Thursday, November 23, 2006

Echoes of Worldwatch?

a little caricature here to lighten the mood on the development paradigm....

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Positive proof of global warming

I thought this is quite a sight.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

media tidbits

Heard lately:

On NPR's On Point, an interview with E. O. Wilson on his latest book, "The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth." Also joining the discussion: a friendly Southern Baptist minister, and listeners calling in to the show-- some fawning, a few irate. Do people care about biodiversity, why should they, if they don't how can we make them, and what's the role of religion in environmental evangelism? A thoughtful and encouraging conversation.

Renewable energy with a Texas touch: Deep-Fried Fuel: a Biodiesel Kitchen Vision
Yet another profile of a spunky biodiesel entrepreneur, but a particularly entertaining one, with a perspective on the culture of biodiesel-devotee truckers.

Climate change awareness v. local ecology. In San Mateo, CA, there's talk of replacing the local ecology museum with a climate change study center. I'm all for educating the public about global warming, but I'm also one of those kids who grew up with field trips to Coyote Point museum, who volunteered at the wildlife center, and whose family "adopted" a California Mountain Kingsnake. Nostalgia aside, it's important that while everyone and his dog talks about climate change, we don't forget to expose kids to the wonders of their local ecosystems. Well, at least it's a choice between two good causes-- there are worse problems?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Grizzly Cam

For those of you who have seen Grizzly Man, you can now undertake a virutal safari and join Spirit and Mr Chocolate and their friends up in Alaska.

See if you can spot the stolen baseball cap!


Monday, July 31, 2006

No more wasting your time

Now from the authors of Cradle-to-Cradle, the book everyone should read - C2C greeting cards. They are made from environmentally friendly plastic, and come with a return postage paid (USA) envelope so when the recipeint gets the card, they can send it back and the card will be turned into carpeting. Cool! Everyone in North America should do this - how do we feel about sending cards across the ocean to get recycled? Seems a bit optimistic, since it would cost more in jet fuel than the recycling would save. However, stay tuned to the website for new products and ideas from the Cradle-to-Cradle folks.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More Ivory-billed woodpecker...

The Times
July 22, 2006
Woody flies back from extinction to peck hole in £172m irrigation projectBy Jacqui Goddard in Miami
FOR 62 years the ivory-billed woodpecker has kept such a low profile that it was considered extinct. But that hasn’t prevented the “great chieftain of the woodpecker tribe” putting a hole in a £172 million construction scheme.
A federal judge in Arkansas has ordered the US Army Corps of Engineers to halt work on the Grand Prairie Irrigation Project because it could upset the bird — which may or may not exist.
“When an endangered species is allegedly jeopardised, the balance of hardships and public interest tip in favour of the protected species,” wrote US District Judge Bill Wilson.
The legal ruling has ruffled feathers within the corps and among local farmers, who say that their future prosperity will depend on the scheme pumping 158 million gallons of water annually to their crops.
But environmentalists are agog with excitement. They say that the judge’s declaration adds weight to their claims that the ivory-billed woodpecker is alive and well and living, albeit reclusively, among the ageing cypress trees of southeastern Arkansas.
“Judge Wilson has told the corps that they cannot leap before they look when imperilled wildlife is involved,” said Randy Sargent, of the National Wildlife Federation. “We need to look twice before destroying the home of this critically endangered bird.”
Ivory-bills used to inhabit swaths of forests in the southeastern US states, including Florida and Texas, but numbers began to decline in the late 19th century because of logging. Known to ornithologists as Campephilus principalis, the bird had been thought to have died out in the 1940s despite attempts to save the last of its habitat by advocates such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The last confirmed sighting in the United States was in 1944.
Admittedly there have been several purported glimpses, but none has been officially confirmed. In 2004 a lone canoeist spotted a “huge and unusual” woodpecker in the region, spurring an influx of twitchers from around the world. Enthusiasts clad in camouflage gear paddled around the backwaters in the hope of conclusively recording the bird’s presence on film.
The birdwatchers claimed another seven sightings and declared that the ivory-billed woodpecker had made an astonishing comeback — although experts continue to debate its existence.
When the corps began a project to build a pumping station 14 miles from the scene of the 1944 encounter, environmentalists instituted legal action, accusing them of being “reckless and irresponsible” and complaining that the noise would cause stress to the woodpecker and kill the trees it lives in.
The corps, which has spent £80 million on the project, has been ordered not to proceed further until it has more thoroughly quantified the potential risk to a bird that may — or may not — be looking down on them as they work.
Judge Wilson wrote: “The public interest . . . will be better served by determining whether the Grand Prairie Project will jeopardise the ivory-billed woodpecker, before further commitment of time and money are made to a project that may be doomed by unanticipated discoveries.”

Thursday, July 13, 2006

(Secondary) School Summit on Climate Change

I stumbled into this, albeit a few days late. Its interesting because of how the summit is organized and geared toward teens or young people. I saw Ian Pearson (Climate Change and Environment Officer, DEFRA) speak today. It was very basic, didn't get at (m)any of the tough questions. But he did talk about innovative things the UK is doing, and targets they're setting. The participants have handsets, and every once in a while the talk was interrupted by this MC who sounds like one of the radio jockeys - and the attendees hit a button on their handset which sends their vote to some question to the master computer up front. Very interactive and i wonder why we don't have more of this kind of thing? How can we have super cool tricked out technology for a meeting, when the UN can't even make websites (like this , this, and this) that are friendly to look at and actually work? Anyway, it was inspiring to see that maybe young generations will grow up hearing about climate change and living life in a different way - just like many of us did when we first started hearing about recycling and Earth Day back in the USA.

Check out the UK government's flashy cool site on what they're doing about climate change, and read about the Climate Champions who will be raising awareness in their regions with support from DEFRA.