9 Stories That Will Change Your World in 2013 and Robot Dogs and Other Weird Creatures Bring Nature Back to the City
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  Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions         January 2013 

2012 was a year of superstorms, mass shootings, debt strikes, and the most spendy election ever. Here’s how last year’s most important stories will shape 2013.

2013 photo courtesy of Crawford Orthodontics9 Stories That Will Change Your World in 2013

While the Earth didn’t end on December 21, 2012, the year’s end was marked by a new awareness of the urgency of the climate crisis. Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the preciousness and fragility of life on Earth. That and other cultural shifts are setting the stage for significant change in the year ahead.



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  More from the Winter issue of YES! Magazine …  

Creating a world where people fly, salamanders text, and trash is useful.

Natalie Jeremijenko photos by Balazs GardiRobot Dogs and Other Weird Creatures Bring Nature Back to the City

The visionary artist and engineer Natalie Jeremijenko creates public art projects that aim to change the way people feel about science and their surroundings. Working primarily in cities, she wants to highlight the thriving natural systems beneath the pavement so we can work with them to improve our shared environmental health.

Jeremijenko’s goal is to reimagine cities in ways that promote “pleasure and wonder and environmental health”—to help people think of themselves as agents of creativity and positive change, neither removed from the environment nor a burden upon it. Her art installations reveal the natural world hidden within cities—while also actively addressing environmental problems.


See other articles from the Winter issue of YES! Magazine.


Order now and start with the What Would Nature Do? issue!

What Would Nature Do?, the Winter 2013 issue of YES! Magazine

  Inspiring and Innovative Solutions  

Flowers in Toilet photo by YLINPHOTOA Living Sewage Treatment Plant? These People Grew One
by Claudia Rowe

In communities from upstate New York to Ohio, Minnesota to Hawaii, a network of scientists, architects, and engineers has been rethinking the way we process our waste because the need is extreme. Jason McLennan, an architect, chief executive of the Cascadia Green Building Council, and one of YES! Magazine’s Breakthrough 15, points out that instead of taking our cues from nature—which processes waste on the spot and recycles the nutrients—every flush of a standard toilet takes a several-ounce problem and turns it into a several-gallon problem by adding clean water to feces and transporting the whole mess to treatment facilities via a Byzantine network of aging sewers.

To get a sense of scale, consider that the average household flushes about 160 gallons of water to handle three pounds of poop and a gallon of urine each day. An equation that imbalanced strikes even the most conventional thinkers as hopelessly inefficient.


Invasive Species CollageInvasive Species: If You Can’t Beat ’em, Eat ’em
by Joe Roman

Species like green crabs, feral pigs, snakeheads, and zebra mussels cost $120 billion a year in damage. For a cheaper alternative, try eating them.


Fish and SaladLooking for an Earth-Friendly Source of Fish? Try Barn-Raised
by Katherine Gustafson

Aquaponics takes advantage of nature’s processes to fill Americans’ growing appetite for fish—without overfishing or destructive farming.


  What’s New Online  

Sikh Vigil photo courtesy of ValleyIndy
Bicycle Commuting_Walljasper
Photo by silver-john / Shutterstock
Evergreen Solar workers.jpg

4 Reminders of Human Goodness After Sandy Hook
by Jeremy Adam Smith

Following the heartbreak in Newtown, many Americans find themselves wondering—are people just horrible? Jeremy Adam Smith on why compassion, forgiveness, and resilience are everywhere, even in tragedy.
How Bicycling Is Transforming Business
by Jay Walljasper

Cities across the United States discover that good biking attracts great jobs and top talent to their communities.
Dirty, Pricey, and Obsolete: Why Desalination Is Not Worth Its Salt
by Adam Scow

Efforts to curb the consumption of water are getting great results and making expensive desalination plants obsolete.
Why Won’t the Wall Street Journal Cover the Cooperative Economy?
by Gar Alperovitz, Keane Bhatt

Cooperative businesses are proliferating quickly, but you wouldn’t know it from reading the Wall Street Journal.

  Did you miss…  

YES! Email Newsletter archive Audience Favorites:

:: 5 Holiday Parlor Games to Make Your Gatherings More Fun
Spoons, sardines, telephone charades, and other activities to put a boost in your get-togethers.

:: “You Are Safe With Us”: How Ordinary Iraqis Rescued U.S. Civilians in the Midst of War
Some war stories are best forgotten, and some are best retold.

:: 20 Machines for a DIY Civilization
Video: Open Source Ecology has released free plans for building tractors, brick compressors, and other essential machines. Why pay more for stuff that’s designed to fall apart?

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  You Balanced the Budget  

Portrait of Ernie KortenHundreds of YES! readers raised more than $45k at the end of 2012. You set YES! up for a strong 2013. And you set me up for lots of belly rubs from Fran & Dave. Thank you.

Ernie Korten signatureErnie Korten
& the YES! team

  How to Get More YES!  

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Wisdom of Nature. Carl Sagan, Rumi, and Chief Crowfoot. Set of 3 Posters. Available now at the YES! Store. Click here.
Gorgeous, thought-provoking. Get the set for just $9. Featuring quotes by Rumi, Carl Sagan, and Blackfoot Chief Crowfoot paired with beautiful color photographs.
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  From the Publisher  

Plastic Bag photo by Heal the BayOn the Road to Zero Waste
by Fran Korten

The individual actions we take to reduce waste are important, but to stem the avalanche of stuff ... we also need system-wide solutions.

  Web Picks  


Still from What A Wonderful World video
What a Wonderful World, from David Attenborough

A beautiful short film that will remind you it is, indeed, a wonderful world.

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