The Solution is Simple at 350 ppm

The web is abuzz today with two things. One, Amazon.com has been down for hours. Two, the story of Alain Robert (aka spidey) and Renaldo Clarke who both climbed the 52-story New York Times Building.

Renaldo Clarke climbed to draw attention to childhood malaria.

Alain Robert climbed to draw attention global warming and was carrying a banner which stated:

Global Warming kills more people than 9/11 every week.

I took the bait. I don’t have a clue how something like that could even be measured, but his banner alone isn’t why I wanted to look into this guy. I don’t think it’s shocking news that I’m somewhat interested in the developments of Global Climate Change. I like to see what new stuff is happening and what different movements there are. Perhaps one day I’ll even find one that I feel I can contribute to, who knows?

Alain’s T-shirt during the stunt read “The Solution Is Simple .org“.  While I thought this would be nothing more than another meaningless organization that asks you to buy coupons to offset your carbon emissions The Solution Is Simple turns out to be Alain’s personal website and it appears he is very much in the midst of the whole Green Shift. The notion of “Greener is Better” really seems to resonate with this guy.

I have a lot of respect for Alain Robert. It seems everything this guy does has something to do with going Green and he really walks the walk. His site is even hosted by a green company.

Something I found on The Solution Is Simple mentioned twice interested me. 350. As it turns out there is an organization claiming that 350 parts per million is the magical amount of CO2 in the atmosphere which we need.

350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth.

I’m not sure if this is the magic number or not but it’s something to strive for I suppose. At least it puts a goal in mind rather than just the blanket statement most organizations seem to make of “we need to be greener.”

With his stunt and his website Alain is urging everyone to send a message about global warming to world leaders who are meeting next month at the G8 conference in Japan. You should too. There is a simple form you can fill out to do so on his website The Solution Is Simple.

I’m Randy Aldrich and I Approve this message.

NOTE: I am simply pointing out organizations and companies which have claims to being ‘green.’ I have in no way verified the validity of these statements.  Please let me know if you find anything different.

GENI can't be pushed back in the bottle

Friday some friends from work and I went to RIT‘s first Dean’s Lecture Series talk of the year by Peter Freeman. This talk, about GENI (Global Environment for Network Innovation), was informative but a lot less interesting than I imagined. I thought there would be discussion about their thoughts for the next internet and where we might be going. Instead we were inundated with boring generic statements of how GENI will be a testing bed for experiments dealing with the next internet. All of this is available at their website but to summarize, GENI’s primary objectives are:

  • To develop and evaluate ideas for future network design
  • To encourage related research

Some things that struck me during the talk:

  1. The importance of a comprehensive coordinated effort in order to avoid the same defects existing in today’s solution was one of their key points. In almost in the same breath they mentioned the different approaches by Japan, The European Union and The United States.
  2. Their basic architecture included devices named super routers. If these are like today’s routers they’re already building some very blatant similarities into what’s supposed to be a test bed for a new architecture. One of the things they mentioned was changing the TCP/IP stack. Routers are level 3 devices and as such currently utilize the TCP/IP stack. If these new devices are different than today’s routers they should have a different name.
  3. It seemed to me they were concentrating purely on the hardware networking part of things. Isn’t our hardware pretty solid? Can’t we already have 5×1028 addresses for each of the estimated 6.5 billion people alive today with IPv6 (wikipedia)? Can’t we already handle that bandwidth with the existing broadband technology? I would think the bigger concern is archaic protocols such as FTP and HTTP and their underlying stacks like TCP/IP, which have been hacked together over the years. DZone recently posted an article about why FTP Must Die and its definitely worth a read.
  4. If the hardware is redefined but the software and protocols are not, won’t we just end up with one giant hack which fits all of today’s technology into tomorrows architecture? This just seems like adding an extra layer to me.

GENI has a good idea with their general principle. We do need to be looking to the future, some of our current internet practices simply wont be able to hold up when

Every Light switch has an IP address.

However; they’re going down the wrong path and it seems like they’re creating too much (hardware) infrastructure to really inspire the creation of a new and unique solution.