The best green TED talks

21st June 2010 by

Planet Green published a list of the best green TED talks. It’s such a great list that I’m re-sharing it here, along with the vids:

Pete Stamets: Six ways mushrooms can change the world

Paul Stamets is a mycologist and an entrepreneur.  After listening to him explain how mushrooms can clean soil, make antibiotics and invented the internet first, I am a complete fan. Mushrooms aren’t just delicious – they’re soil magicians! They hold together soil over 30,000 times their weight, transfer nutrients from one tree to another and have been around for 1.3 billion years.  Also, did you know that people are more closely related  to fungi than any other kingdom? And that the world’s largest organism (22,000 acres!) is a fungi? Watch and be amazed:

Chris Jordan: Using art to make consumption visible

Chris Jordan’s photos are stunning. I remember the first time I came across his Running the Numbers series, back in 2008. It was the first time that facts with such enormous numbers – like “one million plastic cups used by US airlines every four hours ” hit me in an emotional way. He manages to visually represent things that are just too big to make sense in words. (And just in case the video makes you feel a bit down, here’s his latest piece “E Pluribus Unum“, which depicts the names of 1 million organisations around the world devoted to peace, environmental stewardship, social justice, and the preservation of diverse and indigenous culture.)

Jamie Oliver on Food

For the first time ever, kids have an expected lifespan of 10 years less than their parents, mostly due to the food they eat. Jamie’s on a mission to help people change their lives by eating better and cooking more at home. He’s on the warpath against fast food, processed supermarket meals, bad labelling and other things that prevent Americans (and Brits) from a healthy lifestyle.

Al Gore: addressing climate change

In this talk, Al Gore is back at TED to follow up on An Inconvenient Truth and explain why he dares to be optimistic. He also brings out that sneaky sense of humour – the one we all wish we’d seen during his presidential campaign. In this talk, Al (I’d like to think we’re on a first-name basis) wants us all to get on board with a carbon tax to replace employment tax, and a justice-based approach that tackles climate change and poverty at the same time.

Michael Pritchard on Water

Michael Pritchard is an engineer. Unlike Al Gore and Jamie Oliver, you’ve probably never heard of him. But despite this obscurity, Michael delivers what Planet Green calls “one of the most inspiring TED talks and demonstrations ever”. His big idea? A way to purify contaminated drinking water in just seconds, using his Lifesaver bottle.

Plus a bonus talk from Dan Barber: “How I fell in love with a fish”


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