has a bigger role to play than just creating nifty, fashionable little objects. He calls for a shift to local, collaborative, participatory "design thinking" -- starting with the example of 19th-century design thinker Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Creative houses from reclaimed stuff
In this funny and insightful talk from TEDxHouston, builder Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he's built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own creative drive.
My mushroom burial suit
Here's a powerful provocation from artist Jae Rhim Lee. Can we commit our bodies to a cleaner, greener Earth, even after death? Naturally -- using a special burial suit seeded with pollution-gobbling mushrooms. Yes, this just might be the strangest TEDTalk you'll ever see ...
Tim Jackson's economic reality check
As the world faces recession, climate change, inequity and more, Tim Jackson delivers a piercing challenge to established economic principles, explaining how we might stop feeding the crises and start investing in our future.
Uber's plan to get more people into fewer cars
Uber didn't start out with grand ambitions to cut congestion and pollution. But as the company took off, co-founder Travis Kalanick wondered if there was a way to get people using Uber along the same routes to share rides, reducing costs and carbon footprint along the way. The result: uberPOOL, the company's carpooling service, which in its first eight months took 7.9
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How we can eat our landscapes
What should a community do with its unused land? Plant food, of course. With energy and humor, Pam Warhurst tells at the TEDSalon the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.
The business logic of sustainability
At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.
Transition to a world without oil
Rob Hopkins reminds us that the oil our world depends on is steadily running out. He proposes a unique solution to this problem -- the Transition response, where we prepare ourselves for life without oil and sacrifice our luxuries to build systems and communities that are completely independent of fossil fuels.
This computer will grow your food in the future
What if we could grow delicious, nutrient-dense food, indoors anywhere in the world? Caleb Harper, director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, wants to change the food system by connecting growers with technology. Get to know Harper's "food computers" and catch a glimpse of what the future of farming might look like.
How trees talk to each other
"A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.
Greening the ghetto
In an emotionally charged talk, MacArthur-winning activist Majora Carter details her fight for environmental justice in the South Bronx -- and shows how minority neighborhoods suffer most from flawed urban policy.
Are mushrooms the new plastic?
Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens -- and the environment.
A new ecosystem for electric cars
Forget about the hybrid auto -- Shai Agassi says it's electric cars or bust if we want to impact emissions. His company, Better Place, has a radical plan to take entire countries oil-free by 2020.
How to restore a rainforest
By piecing together a complex ecological puzzle, biologist Willie Smits has found a way to re-grow clearcut rainforest in Borneo, saving local orangutans -- and creating a thrilling blueprint for restoring fragile ecosystems.
Does the world need nuclear energy?
Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this first-ever TED debate, Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that'll make you think -- and might even change your mind.
A teacher growing green in the South Bronx
A whirlwind of energy and ideas, Stephen Ritz is a teacher in New York's tough South Bronx, where he and his kids grow lush gardens for food, greenery -- and jobs. Just try to keep up with this New York treasure as he spins through the many, many ways there are to grow hope in a neighborhood many have written off, or in your own. (Filmed at TEDxManhattan.)
We can recycle plastic
Less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled -- compared to almost 90% of metals -- because of the massively complicated problem of finding and sorting the different kinds. Frustrated by this waste, Mike Biddle has developed a cheap and incredibly energy efficient plant that can, and does, recycle any kind of plastic.
John Doerr sees salvation and profit in greentech
"I don't think we're going to make it," John Doerr says in an emotional talk about climate change and investment. To create a world fit for his daughter to live in, he says, we need to invest now in clean, green energy.
Norman Foster's green agenda
Architect Norman Foster discusses his own work to show how computers can help architects design buildings that are green, beautiful and "basically pollution-free." From the 2007 DLD Conference, Munich; www.dld-conference.com
Climate change is happening. Here's how we adapt
Imagine the hottest day you've ever experienced. Now imagine it's six, 10 or 12 degrees hotter. According to climate researcher Alice Bows-Larkin, that's the type of future in store for us if we don't significantly cut our greenhouse gas emissions now. She suggests that it's time we do things differently—a whole system change, in fact—and seriously consider trading
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Stewart Brand proclaims 4 environmental 'heresies'
The man who helped usher in the environmental movement in the 1960s and '70s has been rethinking his positions on cities, nuclear power, genetic modification and geo-engineering. This talk at the US State Department is a foretaste of his major new book, sure to provoke widespread debate.
Ann Cooper talks school lunches
Speaking at the 2007 EG conference, "renegade lunch lady" Ann Cooper talks about the coming revolution in the way kids eat at school -- local, sustainable, seasonal and even educational food.
Tough truths about plastic pollution
Artist Dianna Cohen shares some tough truths about plastic pollution in the ocean and in our lives -- and some thoughts on how to free ourselves from the plastic gyre.
Amory Lovins on winning the oil endgame
In this energizing talk, Amory Lovins lays out his simple plan for weaning the US off oil and revitalizing the economy.
The shareable future of cities
How can cities help save the future? Alex Steffen shows some cool neighborhood-based green projects that expand our access to things we want and need -- while reducing the time we spend in cars.
Planning for the end of oil
As the world's attention focuses on the perils of oil exploration, we present Richard Sears' talk from early February 2010. Sears, an expert in developing new energy resources, talks about our inevitable and necessary move away from oil. Toward ... what?
How big brands can help save biodiversity
Convince just 100 key companies to go sustainable, and WWF's Jason Clay says global markets will shift to protect the planet our consumption has already outgrown. Hear how his extraordinary roundtables are getting big brand rivals to agree on green practices first -- before their products duke it out on store shelves.
Jaime Lerner sings of the city
Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.
Silk, the ancient material of the future
Fiorenzo Omenetto shares 20+ astonishing new uses for silk, one of nature's most elegant materials -- in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps and bounds. On stage, he shows a few intriguing items made of the versatile stuff.
Paul MacCready on nature vs. humans
In 1998, aircraft designer Paul MacCready looks at a planet on which humans have utterly dominated nature, and talks about what we all can do to preserve nature's balance. His contribution: solar planes, superefficient gliders and the electric car.
The political chemistry of oil
In the Gulf oil spill's aftermath, Lisa Margonelli says drilling moratoriums and executive ousters make for good theater, but distract from the issue at its heart: our unrestrained oil consumption. She shares her bold plan to wean America off of oil -- by confronting consumers with its real cost.
Catherine Mohr builds green
In a short, funny, data-packed talk at TED U, Catherine Mohr walks through all the geeky decisions she made when building a green new house -- looking at real energy numbers, not hype. What choices matter most? Not the ones you think.
How to grow a forest in your backyard
Forests don't have to be far-flung nature reserves, isolated from human life. Instead, we can grow them right where we are — even in cities. Eco-entrepreneur and TED Fellow Shubhendu Sharma grows ultra-dense, biodiverse mini-forests of native species in urban areas by engineering soil, microbes and biomass to kickstart natural growth processes. Follow along as he
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How I teach kids to love science
At the Harbour School in Hong Kong, TED Senior Fellow Cesar Harada teaches citizen science and invention to the next generation of environmentalists. He's moved his classroom into an industrial mega-space where imaginative kids work with wood, metal, chemistry, biology, optics and, occasionally, power tools to create solutions to the threats facing the world's oceans.
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What's wrong with our food system
11-year-old Birke Baehr presents his take on a major source of our food -- far-away and less-than-picturesque industrial farms. Keeping farms out of sight promotes a rosy, unreal picture of big-box agriculture, he argues, as he outlines the case to green and localize food production.
How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment
"We're not in a clean energy revolution; we're in a clean energy crisis," says climate policy expert Michael Shellenberger. His surprising solution: nuclear. In this passionate talk, he explains why it's time to overcome longstanding fears of the technology, and why he and other environmentalists believe it's past time to embrace nuclear as a viable and desirable
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My green school dream
Join John Hardy on a tour of the Green School, his off-the-grid school in Bali that teaches kids how to build, garden, create (and get into college). The centerpiece of campus is the spiraling Heart of School, perhaps the world's largest freestanding bamboo building.
How I turned a deadly plant into a thriving business
The water hyacinth may look like a harmless, even beautiful flowering plant — but it's actually an invasive aquatic weed that clogs waterways, stopping trade, interrupting schooling and disrupting everyday life. In this scourge, green entrepreneur Achenyo Idachaba saw opportunity. Follow her journey as she turns weeds into woven wonders.
The taboo secret to healthier plants and people
Our poop and pee have superpowers, but for the most part we don't harness them. Molly Winter faces down our squeamishness and asks us to see what goes down the toilet as a resource, one that can help fight climate change, spur innovation and even save us money.
How poachers became caretakers
In his home of Namibia, John Kasaona is working on an innovative way to protect endangered animal species: giving nearby villagers (including former poachers) responsibility for caring for the animals. And it's working.
Bertrand Piccard's solar-powered adventure
For the dawn of a new decade, adventurer Bertrand Piccard offers us a challenge: Find motivation in what seems impossible. He shares his own plans to do what many say can't be done -- to fly around the world, day and night, in a solar-powered aircraft.
Mathieu Lehanneur demos science-inspired design
Naming science as his chief inspiration, Mathieu Lehanneur shows a selection of his ingenious designs -- an interactive noise-neutralizing ball, an antibiotic course in one layered pill, asthma treatment that reminds kids to take it, a living air filter, a living-room fish farm and more.
Natural pest control ... using bugs!
At TEDxTelAviv, Shimon Steinberg looks at the difference between pests and bugs -- and makes the case for using good bugs to fight bad bugs, avoiding chemicals in our quest for perfect produce.
The economic injustice of plastic
Van Jones lays out a case against plastic pollution from the perspective of social justice. Because plastic trash, he shows us, hits poor people and poor countries "first and worst," with consequences we all share no matter where we live and what we earn. At TEDxGPGP, he offers a few powerful ideas to help us reclaim our throwaway planet.