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National Climate Assessment

This morning the U.S. government released the newest National Climate Assessment, which "concludes that the evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country." You can explore the assessment here. Previously.
posted by brundlefly on May 6, 2014 - 48 comments

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...

In 1984, The Voyage of the Mimi set sail on PBS, exploring the ocean off the coast of Massachusetts to study humpback whales. The educational series was made up of thirteen episodes intended to teach middle schoolers about science and math. The first fifteen minutes of each episode were a fictional adventure starring a young Ben Affleck. The second 15 minutes were an "expedition documentary" that would explore the scientific concepts behind the show's plot points. A sequel with the same format, The Second Voyage of the Mimi aired in 1988, and featured the crew of the Mimi exploring Mayan ruins in Mexico. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 9, 2012 - 36 comments

A Wing And A Foyer

Francie Rehwald said she wanted a curved, feminine-shaped house for her Malibu lot overlooking the Pacific Ocean, so architect David Hertz designed her a home built from a scrapped 747.
posted by mattdidthat on Jun 28, 2010 - 41 comments

Friel vs Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg is well known as the author of Cool It and The Skeptical Environmentalist, books which challenge the scientific consensus on climate change and global warming. Howard Friel, previously known for his book The Record of the Paper, a critical look at the New York Times' coverage of American foreign policy, has a book coming out in March which asserts that Lomborg's Cool It lies constantly, citing sources which contradict or are irrelevant to his points. Lomborg, in response, has posted a rebuttal to Friel (PDF).
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 23, 2010 - 52 comments

A number we can live with

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.
posted by dead_ on Jun 18, 2008 - 6 comments

What Gets Left Behind

Federal and state government officials and border activists say the garbage dumped in the Sonoran Desert by illegal immigrants and their smugglers is staggering. The cleanup is costing taxpayers millions. The Southern Arizona Project(pdf) is a multi-year program setup by the Bureau of Land Management to mitigate the impacts to the ecology by illegal immigration and smuggling. In 2006 alone, more than 1.18 million pounds of trash was collected along the southern Arizona border.
posted by netbros on May 7, 2008 - 22 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

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

How to reduce global warming? Block out the sun.

Instead of reducing emissions, maybe we can block out the sun. This is a proposal offered by the United States in response to a draft of a UN report on climate change, prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. According to the linked article, the U.S. has resisted a treaty that would involve binding targets for emissions reductions, and is instead pushing for the exploration of techniques for blocking out the sun, including (according to the Sydney Morning Herald article) "putting a giant screen into orbit, thousands of tiny, shiny balloons, or microscopic sulfate droplets pumped into the high atmosphere to mimic the cooling effects of a volcanic eruption." This is via Yale Law professor Jack Balkin, who speculates that there is Biblical precedent for this proposal.
posted by jayder on Jan 29, 2007 - 93 comments

Whatever you do, DON’T fuck with Moby.

During the 19th century, thousands of men took to the seas to hunt for whales. The indigenous peoples of the Arctic practiced whaling for several millennia before that. Technological change and changes in mores have reduced the whaling industry to a heavily regulated shadow of what it used to be. But it hasn’t disappeared altogether. Even now, at the dawn of the 21st century, ships prowl the seas in search of a spout or a gigantic fin. A few months ago, Outside magazine published an account of a whale hunt aboard the Norwegian ship Sofie.
posted by jason's_planet on Oct 23, 2006 - 21 comments

Is that "COD" as in the fish, or ... ?

(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.)
posted by rob511 on Jan 22, 2006 - 12 comments

Death of Environmentalism, or Just a New Generation Finding its Way

Environmental Heresies: A founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, Stewart Brand, says the environmental movement will soon reverse its opinions on population growth, urbanization, genetically engineered organisms and nuclear power. Other advocacy for nuclear power is coming fast and furious. Meanwhile others aren't questioning contemporary environmentalism's core principles, but they are questioning the movement's effectiveness , while established leaders fire back. Is it time to reevaluate environmentalism's core beliefs, or the movement's techniques?
posted by twsf on Apr 27, 2005 - 58 comments

it's all about the fish

The Starving Ocean : A large collection of articles by Debbie MacKenzie on the death of the ocean. The idea is that removing most of the fish from the sea might be sort of bad for the marine ecosystem as a whole. Her writing style is a bit kooky, but she has been right on some points (ie. the Grey Seal thing). Oh, and fishing is also responsible for the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
posted by sfenders on Sep 14, 2004 - 10 comments

vanishing world

For the adventurous reader Dispatches From The Vanishing World a collection of environment themed travel articles by Alex Shoumatoff. Observe the "skeed row" behaviour of The Alcoholic Monkeys of St.Kitts, or travel to the worlds largest swap almost twice the size of England in the Amazon, this site presents magazine articles by Alex over the last 30 years as seen in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Rolling Stone.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 20, 2004 - 6 comments

We Californians are really not very good conservationists - we're very good preservationists

Fun Friday link it is not. unless you like Rivers on Fire! Eco-devastation! "We Californians are really not very good conservationists - we're very good preservationists," he said. "Conservation means you use resources well and responsibly. Preservation means you are rich enough to set aside things you want and buy them from someone else." Ouch. I don't think environmental issues are ever as simple as some would like to believe. We live in a complex, interconnected world and this excellent--long--piece has given me a lot to think about. Ironic, in the beginning the author talks about finding a paper suitable to Print the article...i say, just Post it. Who needs paper for an article about resource conservation?
posted by th3ph17 on May 9, 2003 - 6 comments

Unintended consequences & environmental engineering

The Chicago River was essentially the city of Chicago's cesspool until the construction of the Chicago Ship & Sanitary Canal, which connected the Chicago River to the Mississippi Basin in 1900. Now there's serious talk of intentionally returning a section of the river to a cesspool-like state, by dumping untreated sewage and (possibly) toxic chemicals into the river. The purpose: to prevent invasive species such as the Asian Carp and the Round Goby from using this connection to cross between the Great Lakes and Mississippi basins. Is it ever possible to avoid unintended consequences in environmental engineering? And is it necessary to "go nuclear", so to speak, to try to correct them?
[Second link RealAudio; transcript here.]
posted by Johnny Assay on Mar 4, 2003 - 9 comments

However you spell it, it sounds like good news.

However you spell it, it sounds like good news. After five years of lobbying by the Aborigines, Australia set aside a huge chunk of the central Outback yesterday as the country’s largest national park. At 38,000 sq mi (98,000 sq km), Ngaanyatjarra is twice the size of Switzerland. This comes on the heels of the Canadian government's plans for ten new national parks and five new marine conservation areas over the next five years, a move greeted with skepticism by some. (And then there are those that say national parks are obsolete anyway). Has anyone been to any of these places?
posted by gottabefunky on Oct 11, 2002 - 12 comments

Silent Evidence

Silent Evidence - Ronald Bailey insists that Rachel Carson's campaign against DDT in "Silent Spring" is filled with bad science and has resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths due to increased malaria rates. The US Government has also considered removing the ban on DDT, as has Roger Bate in the Wall Street Journal.
posted by Kevs on Jun 27, 2002 - 5 comments

Challenging the Goliath of Environmentalism

Challenging the Goliath of Environmentalism This piece is a brief chronicle of the (mis)adventures of a "green" whose only sin is optimism. Are the environmentalists too doomsday-ish for their own good? Is technology the problem, or part of the solution? Link via The Daily Grail.
posted by yesster on Feb 22, 2002 - 8 comments

"We have entered the Century of the Environment,

"We have entered the Century of the Environment, in which the immediate future is usefully conceived as a bottleneck: science and technology, combined with foresight and moral courage, must see us through it and out."

Or so says Edward O. Wilson in February's Scientific American. Consumption and production can NOT be infinite, no matter what "near-horizon timelines" predict. But will capitalism rise to the occasion and will the free market fix the wrongs it's committed?
posted by taumeson on Jan 16, 2002 - 18 comments

Environmentalism faces a values test as genetically engineered pigs produce less polluting excrement. My advice: Why not just leave it up to these guys?
posted by Zbobo on Oct 26, 2001 - 5 comments

Another right wing rant about California's predicament.

Another right wing rant about California's predicament. By one of my favourite right wing ranters. But I never knew about this... Kinda cool.
posted by BGM on Jun 15, 2001 - 14 comments

If you are concerned about global warming, you must watch this film

If you are concerned about global warming, you must watch this film
Some Mefi context
posted by rschram on May 3, 2001 - 6 comments

“The group's communique to Rosebraugh said it hoped to see an "escalation in tactics against capitalism and industry" in 2001.” The Earth Liberation Front struck twice in the three weeks.
posted by capt.crackpipe on Jan 9, 2001 - 1 comment

Bush nominates 'James Watt protege' for Secretary of the Interior.

Bush nominates 'James Watt protege' for Secretary of the Interior.

For those of you who don't remember, Watt was Ronald "trees cause air pollution" Reagan's Secretary of the Interior. He was best known for the following statements: "My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns" and "We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand".

Redwoods, prepare to be chopped! Wildlands, prepare to get drilled!
posted by Mr. skullhead on Dec 30, 2000 - 14 comments

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