High Fives


Lawrence F. London, Jr.
Title: High Fives


Our Old Hands (all once Young Turks) name the five best enviro Websites in their fields of expertise. Click on any of them and we'll hypertext you there. In the future, you'll also find some alternative High Fives sent in by readers.

Hunter Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute.

I asked Ema Tibbets, our computer person, to search the Internet for interesting sites, and give me a list of the 20 or so best places. She started in Excite (www.excite.com). Using the keyword "sustainability" she found about 200 possibilities. During this search, she also found a Web directory with a specific page of Websites for sustainable development: (www.webdirectory.com/Sustainable_Development). Here we found links to some of the best sites on the Internet.

In general, sites are not well labeled and are hard to find. A typical site consists of descriptions of the organization and catalogues of its publications. But the best ones do have substantive material and links to other sites. Not found: a description of the state of the field--who's doing good work, what is needed to keep this little planet from going to hell in a peach basket.

In any case, here are five sites we liked:

  1. our own: (www.rmi.org)

  2. FICUS: Florida Internet Center for Understanding Sustainability: (www.arch.usf.edu/ficus)

  3. The Institute for Local Self Reliance home page: (www.ilsr.org)

  4. The National Centre for Sustainability: (www.islandnet.com/~ncfs/ncfs/homemenu.html)

  5. Environlink (www.envirolink.org)

by Tom Pain, Liberty Tree HQ

You hear a lot of grousing out in the field about insensitive know-it-alls inside the Beltway. Well, maybe, but here are five DC Websites that offer good tools for local theorists and local activists.

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (www.ewg.org) My favorite of the favorites. Check out "Where You Live" (rich databases keyed to your state, county, or hometown: drinking water violations, farm subsidy payments, toxic releases, etc.) and "Money and Environmental Politics" (legislative votes linked to campaign contributions).

  2. WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE (www.wri.org/wri) Here you find lots of interesting papers on the broad ambit of sustainability, but best of all you can download the indispensable World Resources 1996-7: 365 pages, 85 data tables covering 150 countries. The most important book in the world.

  3. ISLAND PRESS (www.islandpress.com) This publisher features something called Eco-Compass, a monthly review of useful stuff on the Internet pertinent to particular fields. This month the lead subject is "Pollinators and Biodiversity," with Gary Nabhan and Stephen Buchmann linking readers to some key sites on the declining populations of bees and other pollinators.

  4. LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS (www.lcv.org) Once-staid LCV goes high-tech, gives attitude. The "political arm of the environmental movement" keeps track of the voting records of Members of Congress and then tells you - with tough language and splashy graphics - who to reward and who to punish.

  5. ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION CENTER (www.eic.org) Phil Clapp and his happy warriors provide timely and thorough coverage of what happens on Capitol Hill and how local activists can make an impact on high-profile national issues.

by Hal Hamilton, Center for Sustainable Systems

  1. A page posted by ANCHA SRIVIVASAN, a researcher in Japan, includes links to just about everything in sustainable agriculture and Geographic Information Systems: (www.vtt.co.jp/staff/ancha/Links.html).

  2. The home page of the INSTITUTE FOR AGRICULTURE AND TRADE POLICY provides a left-of-center view of agriculture and trade, information on biotechnology, endocrine disrupters and other policy-related topics in the interface between agriculture, the environment, and human health: (www.igc.apc.org/iatp).

  3. AG AGENT HANDBOOK-your source for all the information at the fingertips of all the county agents in the US. Here's where you go if you want to find out what to do about the bugs on your peaches or how to build a solar wood dryer: ( http://hammock.ifas.ufl.edu/text/aa/31541/).

  4. CHICAGO BOARD OF TRADE-facts and figures from the belly of the beast. This is one of the best sources of information on agricultural production and prices: (http://www.cbot.com).

  5. WORLD WIDE WEB VIRTUAL LIBRARY OF AGRICULTURE-links to just about any agricultural topic you want. If you can't find what you want in the above pages, look here: (

Peter H. Gleick, Pacific Institute

  1. Hydrology Related Internet Resources (etd.pnl.gov:2080/hydroweb.html)

    This website, maintained by the Pacific Northwest Labs, offers a very wide range of links to diverse governmental, non-governmental, university, and corporate Internet water resources. It is updated regularly, comprehensive, and easy to read.

  2. Waterwiser ( www.waterwiser.org/waterwiser/index.html)

    For those interested in water conservation and efficiency, this site is for you. It includes a wide range of cross-linked water sites, lists of water-related listservers, and access to both information and people working on water efficiency issues. It even includes a link to Toiletology 101 and Xeriscaping, for those who want to pursue some of the more elite water discussions.

  3. Waterweb (www.waterweb.com)

    This site offers information on more commercial aspects of the water problem, including links to the water technology community, software, publications, libraries, and water databases.

  4. Universities Council on Water Resources (www.uwin.siu.edu)

    This university site provides strong references and interconnections and maintains a set of chat-type fora on a wide range of water-related issues. While not designed all that well, it nonetheless offers resources other water sites don't have.

  5. Still to come. I'd like to pick one of the weird ones, but there are too many to choose from. I'll keep on surfing.

Fred Hapgood, Author

  1. CONFERENCES The 7th International Conference on Underground Space:
    ( www.odyssee.net/~7econfso/anglaise.html)
    Indoor Cities of Tomorrow. To be held in Montreal in the Fall of 1997. Site includes a map of and data on Montreal's huge "indoor city", most of which is underground.

    ( www.elsevier.com/section/earth/geo/tunnel.htm)
    "Tunneling and Underground Space Technology" is the premier publication for research and imaginative proposals in the underground construction business. The site includes a table of contents of previous issues. No full text.

    ( www.eng.usyd.edu.au/centres/warren/broch2)
    An overview of The Underground Space Project at the Warren Center of Sidney University in Australia. This project focuses on the relation of underground space to contempory urban planning.

    A site devoted to the largest tunneling projects now underway in the world, from the Cairo Metro to the Central Artery. Industry-oriented. Contains bid dates and technical papers. Some graphics.

    The official site of Boston's $8 billion Central Artery Project. Includes many photos of the present state of construction and Quicktime animations of its finished state.
    Tom Turner, Author

    1. On the green side of the street, the most extensive and thorough guide to the Wise Users is Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) and its project known as CLEAR. This has been growing and improving with each update and is indispensable.

    2. The Alliance for America (home.navisoft.com/alliance/afaweb/afahome.htm) is an umbrella coalition of Wise Guys and has an extensive archive of articles and other material.

    3. EnviroScan (www.hookup.net/~rsirvine) wins as most entertaining. It has articles refuting virtually the entire environmentalist canon. (Global warming is a hoax, that sort of thing.)

    4. The most sanctimonious is wise-use guru Ron Arnold's Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise (www.cdfe.org). This site has masses of political news and information, rates members of Congress on how closely they hew the property-rights line, gives what is sold as the low-down on the environmental movement, that sort of thing.

    5. Ecoworld (www.ecoworld.com) is a new on-line 'zine that trumpets the free-market-will-save-the- environment-and-make-everybody (or at least me and my friends)-rich line.

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