February 11, 2013 - THE ENVIRONMENTAL MAGAZINE - JEFFREY HOLLENDER
The best case for greater environmental protection and green investments isn’t just about jobs, but rather about equity and broader economic growth.The ‘dirty economy’ model relies on allowing businesses to push a portion of their costs of production onto third parties without their consent, simultaneously causing harm to people who are disproportionately impoverished and lack political power, and distorting the market by causing overproduction of pollution-intensive goods at the expense of cleaner goods.... http://www.emagazine.com/blog/its-about-more-than-jobs/
When they picture the adverse effects of climate change, public health scientists hope the American public won't think of them as something that happens to glaciers or polar bears, but turn the focus more on themselves.
"The face of climate change ought to be people," epidemiologist George Luber, associate director for global climate change at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview last week. "We ought to kind of internalize it.
Luber and Natural Resources Defense Council scientist Kim Knowlton took the lead in writing the human health chapter for the draft 2013 National Climate Assessment, which was released last month and is now open for public comment (Greenwire, Jan. 11). The report, which is the third of its kind, lays out the impacts climate change will have on the United States, including on its citizens' health.
Human health challenges as a result of global warming range from injuries after more intense storms to toxic algal blooms (more)
Researchers at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) recently found that between 30 to 50 percent of all food produced – or up to two billion tons – is thrown away each year. The UK-based group claims that over-cautious sell by dates, buy one get one free deals and the western obsession with fruit and vegetables that look perfect are among the culprits of this colossal waste of not only food, but also the water, energy and land required to produce it, The Guardian reports. At the same time, the IME points out that by 2075, there will be nine and a half billion people on the planet – or 2.5 billion more people to feed.
Air pollution in Beijing has been described as "apocalyptic" this week with people choking their way through murky streets, short of breath and their eyes stinging from toxic air. But Beijing is just one of hundreds of cities, largely in Asia, where poisonous air is now the fastest growing cause of death in urban populations.
Hollywood Costume Designer Kresta Lins, has taken the discussion a little farther, and started a public campaign.
Her mission: To Green Hollywood One Costume At a Time.
Kresta’s green crusade started when she was writing green articles for the Costume Designers Guild newsletter. Her research for an article about recyclable materials in the costume department made her realize how much waste was never recycled due to the lack of information and proper systems for disposal. But she didn’t stop there, Kresta took her mission to the next level, and created a dress “The Costume Department” dress, that would start a campaign that aims to educate and inspire the members of the entertainment industry to use less, recycle more and make Hollywood a greener industry.
Meet Kresta Lins, a costume designer with a mission to help Hollywood become greener by telling a story of recycling and sustainability through the art of costume design. (More)
“WE'RE AT THE BEGINNING OF BEING ABLE TO DESIGN LIFE IN THE WAY THAT WE WANT”
January 12, 2013 - Science News
Quietly, on the top floor of a nondescript commercial building overlooking Boston Harbor, the future is being born...
Ginkgo is, in essence, a 21st century factory of life. The researchers working there specialize in synthetic biology, a field that seeks to build living things from the ground up. After envisioning what they want new organisms to do, Ginkgo biologists actually grow vials full of redesigned cells. “We’re going from the place we used to be, in doing science and studying the natural world, to a place where we’re now going to be able to engineer and manipulate it,”
“This is not just — oh, we’re going to go build something that’s able to make pieces of DNA better
“We’re at the beginning of being able to design life in the way that we want,” says Pamela Silver, a biologist at Harvard Medical School and Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering"
The Neighborhood Farm: An Urban Farming Initiative in and around Needham, Massachusetts. Linked by Michael Levenston. barrow. Painting by Abbi Canney. Kate Canney wasn't going to let living in a suburban ...
Economics as we know it today is broken. Unable to explain, to predict or to protect, it is need of root-and-branch replacement. Or, to borrow from Alan Greenspan, it is fundamentally "flawed".
But where do we look for inspiration in facilitating what is the mother of all paradigm shifts? Interestingly, the most insightful and strikingly innovative ideas are coming from all directions other than the economics profession.
Ecology offers the insight that the economy is best understood as a complex adaptive system, more a garden to be lovingly observed and tended than a machine to be regulated by mathematically calculable formulae.
A new study in Nature Climate Change argues that cities generate a lot of waste heat, contributing to the weird weather patterns seen lately.
So, does this mean that city living really isn’t so sustainable after all? I don’t think so; rather, I think it shows that we’re taking full advantage of the opportunities for resource sharing offered in urban settings. And while more of us following Susie Cagle’s suggestion to “…put on a sweater and take the bus,” guilt-tripping probably won’t get us to where we want to be. It’s time to think really creatively about resource efficiency… and sharing is good place to start.
Consider the evidence: McPherson directs corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs for Fenton’s clientele, helping organizations launch projects such as providing relief to flood victims or promoting recycling. Cheerfully bright clothing drapes her petite frame, and she speaks in a youthful voice, with a charming habit of regularly referring to people by first name. On her office whiteboard, she has saved a large drawing of a flower in red and purple markers, a playful memento from her partner Fabien Cousteau, grandson of iconic oceanographer and explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
WATER POLLUTION - CANADA TAKES CRAP FOR FLUSHING RAW SEWAGE INTO THE OCEAN - According to Macleans, Canada’s leading news magazine, the sewage is a mixture of water, human waste, microorganisms, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, EXCRETED PHARMACEUTICALS and, potentially, pathogens such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis B. http://environment.about.com/od/waterpollution/a/canadasewage.htm
5 GYRES INSTITUTE — Scientists from The 5 Gyres Institute have discovered the first evidence of a “garbage patch,” an accumulation zone of plastic pollution floating in the South Pacific subtropical gyre.