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Turning the world right side up, one conference at a time
Roman Zakaluzny, Ottawa Business Journal
The Upside of Down author warns looming fossil fuels crisis will drastically alter movement of people
The meetings and convention industry is in for some radical changes, if predictions put forward by Thomas Homer-Dixon prove true.
The University of Toronto professor and author of The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, creativity and the renewal of civilization was in Ottawa last week, invited by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) as a keynote speaker for National Meetings Industry Day.
... Travel for the sake of travel will end, as will frivolous or unnecessary travel to conferences, where the value for companies in attending isn't worth the money it will cost to get there.
"Travel is very carbon-intensive," he said. Instead of attending every single regional or sector-specific event, firms will likely pick and choose to attend just the biggest sector event of the year.
Alternatively, others will only attend regional events, conferences that are closer and therefore cheaper. Or, suggested Mr. Homer-Dixon, a hybrid arrangement will come about, where a number of regional conferences occur simultaneously, but are all linked to one another virtually so some delegates can video conference on the Internet rather than attend in person. At some point in the future, delegates will simply don "a helmet in a room" and attend a conference virtually as their favourite avatar.
(14 April 2008)
Oil, environment, lifestyle fuel Asia's two-wheeler boom
Record high oil prices, environmental concerns, affluent lifestyles as well as the need to dodge city traffic are driving a boom in Asia's motorcycle and bicycle market, industry figures say.
The rediscovery of cycling as a way to keep fit is also helping to boost demand for two-wheelers, those at a bicycle and motorcycle exhibition which runs in Singapore until Sunday said.
Asia is already the world's biggest market for two-wheelers but there is still room for growth, said Roberto Fabbri, managing director of the Bike Asia International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition.
In cities plagued by daily traffic snarls, bicycles and motorbikes have become a popular means of transportation.
(11 April 2008)
Kunstler on Fate of Flagstaff & Hydrogen Cars
Duncan Crary, KunstlerCast #7
A listener from Flagstaff, Ariz. wants to know what fate awaits his town in the post oil future. The verdict from Jim? At least it's not Phoenix, but most of Flagstaff looks like the service road around Newark Airport. The caller also asks about the new Honda hydrogen fuel cell car, which reminds Jim to bash so-called environmentalist Amory Lovins' fantasy to keep the motoring scene going at all costs.
(27 March 2008)