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Do you ever feel, like, bad about working in a place like that?

Ducks is a five-part comic by Kate Beaton based on her time working at a mining site in Fort McMurray in 2008. It's 'about environmental destruction in an environment that includes humans,' and it's sad and disturbing and shrewd all at once.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Apr 7, 2014 - 83 comments

 

The forests blotted out memories of what had gone before.

Accidental Rewilding - In places once thick with farms and cities, human dispossession and war has cleared the ground for nature to return
The forest had entered a cycle Tomaž had not seen before, in which many of the giants had perished. Some had died where they stood, and remained upright, reamed with beetle and woodpecker holes, sprouting hoof fungus and razor strop. They looked as if a whisper of wind could blow them down. Others now stretched across the rocks and craters, sometimes blocking our path, sometimes suspended above our heads. Among the trunks lying on the ground, some were so thick that I could scarcely see over them. Where they had fallen, thickets of saplings crowded into the light. Seeing the profusion of fungus and insect life the dead wood harboured, I was reminded of the old ecologists’ aphorism: there is more life in dead trees than there is in living trees. The tidy-minded forestry so many nations practise deprives many species of their habitats.
by George Monbiot [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 25, 2013 - 30 comments

Locavorism: threat or menace?

"Consider some iconic acre of Brooklyn vacant lot. You could grow food on it—or you could throw up a 30-story apartment complex housing 600 people. That’s 600 people who won’t be settling in low-density exurbs where they would be smeared across 60 acres of subdivision; in turn, those 60 acres of vacant exurb could remain farmland or forest. Using communal laundromats and lacking basements to put junk in, those new Brooklynites would lead lives of anti-consumerism. And because they would use mass transit instead of driving everywhere, their carbon footprints would be roughly a third as large as the average American’s. That fundamental land-use equation is the key to understanding how cities promote global sustainability. By concentrating high-density housing, business and lifestyles inside its borders, New York lifts enormous burdens from the ecosystem outside its borders, but that potential is squandered when we consign pristine brownfields to low-density crop-growing. We may root for the community gardeners in their eternal battle with real-estate developers, but it’s the developers who are, despite themselves, the better environmentalists." -- The case against locavorism and or urban farming.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 10, 2013 - 72 comments

"the correlation between country music and political backwardness"?

One Nation Under Elvis
My own conversion to country music came all of a sudden in 1990, around another campfire, also in Nevada. The great Western Shoshone anti-nuclear and land-rights activist Bill Rosse, a decorated World War II vet and former farm manager, unpacked his guitar and sang Hank Williams and traditional songs for hours. I was enchanted as much by the irreverent rancor of some of the songs as by the pure blue yearning of others. I’d had no idea such coolness, wit, and poetry was lurking in this stuff I was taught to scorn before I’d met it.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 28, 2013 - 108 comments

Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day! Google has a special Earth Day Doodle up. 350.org is encouraging people to speak out against the Keystone XL Pipeline. President Barack Obama has posted a proclamation, and people from all around the Earth are recognizing Earth Day in many different ways! What are you doing to celebrate?
posted by Cookiebastard on Apr 22, 2013 - 82 comments

Over 12 years, 8 million children died from vitamin A deficieny

A Golden Rice Opportunity is an article about how genetically modified 'golden rice' may save millions of children, at least according to Skeptical Environmentalist author Dr. Bjorn Lomborg.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 17, 2013 - 131 comments

Subspecies Extinction Alert

DNA analysis has confirmed the death, by poaching, of the last Javan rhino in Vietnam. This marks the official extinction of the Vietnamese subspecies of Javan rhinoceros. The entire species is now represented by just 35 individuals from the Indonesian subspecies, all of whom reside in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia.
posted by Scientist on Jan 16, 2013 - 52 comments

Blue Sky Mine

An environmental group's hoax e-mail dropped the more than $300 million from share price of Australian mining company Whitehaven Coal. The Australian Greens party has supported the economically destructive attack, drawing ire from the conservative Coalition party.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jan 8, 2013 - 161 comments

Protect the Peaks

Environmental and Native American activists in Flagstaff, AZ face federal charges for allegedly "interfering with a forest officer" after a protest action in which they "quarantined" the Coconino National Forest Service lobby to protest a decision permitting the expansion of the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort onto the San Fransisco Peaks – a site regarded as sacred by the Navajo, Hopi, and Havasupai people. The proposed expansion entails the use of treated sewage effluent, aka reclaimed wastewater for snowmaking operations. These events occurred on the same day that the USDA and Forest Service issued a final report (pdf) which outlines recommendations for working more closely with Native representatives surrounding sacred sites issues.
posted by Scientist on Dec 11, 2012 - 19 comments

"The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth." ~ Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring: "Widely considered the most important environmental book of the 20th century, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring has been reissued after 50 years. Margaret Atwood considers its impact and legacy."
posted by Fizz on Dec 8, 2012 - 19 comments

Shake & Fold

Here's a 4-minute TEDx talk that demonstrates the correct method for drying your hands with a single paper towel.
posted by schmod on May 14, 2012 - 63 comments

Confessions Of A Recovering Environmentalist

Confessions Of A Recovering Environmentalist. We are environmentalists now in order to promote something called “sustainability.” What does this curious, plastic word mean? It does not mean defending the nonhuman world from the ever-expanding empire of Homo sapiens sapiens, though some of its adherents like to pretend it does, even to themselves. It means sustaining human civilization at the comfort level that the world’s rich people—us—feel is their right, without destroying the “natural capital” or the “resource base” that is needed to do so. Paul Kingsnorth (most recently of the Dark Mountain Project) in Orion Magazine on environmentalism, sustainability, and hope. [more inside]
posted by jhandey on Apr 11, 2012 - 125 comments

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...

In 1984, The Voyage of the Mimi set sail on PBS, exploring the ocean off the coast of Massachusetts to study humpback whales. The educational series was made up of thirteen episodes intended to teach middle schoolers about science and math. The first fifteen minutes of each episode were a fictional adventure starring a young Ben Affleck. The second 15 minutes were an "expedition documentary" that would explore the scientific concepts behind the show's plot points. A sequel with the same format, The Second Voyage of the Mimi aired in 1988, and featured the crew of the Mimi exploring Mayan ruins in Mexico. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Lucky Act 13

Pennsylvania has adopted what may be the most anti-democratic, anti-environmental law in the country, giving gas companies the right to drill anywhere, overturn local zoning laws, seize private property and muzzle physicians from disclosing specific health impacts from drilling fluids on patients. This American Life on fracking in Pennsylvania. Fracking: Anatomy of a Free Market Failure. Previously in Pennsylvania. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Mar 14, 2012 - 88 comments

"There's no way to argue with that, except with explosives"

END:CIV [full 75 minute movie] "If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?" [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 9, 2012 - 37 comments

Dermot O'Connor's "There's No Tomorrow"

"There's No Tomorrow" is a half-hour animated documentary that deals with resource depletion, energy, and growth. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 22, 2012 - 14 comments

If they've got you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers.

Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot
posted by lalochezia on Feb 4, 2012 - 78 comments

Against civilization.

"Primitivism is the pursuit of ways of life running counter to the development of technology, its alienating antecedents, and the ensemble of changes wrought by both. This site is an exploration into primitivist theory, as well as various works that contribute to an understanding of the tendency." [more inside]
posted by edguardo on Nov 29, 2011 - 99 comments

Frozen Planet decides not to air episode in U.S.

BBC's "Frozen Planet" series will not be airing an episode about climate change in the United States.
posted by deathpanels on Nov 15, 2011 - 78 comments

Bidder #70

Lauded as a civil disobedience symbol agitating for urgent reaction to climate change, Timothy DeChristopher was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jul 26, 2011 - 49 comments

Baez/Yudkowsky

John Baez (mathematical physicist and master popularizer, former operator of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics, current promoter of the idea that physicists should start pitching in on saving the world) interviews Eliezer Yudkowsky (singularitarian, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality," promoter of the idea that human life faces a near-term existential threat from unfriendly artificial intelligence, and that people can live better lives by evading their cognitive biases) about the future, academia, rationality, altruism, expected utility, self-improvement by humans and machines, and the relative merit of battling climate change and developing friendly AIs that will forstall our otherwise inevitable doom. Part I. Part II. Part III. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Apr 2, 2011 - 47 comments

The Easy-Bake Oven

The Easy-Bake Oven has inspired some children and mutilated others en route to being immortalized in The National Toy Hall of Fame. But with 100-watt incandescent light bulbs effectively prohibited from manufacture starting in 2012, the suprisingly versatile cooking instrument is being retired in favor of an "Ultimate" model powered by a non-bulb heating element.
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 3, 2011 - 73 comments

The Moral Crusade Against Foodies...and against people who have a moral crusade against foodies

BR Myers thinks foodies are obsessed with food at the expense of morals. Rancher and writer thinks it's a shallow and warped attack on people trying to make the food system better.. [more inside]
posted by melissam on Feb 18, 2011 - 85 comments

Captain Planet would be proud.

Japan has suspended its whale hunt after pressure from world governments and harassment by eco-vigilante group Sea Shepherd. Previously.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Feb 16, 2011 - 132 comments

Genghis Khan: history's greenest conqueror?

Previously on metafilter, it was suggested that opinions on Genghis Khan might sway with political sentiment. Well apparently he's now being hailed by some as history's greenest conqueror. Discuss.
posted by Stagger Lee on Jan 24, 2011 - 45 comments

Don't Baby Don't

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday afternoon that the Obama administration will not allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as part of the next five-year drilling plan, reversing two key policy changes President Obama announced in late March. Drilling will continue in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico under new safeguards. Previously.
posted by gerryblog on Dec 1, 2010 - 28 comments

[OilyDuckFilter] Another flock of ducks in another Syncrude tailings pond.

Previously on metafilter, a flock of ducks died in a Syncrude tailings pond in Northern Alberta. Last week Syncrude was fined 3 million dollars. Now, another flocks of ducks has landed in another Syncrude tailing pond. Meanwhile, the Council of Canadians is warning that Alberta may be on the road to privatising water rights, something that ducks have previously been using for free. [/tongue in cheek.]
posted by Stagger Lee on Oct 26, 2010 - 33 comments

Meet the Denialists

A handful of US scientists have made names for themselves by casting doubt on global warming research. In the past, the same people have also downplayed the dangers of passive smoking, acid rain and the ozone hole. In all cases, the tactics are the same: Spread doubt and claim it's too soon to take action.
posted by gerryblog on Oct 8, 2010 - 31 comments

No Pressure

Sorry. Today we put up a mini-movie about 10:10 and climate change called 'No Pressure’. Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn't and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended. As a result of these concerns we've taken it off our website. We won't be making any attempt to censor or remove other versions currently in circulation on the internet.
posted by thescientificmethhead on Oct 1, 2010 - 65 comments

maiestas plastic pera

The Majestic Plastic Bag A 'wildlife documentary' about the plastic bag, narrated by Jeremy Irons. Or if Werner Herzog is more your kind of narrator, his take has previously been featured on the blue.
posted by Megami on Aug 18, 2010 - 11 comments

How much is a species worth?

Kirtland's Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) is a small songbird that lives almost exclusively in the lower peninsula of Michigan. During the 1970's they were on the verge of extinction, partially due to the fact that they prefer young jack pine trees as a nesting place, and improved fire safety efforts had led to a lack of new growth in the forests. To address the lack of young jack pines, the Forest Service started a controlled burn on May 5, 1980. The fire quickly got out of control, and the resulting wildfire lead to the death of local firefighter Jim Swiderski, and the destruction of 64 homes. A recent Radiolab segment has again raised the question: how much is a species worth? [more inside]
posted by ivey on Jul 18, 2010 - 17 comments

Lather, rinse... revolt!

Forget Shorter Showers. Why personal change does not equal political change.
posted by mondaygreens on Jul 10, 2010 - 177 comments

A Wing And A Foyer

Francie Rehwald said she wanted a curved, feminine-shaped house for her Malibu lot overlooking the Pacific Ocean, so architect David Hertz designed her a home built from a scrapped 747.
posted by mattdidthat on Jun 28, 2010 - 41 comments

"You can't see out from the bottom of a canyon."

Floyd Dominy, a man obsessed with damming the West, is dead at 100. [more inside]
posted by heurtebise on Apr 25, 2010 - 30 comments

Friel vs Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg is well known as the author of Cool It and The Skeptical Environmentalist, books which challenge the scientific consensus on climate change and global warming. Howard Friel, previously known for his book The Record of the Paper, a critical look at the New York Times' coverage of American foreign policy, has a book coming out in March which asserts that Lomborg's Cool It lies constantly, citing sources which contradict or are irrelevant to his points. Lomborg, in response, has posted a rebuttal to Friel (PDF).
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 23, 2010 - 52 comments

Only the super-rich can save us!

SLJaredDiamondOp-Ed: As part of my board work, I have been asked to assess the environments in oil fields, and have had frank discussions with oil company employees at all levels. I’ve also worked with executives of mining, retail, logging and financial services companies. I’ve discovered that while some businesses are indeed as destructive as many suspect, others are among the world’s strongest positive forces for environmental sustainability. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Dec 11, 2009 - 52 comments

Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide!

An oldie, but apropros for Earth Day. Join Penn & Teller in banning the nefarious Dihydrogen Monoxide!
posted by grapefruitmoon on Apr 22, 2009 - 63 comments

Solar Prayers

Once every month, Jews bless the moon. Once every 28 years, they bless the sun! This custom dates back to the Talmud, but is also found in other sacred Jewish texts, such as The New York Times. Sometimes, there are misunderstandings. [pdf] Previously reserved to a pious handful of observant Jews, it's on the mainstream media radar this time around, possibly because of its environmental implications. Here's an interesting depiction of the ritual in modern American history, which explicitly deals with its connection to solar power.
posted by ericbop on Apr 8, 2009 - 16 comments

The Transition Handbook

The Transition Handbook should be helpful to you if you are a proponent of planned energy descent and independence from fossil fuels and would like to start a Transition Town of your own. [more inside]
posted by sciurus on Feb 21, 2009 - 9 comments

Sustainable Development or Green Menace?

Apparently some members of the far-right have figured it out! Environmentalists are communists! Being green is tantamount to an attack on "Western culture, and the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions". Think this is just an American phenomenon? Think again...
posted by JVA on Jan 16, 2009 - 27 comments

Leadership for the 21st Century

Leadership for the 21st Century Harvard Business School hosts moderator Charlie Rose in a roundtable discussion concerning the credit crisis, housing, American leadership and foreign affairs. Participants are the 2008 HBS Alumni Achievement Award recipients, including eBay (and McCain advisor) CEO Meg Whitman, GE CEO Jeff Immelt, Venture Capitalist extrordinaire John Doerr, Indian business juggernaut Anand G. Mahindra, and former World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn. This aired on PBS last night and it was some of the most honest, intelligent, and inspiring discussion I have heard in some time. While the only transcript I could find is a paid one here, this 100 minute video should be required viewing for anyone working in a fortune 500 company, or those interested in politics, environmentalism, technology, foreign policy or the election. [more inside]
posted by daHIFI on Oct 22, 2008 - 18 comments

Heed the Birds

Brian D. Collier is attempting to teach the starlings to say the name "Schieffelin." [more inside]
posted by Knappster on Jul 25, 2008 - 19 comments

Urban farming, Architecture, and Art

P.F.1 (Public Farm One) is a project designed by WORK Architecture Company for MoMA and P.S.1's Young Architects Program. P.F.1’s intent is to "educate thousands of visitors on sustainable urban farming through the unique medium of contemporary architecture." An artist in Providence, RI developed a similar installation called Green Zone, "an organic vegetable, herb, and flower garden planted in the detritus of wartime consumption: used tires, shopping bags, shoes, and other repurposed containers" at local venue Firehouse 13.
posted by lunit on Jul 16, 2008 - 5 comments

Don't Say It Can't Be Done! -- This Brave Nation

Pete Seeger and Majora Carter sit down together and bridge the generational gap with a discussion on environmentalism, activism, history, and music. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jun 24, 2008 - 19 comments

A number we can live with

Today marks the official 8-language launch of 350.org and the start of global action against climate change. But what does this 350 number even mean? As author Bill McKibben and a chorus of scientific voices suggest, it means everything to the planet. If we want an earth at all, we'll need an Earth at 350.
posted by dead_ on Jun 18, 2008 - 6 comments

Greening the DNC

This summer in Denver, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention fried foods will be forbidden at the committee's 22 or so events, as is liquid served in individual plastic containers. Plates must be reusable, like china, recyclable or compostable. The food should be local, organic or both. It's all part of Greening 2008 Convention. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on May 19, 2008 - 73 comments

What Gets Left Behind

Federal and state government officials and border activists say the garbage dumped in the Sonoran Desert by illegal immigrants and their smugglers is staggering. The cleanup is costing taxpayers millions. The Southern Arizona Project(pdf) is a multi-year program setup by the Bureau of Land Management to mitigate the impacts to the ecology by illegal immigration and smuggling. In 2006 alone, more than 1.18 million pounds of trash was collected along the southern Arizona border.
posted by netbros on May 7, 2008 - 22 comments

Screw this

Unscrew America!! Flash 9 Activism designed to promote interest/activity in replacing regular old incandescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs.
posted by psmealey on Apr 22, 2008 - 69 comments

Bridging the Green Divide

"It used to be that the more radical you were on environmental issues, the farther you were from working-class people, poor people, and people of color, because you were making individual lifestyle changes that alienated you from the majority. You looked different; you ate different foods; you wore different clothes. Working-class people were shopping at Wal-Mart and eating at McDonald’s, and you were mad at them for it. With this new environmentalism, the more radical you are on environmental solutions, the closer you are to the working class." [more inside]
posted by lunit on Apr 14, 2008 - 18 comments

“One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

On Saturday, March 29, 2008, at 8 pm in each time zone cities around the world will go dark: Sydney will follow Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra; In the Philippines, in Manila the lights will go out; Bangkok in Thailand; Tel Aviv in Israel; Suva in Fiji; Copenhagen in Denmark; In North America, Atlanta followed by Chicago, Toronto, Phoenix and San Francisco will be black. It’s Earth Hour. [more inside]
posted by HVAC Guerilla on Feb 18, 2008 - 36 comments

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