When executed just right, ad campaigns can have enormous influence. And I’m not talking about soft drink commercials. (Watching Beyoncé prance around in a skimpy outfit doesn’t make me want to reach for a Pepsi.) But who can forget the crying Indian (yes, that’s what they were called back then) urging us not to litter or Smokey the Bear saying the prevention of forest fires was up to us? And then there was the ubiquitous “brain on drugs” frying pan from the ‘80s. These ads invaded our consciousness and had a tremendous impact. (So, apparently, did the cigarette ads of the 1950s and 1960s that featured doctors touting the health benefits of one brand over another. But we’ll let that one pass.)
From poachers to rangers, a tale of 30 men who help seven species of rare waterbirds enjoy a population comeback of epic proportions. Sounds like the synopsis of a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s actually real life.
A new report by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reveals that the population of several rare waterbirds from Cambodia’s Tonlé Sap region have rebounded due to a novel project which employs former hunters and egg collectors as park rangers to provide Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
“In 1946, three G.E. scientists found that seeding clouds with dry ice or silver iodine could affect precipitation.” So opens the Letter from China in this month’s Green Issue of Vanity Fair. Sixty years later, it’s the Chinese who are using this controversial technology to control the weather.
So preoccupied are the Chinese with having a drizzle-free opening ceremony to this summer’s Olympic Games (a period that usually has a 50% chance of rain) that officials are trying the wring clouds clean of rain in advance, so as to lower the odds. “In the international press this has been written up in tones of suppressed amusement about Olympic anxieties and the wackiness of the Chinese.” However, as the article points out, the Chinese have been carrying out weather-modification efforts across the country for some time now. According to the Chinese Meteorological Administration (C.M.A.), the organization has 39,000 field operators equipped with 7,113 anti-aircraft cannons and 4,991 truck-mounted rocket launchers. “In 2006, they fired a million rounds at the weather, and launched 80,000 rockets”.
Anheuser-Busch recently announced that it will start running environmentally focused TV ads the week of April 21, touting its green beer production (in terms of energy, not beer color) and making it the first macrobrew to promote any kind of green ideology.
“Our pledge is to continually seek to operate and efficiently maintain our quality standards, while considering our environmental impact in order to be better stewards of the world Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
If you think the world around you is going green, you’re right. And that includes your television.
At 6:00 p.m. east coast time on June 4, 2008, the Disovery Home Channel will morph into Planet Green, the first 24-hour eco network on cable. On it, you can expect over 250 hours of original green programming featuring such well known personalities as Entourage’s Adrian Grenier, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, rapper/actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, mega rocker Tommy Lee Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
The most chilling part of what occurred on November 7th in the San Francisco Bay is not so much the accident itself human error is inevitable to a certain degree but the slow response to the accident that, according to an article on abc.com, will result in most of the 58,000 gallons of spilled oil being absorbed into the ecosystem. Shouldn’t previous oil catastrophes (Exxon Valdez, anyone?) have taught us to treat each of these as worst case scenarios? Must we wait for the inevitable before putting into place a real, actionable plan?
While the Coast Guard maintains that their response was immediate 30 minutes after the distress call they did acknowledge some “miscommunication” with local officials, but said this didn’t interfere with relief efforts. However, the article points out that the much-needed oil-skimming vehicles did not show up until 90 minutes after the call, allowing many more thousands of gallons of oil to do their damage.
Want to get up close with a great-white man-eater in “Jaws Lake”? Or test your physical and emotional strength by doing some extreme stunts on “Fear Factor Live”? (It’s worth eating the animal entrails, folks; a former contestant won George Clooney). Or scare yourself silly in the middle of 50-foot fireballs and exploding seaplanes in “Waterworld – A Live Sea War Spectacular”? If any of the above fits your definition of “fun”, read on…
Whenever pharmaceuticals are advertised on television, the verbal disclaimer they’re forced to provide always seems far longer than the shiny, happy portion of the commercial (the sales pitch). And at the end, you inevitably get a list of potential side effects, many of which are contradictory: this drug may cause grogginess or insomnia; you may vomit, you may be unable to vomit; don’t operate heavy machinery, don’t avoid heavy machinery.
And in most cases, the side effects seem so incredibly heinous that I’m left wondering why anyone would consider taking this drug. You may get a ten-minute reprieve from the pains of rheumatoid arthritis, but you’ll spend the next two weeks unable to eat, sleep or leave the bathroom. There’s simply got to be a better way.
Maybe that’s what Oscar Grimm thought at the start of his journey with cancer.
(At this point, I should probably provide a disclaimer of my own: the purpose of this article is to inform you of one man’s experience. Your actions after reading it are entirely your responsibility. But it’s an inspiring story, so keep reading.)
Quitting smoking two years ago was one of the greatest things I’ve done in my life. The transformation of my health was amazing, and up until now I’ve been looking forward to a cancer-free future. But according to a recent study by Dr. Vini Khurana, I face a much graver threat than cigarettes or even asbestos.
My cell phone.
Dr. Khurana has recently concluded that using a cell phone over a ten year period of time can double a person’s risk of a malignant brain tumor, which is almost always fatal. This is a pretty serious diagnosis when you consider that there are three billion cell phone users worldwide.
The short answer is no. But there are some promising signs. The first is Nike’s commitment to being “climate neutral” by 2015, and it has already started Just Doing It with its totally wind-powered distribution facility in Belgium (they haven’t said anything about making swoosh clogs, however). Enterprise Rent-A-Car is joining the game Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
As of this writing, Vanity Fair’s Green Issue has yet to hit the newsstands. But seeing as how they’ve handily provided an (aptly eco) online version, here are some early highlights. The video introduction from editor Graydon Carter turns out to be harder to play than it is to justify their “green” cover girl Madonna. After 72 attempts, I finally gathered the wherewithal to seek it out on YouTube Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Regardless of what cloth you’re cut from, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Ten Commandments and the Seven Deadly Sins. But here’s a new one with which you may not be familiar: thou shall not pollute the Earth. According to an article in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Catholic Church has added causing “environmental blight” to its lists of modern evils.
In a statement released this past week, Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti (for those of you who are unfamiliar with the church hierarchy, he’s the #2 guy, after the Pope) urged the faithful to beware of new sins that are affecting the world in which we live. Included in these sins are ecological offenses, bioethics & genetic manipulation and drug & human trafficking. That’s right, not recycling your double macchiato container from Starbucks is right up there with selling young women for sex or giving drugs to children!