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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
(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
, and here
, including logistical details for those curious about arranging their own special deliveries.)
posted by rob511
on Jan 22, 2006 -
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
. 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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -