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724 posts tagged with environment.
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Mushrooms vs. the Oil Spill

DIY activists have been using human hair mats to soak up the carcinogenic bunker oil that's been washing onto Bay Area beaches since the spill. Now they're inoculating the oil-soaked mats with mushrooms that will break down the oil into harmless compost. See also: fungi breaking down plastics, synthetic dyes and organopollutants generally. A bit more from mushroom guru Paul Stamets. (If you're so inclined, here's a link to donate to the non-profit that coordinated the hair mats.) [more inside]
posted by serazin on Nov 30, 2007 - 46 comments

Cry from the iron room

Thirsty Dragon at the Olympics Dai Qing on China's environmental crisis and the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
posted by Abiezer on Nov 29, 2007 - 6 comments

Maybe they're talking about the paint job

A two-ton 21-mpg 8-passenger V8 Chevy Tahoe? America, meet your 2008 Green Car of the Year!
posted by dead_ on Nov 27, 2007 - 95 comments

green design

Ecoble, an environment design and living site includes some interesting stories and info: Man (Re)Builds Mexican Island Paradise on 250,000 Recycled Floating Bottles l Who Has the Oil? Geography of the World’s Most Contentious Resource l BituBlock - The Sustainable Building Block Built from Trash and Sewage [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Nov 20, 2007 - 12 comments

These Come From Trees

These Come From Trees "Testing shows a 'These Come From Trees' sticker on a paper towel dispenser reduces paper towel consumption by ~15%"
posted by nthdegx on Nov 7, 2007 - 44 comments

Mud, Sweat and Tears

"The vast tar sands of Alberta in Canada hold oil reserves six times the size of Saudi Arabia's. But this 'black gold' is proving a mixed blessing for the frontier town of Fort McMurray, fuelling both prosperity and misery. As the social and environmental toll mounts, Aida Edemariam reports on the dark side of a boom town" - Mud, Sweat and Tears.
posted by chunking express on Oct 31, 2007 - 45 comments

Illustrations of primates

Look at that tail! Stephen Nash has illustrated the most endangered primates (image gallery: part 1, part 2) -- so faithfully over the years that one now bears his name. The just-released "Primates in Peril" report has full profiles of each animal, along with all of Nash's illustrations (including those replaced by photos in the gallery above -- don't miss the sumatran orangutan!).
posted by salvia on Oct 30, 2007 - 6 comments

Language, biodiversity, and a story of salvation

Don Berto’s Garden. "The plants of the ancient Maya whisper their secrets to those who speak a shared language."
posted by homunculus on Oct 28, 2007 - 7 comments

Scientists are getting a bit nervous.

In what it calls "the final wake-up call to the international community," a UN report (press release, website, 21 MB PDF) warns that damage to the environment is reaching a "point of no return" and now threatens "humanity's very survival." Oh, c'mon, tell us what you really think.
posted by salvia on Oct 25, 2007 - 118 comments

YES on Sound Transit, NO to RTID

Proposition 1 - Sound Transit & RTID: Dan Savage is for it ("I want 50 miles of light rail so bad, I don’t give a shit if they pave 180 miles with baby mice," sorta), while the Sierra Club is against ("It wants to support the Sound Transit/light rail portion of the ballot issue, but not the Regional Transportation Improvement District part, which seeks more money to expand and repair roads and highways"). On November 6, voters in Washington's King, Pierce and Snohomish counties will decide.
posted by kliuless on Oct 23, 2007 - 37 comments

Double the CO2 from ships

What do you know? Just when I thought ships were the way to go, I learned that global emissions of carbon dioxide from shipping are twice the level of aviation, one of the maritime industry's key bodies has said It came out on the BBC News this week.
posted by lamarguerite on Oct 20, 2007 - 48 comments

The Common Good

Government is good. An unapologetic defense of a vital institution. [more inside]
posted by edverb on Oct 9, 2007 - 25 comments

Under A Green Sky

Earth, 2100 AD. Atmospheric CO2 has doubled to 1000 ppm. From shore to the horizon, there is but an unending purple color -- a vast, flat, oily purple. No fish break its surface, no birds. We are under a pale green sky, and it has the smell of death and poison. Paleontologist Peter Ward's new book links past mass extinctions to global warming and shows, absent major changes, "Our world is hurtling toward carbon dioxide levels not seen since 60 million years ago, right after a greenhouse extinction." Maybe it's time for a heresy: nuclear energy's green, and renewables aren't.
posted by Bletch on Oct 9, 2007 - 168 comments

speculative landscapes and radical reconstruction

An interview with Lebbeus Woods -- designer and illustrator of speculative futuristic landscapes and buildings. Woods just set up his own website, which has an amazing quantity of drawings, photographs, and text focusing on his lesser known projects [for those willing to deal with a frustrating flash interface and sound. It's better in IE than Firefox.] [more inside]
posted by salvia on Oct 6, 2007 - 10 comments

The Alternative Nobel Prize

The Right Livelihood Award "celebrates and supports people of vision. People who have ideas and apply them in concrete initiatives for the public good. They give hope for tomorrow, for a world in peace and balance. They demonstrate how we can overcome oppression, war, poverty, the destruction of our environment, and a widespread sense of meaninglessness and fear."
posted by homunculus on Oct 3, 2007 - 6 comments

Superfund365

Superfund365 is an online data visualization application by Brooke Singer. Each day for the next year, Superfund365 will visit one of the EPA’s Superfund sites and collect data on contaminants, corporate responsibility, photos of the sites, and stats on local inhabitants. In the end, it will have 365 visualizations of some of the worst toxic sites in the U.S. [Via The Underwire.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 25, 2007 - 12 comments

Whirling Vortex of Stupidity

The North Pacific Trash Vortex - Researchers have discovered a Texas-sized area of (mostly plastic) rubbish floating in the Pacific Ocean. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Sep 24, 2007 - 67 comments

The New New Environmentalism

Not ones for subtlety, the Death of Environmentalism guys (previously) are at it again with a Manifesto for a New Environmentalism. Their Apollo Alliance is getting early support from both Clinton and Obama. But it's not the only "new environmentalism" out there. There's this New Environmentalism, while others would include both market-based approaches among the the idols of old environmentalism.
posted by salvia on Sep 20, 2007 - 22 comments

California has been delta tough situation

"California has a decision to make. We either brace ourselves for long-term [water] cuts that threaten our economy and our very way of way of life, or we invest in a solution to fix the [San Francisco Bay] Delta and expand our water toolbox so we can meet future challenges head-on.” [more inside]
posted by salvia on Sep 16, 2007 - 41 comments

Contemporary Photography and the Environmental Debate

Imaging a Shattering Earth: Contemporary Photography and the Environmental Debate. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Sep 15, 2007 - 13 comments

Threatened Species

The 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
posted by homunculus on Sep 13, 2007 - 7 comments

"This collection outlines the promises and pitfalls of new energy technologies..."

Navarre now generates more than 50% of its energy needs by wind power: a profile of the small autonomous region in northern Spain that is leading the way in renewable energy. This is one of many free access articles in this special supplement on energy issues to the journal Nature.
posted by sergeant sandwich on Sep 11, 2007 - 24 comments

What. The. F*ck. Clean Air Act (2005)?

The US Clean Air Act makes it illegal to sell highly environmentally-friendly cars in 42 states. Apparently.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 4, 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

Science in the Himalayas

Science in the Himalayas. [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 27, 2007 - 4 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

The future of mass transit

Is it a taxi? Is it a train? Actually it is a bit of both. Technically speaking it is a personal rapid transport system, a new hybrid form of transport that some have already taken to calling the podcar. Similar systems have been proposed before and failed to make it into development, despite some less-personal versions built in the 1970s in the US. But with the current desire for low-carbon transit as keen as ever, has the time finally arrived for this kind of low-emission people mover?
posted by MrMerlot on Aug 19, 2007 - 47 comments

Diesel-Driven Bee Slums and Impotent Turkeys

The Case for Resilience. How Efficiency Maximizes Catastrophe.
posted by homunculus on Aug 15, 2007 - 23 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

Industrial Scars

Industrial Scars. Photography by J. Henry Fair. [Via The Underwire.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 8, 2007 - 28 comments

From Red to Green

"The model of economic development that we are currently pursuing is unsustainable. Our energy consumption per unit of GDP is seven times that of Japan, six times that of America, and even 2.8 times that of India. China’s labour productivity is less than 10 per cent of the world total, and yet our emissions are over 10 times higher than the global average." ~ Pan Yue - deputy director of China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). Part of a new generation of outspoken Chinese senior officials, Pan has given rise to a tide of environmental debate, attracting enormous attention and controversy. Read his articles here : - China: economic powerhouse, environmentally unsustainable - part one and part two
posted by infini on Jul 29, 2007 - 34 comments

Walk Score

Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.
posted by chunking express on Jul 23, 2007 - 71 comments

The Gren leap forward

The Green Leap Forward "Environmentalism is China’s fastest-growing citizen movement. Beijing isn’t cracking down on these new activists—it’s empowering them."
posted by delmoi on Jul 19, 2007 - 22 comments

Global Warming and Our National Parks

Unnatural Disaster: Global Warming and Our National Parks (PDF). A new report from the National Parks Conservation Association explores the impact of global warming on America's national parks. [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 17, 2007 - 9 comments

Got oil?

Need oil? Try microwaving your plastics.
posted by sunshinesky on Jul 8, 2007 - 23 comments

weeps

Reduced-lead bullets and recyclable explosives are among the developments being put forward by arms manufacturer British Aerospace (BAE) as part of a major investment in ecologically-sound weaponry. The company, one of the world's biggest arms-makers, says it has been making investments in creating products that reduce the collateral damage of warfare.
posted by infini on Jul 3, 2007 - 28 comments

Ban The Bag

The Algalita Marine Research Foundation's video Synthetic Sea is pretty shocking. "All we can do is stop polluting and hope the system will clean itself up in hundreds of years." So, what will be the fate of the plastic bag until the inevitable ban comes? Should they be Taxed? Should they be Banned ? Should stores charge extra for them? We don't really have a lot of time to argue about it.
posted by chuckdarwin on Jun 27, 2007 - 36 comments

Interesting Arguement About Global Warming

Personally, I always thought the whole global warming thing was a little bit overblown. Got to admit this guy makes a very compelling argument without debating any details. (via)
posted by Industrial PhD on Jun 15, 2007 - 76 comments

The Largest Oil Spill In US History

First discovered by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1978, the Greenpoint spill has been estimated at anywhere between 17 million and 30 million gallons—three times more oil than the Exxon Valdez spill. [NY mag permalink, with ads]
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jun 10, 2007 - 40 comments

Future House Now

"Future House Now is dedicated to exploring ideas about better living in family homes that are affordable, modern, efficient, healthy, environmentally responsible and available today."
posted by dobbs on Jun 4, 2007 - 8 comments

The Happy Planet Index: a Better Way to Measure Well-Being?

The Happy Planet Index presents an alternative to GDP for measuring standard of living. It ranks countries by measuring life expectancy and self-reported life satisfaction against an "ecological footprint" needed to support that country's lifestyle. The press release claims that well-being is not based on high levels of consumption, but many don't agree. Full report in PDF here. Vanuatu tops the charts, while Zimbabwe and Swaziland lie at bottom. Critiques here, here, here, and here. A critique of happiness indices generally here.
posted by shivohum on Jun 3, 2007 - 19 comments

Why Your Vote Does Count

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.
posted by five fresh fish on Jun 2, 2007 - 55 comments

Recycle your computer junk

Recycle your computer junk. A large US office supply retailer just became the first to offer everyday, in-store recycling for computers & other office technology, and will recycle them using EPA guidelines. Only $10 an item (smaller stuff like mice and keyboards are free).
posted by Dave Faris on May 31, 2007 - 52 comments

"Pro-environmental nations experience better economic outcomes on several measures, controlling for other factors, than nations with lax environmental policies."

Environmentalism, globalization and national economies, 1980-2000 [Schofer and Granados in Social Forces, Dec 06] Triple-punch! (1) "We find no impact of environmentalism on foreign investment and trade. Firms and investment do not appear to be fleeing countries with strong environmental standards." (2) "While it is common to assume that environmentalism targets industry, the agricultural sector may be [negatively] affected more significantly." (2) "[S]ociologists influenced by world-system theory [posit that] the relationship between environmentalism and growth could be spurious: environmentalism does not cause growth, but rather coincides with the economic success of core nations. However, broader results do not support this."
posted by Firas on May 19, 2007 - 6 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

Forget hybrid cars. Spring for a hybrid house.

Enertia is producing "innovative new homes of remarkable strength, economy, and beauty, brought to life by an elegant new architecture and the discovery of a new source of pollution-free energy." The design took first prize in the Modern Marvels/Invent Now competition (previously). In an interview, the inventor, Michael Sykes, says "he was inspired by the way the earth’s own atmosphere keeps the planet at a relatively constant comfortable temperature despite the frigidity of space." He also notes that his wife calls herself a "homemaker," natch.
posted by pithy comment on May 17, 2007 - 17 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

Environmentalism and the free market

Orion Magazine hosts a two-part essay on the environmentalism movement's attempts to fit within free market capitalism, and the problems therein. Part one, The Idols of Environmentalism, focuses on the cross purposes of capitalism and environmentalism, and the apparent impossibility of the two working together. In part two, The Ecology of Work, the focus is on the human impact of the work and consumption culture.
posted by knave on Apr 29, 2007 - 27 comments

Climate change explained!

Connie Meskimen of Hot Springs, Arkansas has a down-to-earth explanation for climate change! What the scientists and the Fifth Column environmentalists bent on wrecking American industry hope that you'll overlook!
posted by Mayor Curley on Apr 24, 2007 - 103 comments

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