environment

February 20, 2013

Pacific Ocean Garbage Dump [video]

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 7, 2013

Samsara: Amazing Film of our Diverse World (follow-up to Baraka)


Samsara is defined as "the ever turning wheel of life". Beyond just a sanskrit definition, it is an important aspect of Asian religions, like Buddhism and Hinduism. It embodies the continuous flow of life, our present life, our past life, karma, etc. It is an appropriate title for this amazing film!

Samsara is the much awaited follow up to Baraka, a movie that amazed me.

Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

Expanding on the themes they developed in BARAKA (1992) and CHRONOS (1985), SAMSARA explores the wonders of our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of man's spirituality and the human experience. Neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, SAMSARA takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation. Through powerful images, the film illuminates the links between humanity and the rest of nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet.


This film is so unique, beautiful, and inspiring. It does not hold back on any part. From militia to monks, from desert to forest, it is all there. Now, it is available on blu-ray for the best quality, color, and experience.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 29, 2012

Bottled Water Facts: 28 billion bottles a year [infographic]

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Via: MoveOn.org

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 27, 2012

Greenhouse Gases Hit New Record in 2011

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Last week while Americans were preparing their Thanksgiving feasts, a new damning report came out on the status of climate change. Unfortunately, we are not curbing greenhouse gas emissions fast enough.

Eco Watch explains:

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2011, according to a press release today by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)...

The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports on atmospheric concentrations--and not emissions--of greenhouse gases. Emissions represent what goes into the atmosphere. Concentrations represent what remains in the atmosphere after the complex system of interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans.

CO2 is the most important of the long-lived greenhouse gases--so named because they trap radiation within the Earth's atmosphere causing it to warm. Human activities, such as fossil fuel burning and land use change (for instance, tropical deforestation), are the main sources of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The other main long-lived greenhouse gases are methane and nitrous oxide. Increasing concentrations of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are drivers of climate change.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, quoted in the bulletin, shows that from 1990 to 2011, radiative forcing by long-lived greenhouse gases increased by 30 percent, with CO2 accounting for about 80 percent of this increase. Total radiative forcing of all long-lived greenhouse gases was the CO2 equivalent of 473 parts per million in 2011.

Image:
Attribution Some rights reserved by woodleywonderworks

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 15, 2012

Really Natural Books: Echoes of Earth: Finding ourselves in the origins of the planet

echoes_of_earth.jpgA truly beautiful and inspiring book, Echoes of Earth: Finding ourselves in the origins of the planet by L. Sue Baugh combines geology with spiritual wisdom.

Echoes of Earth: Finding ourselves in the origins of the planet tells the story of a life-changing journey taken by L. Sue Baugh and her colleague, Lynn Martinelli, to document some of the oldest rock and minerals in the world. They traveled to remote regions in Western Australia, Greenland, Northwest Canada, and the Grand Canyon, and eventually journeyed into territory not marked on any map.

Echoes of Earth reveals the extraordinary story they found in the breathtaking beauty and transforming power of these ancient sites. Not only did the two women reawaken their own artistic lives, they also discovered that our human origins lie hidden in the secrets of the oldest stones. We carry ancient minerals deep within our bones and ancient life within our human cells. We are all echoes of Earth.

The book's innovative design includes foldouts, half pages, and cutouts that shift the reader's perspective in surprising and profound ways. The Timelines of Earth, with illustrations by the author, reveal how ancient stone and ancient life built and still sustain this world we inhabit. Echoes of Earth invites you to explore some of the world's most ancient places and to discover for yourself our deep, intimate connection to Earth.


There is so much to be learned from this book! I hope to visit some of these places myself, and I can't wait to share it with my daughter. When we go backpacking, I always wish I knew more about the unique geology of the area.

I find especially interesting the sections on "Ancient minerals within us" and "Ancient life within us".

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 2, 2012

The Battle over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism

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The Battle over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism by Robert W. Righter is an extremely thorough and historical account of one of the most famous dams in the country. Filled with historical photographs of the valley that is now flooded, you can't help but wonder what was lost, not just in Hetch Hetchy, but in the hundreds of valleys that are now under reservoirs.

In the wake of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, the city of San Francisco desperately needed reliable supplies of water and electricity. Its mayor, James Phelan, pressed for the damming of the Tuolumne River in the newly created Yosemite National Park, setting off a firestorm of protest. For the first time in American history, a significant national opposition arose to defend and preserve nature, led by John Muir and the Sierra Club, who sought to protect what they believed was the right of all Americans to experience natural beauty, particularly the magnificent mountains of the Yosemite region. Yet the defenders of the valley, while opposing the creation of a dam and reservoir, did not intend for it to be maintained as wilderness. Instead they advocated a different kind of development--the building of roads, hotels, and an infrastructure to support recreational tourism. Using articles, pamphlets, and broadsides, they successfully whipped up public opinion against the dam. Letters from individuals began to pour into Congress by the thousands, and major newspapers published editorials condemning the dam. The fight went to the floor of Congress, where politicians debated the value of scenery and the costs of western development. Ultimately, passage of the passage of the Raker Act in 1913 by Congress granted San Francisco the right to flood the Hetch Hetchy Valley. A decade later the O'Shaughnessy Dam, the second largest civil engineering project of its day after the Panama Canal, was completed. Yet conflict continued over the ownership of the watershed and the profits derived from hydroelectrocity. To this day the reservoir provides San Francisco with a pure and reliable source of drinking water and an important source of power. Although the Sierra Club lost this battle, the controversy stirred the public into action on behalf of national parks. Future debates over dams and restoration clearly demonstrated the burgeoning strength of grassroots environmentalism. In a narrative peopled by politicians and business leaders, engineers and laborers, preservationists and ordinary citizens, Robert W. Righter tells the epic story of the first major environmental battle of the twentieth century, which reverberates to this day.

This is an incredible story in American history.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 23, 2012

GMO Labeling: Genetic Roulette 10min Remix [video]

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 16, 2012

Are your cotton clothes GMO?

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In the current debate about the safety and labeling of GMO food products, there's another issue that may be overlooked. Is your clothing made from GMO grown cotton? The answer is most likely yes, unless it is organic cotton clothing.

The Telegraph reports:

The so-called 'franken frocks' will not harm the health of the person wearing the GM cotton but many feel that the public has not been consulted about the long term implications on the environment...

In India up to 90 per cent of the crop is now genetically engineered to be resistant to certain pests. In China and the US it is also GM...

Amy Leech, Soil Association research assistant, explained that GM cotton can use dangerous pesticides and gives farmers little control over their own crop.
She claimed that organic cotton uses less water and is a better deal for farmers.
"Growing cotton is a toxic business; it uses a lot of pesticides - putting in peril the lives of women, men and children in cotton farming communities. 77 million cotton workers suffer poisonings from pesticides each year."


Organic cotton clothing is becoming more and more affordable. Alternative Women's Organic Short Sleeve Scoop Neck Tee start at only $5!

Image: License

Attribution Some rights reserved by lemuelinchrist
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 9, 2012

Study: GMO crops lead to superweeds lead to more pesticide use

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One reason GMO crops were developed was to reduce pesticide use. Unfortunately, a new study has found that exactly the opposite is happening when GMO crops are grown in subsequent years. Superweeds, those that are resistant to pesticides, are created, and more and more chemicals are used in effort to kill. It's basic evolution: survival of the fittest superweed.

Nation of Change explains:

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) require more pesticide use on crops, say the authors of a 16-year study published in Environmental Sciences Europe. According to the researchers, 527 million pounds of a toxic herbicide have inundated farmlands since 1996. What's more, this abhorrent amount is much greater than that promised by Monsanto, which claims that GM crops require smaller doses of herbicides like the company's best-selling Roundup Ready.

This study found, however, that although farmers did reduce Roundup Ready use by 2 percent between 1996 and 1999, herbicide use resurged with a vengeance thereafter. This was a result of the emergence of "superweeds" that resist herbicides, requiring farmers to use more of it with each application.


Now we don't only have to worry about the negative effects of GMO crops to our health and environment, we also have increased pesticide use to be concerned about as well.

Image:  License

Attribution Some rights reserved by andypowe11
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 18, 2012

Malaria, Lymes, West Nile, Oh MY! Diseases on the rise in North America thanks to climate change

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As our temperate climate warms, diseases that thrive in tropical climates are increasing in North America. Alternet has identified five such illness:


  1. Lyme's Disease

  2. West Nile Virus

  3. Malaria

  4. Ciguatera

  5. Naegleria fowleri


Just how are rising water-levels and steamier temperatures playing with the planet's pathogens? As the Environmental Protection Agency notes, disease-causing agents are passed on through food, water and animals such as "deer, birds, mice and insects." Climate change may be altering these transmitters, allowing certain diseases to proliferate as extreme changes in water, heat, air quality and more wreak havoc with the waters and animals that host some of our deadliest diseases.

It's really pretty scare stuff that will perhaps finally catch the attention of climate deniers when they fall prey to illness.

Image: License

AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by AJC1
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 20, 2012

Reducing Beer's Water Footprint

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A cold beer on a hot day is many people's ideal for refreshment, but did you know it takes five times as much water as beer to make that beverage? Those five glasses of water would go a lot farther in hydrating you than the single bottle of beer.  What is the beer industry doing about it's heavy water footprint?

GreenBiz.com reports:

In recent years, most brewers have been using about a five-to-one water-to-beer ratio to make their beverages. But those figures are evolving rapidly. As water demand soars and supplies become limited, beer makers are rethinking their supply chains and sustainability goals. Two powerhouse companies -- MillerCoors and Heineken -- are focusing the best ways to reduce their respective water footprints. In its newly-released "Great Things on Tap" sustainability report, MillerCoors highlights some of its environmental stewardship and sustainability results. These include:

  • Reducing their water-to-beer ratio to less than 4:1 at five of their eight breweries..
  • Cutting water consumption by 100 million gallons per year at their Milwaukee brewery, through the use of a new cooling system that uses re-circulated water.
  • Saving 124.5 million gallons of water -- while increasing barley yields -- during the first year at its Showcase Barley farm.

We often don't consider the water footprint of the products we consume. Beer is just one example of how much water we consume beyond our home use.  As freshwater becomes scarce due to drought or higher demands on resources from growing populations, we will need to pay closer attention to water footprints.

Image:

Attribution Some rights reserved by DeusXFlorida
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 14, 2012

Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming

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Yesterday was the hottest day I have ever seen recorded on our thermometer in the shade of the apple tree. The summer of 2012 has been filled with record breaking temperatures.

As people try to stay cool and healthy in the heat, there are still those staunch believers that climate change is not real. I sort of equate this with believing in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Why have so many Americans been convinced the global warming is fake?

Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming by James Hoggan should be mandatory reading for all deniers.

Talk of global warming is nearly inescapable these days -- but there are some who believe the concept of climate change is an elaborate hoax. Despite the input of the world's leading climate scientists, the urgings of politicians, and the outcry of many grassroots activists, many Americans continue to ignore the warning signs of severe climate shifts. How did this happen? Climate Cover-up seeks to answer this question, describing the pollsters and public faces who have crafted careful language to refute the findings of environmental scientists. Exploring the PR techniques, phony "think tanks," and funding used to pervert scientific fact, this book serves as a wake-up call to those who still wish to deny the inconvenient truth.
This is the kind of book that gets me riled up. David Suzuki describes the books as, "Climate Cover-Up documents one of the most disgusting stories ever hidden about corporate disinformation. What you'll discover in this book amounts to proof of an intergenerational crime."
 

If you can get the deniers you know to read this book, I am sure their minds will be changed. I can only handle little bits of it at a time and must use the information for empowerment rather than depression.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 13, 2012

CA Assembly Bill 298: Ban Plastic Checkout Bags

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I had plastic bags! You cannot travel anywhere without seeing one littering the side of the road or beach. I never take a plastic bag, but it can be awkward at times when family visits and brings one home from the store. Do I launch into my plastic bag tirade? If California Assembly Bill 298 passes and becomes law, I won't have to!

According to the Surfrider Foundation:

The California State Legislature is considering a bill the would ban plastic checkout bags at supermarkets, retail pharmacies and convenience stores statewide starting in 2014. Assembly Bill 298 would also require those retailers to provide reusable bags for sale and charge a fee for recycled paper bags as an incentive for customers to remember their reusable bags. California could be the first in the nation to pass a statewide plastic bag ban but it won't happen without your support!

What I don't understand is how I have been offered plastic bags in cities that supposedly have banned them? I've been told some stores are exempt.

If you live in California, please support AB 298. 2014 could not come too soon!

Image:  License Attribution Some rights reserved by katerha

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 18, 2012

Sierra Magazine: "Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet"

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I used to read the Sierra Club's magazine Sierra religiously, that is until I became jaded over this large environmental group founded by John Muir. The truth is, despite my own feelings about the group endorsing Clorox products, is publications like Sierra are full of great articles and photographs that reach many individuals that would not seek or access this environmental information otherwise.

This month's magazine features the following articles:

AT HOME IN A HOLE IN THE ROCK
From ancient cliff dwellers to cowboys to modern hikers, everyone craves a good cave.
MICHAEL ENGELHARD

THE LAST OF THE SOUTHWEST
A mountain biker discovers the veiled beauty of New Mexico's Otero Mesa.
PETER FRICK-WRIGHT

MONUMENTAL PLACES
Hey, Mr. President: Save these treasures!

TWO WHEELS, NOT FOUR
Gear for getting out of your gas-guzzler.
MICHAEL FRANK

PIRATES OF THE RAINFOREST
Hunting moss poachers in the Olympus Peninsula.
GREGG BLEAKNEY

FRACTURED LIVES
The detritus of Pennsylvania's natural gas boom.
EDWARD HUMES


Sierra is definitely a good read, but the Sierra Club is not without controversy. The "secret" donations of $26 million from the natural gas industry has left many people wondering about the group's ability to live up to its ethos.

I prefer to give my money to smaller, more localized environmental groups.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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