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Mine is the beige house. No, the other one. No, the one next to that.

In his new book Ciphers, German photographer Christopher Gielen (previously) reveals haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development through aerial views of American urban sprawl. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 5, 2014 - 50 comments

You're way off.

What was the average American college graduate's college-related debt in 2013? What state has the highest rate of poverty in the United States? Answer these and other depressing questions (or submit your own) at How Wrong You Are.
posted by desjardins on Jun 24, 2014 - 40 comments

The Moral Question Of Our Time: Can We Share The Planet?

UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2014 - 50 comments

Look at that guy with the typewriter on the Eagles' bench!

The NFL's Modern Man: How Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin — a bike-riding, socially conscious, Animal Collective–loving hipster — is redefining what it means to be a football player.
posted by Drinky Die on Nov 20, 2013 - 52 comments

Game behind gamed: your narrative programming for the day

How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio[1] actually makes a case against austerity[2] and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 25, 2013 - 28 comments

A Plant, a Perch, and a Prophylactic

Charlie LeDuff Canoes the Rouge River through Detroit. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Jul 7, 2013 - 18 comments

Crazy like an Arctic Fox

Scientific American reports: "An isolated population of Arctic foxes that dines only on marine animals seems to be slowly succumbing to mercury poisoning." Though a definitive causal link is difficult to establish, an isolated population of arctic foxes on Russia's Mednyi Island is believed to be collapsing due to mercury contamination as a result of its seafood-heavy diet. Where does all that mercury in the environment come from anyway? Why, it's another biproduct of burning fossil fuels, of course, and predictably, rates of mercury pollution are only expected to increase. In some places in the US, even rainwater is showing high levels of contamination. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on May 10, 2013 - 25 comments

Deepwater Horizon, 2 years later

Earlier this month, British Petroleum agreed to plead guilty to 14 violations of law, including negligence causing death and the Clean Water Act. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Nov 28, 2012 - 59 comments

Senator Chip Rogers - Agenda 21 - Mother Jones

Chip Rogers is the Republican Majority Leader of the Georgia State Senate, and Treasurer of ALEC (previously 1 2). On October 11th he hosted a four-hour briefing for his fellow senators, regarding Obama's mind-control techniques which are forcing the US into a United Nations-led Communist dictatorship in which suburbanites are forcibly relocated to cities. The theory is based on Agenda 21, the non-binding 1992 UN treaty on sustainable development. Rogers narrowly failed to pass a resolution against Agenda 21, but other states have done so, and Alabama has even forbidden its implementation in law.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 15, 2012 - 132 comments

everything must go somewhere

Barry Commoner has died at age 95. Commoner was a scientist, an environmentalist, an author, and 1980 presidential candidate. He was one of the founders of the Committee for Nuclear Information and of the Citizens Party.
posted by maurice on Oct 1, 2012 - 7 comments

“So if we continue voting like this in the (House of Commons), there’ll be no b-day for me this year?” tweeted NDP MP Hoang Mai.

It is still June 13 for the Parliament of Canada, where voting has continued overnight on the "omnibus budget bill" (previously), due to 159 separate amendment votes that have been forced by the opposition. None are likely to pass, but the arduous process is meant to function as a protest against legislation which many critics have argued goes far beyond the scope of a traditional budget. [more inside]
posted by mek on Jun 14, 2012 - 76 comments

Tax Soda, Subsidize Veggies

Subsidizing Healthy Foods by Taxing Unhealthy Foods. Mark Bitman proposes a "national program that would make progress on a half-dozen problems at once — disease, budget, health care, environment, food access and more — while paying for itself." [NYT] [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jul 24, 2011 - 103 comments

Moving Through The Paths Not Taken: Viaducts, Freeways and Almost Vancouvers

Despite the federal election focus on BC ridings, Vancouverites are having a hard time looking past the municipal. Things are quite dramatic in the urban planning scene. The city's regional growth plan was recently paralyzed by disagreement from Coquitlam. TransLink announced permanent cuts to bus service during Earth Week, describing it as "service optimization," highlighting its own chronic funding issues. The city successfully stopped a "megacasino" project after community backlash, but the $3 billion freeway Gateway Project continues despite ongoing protests. As the city struggles to find its way to the goal of Greenest City 2020, it's a good time to look at the paths not taken, via this excellent podcast on Vancouver's relationship with roadways. Part of a series called "Moving Through" from the Museum of Vancouver. [more inside]
posted by mek on Apr 26, 2011 - 26 comments

Goodbye Heyoka

John Kay’s Heyoka Magazine project January 2005 though June 2010 is now completed. All 34 volumes are online.
The Interviews section is a treasure trove from Shirin Neshat to Rick del Savio to David Michael Kennedy
Many reference Native American culture today: Tommy Lightening Bolt and Mala Spotted Eagle and William Under Baggage and Pete Catches
The range is great from Photos of the Apatani in Arunachal Pradesh to extreme bikram yoga and Leonard Cohen Everybody knows. The list goes on. Heyoka has morphed into non duality magazine
posted by adamvasco on Aug 29, 2010 - 2 comments

'Priceless collection' in Russia was never registered so is therefore worthless and does not officially exist, say developers

In 1926, Nikolai Vavilov founded the world's first modern seedbank, and amassed a collection which today contains over 90% unique varieties of plant, contained in no other collection in existence. For his opposition to Lysenkoism he died in prison, and several of his colleagues famously starved to death instead of eating their specimens during the Siege of Leningrad. Now the Pavlovsk seedbank facility has been seized by the Federal Agency for Public Estate Management, and pending a court ruling will be demolished - contents and all - to build a housing development. The collection cannot be moved in time because it is a working seedbank of living plants.
posted by mek on Aug 9, 2010 - 40 comments

Executive Decarbonization

With the climate bill dead and blame portioned, Ezra Klein asks what happens when congress fails? He concludes that "regulations to reduce carbon emissions are alive and well. The Environmental Protection Agency can attack carbon as a pollutant, and the Obama administration's announcement that efforts to hamstring the EPA will be vetoed suggests that they mean to do exactly that." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 30, 2010 - 18 comments

The future, broken down

40 Things You Need to Know About the Next 40 Years For it's 40th anniversary issue, Smithsonian magazine asks experts in various fields for insights into our future and compiles a list of 40 predictions about the future of science, nature, the arts and technology. The feature essay is by President Obama, in which he explains why he's optimistic about America's future. (VIA) [more inside]
posted by mondaygreens on Jul 15, 2010 - 48 comments

Four Economic Benchmarks We Need Now

With capitalism in crisis, can it be sustained or is it altogether outdated? As Umair Haque asks though, perhaps a better question is: "are organizations and markets making decisions that help make people, communities, and society better off in the long run, by allocating their scarce resources to the most productive uses?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 13, 2010 - 15 comments

"If not now, when? If not us, who?"

Kabuki Democracy: Why a Progressive Presidency Is Impossible, for Now. And what we should do about it. (one-page link)
posted by mek on Jul 12, 2010 - 96 comments

Salesmen, Not Scientists

Merchants of Doubt is a new book that reports how a small group of scientists committed to an extreme free-market ideology have been employed by large corporations over several decades to cast doubt on such different environmental issues as the risks of tobacco smoke, the dangers of DDT, the effectiveness of the Strategic Defence Initiative, the regulation of CFCs, and the causes of global warming. A review in the Christian Science Monitor calls this "one of the most important books of the year. Exhaustively researched and documented..."
posted by binturong on Jul 12, 2010 - 48 comments

Climategate?

The public's opinion of the field of climatology has been shaken by the leaked CRU emails. While it's arguable that the messages show any wrongdoing, many pundits have now reached the conclusion that global warming is a hoax, coverup and conspiracy, years in the making with millions of faked datapoints. Sarah Palin has written an editorial saying Obama should boycott the Copenhagen COP15 summit.
posted by mccarty.tim on Dec 9, 2009 - 270 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

For kids

The story of stuff and how it's currently being played out between the political economies of China and the US (G2 'Chimerica') in an illuminating Fallows vs. Ferguson cage match. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 19, 2009 - 5 comments

Break on through to the greener side

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus want to change the way countries think about global warming. Instead of treating carbon as a pollutant, and legislating our way out of a climate crisis, they suggest a "challenge" approach to the problem—igniting a creative fire under companies and even the federal government to create new and cheaper solutions instead of more loophole-filled legislation. [more inside]
posted by littlerobothead on Jun 24, 2009 - 17 comments

The NRW timeline

NRW 1946—2006. Short articles chronicling North Rhine-Westphalia. The site has one rather large shortcoming though, the video clips cannot be accessed (only available on VHS within the State!).
posted by tellurian on May 12, 2009 - 10 comments

Geoengineering

Geoengineering and the New Climate Denialism. "[S]ometimes the politics around an issue become so twisted that it's necessary to address the politics before we can have a real discussion about the problems and how to solve them. That's the case with geoengineering."
posted by homunculus on May 2, 2009 - 70 comments

The Subversion of the EPA

Smoke and Mirrors: The Subversion of the EPA. "This four-part series details how the Bush administration weakened the EPA. It installed a pliant agency chief, Stephen L. Johnson. Under him, the EPA created pro-industry regulations later thrown out by the courts. It promoted a flawed voluntary program to fight climate change. It bypassed air pollution recommendations from its own scientists to satisfy the White House." [Via Reality Base]
posted by homunculus on Dec 11, 2008 - 19 comments

The Movement Begins...

Generation WE: How Millennial Youth Are Taking Over America And Changing Our World Forever (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Oct 28, 2008 - 111 comments

Farmer in Chief

"Dear Mr. President-Elect, It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food." Michael Pollan advises the next president on what he can and should do to remake the way we grow and eat our food. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 10, 2008 - 30 comments

There Could Be Blood

Andy Grove on Our Electric Future - "Energy independence [viz.] is the wrong goal. Here is a plan Americans can stick to." Perhaps some infrastructure spending1,2 is in order? [etc., &c., cf.] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 15, 2008 - 14 comments

Rachel Carson

Rehabilitating Carson: "Why do some people continue to hold Rachel Carson responsible for millions of malaria deaths?" [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 2, 2008 - 20 comments

Science and Technology in the 2008 Presidential Election

Dr. President: "The next president of the United States of America will control a $150 billion annual research budget, 200,000 scientists, and 38 major research institutions and all their related labs. This president will shape human endeavors in space, bioethics debates, and the energy landscape of the 21st century." With the coming election, the AAAS has created a new website and devoted a section of their journal Science to the Democratic and Republican candidates' positions on science and technology issues. But to help further clarify their positions, some people are calling for the candidates to have a presidential debate on science and technology. [Via The Intersection and Wired Science.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 9, 2008 - 48 comments

limits

The dangers of living in a zero-sum world economy - naked capitalism reprints (with added commentary) an FT article by Martin Wolf on why it's vital for (civilised) society to sustain a 'positive-sum' world, otherwise: "A zero-sum economy leads, inevitably, to repression at home and plunder abroad." Wolf's solution? "The condition for success is successful investment in human ingenuity." Of course! Some are calling for more socialism, while others would press on to build more megaprojects. For me, at least part of the solution lies in environmental accounting and natural capitalism :P
posted by kliuless on Dec 19, 2007 - 42 comments

We’re too sophisticated to allow bioregional commerce.

Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin. This Saturday will mark this article's four year anniversary. Frankly, I was mildly surprised not to have found it mentioned before in MeFi. It's a good read about a sad state of affairs; how our government is turning its own people into outlaws, because freedom has been traded in for an illusion of security. ...but then we already knew that. Don't we?
posted by ZachsMind on Aug 29, 2007 - 110 comments

Mountaintop Removal Mining

Appalachian Apocalypse. Mountaintop removal mining (previously) has a devastating effect on the environment and local populations. The Bush administration wants to loosen regulations and expand the practice. [Via Wired Science.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 25, 2007 - 43 comments

Kerr Magee had applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to call their waste an "experimental fertilizer" and just spread it over the top of the land.

Depleted uranium is now understood to have many medical consequences unique to its modern application as munitions, due to its incendiary, aerosolizing behavior when pulverized. (Rosalie Bertell explains, youtube) It has become a leading candidate for the cause of Gulf War syndrome, and was associated with massive increases in cancer and birth defects in Basra. The EU has called for a moratorium on its use four times, and WHO is deeply concerned with its consequences, but the USA (with Canadian complicity) and Russia continue to use it in Iraq and elsewhere. (prev: 1 2 3 4 5)
posted by mek on Aug 22, 2007 - 52 comments

One World, One Dream, Four Mascots

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.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 9, 2007 - 43 comments

Whistleblowing? Or just another angry anarchist?

A Canadian public servant who leaked Conservative green policy documents, was taken away in handcuffs and fired - Jeffrey Monaghan calls the government's actions "a profound threat to the public interest" and "an extension of a government-wide communications strategy pinned on secrecy, intimidation and centralization."

The documents outlined the Conservative's dismissal of the Kyoto Protocol and were to be released to the public a week later. Let the media panic begin: some have focused on Monaghan's political activism, others accuse corporate media of scapegoating Monaghan. Question is - if the documents were to be released to the public anyway, is this even whistleblowing? The environment minister says no. NDP environment critic Nathan Cullen says yes. Liberal leader Stephane Dion calls the Tories' actions "an attempt of intimidation ... although I have no sympathy at all for leaks."
posted by Menomena on May 17, 2007 - 33 comments

Green Scare

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.]
posted by homunculus on May 14, 2007 - 39 comments

Last chance for Southeast Louisiana

Last Chance. "It took the Mississippi River 6,000 years to build the Louisiana coast. It took man (and natural disasters) 75 years to destroy it. Experts agree we have 10 years to act before the problem is too big to solve." [Via First Draft.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 5, 2007 - 19 comments

The Age of Mammals

End of the Year Review, 2026. Looking Back on the First Quarter of the Twenty-First Century.
posted by homunculus on Dec 25, 2006 - 55 comments

'The "climate-change" scare is less about saving the planet than, in Jacques Chirac's chilling phrase, "creating world government"...'

Climate change denial gets a sort of semi-mainstream platform in the UK. The author, Christopher Monckton, seems to be a colourful figure. Now that all the major political parties accept that it's time to do something about climate change, is this a last ditch effort by 1980s right wing relics to stave off the inevitable? Or are we going to be hearing a lot more of this kind of stuff, post-Stern Review (previous)?
posted by Mocata on Nov 5, 2006 - 17 comments

urban jungle

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
posted by huckhound on Jul 6, 2006 - 1 comment

maybe jesus was right about that root of all evil stuff?

What if we can't afford to save the world? An interesting debate between Sierra Club’s Carl Pope and the outspoken Bjørn Lomborg. (The “saving the world” bit might seem like hyperbole, but the really interesting question this debate sparks for me is this: Hypothetically, if it really came down to it, would anyone be willing to save the world for free? And if not, what does that imply about our values system and personal priorities? What does it say about the practical utility and limitations of monetary-based economic systems?
posted by all-seeing eye dog on Jul 28, 2005 - 55 comments

Landlocked tides

Devils Lake is the largest body of water in North Dakota, and it's growing. Landlocked and continuously fed by surrounding rivers and lakes, its size corresponds to the amount of rainfall and can vary dramatically. In fact, recent changes aren't even on the map yet. With more rainfall on the horizon, the government of North Dakota is building an artificial outlet for the lake, channeling the water northwards. But Manitoba doesn't want the water, fearing that an invasion of Devils Lake species will seriously upset the Red River's ecological balance and harm the Manitoban fishing industry. Nonetheless, the ND government seems determined to prevent the loss of any more trees and farmland and roadways and villages.
posted by DrJohnEvans on Jul 12, 2005 - 26 comments

Carbon Planet

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?
posted by gusset on Jul 3, 2005 - 26 comments

Iraq hawks who drive Priuses

Green Neocons
posted by Bag Man on Jan 26, 2005 - 31 comments

Roadless Act under attack.

Roadless Act under attack. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announced today the plan to lift a Clinton-era ban on building roads into wilderness areas on National Forest Service lands. Instead of keeping the ban at a federal level, the decision on wether or not to allow roads to be built would now be deffered to state governers.

I can't help but wonder, how is this in the public's interests at all? It is unreasonable to paint this as, "the biggest single giveaway to the timber industry in the history of the national forests", or does this really have value that the average American could benefit from?
posted by Hackworth on Jul 13, 2004 - 63 comments

Bi-Partisan Environmental Improvement?

A new study (in a biggish PDF) from PRI states that most environmental indicators in the United States have improved dramatically since the 1970's regardless of the political party that controls the White House. Notably: "CO (Carbon monoxide) levels were the lowest recorded during the past 20 years" (EPA, 2002, pg 48), ambient lead levels have fallen 98% between 1976 and 2002 (pg 46), and sulfur dioxide has fallen 70% since 1976 (pg 44). (Mostly) Happy Earth Week, right?
(Via Easterblogg)
posted by loquax on Apr 23, 2004 - 26 comments

environmental spin memo

Spinning the Environment
One section of the memorandum, "Winning the Global Warming Debate," asserts that many voters believe there is a lack of consensus about global warming among scientists. "Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly," it says. "Therefore you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue." Among the ways to "challenge the science," the memorandum says, is to "be even more active in recruiting experts who are sympathetic to your view and much more active in making them part of your message" because "people are more willing to trust scientists than politicians."

So much for science based decisions regarding the fouling of our nest. Sounds Green = Is Green in the bizarro world of spin.
posted by nofundy on Mar 4, 2003 - 35 comments

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