RSSCategory: Sustainable Living

Facts for Earth Day

April 23, 2012 | By | Reply More
Facts for Earth Day

A sustainability symposium at the University of North Dakota urges that every day is Earth Day,” indicating that each of the following happen each and every day:

40,000 acres of land, an area about the size of Boise, Idaho will be converted to desert.

200 million tons of topsoil will be lost through erosion from croplands.

50,000 acres of forest will be eliminated.

800 million people will go to bed hungry and awake too weak to lead productive lives.

18,000 children will die from chronic hunger, malnutrition, and related diseases.

The world will spend $3 billion on military expenditures, half by one country.

The population of the world will grow by 211,000 people. A new Akron, Ohio will be added every day.

Of course, it is horrifically inconvenient, across virtually all interest groups and political parties, to mention this last item, which relates to the many of the others in this list, and to virtually every other problem was face. Hence, the need for the Global Population Speakout.

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You can help save a precious rainforest in Costa Rica

April 2, 2012 | By | Reply More

Two of my friends have become active in a non-profit organization dedicated to saving a Costa Rican rainforest. While discussing their new interest, it has become a delight to know that people I know are doing more than talking in the abstract about saving the Earth. I’ve recently learned from my friends that Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest has focused its efforts toward purchasing and preserving a 55,000 acre multi-elevation tract of land that is has far more than its share of threatened species. Consider the extensive biological diversity of this preserve:

  • 154 species of amphibians and reptiles
  • 121 kinds of mammals
  • 450 bird species
  • 3,000 different kinds of plants including 800 species of trees and 500 types of orchids
  • 1 million insect species

If you’d like to learn more, or get involved, you can follow these links. You can even take an eco-tour. If you live in the St. Louis area, consider attending a talk by Dr. Peter Raven at the St. Louis Zoo on Thursday, April 26, 2012, from 6-8pm. Here’s a glimpse at Dr. Raven’s upcoming talk and his bio:

Saving the Forest, Saving Ourselves: An awareness and fundraising forum
BY DR. PETER RAVEN
Keynote speaker: Dr. Peter Raven, one of the world’s leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity, is described by TIME magazine as a “Hero for the Planet.” He is President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden after serving 40 years as Director. In addition, he is chairman of the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration, and chair of the Division of Earth and Life Studies of the National Research Council.

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The varieties of fake meat

March 16, 2012 | By | Reply More
The varieties of fake meat

At Mother Jones, Tom Philpott discusses the alternatives to meat.

[T]here do exist meat substitutes that are made of whole foods—and actually taste better than factory-farmed chicken. Why not turn to them?

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The Earth is full, but abundance is our future. What?

February 29, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More
The Earth is full, but abundance is our future.  What?

We have done nothing to change course, despite the rapid rate at which we are exhausting the Earth’s resources. In a recent TED talk, Australian Paul Guilding tells us that it is beyond dispute, beyond any margin of error, that “the Earth is full.” To sustain current human activity, we’d need 1.5 Earths. Therefore, we are at the “end of growth,” and Guilding says it’s well underway. The evidence is all around us.

So how are we going to respond and react to this crisis?

And now for an opposing point of view, also at TED: Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism — that we’ll invent, innovate and create ways to solve the challenges that loom over us. “I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems; we surely do. But ultimately, we knock them down.”

OK, so one expert says we’re in massive trouble and the other says things have never been better. No wonder people are so suspicious about experts.

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Meanwhile, in Barcelona

February 14, 2012 | By | Reply More
Meanwhile, in Barcelona

I’ve written before about Reverend Billy Talen. His latest action was in Barcelona:

About 80 people accompanied Reverend Billy and Savitri D – founders of the New York City based Church of Stop Shopping – to a political ritual, “Naked Grief” in the lobby of the Deutschebank in Barcelona’s Placa Catalunya at noon today. The action was organized with activists and artists of The Influencers Festival. After entering the bank lobby, the crowd began dramatically weeping. Savitri D disrobed, and as the Barcelonans around her cried, Reverend Billy implored the “God of Deutsche Bank” to stop investing in CO2 emitting coal-fired power plants. Eventually coal was poured over the head and shoulders of the “Naked Mother” as the crying crowd shouted “Earthalujah!”

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The urban gardens of Havana

February 7, 2012 | By | Reply More
The urban gardens of Havana

Cubans were forced to think outside of the box after the Soviet Union cut off subsidies to Cuba. This video features the many urban gardens of Havana.

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Ex-vegetarianism

December 22, 2011 | By | Reply More
Ex-vegetarianism

In the December issue of The Atlantic, three ex-vegetarians explain their conversion:

Concerns about health, the environment, and ethical eating do not require giving up meat. What they do require is a new ethics of eating animals: one rooted in moderation, mindfulness, and respect.

As you might expect, vegetarians and ex-vegetarians are having an intense discussion in the comments following this article.

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Comparing light bulbs

December 21, 2011 | By | 7 Replies More
Comparing light bulbs

With 100 watt incandescent bulbs being phased out, how to the alternatives that provide 1600 lumens compare. Here’s a straightforward graphic from Scientific American.

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Rooftop solar water heaters taking off

December 17, 2011 | By | Reply More
Rooftop solar water heaters taking off

Lester Brown reports on the proliferation of solar rooftop water heaters at Sustainablog:

The pace of solar energy development is accelerating as the installation of rooftop solar water heaters takes off. Unlike solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert solar radiation into electricity, these “solar thermal collectors” use the sun’s energy to heat water, space, or both.
Source: sustainablog (http://s.tt/14T9R)

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