On Saturday, March 29, 2008, at 8 pm in each time zone cities around the world will go dark: Sydney will follow Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra; In the Philippines, in Manila the lights will go out; Bangkok in Thailand; Tel Aviv in Israel; Suva in Fiji; Copenhagen in Denmark; In North America, Atlanta followed by Chicago, Toronto, Phoenix and San Francisco will be black. It’s Earth Hour. [more inside]
posted by HVAC Guerilla
on Feb 18, 2008 -
A list of Watson’s campaigns in the eighties reads like a catalogue of Tintin adventures. In 1981, he secretly entered Siberia to document a Soviet food-processing facility that was converting illegally harvested whale meat into feed for animals at a fur farm. He succeeded in avoiding the K.G.B. and in outmaneuvering the Soviet Navy around a pod of gray whales. (Greenpeace, which visited the facility the following year, got caught; one of the Greenpeace activists told me, “I was taken into a room with a K.G.B. guy who asked, ‘Do you know Paul Watson?’ ”) In 1982, from a chartered airplane, Watson dropped paint-filled light bulbs on a Soviet trawler in the northern Pacific. He has used spoiled pie filling, fired from water cannons, as a weapon at sea. During the Falklands War, he contacted the British Navy and offered to assist its fleet by ferrying medical supplies to the front—“so I could head off any Argentine move to kill penguins,” he told me. The British declined the offer.Neptune's Navy [print]
, the life and opinions of Paul Watson, anti-whaling vigilante and founder of Sea Shepherd
. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Oct 30, 2007 -
Last weekend's PICNIC'07
conference in Amsterdam featured a Green Challenge
: to come up with the best marketable green idea that could be developed and sold to consumers within two years. Dutch decentralized renewable energy company Qurrent
took down the big €500,000 prize for the Qbox
: a device which creates optimizing energy algorithms for all devices in a home. See also
: Green Thing
posted by chuckdarwin
on Oct 1, 2007 -
, who spent most of her life in Kenya, was a noted naturalist and filmmaker (along with her (former) husband
. She was murdered
by gunmen at point-blank range in January, 2006 in her home on Lake Naivasha
. Lake Naivasha is the only fresh water source in the Great Rift Valley
, and has become increasingly endangered by pollution and overuse for irrigation, and Root spent considerable time fighting to protect it. Today, a Kenyan magistrate acquitted
the four suspects in her murder, calling the testimony of 13 witnesses "defective".
posted by mkultra
on Aug 10, 2007 -
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 Long Look Ahead: NGO’s, Networks, and Future Social Evolution
The information revolution favors the rise of network forms of organization, so much so that a coming age of networks will transform how societies are structured and interact. ...In the years ahead, the [environmental] movement's strength (and sometimes its weakness) will continue to be asserted through social network-based wars against unresponsive, misbehaving, or misguided corporate and governmental actors. …Ageing contentions that “the government” or “the market” is the solution to environmental or other particular public policy issues will give way to new ideas that “the network” is the optimal solution. The rise of network form of organization and strategy will drive long-range social evolution in radical new directions.
explorations of information and society
are based on a framework of societal evolution
involving tribes, institutions, markets and networks. Modes of conflict
with participants networked (as opposed to hierarchically structured) are called netwars
. Many of the recent domestic
terrorism conflicts are being fought as netwars. The civil society approach to politics and diplomacy in the network age may hinge on noopolitik
, a strategy of information.
posted by warbaby
on Jun 22, 2005 -
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 -
Hi, I'm Brad Pitt and I'm a carbon-neutral movie star. "Pitt has just given $10,000 to have a forest planted in his name in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Its trees will absorb carbon dioxide, compensating for the tonnes that the star has been responsible for releasing into the atmosphere: burning aviation fuel as he jets around the world, using up petrol in his limousines and running air-conditioning in hotel rooms."
posted by Hands of Manos
on Jan 7, 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 -
Environmentalism as Religion.
An interesting speech by Michael Chrichton
, in which he discusses the 'religion' of environmentalism reminded me of an article in Harper's entitled A Gospel According to the Earth
by Jack Hitt.
Both writers agree that Environmentalism is, or is becoming, a new religion, but their views of what this means are as divergent as possible. Chrichton sees a world where fantasy has replaced reality to the detriment of mankind, while Hitt sees a dramatic and growing movement that imbues environmentalism with a new spirituality and connection with God, as a foil of Creationism and Intelligent design.
posted by cell divide
on Jan 20, 2004 -
Michael Crichton on Environmentalism: "Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don't know any better."
via A&L Daily
posted by leotrotsky
on Dec 11, 2003 -
Out of the desert, out of Africa: In war-torn Eritrea, former atomic physicist demonstrates radical new vision
environmentalism. "...Imagine a farm
where water is never in short supply and each crop leaves the soil more fertile. Now imagine that farm offering a solution to....global warming, declining water tables, loss of arable land, collapsing fisheries, and shrinking biodiversity
. Finally, imagine that farm making money....Carl Hodges, an atmospheric physicist from the University of Arizona, no longer imagines such a farm. He's built one
, a joint venture with the government of Eritrea on the Red Sea, is the first commercial-sized saltwater farm in the world
posted by troutfishing
on Jul 6, 2003 -
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 -
After two years’ research, the Washington Post has printed a special series on how The Nature Conservancy
, the world’s largest and wealthiest environmental non-profit, has “transform[ed] from a grassroots group to a corporate juggernaut.” Despite the organization's (alleged) full cooperation, the articles without exception portray TNC as top-heavy, misguided, hypocritical, overly image-conscious, and aligned too closely with corporations. They beg to differ
posted by gottabefunky
on May 7, 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 -
Shades of Gray.
"Environmental groups sent out a worldwide call to save the gray whale from a Mexican salt plant. They got millions of dollars and thousands of new members. But scientists found no threat to the whales." From part six of a series that explores the ecology of the gray whale, as well as the many different ways it touches various cultures, and some of the moral dilemnas that have emerged as a result.
posted by bingo
on Mar 4, 2002 -
"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 -
Bravo Bill Moyers!
Once in awhile there comes a personality that can bridge ideological gaps. Granted these "gaps" are left, center left and moderate right. At that, Moyers is quite the ace. In this keynote address, Moyers speaks of patriotism, unity, heartbreak, renewable energy, "it could have been worse" scenarios, further terrorist attacks and who's side We the People should be on.
posted by crasspastor
on Oct 31, 2001 -
Environmentally Correct Dance Party Set for Amazon.
"Brazil's lush Amazon rain forest may be best known for its isolated Indian tribes and abundant wildlife, but local officials hope it will soon be a hotbed of techno music ... [the] four-day 'rave' that is expected to lure tens of thousands of clubbers from around the world to all-night 'environmentally correct' dance parties." Can any one give me a ride?
posted by madreblu
on Aug 3, 2001 -
"I think that first world environmental groups
(who oppose development of genetically modified crops) should put on the hat and shoes of farmers in Mali who are faced by repeated crop failure." -- Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, lead author of the U.N. Development Programme's annual Human Development Report. (Here's another report
on the same issue which includes a great deal of background information about the problems which still need to be solved, and why genetic modification of food crops is an essential part of the solution.)
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Jul 12, 2001 -
I hope you'll consider participating in the "Roll Your Own" Blackout
tonight. Just shut off all the lights and appliances that you (reasonably and safely) can between seven and ten p.m. your time.
posted by sudama
on Jun 21, 2001 -
The Flip Side of Radical Environmentalism
Embracing extremely dangerous forms of "protest" such as tree spiking and holding attitudes like "Property is not human, it is not violent to destroy property." as a justification for arson, self-proclaimed eco-terrorists such as the Earth Liberation Front act with blatant disregard to the rights of anyone who disagrees with their radical agenda. Like the anti-SUV stickerflingers
and the kids who get out of control at WTO protests, why can't these folks understand that their unreasonable actions dilute their message to the point of meaninglessness?
posted by Dreama
on May 18, 2001 -
i don't know about the rest of you, but this
is the beginning what i fear about the new bush administration...
posted by o2b
on Jan 14, 2001 -