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Sustainability 2.0? Why technology isn't a panacea

About one billion cellphones are thrown away every nine months. I can't imagine Nitin Kawale thinks much about that most days.

The president of Cisco Canada is too busy preaching his brand of techno-evangelism.

"We all use smart devices," he told a gathering inside a large hall at Caesars Windsor at a Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM) Sustainable Communities Conference last February. I was an observer and member of the CAW Windsor Regional Environment Council (CAWWREC) -- and one of the dumb invisible minority apparently.

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Canada's petcoke problem

Photo: Stephen Boyle/flickr
Three-storey-tall piles of petroleum coke are being stored just metres from the Detroit River in full view of Windsor's riverfront.

Related rabble.ca story:

The dirty view from Windsor: Canada's petcoke problem

Photo: Stephen Boyle/flickr

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There's a perverse irony at play in Windsorites' protests against the petcoke piles on neighbouring Detroit's shores.

For years, residents downwind from dirty coal-fired plants in Michigan and other Midwestern U.S. centres have been breathing nasty transboundary air pollution -- including the burning of petroleum coke, also known by its nickname 'petcoke'.

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Review: A Hologram for the King, by Dave Eggers

A Hologram for the King

by Dave Eggers
(McSweeney's,
2012;
$18.00)

Dave Eggers does not waste time exposing the rot in modern manufacturing in his latest novel, A Hologram for the King.

 In a flashback on page 13, the main character Alan Clay, who failed as a bicycle manufacturer and has been bounced around various sales and consulting jobs, is sitting next to a drunken man on a flight to London, England from Boston. Eggers writes:

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