20 December 2014

The 2015 Water Smarts Calendar is FUNDED... but wait!

There are $2,000 in pledges so far. That's awesome, as it means the project is funded and the calendar will be produced and distributed.

BUT it's not over!

First -- please DO pledge if you want to get a calendar (or more). There's nothing wrong with going "over target" as I'm happy to get as many supporters as possible. The average pledge is $44, but $20 gets you a calendar. There are still 11 days to join in...

Second -- more people and more pledges means more calendars in more places, which will improve out overall water smarts. What's wrong with that?

Third -- I'm having second thoughts on printing 500 copies and sending them around -- mostly because I only have a few days to do all the work when I'm in California in mid-Jan. Maybe it's better to put out a PDF of the calendar, to "help" the world?

Feel free to opinionate here, or email me.

Flashback: 15-31 Dec 2013

A year later and still worth reading...

The start of something new (a little philosophy)

... and that's it for last year and this year.

In the meantime, you can:
Enjoy your holiday and see you on 2 Jan 2015!


19 December 2014

Friday party!

Too serious? How about party bloopers?

Speed blogging

  1. A reformatted version of my answers on water scarcity... with me looking like a Klondike underwear model :)

  2. A nice summary/overview of Living with Water Scarcity (free download, perfect holiday read :)

  3. Yay! Modi's government extends Gujarat's successful program of metering water pumps (no more free electricity) to the rest of India. Now maybe California can move ahead on metering water extractions? Related: Australian's tell Californian policy makers that "you can't manage it if you can't measure it"

  4. Scaling up policy experiments to fit the rest of the water sector -- some suggestions. Related: a review of experiments on resource allocation [pdf] and ideas of how to turn them into policy

  5. Fascinating article on how climate assisted the Mongol Empire (15 years of good rain allowed men and horses to live and overpopulate the area) and broke Europe (70 years of poor weather and upheaval). Plan accordingly
H/Ts to MGC, RM

18 December 2014

Problem, what problem?

Seen at the Antwerp zoo:

I'm in Dubai now (updates to follow), but it's sad to see even the Europeans not quite up-to-date on the status of women.

17 December 2014

Kickstarter update with mockup of the calendar!

We're over 80 percent towards the funding target of $2,000.

In this video, I show a mock up of the calendar and how each month's activity will go.

I also describe the $3,000 stretch target, to print more copies (500 instead of 100) at a lower price ($20 instead of $10). ALL backers will get double their calendars -- a great gift! -- if we hit the stretch goal!

Find out more here.

16 December 2014

Two thoughts on Kickstarter

My campaign for the 2015 Water Smarts Calendar is going well, with about 70 80 percent pledged so far. I'm hoping that we hit the target -- and the stretch goals (to lower the cost per calendar) before 31 December.

I am using Kickstarter for a few reasons. First, I like its "all or nothing" system of building support, since nobody pays until enough people pledge. Second, I like the way it allows people to pledge different amounts according to their interest and situation. Those two aspects bring up two related issues.

First, what about the 60 percent of projects that fall short of their funding target? Perhaps there are lessons to learn from failure? Tim Hartford points out [gated] that we may be biased if we only pay attention to success (e.g., $55,000 raised to make potato salad). Kickended gives you instant access to thousands of failures.

Second, I am keenly aware of the difference between $5 and $100 pledges. It seems easier -- and may be easier -- to raise $100 from one person than $5 from 20 people. I'd prefer a broad base of support, but limited time makes it hard for me to lobby more people. I now understand more about why politicians go for big donors -- and why politicians who do so should not claim to represent "the people." I'm not worried about "undue influence" for the water calendar (given it's a single product rather than a set of policy choices), but I would really love to send hundreds of these calendars out to a growing base of people who want to know more, rather than to a few who are already committed to knowing and acting...

Bottom Line: Feel free to pledge :)... It's $5 for the PDF calendar or $20 for the paper calendar (delivered to US, $5 more for EU)

15 December 2014

Monday funnies

This seems about right...

Speed blogging

  1. Fleck, riffing on my Water Smarts calendar, offers some useful perspective on the 20% who care and the 80% who don't care about water issues (until forced)

  2. Australia will probably suffer $1 trillion in additional damage from climate change by 2100, especially in places vulnerable to floods and wildfires. Related: NOAA has a "toolkit" to help Americans prepare for climate-related disasters

  3. An excellent overview [pdf] of the OECD's activities and reports on improving water management

  4. This review of ecosystem services payments in Latin America brings up troubling questions on payments and results (it's complicated). Semi-related: A discussion of the factors affecting markets for water rights in Chile

  5. Yale researchers track wastewater treatment as an input to improving drinking water quality in the next round of "Development Goals." (Recall my critique of the water MDG, which redefined the target from "access to clean water" to "access to an improved water source" (water or not)

13 December 2014

Flashback: 8-14 Dec 2013

A year later and still worth reading...