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Five great green TED talks

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(Read caption) TED curator Chris Anderson speaks with William Kamkwamba, who at age 14 built a windmill to power his home in Malawi.

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The Technology, Engineering Entertainment, and Design, or TED, conference announced its 2009 prizewinners Thursday. Of interest to greens is that one of the winners is oceanographer Sylvia Earle, the former chief scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the current explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society. [Note:

Ms. Earle, who for the past four decades has focused on deep ocean exploration, has been a tireless advocate for marine life. Our oceans are experiencing unprecedented strain from overfishing, industrial pollution, and acidification. TED's award  –  $100,000 and "One Wish to Change the World" that Earle can pitch to the movers and shakers who attend the group's annual conference in February – couldn't be more timely.I'm looking forward to watching Earle's speech online next year.

In the meantime, I'll link you to five of my favorite green TED talks. They are, in no particular order:

William McDonough on cradle-to-cradle design. "I think we have a design problem," says architect William McDonough at the beginning of his talk. He then makes the case that our current method of making and using things – extracting resources, often toxic ones, and then throwing them "away," is fundamentally misguided. In 2002, McDonough, along with German chemist Michael Braungart published the excellent Cradle to Cradle, which argues that we can and should strive for infinite recyclability – that is, everything we make should be designed with an eye toward ultimately using it as feedstock for future manufacturing or as biological nutrients. The book itself is an example of his design philosophy: it's not made from trees, but rather a polymer that can be easily made into new books or other useful things.


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