October 20, 2009

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Images by Chris Jordan


Chris Jordan is well known for his images that expound western culture's consumerism and its effect on the environment. One of my favorite piece by Chris Jordan includes 32,000 Barbie dolls to highlight the number of breast augmentations that occur each month in the US. Chris' latest work features images he took on Midway Atoll, and unlike Chris' other work, he did not  arrange objects to create these images:
These photographs of albatross chicks were made just a few weeks ago on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world's most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.

Via: Treehugger

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day: Climate Change Brings House Flies To Everest Base Camp

You probably don't think twice when an occasional house fly buzzes into your home, then again, you probably don't live at about 18,000 feet above sea level. House flies are showing up at Mt. Everest's base camp. The Guardian reports:

Earlier this year Dawa Steven Sherpa was resting at Everest base camp when he and his companions heard something buzzing. "What the heck is that?" asked the young Nepali climber. They searched and found a big black house fly, something unimaginable just a few years ago when no insect could have survived at 5,360 metres.

"It's happened twice this year - the Himalayas are warming up and changing fast," says Dawa, who only took up climbing seriously in 2006, but in a few years has climbed Everest twice as well as two 8,000m peaks in Tibet.

The problem of climate change goes beyond annoying house flies for the Himalayan region. "Erratic weather patterns" and lack of drinking water is hurting both the local residents and tourism.

Note: This post is part of Blog Action Day, which occurs every year uniting "the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion."
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 15, 2009

Maldives Tourists to be Charged Climate Tax

The Maldives, which aims to be the first carbon-neutral nation in the world, will begin charging tourists a climate tax. Vacationers to this Indian Ocean archipelago will pay $3 a day. The money will be used for renewable energy projects in the Maldives. President Nasheed has also proposed a relocation fund for residents of the island should rising oceans due to climate change obliterate the nation.

Via: The New York Times

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 2, 2009

Really Natural Documentaries: Blue Gold World Water Wars

The World Water Crisis is an issue we are all going to have face, especially as experts predict in the future wars will be fought over clean water accessibility. Based on the book of the same title by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, Blue Gold: World Water Wars is a documentary film that discusses how the "corporate giants, private investors, and corrupt governments vie for control of our dwindling fresh water supply, prompting protests, lawsuits, and revolutions from citizens fighting for the right to survive." Derek Markham of Blue Living Ideas writes about the film:

How many of us have heard of the company Suez? How about RWE? Veolia? These are three major private water companies, which are gaining control of water supplies in cities around the globe. It's estimated that Suez and RWE together manage 40% of the water share worldwide. That's a staggering amount of control for private companies to have over something that should be considered a human right: access to clean water.

The film is not all doom and gloom, as positive changes activists of all ages have brought about around the world are highlighted in addition to the eye opening information about the world's water supply.

We viewed Blue Gold: World Water Wars as an open invitation community gathering. It was well-received by the audience, many of whom were motivated to take action on local water issues. This documentary is a must see for all that will truly enlighten viewers about the world water crisis. 

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 27, 2009

Brazilian Environmental Groups Pay Farmers to Not Cut Down Trees

Farmers in Brazil who have permits to clear rainforest land in order to grow crops are being offered yearly cash payments by environmental groups to leave the forest intact. The New York Times explains:

Driven by profits derived from fertile soil, the region's dense forests have been aggressively cleared over the past decade, and Mato Grasso is now Brazil's leading producer of soy, corn and cattle, exported across the globe by multinational companies.

Deforestation, a critical contributor to climate change, effectively accounts for 20 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions and 70 percent of the emissions in Brazil. Halting new deforestation, experts say, is as powerful a way to combat warming as closing the world's coal plants.

But until now, there has been no financial reward for keeping forest standing. Which is why a growing number of scientists, politicians and environmentalists argue that cash payments -- like that offered to Mr. Marcolini -- are the only way to end tropical forest destruction and provide a game-changing strategy in efforts to limit global warming.

Unfortunately, many farmers believe the cash incentives are not adequate or comparable to what they would make growing cash crops or selling the cleared land.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 19, 2009

Really Natural Books: Global Coastal Change

Global Coastal Change is a comprehensive discussion of how coastlines around the world are being affected by climate change. Each chapter provides "real-world" examples and evidence-based research on the changes that are occurring on coastal regions from "atmospheric changes, sea level rise, alterations in freshwater and sediment use and transport, toxins, overfishing, alien species, and eutrophication".

The central facts about change in the coastal zones of the world are that:  i) there are increasingly more people in the world and their activities have historically been focused at the land/sea boundary, for biological, cultural, economic, and geographic reasons; and ii) these people consume resources...The changes generated by humans, moreover, have, during the 20th century, become large enough to exceed the changes pressed upon coastal environments by "natural" or non-anthropogenic forces.

Written by Ivan Valiela, Global Coastal Change also offers possible solutions to the problems facing the world's coastlines.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 18, 2009

Antarctic Glacier Melting Four Times Faster Than a Decade Ago

antarctic glacier.jpg

Glaciers in Antarctica are melting alarmingly fast, as revealed by 15 years of continuous satellite imaging.  New research has discovered the Pine Island glacier is thinning at a rate that is four times faster than just ten years ago. According to the Environment News Service:
The glacier, which is twice the size of Scotland, is releasing more ice into the sea than any other glacier in Antarctica. The research also reveals that ice thinning is now occurring much further inland. At this rate scientists estimate that the main section of the glacier will have disappeared in just 100 years, six times sooner than was previously thought.
The scientists say it is too early to link the melting glacier to global warming, but they believe the retreating ice is due to warming oceans surrounding Antarctica.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 14, 2009

Senator Boxer: We Need Climate Bill Now to Avoid Dire Results

bb_index2.jpg Senator Barbara Boxer has long been the "Senate's top ranked environmentalist", and is now facing an issue that could seal her legacy. She is currently working on a bill to curb greenhouse gases emissions aiming to have it passed by September 2009. According to McClatchy:
If the Senate doesn't pass a bill to cut global warming, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer says, there will be dire results: droughts, floods, fires, loss of species, damage to agriculture, worsening air pollution and more.

She says there's a huge upside, however, if the Senate does act: millions of clean-energy jobs, reduced reliance on foreign oil and less pollution for the nation's children.

The House has already passed Waxman-Markey, and Boxer is optimistic her plan can build upon this and gain support, which she already has from the Obama administration.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 2, 2009

Climate Change Kills 300,000 a Year

climate-change.jpg According to Human Impact Report: Climate Change - The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis, a study released by the Global Humanitarian Forum, we are facing the negative effects of climate change now, especially in poorer countries. Former UN Secretary-General and president of Global Humanitarian Forum Kofi Annan explains:
Climate change is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time, causing suffering to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. As this report shows, the first hit and worst affected are the world's poorest groups, and yet they have done least to cause the problem.
The report states that 300,000 people currently die annually from climate change, and that number will rise to 500,000 by 2030. Residents of semi-arid regions are most at risk. Tim Hurst of Red, Green, and Blue writes:
The report also suggests that the world's twenty most vulnerable nations to climate change account for less than one percent of total worldwide emissions. In addition, 98% of those affected by climate change, 99% of all deaths and over 90% of all economic losses are borne by those countries least able to cope with the impacts of climate change and least able to invest the resources in fending them off.
Heavy polluting countries in the first world need to make it a priority to help these countries.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 28, 2009

Is the Internet Bad for the Environment?

email.gif Most people, including myself, don't consider the carbon footprint of the internet. According to NewScientist:
One estimate suggests it takes a whopping 152 billion kilowatt-hours per year just to power the data centres that keep the net running. Add to that the energy used by all the computers and peripherals linked to it and the whole thing could be responsible for as much as 2 per cent of all human-made CO2 emissions, putting it on a par with the aviation industry.
Just one internet search on Google creates 200 milligrams of CO2.  This may not sound like much, but think about how many internet searches are done each day across the world.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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