Wiwa vs. Shell. 14 years ago, Ken Saro-Wiwa (prev) was hung with his counterparts for speaking out against Shell and the atrocities they were committing upon the Ogoni people of the Nigerian River Delta. [more inside]
Even if cars soon start running entirely on electricity or hydrogen, they'll still need 100 gallons or more of oil to make their plastic parts...
Today was a troubling day for environmentalists. First, the Obama administration announced its decision to nominate a Superfund polluter lawyer to run the DOJ Environment Division, sparking serious concern among environmentalists, and then its was announced that the EPA has confirmed 42 of 48 permits for mountaintop removal in the coal country of Appalachia, sparking criticism from environmental groups.
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!).
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."
OdyseeTV explores the pressures faced by wildlife and habitat. Featuring video content like the Plight of the Snow Leopard, or a feature about manatees, Can Gentle Survive?, by conservation organizations worldwide. Limited at present to about 30 programs, but growing as more groups come on board.
Lester R. Brown, of Worldwatch and the Earth Policy Institute, has an article in May's Scientific American magazine: "Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?" In the article he addresses three major food-security threats: increased demand, due to the burgeoning population and diversion of staples for energy production; water shortages due to "mining" of fossil aquifers; and topsoil depletion as a result of over-farming. The result? Civilization's demise, not through superpower conflict, but through chaos and failed states. [more inside]
With all of the economic strife in the world, the funeral industry is still going strong. There is a niche for all budgets these days, including the availability of coffins at Costco. [more inside]
The globe’s networked ecologies of food, water, energy, and waste have established new infrastructures and forms of urbanism. While these ecologies exist at the service of our contemporary lifestyles, they have typically remained hidden from view and from the public conscience. Infranet Lab is studying the shifting / changing conditions. [more inside]
"What began as a defensive movement by local fishermen has evolved into a complex amalgamation of banditry, organized crime, freebooting, and insurgency targeting all types of vessels from fishing trawlers to oil tankers." Somali pirates holding an American captain hostage were killed during a rescue yesterday. The lack of effective governance in Somalia allows massive vessels from Europe and Asia to decimate the local fish population, which may have forced Somali fisherman into piracy. Other ships use the Somali coast as a toxic waste dump. [previously]
The Big Picture has photos taken during Earth Hour 2009. Click the photos to go from "lit" to "unlit." (Earth Hour home, wiki, previously)
SpaceTimeTV collects and lets you watch all the best educational videos online from full length documentaries (such as the 50 minute long Is There Life on Mars) to short video clips such as this one on glaciers and global warming. There are hundreds of videos on topics including history, space, technology, and nature.
Archaeologists and Native Americans race against the border fence. The REAL ID act authorized government agencies to bulldoze long-standing environmental, cultural and anthropological standards. But a team of activists worked delicately behind the scenes to win millions of dollars in federal funding and the go-ahead for a last-ditch effort to study ancient artifacts. Archaeologists have faced similarly rushed projects elsewhere along the fence route.
Today marks the launch of the Tata Nano. Some see this car as the next Ipod. Some have grave environmental concerns. (previously)
The Seattle P-I is known for its in depth, epic, investigative reports. As the print edition closes down this week here is a look at one report that made the PI great: The Health of the Puget Sound. [more inside]
Cockroaches, these nasty things, are susceptible to an environmentally friendly solution, perhaps, much like these ingenious things.
American customers “demand soft and comfortable, recycled fiber cannot do it.” [more inside]
Meta-efficiency is the analysis of efficiency at a more comprehensive level. Metaefficient Review assesses products considering not only their energy efficiency but also the embodied energy, toxicity, affordability, and usability. [more inside]
Scraping Bottom: The Canadian Oil Boom. "Once considered too expensive, as well as too damaging to the land, exploitation of Alberta's oil sands is now a gamble worth billions."
What Invasive Species Are Trying to Tell Us. "Walking snakeheads, carnivorous snails, and the superpredator from the reef: The invasion has begun." [Via]
Infrastructurist. Although the blog is only a few days old, they've already debunked some of the myths of 24, interviewed Michael Dukakis, and grappled with Amtrak economics.
Plastic bags are bad for the environment, right? Not according to the Plastic Bag Coalition, which created savetheplasticbag.com in order to help stop the demonization of the supermarket staple. Taking a firm stance, they have recently threatened to sue the city of Santa Monica for passing an ordnance banning plastic bags. This isn't the first time they've sued. [more inside]
The US Senate Sunday in an unusual session passed 66-12 the largest land protection bill in 25 years. It is an "omnibus" containing hundreds of bills that have been in the works for years. For a list of all the projects and new lands protected.. [more inside]
Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches - "Physicist Alex Wissner-Gross says that performing two Google searches uses up as much energy as boiling the kettle for a cup of tea."
Eartheasy is about sustainable living. It offers information, activities and ideas which help us live more simply, efficiently and with less impact on the environment. [more inside]
Today Boeing completed the first test flight of a commercial jet-liner using a mix of conventional jet-fuel and a fuel created from algae and the african weed jatropha. Boeing hopes that biofueled flights will be common in just three years.
Mushrooms Save the World (long form) -- Paul Stamets on mycelia. Previously: 1 2 3 [bonus: slime molds]
We've talked about gold on Metafilter before (1 2 3), and while the price of gold as a commodity rising to record levels again, nobody is talking about the real price of gold. Unfortunately, small-scale mining is sometimes crucial to the livelihood of communities, for example in Suriname (1 2). Although there are attemps to make mining cleaner, the way growth in demand is outpacing supply, combined with the belief that it is a perceived safe-haven store of wealth, it is likely the negative effects will be with us for many decades.
Rethinking Earthrise. On the 40th anniversary of the NASA's Apollo 8 mission [caution: weird JFK animation], which answered Stewart Brand's epochal, LSD-inspired question "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?" with an unforgettable image of a seemingly fragile and isolated blue planet, Nature editor Oliver Morton -- author of a new book on photosynthesis called Eating the Sun -- disputes the notion that the Earth is fragile and isolated. "The fragility is an illusion," he writes. "The planet Earth is a remarkably robust thing, and this strength flows from its ancient and intimate connection to the cosmos beyond. To see the photo this way does not undermine its environmental relevance -- but it does recast it."
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]
Animals Save The Planet. A series of environmentally conscious animated shorts from Animal Planet.
Chris Goodall, author of Ten Technologies to Save the Planet, talks about the ten big green energy myths.
As the Bay Area looks to become the electric vehicle capital of America, the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI won the Green Car of the Year Award at the LA Auto Show.
"Good Guide provides the world's largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home." Now in iPhone.
Generation WE: How Millennial Youth Are Taking Over America And Changing Our World Forever (via) [more inside]
New Year’s Day 2030. A new report from Forum on the Future, Climate Futures (6.7MB PDF), maps out five possible scenarios for how climate change might affect our collective future by 2030. Meanwhile, the WWF has released a report, Climate Change: Faster, Stronger, Sooner (1.65MB PDF) which claims that global warming is accelerating at a faster rate than climate change experts had previously predicted. [Via Gristmill and Disinformation]
Elemental ‘Earth Art’: 15 Epic Land Formations. 15 Epic Water and Ice Formations and Phenomena. 12 Elemental Fire and Light Formations and Phenomena: Flares, Lightning, Smoke and Meteors. 10 Breathtaking Natural Cloud and Color Formations.
"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]
Oil sands will pollute Great Lakes The environmental impacts of Alberta's oil sands will not be restricted to Western Canada, researchers say, but will extend thousands of kilometres away to the Great Lakes, threatening water and air quality around the world's largest body of fresh water. *****Report: How the Oil Sands Got to the Great Lakes Basin***** (pdf) Policy makers around the lakes, in both Canada and the U.S., are largely unaware that the tar sands will lead to massive industrial development in their region, and consequently have no strategy to minimize the environmental impacts. [more inside]
Voters in Ecuador appear to have approved a new constitution yesterday, guaranteeing rights to clean water, universal healthcare, pensions, and free state-run education through the university level. It also may allow President Rafael Correa to remain in power until 2017. Particularly of note is a world first bill of rights for nature which grants inalienable rights to nature. [more inside]
Dog poop is serious business. When it's not properly disposed of, it can be a significant pollutant, contaminating groundwater and streams. Some cities are taking action, but few are willing, able or ingenious to go as far as Petah Tikva, Israel, which is building its own dog-poop DNA database with the intention of rewarding conscientious pooper-scoopers and punishing scatological scofflaws.
Video report about the newly constructed "Urban Air Trees" in Madrid, Spain. These unique structures are designed to both affect the surrounding environment and act as a social centers. Using live plants and photovoltaic cells the Air Tree produces a substantial amount of oxygen and energy. Designed by Urban Ecosystems.
Old Growth Forests Are Valuable Carbon Sinks. "Contrary to 40 years of conventional wisdom, a new analysis published in the journal Nature suggests that old growth forests are usually 'carbon sinks' - they continue to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and mitigate climate change for centuries." Seven Best National Parks for Visiting Old Growth Forests. 20 Visually Arresting but Threatened Forests. [more inside]
The Eco Zoo - some amazing Japanese 3D Flash. If you take a close look at the animals there... you might be able to get some tips to live in a more environmentally friendly way!
The Future Generator at the London Transport Museum is a forecasting look at the effect of transport on climate change in London. But you can get a sense of history as well. The museum's collection originated in the 1920s, when the London General Omnibus Company decided to preserve two Victorian horse buses and an early motorbus for future generations. They moved to the present location in 1980. Londoners can take a trip back in time on the Metropolitan line and enjoy a special day out in Metro-land as two historic electric trains run special excursions on Sunday 14 September 2008. [more inside]
Newcomers, with the zeal of recent converts, are often the most vocal in resisting change to the neighborhood they have just discovered. An exploration of NIMBYism. If not in your backyard, then whose? Probably a low-income minority group. Opposition to affordable housing is often thinly-veiled racism. How NIMBYism affects a seven-year old boy on LA's skid row. [more inside]
"Why the fuss? Well, Colin's a baby whale..." Oh no. They named the doomed little thing ('little' meaning about the size of a large car). Mal Holland's report from the Daily Telegraph gives a very illuminating rundown of the nervous breakdown that "Sydney's booming whale watching industry" is experiencing right now... [more inside]