Sunday, December 30, 2007

Not easy being green sometimes....

I have been spending time visiting a loved one in the hospital lately. Interesting how easily it is to forget about Green Living during these difficult times. But that's what it is all about isn't it? Finding a way to stay focused even when it isn't always easy. So I have been going around turning off lights and TV's that are left turned on when the rooms are empty. You can't really recycle a lot of things in a hospital. It's all about keeping things sterile. It would appear to me that energy would be the one thing they could do to help with Green and Sustainable practices.

I feel like Job when he was smitten... he sat down and didn't say anything for a long time. I'm in a very quiet reflective place right now. I gave the book "The World Without Us" as a present to a family member for Christmas. Much to my surprise, he has actually been reading it. It's not an easy book to read at all but he has been interested. Awareness.... that is the first step.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Elephants are falling from the sky

The point of this video (Elephants) is that if co2 were elephants, 1.2 billion elephants would drop out of the sky and land somewhere in the US. Clever and concrete.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sustainable Design

Link to book info:

Yikes! I haven't updated my blog for several weeks! I've been lost in a new book, by Jason McLennan called, "The Philosophy of Sustainable Design." It's well written, reads like a text book. Gives the history of Sustainable Design, who the giants are in the movement, how it got started etc. It gives the big picture and historical overview making it easy to see where we are at this moment in time. …A good book for anyone trying to get a better understanding of what needs to happen to move this agenda forward.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

MIT is making stackable renewable rental cars

Thanks to new Green Friends on Twitter, I'm able to find really cool environmental news. Here is an example of what I'm finding. MIT is working on carbon free rental cars.  Another friend on Twitter likes this website (Alternative Energy News) for news on renewable energy.



Also  found some very innovative ideas, like underwater wave turbines!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT OUTLOOK

The CNN Special: Planet in Peril

Graph Source: BBN News


We watched the CNN special. The part that tore me up the most was the part about the animals that were being sold to China... I read China Inc. and am convinced that most Americans are unaware of the significance of China's growth and what it will mean to the planet. I think of Ross Perot's famous words about NAFTA, "You will hear a giant sucking noise of all the jobs leaving this country for Mexico." He was only partly correct. The jobs went to Mexico briefly and then moved on to the Pacific Rim.

As far as this planet is concerned, there is now a huge vacuum that will not only suck all the jobs out of North America, but also will drag along with it many of the species that live on this planet. The Chinese will eat anything and everything. There are a lot of hungry people who live in China who are just beginning to experience a higher standard of living instead the poverty they have known for centuries.

There is a saying China that goes something like this,"
If faced with the decision about whether or not to eat the last tiger on earth you should share it with my friends and family..”

There will be a giant sucking noise of the earth's species going extinct as they are hunted and sold to the Chinese market for food. As of today, Google reports that the population of China is 1,321,851,888. The US population is 301,139,947.

Let’s look at the numbers again:
300 million vs. 1.3 billion people.
Where do you think they are going to find food for all of these people?

That’s the part that I found the most disturbing about Anderson Cooper’s report on the planet Earth.


.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Stayed home for a couple of days... Looking forward to seeing Anderson Cooper's specail report, Planet in Peril


PHOTO SOURCE: YaleGlobal Online

Stayed home Thursday and Friday. Needed to time out from the hectic pace I've been keeping. I'm looking forward to watching the CNN Special: Planet in Peril. Let's hope they don't sugar coat it and try to make it "politically correct" and downplay the warnings!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Why the whacky right hates Al Gore

Here's a good article by Paul Krugman. He kind of hits the nail on the head when he describes why are infected by the Gore Derangement Syndrome. Best line in the article: "I believe, largely motivated by the desire to expunge the stain of illegitimacy from the Bush administration."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sources: $4.6 billion settlement in power plant air pollution case


I hope this is the beginning of a new era, where companies that are destroying our atmosphere and our planet reaping their just rewards in monetary fines slapped on them. I like what someone said recently who was speaking for the National Wildlife Federation; “Environmentalists need to fight a war! If you aren’t a sore looser, you aren’t a good advocate for the environment.”

Blog Action Day Coming -- October 15!


Around the world On October 15th -

bloggers will unite to put a single important issue on everyone's mind.

The Environment!



Patagoina sets an example for Green Biz


Patagonia Distribution Center Built Green With Eco-Friendly LEED Certification


Patagonia's new distribution center is a model for combining growth and green making green consumers happy! We need to support them by buying their products.

A team will study the trashing of our oceans



Since reading Alan Riseman's extremely depressing book, "The World Without Us", I've been trying to find evidence that there are places in the Pacific Ocean the size of California that are filled with plastic and trash. Yesterday I attended a National Wildlife Federation's training on Global Warming and there was a PhD student there from the University of South Florida who was also attending. I asked her about it and she said that one of her oceanography classes had pictures of this. I found this website for a team of researchers that will be investigating the trash situation in the Pacific. This should be interesting to follow. Maybe we can learn more about this situation from their study.

Free Wu Lihong

Mr. Wu is an environmental hero and is sitting in prison in China for standing up and speaking out against a corrupt system that allowed Lake Tai to become a cesspool of filth and pollution. The water from Lake Tai flows into the Yangtze River. This polluted water ends up irrigating crop land for food shipped around the world. The world needs to stand up for Mr. Wu and demand his release from prison.

Environmentalist in China Arrested for speaking out! Why it should matter to Americans.


Photo credits: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Photo credits: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times


Photo credits: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Mr. Wu was sentenced to three years in prison as retribution for blowing the whistle on local officials for allowing Lake Tai in Yixing, China to be used as a giant toilet. Mother Nature had her revenge though. The lake exploded with cyanobacteria and toxic fumes poured out of the lake, creating a hazard for 2.3 million people according to the New York Times.

Mr. Wu, who was sounding the alarm for years, is still sitting in prison from fake charges that he was tortured to confess to. There is a price that people pay in China for sounding the alarm and speaking out about the growing pollution problem.

Why should that matter to us in America? We all live downstream. Over time, all the pollution will move into the ecosystems and make their way into the oceans. The oceans touch us all in some way. But a more immediate concern is our food supply. Americans now import much of its food from other countries.

Here is a quote from the article:
“One letter from local farmers described how a nearby factor making 8-hydroxyquinoline, used as a deodorant and antiseptic, emitted noxious fumes that “make our days and nights impassible.” Another writer referred to a local factory as “ a new Unit 731” named after the Japanese team that conducted chemical warfare experiments in World War II.
Members of another group said they did not dare tend their rice paddies without wearing gloves and galoshes because irrigation water caused their skin to peel off."

How do we know where the rice that we eat is grown?
How do we know that this rice is not mixed into many of the products that we buy in our country? There is not labeling to show country of origin for any of the food that we eat. We are at risk because our own leaders are bought out by special interests who do not want the American consumer to know that we are buying food that is grown where the water is polluted. That is why it matters. Our food supply is at risk.


When you look at the pictures, for me it raises a moral issue as well. How can we, in good conscience, not care about the living conditions our consumer frenzy for cheap products helps create for these people. What about their rights? Do they have none? Would we like to trade places with them? I certainly don’t. Why is it OK to encourage commerce without requiring some type of worker and environmental protection?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize


I felt like crying when I heard the news. Al Gore is one of my heroes. He made me aware of environmental issues in my formative years. He is one of the first people I ever heard speaking out about climate change, even when it was not popular to do so. I am so happy for him.


I met a teacher yesterday who was teaching a unit on energy and didn't know what fossil fuels were. We have a long way to go. I'm so happy that this will give him one more moment in the spot light where he can try to help educate those who don't understand why this matters.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Reading the book, "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman


I'm reading his book right now. So far it's been an eye opener. The saddest thing I learned about was the over abundance of polymers that is entering the oceans food chain. Organisms of all sizes are beginning to ingest polymers. They mistake them for jelly fish, fish eggs, and small animals. The plastics are not biodegradable. Right now there is a ratio of 6:1 in our oceans of polymers to phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is beginning to ingest the polymer too. Most organisms can not digest material and die from it.

The Pacific Ocean now has places where there are miles and miles of trash floating on the surface. Ships avoid the area but if they accidentally enter this area, they have to crawl through the debris with as much caution as if they were moving through ice filled waters. He said this area in
the Pacific Ocean where trash has accumulated is as large as the state of California. He also said that there are other tropic oceans that are getting as bad as the Pacific Ocean. ( If this is true, I wonder why there aren't any photos of this. Is that not something you can see from space? If anyone knows of photos, please share them.)

Even it if it's not quite as bad as he claims it to be, this doesn’t sound too good does it? What will happen to the ocean’s web of life? Even if we stop producing polymers today, the plastic that is already in there will reek havoc for centuries to come. How can we continue to let this happen? How can we stop. It seems hopeless to me right now.

I’m just now starting the second part of his book. I hope that he has a more upbeat message….

Monday, October 01, 2007

CO2 Capture Project

If you listen to the video, you will hear “experts” say, “We’d better get started doing carbon sequestration soon or its going to be too late to stop the damage that will follow. I know Al Gore is pro carbon sequestration. I've heard some things about it that make me wonder if it's a good idea. Burying it can be risky. A leak would suck all the oxygen out of an area for miles and kill everything that breathing nearby. The ocean projects involving carbon sequestration discovered that the carbon turns into a think blob at the bottom of the ocean and it kills all the aquatic life in its path.

Of course, technology can improve this, hopefully it will. But I don’t think we should exchange one problem for another.

Don't be fooled by BP's claims to be "green"





Echoing the words of the Apollo 13 astronauts, “Houston, we have a problem.” I would also like to sound the alarm. There is a lot of “green washing” going on right now. There is a “green rush” taking place in multinational corporations. BP boasts about the money it is spending on “alternative energy” which sounds good unless you take a close look. It is estimated that it will cost the US $1 trillion dollars to convert our energy system to a renewable system that incorporates wind, solar, biomass etc.

BP says is going to invest $8 billion dollars over ten years for alternative energy. It sounds like a lot of money, but it’s really $992 billion dollars short of what is needed to convert to a renewable energy system. If that sounds like a lot of money, consider the fact that the US has already spent over $700 billion dollars on the Iraq war. Just think what we could have done if we had made our priority renewable energy.


So don't be fooled. This is good PR, but that's all it is, PR....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

NBC's commitment to Green: "Green is Universal"


November 4th will begin a week long effort by NBC's programs to eco-educate viewers about Green issues. Let's mark our calendars and be sure to tune in and tell others. Green is now.

Springwise


Makes me what scream!


Ignorance
Ignorance is...
Ignorance is all around us...
Ignorance will cost us.
Ignorance will cost us dearly...
Ignorance is a road block...
Ignorance is a tool...
Ignorance is a tool of propaganda...
Ignorance keeps us blind...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rational Fear about Global Warming

I get a knot in my stomach when I read articles like this! I just finished reading "The Coming Economic Collapse" by Stephen Leeb and started reading Al Gore's book, "Assult on Reason."

I have a ton of work to do and can't spend long on my blog tonight. There are about 20 things I need to list and write about though. This was sent to me by a friend. Looks like ABC is jumping on the band-wagon and starting to get into the Global Warming information dissemination. All I can say is that we are crazy to not feel fear by the infomation that is beginning to accumulate. I'm afraid for my children and their children. What on earth have we done to this planet that we call home? The amount of sea ice that has melted in the Artic is equal to and greater than the state of Florida. And the ice is melting faster than the models predicted.... We thought we were going to postpone the really bad stuff for years beyond our life span. How convenient for us it would have been. But the models got it wrong. It may be happening a lot sooner than we thought it would happen. Oh my, our day of reckoning is fast approaching. Hell may be here on Earth in the Carbon furnace that we have created. But don't talk about it, right. You might be called a "liberal."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A letter for Earth 100 Years from now...


I found a Japanese survey that looked at which word meant "environment" to over 8000 people and how that word/character was used. The word was of course, "GREEN." Interestingly of the 8,000 people who took the survey, 60% were women.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Souorce: Weather Report Network@Japan
In early June, Sumitomo Life Insurance Company conducted an online survey about ecology, which comprised of questions such as "What Japanese character best represents ecology?" The results from the survey were then published on July 18th. According to the survey, the most popular word was "緑 (green)," which seems to stem from the thought that plants play a central role in the protection of the natural environment such as preventing global warming. The word "green" had a commanding share, as twice as many people chose the word "green" as those who selected the word "再 (re-)" with hopes for regeneration. The third word was "優" for kindness. And the words that came in fourth to tenth place were: "環 (circulation)," "省 (efficiency)," "節 (control/save)," "清 (pure/clear)," "空 (sky)," "美 (beauty)," and "水 (water)."

At the end of the survey, people were asked to write down "a message for Earth 100 years from now." Answers such as "I hope that Earth will still be a planet that can 'breathe deeply' in 100 years" indicate that many people seem to be gravely concerned about global warming and wonder if they will be able to bequeath Earth as it is today to their children and their children's children. There were also people who offered words of apology, appreciation, and determination such as "I am sorry to have hurt you. I am trying to do my best to heal your wounds!" or "Great mother Earth, I wish you a long life."

Approximately 8,000 people took part in this survey; more than 60 percent were females. This planet is the "great mother Earth" not only for us humans, but also for all plants and animals. I cannot help but hope for the recovery back to health of the great mother Earth and for each and everyone of us to take a step forward for the well-being of the global environment.

What doesn't our government get? People what eco-friendly cars a survey finds!

Our government's environmental record is appauling


In a recent article by Lawrence Ulrich titled, "Dirty Secret: Green Cars Automakers Won't Sell You" he explains that you can't actually buy an ultra-green Accord, or the four-cylinder version that also produces near-zero pollution unless you live in California, New York or six other northeast states that follow California's tougher pollution rules!

Not only can't you buy one, but the government says it's currently illegal for automakers to sell these green cars outside of the special states!!

The crazy quilt of environmental regulations is forcing carmakers to design and build two versions of the same cars.

This is evidence to me that our government is not working properly and in the pockets of special interest. It protects the profits of special interests and does not protect the interests of the citizens. The welfare of our children, our grandchildren and our planet and our own lives is for sell to the highest bidder. It's appalling.
(PS. I drive a Prius and it's a great car and you can buy it anywhere!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

15 Green Colleges and Universities

Glad to see these are out there, but why aren't there more?

College of the Atlantic
Middlebury College
EARTH University
The Evergreen State College
Oberlin College
Harvard University
University of British Columbia
California State University, Chico
Tufts University
Leeds University

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Green Element


CSR announces a new company/blog that will track the green communication and seperate the true greens from the green washers.


New Site 'My Green Element' Launches to Track Envignmental Communications Campaigns

Monday, August 06, 2007

Green is going mainstream!


Signs are everywhere....


Anyone who thinks that Green is not going mainstream is way out of touch with what is happening in this world! Here is a new Green Lifesyle magazine. The thing to note is the publisher of this new green e-magazine: Hearst Communications, Inc. This is huge!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Man Made Stars....

starry night, originally uploaded by Eagpic.

So beautiful... we just need to find a way to light our night with renewable energy.

Then it won't be a problem.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sundance Channel's: Friday on the Farm

What a great short film about the value of a community farm. Done in still photography instead of with a video camera. Very effective. Sundance has a bunch of green programs on Tuesday each week. Definately worth catching.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Heading to Boston for a few days

Hope to see the Big Dig! Leaving computer behind and going off line for until I get back. Hope to see evidence of green in Boston.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New film coming out that might be worth seeing...

WATCH THE TRAILER:http://www.zeitgeistfilms.com/landscapes



This looks like it's going to be one of those films that sticks with you for a long time. Here are the places it is showing: Click here. (Guess where it is NOT showing.... FLORIDA or course. We like to hide our heads in that sand and pretend nothing is happening around us!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Darwin's Nightmare


We watched Darwin's Nightmare on Sundance Channel after we watched "It's Not Easy Being Green." Two totally different worlds! I sat there with my mouth open the whole time as I watched "Darwin's Nightmare." It usually takes me a day or two of thinking about something like this before I can really comment. My heart went out for the solider/guard who was shown several times throughout the documentary. I also felt sad for the woman whose job it was to take the heads of the fish and lay them on the boards so they would dry in the sun. I wanted to know their names so I could write them a letter and send them some money. (My husband would laugh and say that was dumb! He's an economist. I'm the bleeding heart in the family.)

I am glad I don't eat fish! I think that being a vegetarian helps clear your mind and make you think about killing differently. It was easy for these people to kill. It didn't matter what they were killing. Some ate, some didn't...some made money, some didn't... some lived, and others died... that was the law of the jungle. It's a different jungle when the jungle is filled with herbivores.

It was apparent in this film that the difficult thing for some of the people their consciences. Their participation in human suffering was hard at times for them. But they were able to push it aside and get on with business, even if it meant exploiting the weakest and neediest children. If I ate fish, I know one thing for sure; I'd want to know where it came from and what it was doing to the land, the people and the morals of those involved. "Darwin's Nightmare" is the kind of documentary that you wish you could forget, but you can't once you have seen it. My rating: *****

Great T-Shirt!


For the artist and store where this is sold:

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I feel like I died and went to Green Heaven!


I was listening to Sundance Channel's Eco Bizz Podcast featuring a store in New York called ABC Home and Carpet. The items in the store were so scrumptiously gorgeous and eco-friendly too. It was too much! What a wonderful role model for others to follow. It just goes to show that green doesn't have to mean old yucky leftover things that nobody wants. The owner even makes sure her packaging is environmentally friendly!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Time is running out!

originally uploaded by OzBandit.
All we lack is the political will power....

The protest of the melting snowman

originally uploaded by Rik Shaw.

Sometimes its good to remember the lighter side of things...

Planet i


Planet i, originally uploaded by Unfurled world.
I see this and I think, tears....

Running the Numbers by Chris Jordan. Eco-Art that will blow you away!



There is no way you can see this exhibit and not be moved by it. Chris Jordan of Seattle took statistics of the United States' current rate of consumption and disposal in our "Throw Away Society" and made art pieces that help to explain the numbers visually so that anyone can understand those numbers in a new way. His work is showing at Von Lintel Gallery in New York from June 14th to the end of July. The show is called: "Running the Numbers." / To see an online version click here. I promise you will be blown away...