“We think the ultimate solution to global warming will be bottom up, not top down,” says Chicago-based financial activist Richard Sandor in the Joyce Foundation’s 2000 annual report. “Countries like the UK are starting their own programs to reduce greenhouse gases, while corporations like Ontario Power and BP/Amoco are setting internal caps on emissions. The result will be that the markets will evolve, not be mandated–and that’s how markets have historically developed. The public sector still has a role of setting a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. It will be up to the private sector to implement the programs necessary to most efficiently achieve that objective.” Trading in a Joyce-funded test market for carbon dioxide emission credits is expected to start in the second half of 2002; the public sector is currently scheduled to do its part when hell boils over.

Block that metaphor! From the Windy City Times (September 19): “America has played a dangerous game of chess with the world for many decades. A super-power with super-rich power brokers urging their elected colleagues to defend corporate interests on every continent, we have walked loudly and carried a big stick.”

Not counting dot-coms. State employment figures summarized in the new report “Illinois Nonprofit Employment” show that nonprofits, the majority of them health organizations, “employ 1 out of every 14 paid workers in Illinois. With 7.5% of all workers, the nonprofit sector as an employer is larger than the construction industry” (“Forumnotes,” September).

Facts that might be more interesting if you had spores too. According to “Illinois Audubon” (Spring), of the 60 species of ferns occurring in the state, only three–the rattlesnake, maidenhair, and fragile fern–have been found in all 102 counties.

The bright side of the prison-industrial complex. According to the September issue of “Neighborhoods,” newsletter of the Chicago Alliance for Neighborhood Safety, Zenith “has been making a ‘transparent’ prison TV for four years; transparent casings are ideal for prison appliances because they keep drugs or weapons from being concealed inside the item. Zenith’s TV tube is also unique in that it has no antennas, which can be used to stab someone, or remote control, which can be retrofitted into bomb detonators.”

“Afrocentrists…fall prey to the American tendency to see Africa as a continent of indistinguishable ‘black people,'” argues John McWhorter in City Journal (Summer). “But the Africans who sold one another into slavery were certainly under no illusion that ‘black’ overrode cultural differences. For a descendant of Sierra Leoneans to learn Swahili and cherry-pick aspects of assorted African cultures is like a white American of Welsh ancestry slipping on some Dutch clogs and breaking into a Russian trepak, while exclaiming in Portuguese that, after all, ‘Europe is Europe.'” McWhorter’s idea of a more usable black history involves paying attention to the relative success that was Bronzeville. “Our historical account must show that when blacks were relegated to separate quarters of a big city after Emancipation, the immediate result was not Washington, D.C.’s ‘Barrytown.'”

Is Jane Addams back in fashion? Writing in Lingua Franca (October), Arianne Chernock suggests she might be. “As recently as the early 1990s, feminists chastised [University of Chicago professor Jean Bethke] Elshtain for invoking Addams’s name in a conference paper. ‘They saw her as a bourgeois reformer out to normalize the poor,’ Elshtain says. Today, however, the key problem that Addams addressed–how to activate local institutions to provide support to the poor, the alienated, and the disaffected–is relevant again.”

In a sentence. “Those who argue that it doesn’t pay to build a road because ‘it just fills up again’ should test that argument on libraries, schools, and hospitals–or mass transit,” writes Alan Pisarski in Blueprint, September 10.