A resident of South Central L.A. decided to combat obesity by planting a garden instead of grass. This guy is not just a gardener. He’s a brilliant entrepreneur and an inspiration. Somebody introduce him to Michelle Obama, quick…
A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA
Ron Finley | TED | Mar 13
________________________________________________________________________________ Artist and designer Ron Finley couldn’t help but notice what was going on in his backyard. “South Central Los Angeles,” he quips, “home of the drive-thru and the drive-by.” And it’s the drive-thru fast-food stands that contribute more to the area’s poor health and high mortality rate, with one in two kids contracting a curable disease like Type 2 diabetes.
Finley’s vision for a healthy, accessible “food forest” started with the curbside veggie garden he planted in the strip of dirt in front of his own house. When the city tried to shut it down, Finley’s fight gave voice to a larger movement that provides nourishment, empowerment, education — and healthy, hopeful futures — one urban garden at a time.
Over the years we have all watched compelling videos about climate change. Speaker after speaker has illustrated how the planet is changing and how humans are probably a driving factor in why that change is occurring. In all that time I have never seen anyone present a concrete, tangible and achievable solution to the ecological problems resulting from climate change until this man and this video. In this compelling TED Talk, Allan Savory gives us hope that there may indeed be a light at the end of the climate change tunnel. Watch and listen…
How to Green the Desert and Reverse Climate Change
The image below was created by Chris Jordan, a Seattle-based artist who focuses on the impact of human behavior on the environment. The piece depicted here is called “Unsinkable”. In the chilling text accompanying this piece Jordan describes the nuclear time bomb sitting under the remains of Japan’s Fukushima power plant. You can view this piece and others in Jordan’s remarkable collection at ChrisJordan.com…
Chris Jordan | ChrisJordan.com | 2013
Depicts 67,000 mushroom clouds, equal to the number of metric tons of ultra-radioactive uranium/plutonium waste being stored in temporary pools at the 104 nuclear power plants across the U.S. These waste pools must be cooled with hundreds of thousands of gallons of constantly circulating water, and many plants have inadequate or nonexistent backup cooling systems in case of power loss. In the U.S. and around the world, the waste pools are under-protected, over-filled, and vulnerable to earthquakes, storms, malfeasance, and human error. In 1997 the Brookhaven National Laboratory estimated that a calamity at just one of these waste pools in the U.S. could cause 138,000 American deaths (more than the number of Japanese who died in the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima), and contaminate 2,000 square miles of our land.
Currently, the waste pool in Reactor Unit 4 at Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi plant is at risk for collapse. The building is unstable, and the cracked and leaking pool contains 262 tons of ultra-radioactive uranium/plutonium waste. For months, Fukushima has been experiencing numerous earthquakes from magnitude 4.1 to 6.2, sometimes several per day. If a magnitude 7 earthquake were to occur, causing the Unit 4 waste pool to rupture and drain, the resulting meltdown and fires could release ten times more airborne radioactive material than was released by the Chernobyl disaster. At that point humans could no longer enter or operate the facility, potentially leading to a chain reaction of meltdown events at Fukushima’s five other units, releasing 85 times as much radiation as the Chernobyl disaster.
The United States lies downwind of Fukushima, only a few days across the Pacific via the jet stream. The jet stream would carry radioactive material into the interior of the United States, eventually circling the globe and reaching the entire northern hemisphere within weeks or months. The amount of radiation released “would destroy the world environment and our civilization,” according to Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy.
________________________________________________________________________________ Chris Jordan is an artist based in Seattle, Washington who is best known for his large scale works depicting mass consumption and waste, particularly garbage. He has been called “the ‘it’ artist of the green movement”. Chris is currently working on “Midway”, a feature documentary on the impact of pollution on bird populations, including albatrosses, in the pacific island of Midway.
When the first astronauts traveled into space their view was outward, toward the moon, the planets and beyond. Surprisingly, the view that may have the most impact is the one from space back to our planet—Carl Sagan’s ‘Pale Blue Dot’. In this exquisite video five astronauts share their experience of the view of earth from space. If you need inspiration to care about climate change or saving the planet (or just want to see some incredible views of earth from space) you should watch this film…
________________________________________________________________________________ Planetary Collective is a group of filmmakers, visual media creatives and thinkers who work with cosmologists, ecologists and philosophers to explore some of the big questions facing our planet at this time.
________________________________________________________________________________ Neal deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist and science communicator. He is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. From 2006 to 2011 he hosted the educational science television show NOVA ScienceNOW on PBS and has been a frequent guest on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Jeopardy!. It was announced on August 5, 2011, that Tyson will be hosting a new sequel to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage television series.
Remember when you were very small and heard a story about a chicken who ran around warning that “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” His name was Chicken Little. James Hanson is often likened to that poor chicken and often equally ignored. He doesn’t say the sky is falling though. He says it is warming. But the results are probably the same. You may or may not “believe” in global warming. You may think people like Dr Hanson are simply alarmists who don’t see the whole picture. You may be wrong. Listen to what Dr Hanson has to say and judge for yourself…
Why I must speak out about climate change
James Hanson | TED | Mar 12
________________________________________________________________________________ James Hansen is Adjunct Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He was trained in physics and astronomy in the space science program of James Van Allen at the University of Iowa. His early research on the clouds of Venus helped identify their composition as sulfuric acid. Since the late 1970s, he has focused his research on Earth’s climate, especially human-made climate change. Hansen is known for his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue. Hansen is recognized for speaking truth to power, for identifying ineffectual policies as greenwash, and for outlining the actions that the public must take to protect the future of young people and the other species on the planet.
When we were cruising there was one person we looked to every day for critical information about the weather. Dr. Jeff Masters, founder of Wunderground.com. There is probably no person on the planet who knows more about weather then Jeff Masters. In this presentation Dr. Masters shares his observations, insights and forecasts for the future of our increasingly worrisome weather. Given what we just went through near New York, it’s not too encouraging. While the presentation is a bit formal the picture he envisions is enough to make even the most cynical global warming skeptic sit up and take notice. But they probably won’t. By the way, Jeff predicted Sandy would occur and warned it would be devastating to New York. Last year…
What’s Up With The Weather?
Dr. Jeff Masters | TED | Apr 12
________________________________________________________________________________ Jeff Masters co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. Weather Underground is a commercial weather service that provides real-time weather information via the Internet. Weather Underground provides weather reports for most major cities across the world on its Web site, as well as local weather reports for newspapers and Web sites. Most of its United States information comes from the National Weather Service (NWS), as information from that agency is within the public domain by federal law. The Web site is available in many languages, and an ad-free version of the site with additional features is available for an annual fee.
I love to watch those videos where a camera zooms from earth to space showing how insignificant our planet really is in the vast cosmic scheme of things. Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” and all that. Probably the best was Charles and Ray Eames’ “Powers of Ten”. This film, produced by the American Museum of Natural History, is notable for its striking clarity. It’s like looking at Google Earth on steroids. Google Universe…
The Known Universe
Hans Zimmer | American Museum of Natural History | 23 Oct 12
We are used to seeing articles extolling the wonders of nature along with the perils of mistreating the natural environment. Starting with Silent Spring we learned that nature’s resilience to mistreatment is not infinite. Colin Powell famously said, “You break it, you own it.” He was speaking of foreign policy and the cost of war. He might as well have been talking about the environment. Owning it means living with the consequences of mistreating it. This article puts it another way. It is often difficult to see the link between the demise of one species and the survival of another. The author makes us aware that all life on this planet is linked, including us. When nature is out of balance, so are we. And the consequences of that are very uncomfortable…
Why the Beaver Should Thank the Wolf
Mary Ellen Hanibal | NYTimes | 28 Sept 12
THIS month, a group of environmental nonprofits said they would challenge the federal government’s removal of Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Wyoming. Since there are only about 328 wolves in a state with a historic blood thirst for the hides of these top predators, the nonprofits are probably right that lacking protection, Wyoming wolves are toast.