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
Design is about solving problems. Here’s a good example. Around the world people still fetch water in buckets, carrying them long distances on their heads. This limits the amount they can carry and isn’t great on their spines. With a simple design like this even kids can move fifty gallons of eater and have fun doing it.
TriFilm Productions | YouTube | Apr 09
If you’re interested in helping make the Q-Drum available to more people, visit their website at http://www.qdrum.co.za/
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.
National Geographic photographer, James Balog, has spent years recording the changing conditions of polar ice due to global warming. During a recent discussion on NPR’s Science Friday, Balog mentioned that virtually every scientist on earth who has studied this issue concludes that this planet is warming at a rate unprecedented in history. Earth has warmed more and more dramatically than any time in the past 1,000,000 years. The entire scientific community agrees that one of the major factors driving this trend is human activity. Industrialization, transportation, energy production, etc. This is not just nature doing its thing. Nature has never done this before.
Balog has produced a movie called ‘Chasing Ice’ documenting his observations of the effects of this process on arctic ice fields and glaciers, including this clip of the breakup of a feature in Greenland larger than Manhattan Island. The movie will be released this spring…
James Balog | YouTube | 14 Dec 13
________________________________________________________________________________ James Balog is an American photographer whose work revolves around the relationship between humans and nature. Since the early 1980s Balog has re-defined environmental photography, whether his subject is endangered animals, North America’s old-growth forests, or polar ice. His work aims to combine insights from art and science to produce innovative, dynamic and sometimes shocking interpretations of our changing world.
Inspiration Alert! Watch this and see if you don’t get inspired. Ballard has been exploring the oceans that surround this planet all his life. To hear him talk is like listening to Christopher Columbus talk about finding an unknown island with palm trees. Like Neal Armstrong talking about his first step on moon dust. Pretty exciting stuff…
Exploring the Oceans
Robert Ballard | TED.com | Jan 13
________________________________________________________________________________ Among the most accomplished and well known of the world’s deep-sea explorers, Robert Ballard is best known for his historic discoveries of hydrothermal vents, the sunken R.M.S. Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and numerous other contemporary and ancient shipwrecks around the world. During his long career he has conducted more than 120 deep-sea expeditions using the latest in exploration technology, and he is a pioneer in the early use of deep-diving submarines.
Ballard is president of the Institute for Exploration, scientist emeritus from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Director of the newly created Center for Ocean Exploration at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. His new ship of exploration, the E/V Nautilus operated by his Ocean Exploration Trust spends four to five months at sea each year and will be exploring the Black Sea, Aegean, Mediterranean, and Atlantic Ocean in 2011, beaming back his exploration around the clock on Nautilus Live.
Imagine if all the plastic bottles, containers, wraps, covers, toys, implements, tools, gadgets, clothing items, sprays, writing products, computer components, car parts, ball point pens, cookware, water bottles, soda bottles, milk containers, take-out food trays, glasses… you get the idea, were all made of plastic which is not made from petroleum and which biodegrades in months into harmless fertilizer. A pipe dream, right? Try this pipe…
Plastic From Plants
Frederick Sheer | Focus Forward Films | Nov 12
________________________________________________________________________________ Frederick Sheer is President of Cereplast, a German company with offices and plants in the US and India, that explores the benefits of using plant-based plastics.