"The world's most important story" – A decade of environmental journalism in China, by Guardian environment reporter Jonathan Watts.
I am sorry that Wangari Maathai, inspiring Nobel Peace Prize winner famous for tree-planting programme, has died.
June 5th was established in 1972 as World Environment Day by the United Nations General Assembly. Home, the movie by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, which premieres today for the occasion, has some nice aerial visuals. [more inside]
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.
China Praises Its Progress Toward Olympics. With one year to go before the 2008 Olympics, China still has many challenges ahead, like dealing with Beijing's terrible air pollution. There is still much criticism over China's record on human rights and freedom of the press, and some protests. But perhaps the most embarrassing public relations setback is that one of the official mascots, Yingsel (aka Yingying) the Tibetan Antelope, has defected from China's Olympic team and gone underground to campaign for a free Tibet. [Some links via BB and MoFi.]
John Doerr: Seeking salvation and profit in greentech. This is a grim talk from a man who is well-connected with the tech industries best and brightest. He spent a year talking with scientists, experts, and politicians the world 'round about industry and the atmosphere. And as a result he has put a few hundred million dollars toward disruptive technologies... because he is scared -- scared shitless -- about what lies ahead. He also calls us to action.
The Green Scare: Rod Coronado gave a talk in San Diego and the feds called his words ‘terrorism.’ How new laws are equating environmentalists with Al Qaeda. [Via Gristmill.]
Greenpeace doesn't know it has a new ad campaign that asks "Who's f***ing Mother Earth," but their logo is on it. The copywriter admits he hasn't told the organization yet about the ads he's designed in their name. "It's probably not legal, but there's too much paperwork, meetings and phone calls involved to get the campaign approved in time for Earth Day," he explains. "I figure Greenpeace is too busy getting sued by conglomerates to bother suing a few people who are trying to promote the cause. They can always officially deny the vulgarity."
Al Gore trains 1,000 people from around the world to share the message he presented in "An Inconvenient Truth". "The goal had been to train 1,000 "presenters" to show slides of melting glaciers and charts of climbing temperatures, but many more have wanted in. Those selected to gather at the Hilton Nashville Downtown last week included teachers, doctors, a meteorologist, ministers, Wal-Mart employees, actress Cameron Diaz, architects, retirees, veterans and financiers."
the new urban jungle. . . is a growing movement led by cities like San Francisco, New York, and Leiden to restore active and vibrant natural systems in urban areas. Far from the eden-like depictions of nature of yesteryear, i.e. the garden of earthly delights (nonetheless, still attracting some dynamic new christian converts), the movement has morphed into today's backyard and grassroots environmental movement which is more and more a picture of hybridity, compromise, mixed-use, and ultimately, taking nature out of the walled islands of zoos, aquaria, national parks and other thick-walled institutions and offering a different kind of everyday "unmediated" community experience with the new urban wilderness. VIDEO LINK
(Knock, knock) "Candygram!" We don't know if ZDF has shown early SNL skits (nostalgic photo here), but German Greenpeace made a dramatic delivery to the Japanese Embassy in Berlin: a 55-foot-long fin whale that had been stranded in the Baltic. The dramatic gesture underscored the organization's contention that Japan's whaling, long defended as research, is in fact unnecessary: sufficient numbers of beached whales are available for research. The leviathan — 20 tonnes of blubber — was craned onto a truck and driven 150 miles from Rostock-Warnemünde to Berlin, and was due to be returned to the coast for study. (German-language stories on Greenpeace.de website here, here, and here, including logistical details for those curious about arranging their own special deliveries.)
Wal-Mart urges Congress to raise minimum wage and "unveiled a series of initiatives designed to present a kinder, gentler face for the world's biggest retailer... exploring ways to use the company's heft and resources to have a more positive impact on society." In its bid to turn over a new leaf, Wal-Mart also announced it's going green and lowering health care costs for its workers. Is this a new sign of rethinking the social responsibility of business where the kind of growth matters as much as the amount? Or is it right to be skeptical of it as a ploy to help open more stores like its critics charge?
Carbon Planet - aims to reduce Climate Change by empowering individuals to erase their CO2 footprint by purchasing carbon credits. The site enables users to subscribe based on the greenhouse gas usage in their country, with the subscription buying carbon credits in a forestry scheme in Australia. Would you consider subscribing?
The Stop Global Warming Virtual March on Washington starts today in Fairbanks, Alaska. You can join in.
Enviropornoshockrockers!!! Ellingsen claims the couple performed the surprise sex stunt during a set by the controversial band The Cumshots "actually to draw attention to the rain forests, which are in the process of disappearing." (NSFW, maybe, and via The Spoonbender)
Severn Cullis-Suzuki is best known as the eldest daughter of environmentalist David Suzuki, and famous for her speech at the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit. Since that time she has travelled internationally as a public speaker and environmental activist. Now Severn has chosen to break out of her father's shadow, and that of her childhood speech, to focus on grassroots projects that emphasize action instead of only talking about the state of the world. She is the founder of the Skyfish Project, a forum for environmental discussion. It is also where she first presented the Recognition of Responsibility to encourage individuals to take the pledge towards sustainable living.
From MIT's Media Lab: "The Corporate Fallout Detector reads barcodes off of consumer products, and makes a noise similar to a gieger counter of varying intensity based on the social or environmental record of the company that produces the product"