, 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]
These Come From Trees
"Testing shows a 'These Come From Trees' sticker on a paper towel dispenser reduces paper towel consumption by ~15%"
"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.
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
Don Berto’s Garden.
"The plants of the ancient Maya whisper their secrets to those who speak a shared language."
In what it calls "the final wake-up call to the international community
," a UN report (press release
, 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
- Sound Transit & RTID
: Dan Savage
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
("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
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
Government is good.
An unapologetic defense of a vital institution. [more inside]
Earth, 2100 AD.
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.
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]
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."
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.]
Not ones for subtlety, the Death of Environmentalism
are at it again with a Manifesto for a New Environmentalism
. Their Apollo Alliance
is getting early support from both Clinton
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
"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]
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.
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?
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
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?
The Case for Resilience.
How Efficiency Maximizes Catastrophe.
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
) 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.]
"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
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."
Need oil? Try microwaving
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.
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
"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."
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
, and here
. A critique of happiness indices generally here.
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 ca
lls us to action
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).
Environmentalism, globalization and national economies, 1980-2000
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."
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."
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
). 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.
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.]
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.
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!
this extremely common
chemical leaches out of food packaging and plastics, and was long considered safe. But a number of recent studies
link it to developmental problems
in lab animals in doses far lower than the current regulatory limit. Canada and the United States
both review the scientific data available in the coming months, but critics already worry
the process will be corrupted by industry. Industry, of course, insists that BPA is safe.
The Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly
was thought to be extinct in 1982, after its primary (and federally protected) habitat was (allegedly) destroyed by the City of Ranchos Palos Verdes
. But in 1994, butterfly enthusiasts
discovered that it had apparently survived LA's best efforts to destroy it. It even spawned a PC app (that anyone can download
) aimed at tracking insect populations. These days, it's doing better
A Day of Discovery. Now Taylor and Sillett planned to push deeper into Jed Smith, beyond New Hope Tree, to try to explore valleys where they had never gone before. It seemed unlikely that anyone had gone there in many years, and they would discover, once they got into the valleys, that the U.S. government maps of the area were inaccurate and could not be used for guidance. For all practical purposes, the center of Jed Smith was a blank spot on the map of North America.
A couple of guys out for a walk discover an unknown grove of redwoods.