The Dead Zone and the Ugly Side of Ethanol

corn1 The Dead Zone and the Ugly Side of Ethanol

We need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, right? We need to curb CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, too, correct? Mixing corn-based ethanol into gasoline is currently the most popular solution to these problems, but the environmental costs are adding up – thousands of miles from the Corn Belt in the Gulf of Mexico Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

The Nature of Tennessee | Protecting the Cumberland

cumberlandplateau 01 The Nature of Tennessee | Protecting the Cumberland

While possibly not as sexy as the Grand Canyon or Yosemite Valley, any biodiversity expert will tell you that northern Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau needs protection. The rolling hills and quiet “hollers” are home to so many different species it rivals even tropical rainforests.

The Nature Conservancy spearheaded the effort to set aside some 130,000 acres of land through conservation easement, closely-scrutinized forestry practice, and outright protection. Combined with other public lands, the area will create a nearly 300 square miles of connected green space that will be open to the public for a variety of outdoor activities.

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Tipping Point in Arctic | Sea Ice Increases Decline

arctic ice1 Tipping Point in Arctic | Sea Ice Increases Decline

The earth is warming — not exactly a news flash. One question that remains is how fast. Data from this summer shows an alarming increase in the rate that sea ice melted in the Arctic. And if ice keeps melting at this rate, the Arctic seas could be ice free in the summer of 2012 – nearly 30 years earlier than prior worst estimates.

It’s actually a simple matter of black and white. Ice (which is white) reflects the sun’s rays and about 80% of the sun’s energy, but the sea (which is dark, almost black) absorbs about 90% of the sun’s energy. Warmer global temperatures means less ice up North, which is then exacerbated by more energy being absorbed by the sea, leading to further melting.

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Jellyfish Populations Out of Control

jellyfish1 Jellyfish Populations Out of Control

Jellyfish are aquatic invertebrates and they’re found in every ocean in the world. With their gelatinous consistency, tentacles and — in the case of some species (like the box jellyfish) — a nasty sting, they probably don’t rank highly on most people’s list of favorite marine species Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

British Airways | Altruism in the Skies?

british airways1 British Airways | Altruism in the Skies?

British Airways is so generous. So much so that they’re loaning one their planes to researchers at Cambridge University in order for them to gather data on the hidden impact of air travel — which could result in higher ticket prices due to Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Candidate Forum Focuses on Environment

democrats1 Candidate Forum Focuses on Environment

Okay, so maybe you’re already tired of the campaign season. But one issue that has been getting shorted in the “I’m human” vs. “I equal change” vs. “I love the middle class” political drama is the environment. Back in November, the League of Conservation Voters hosted a forum in LA, where Clinton, Edwards and Kucinich outlined their support of the environment. The League invited all candidates on both sides, but only these three Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Governor Gets Heat For Keeping Kansas Clean

kansas sebelius1 Governor Gets Heat For Keeping Kansas Clean

What does it take to stand up to the world’s largest coal company? Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius knows because she recently denied Peabody Coal – the world’s largest coal company –permits for two new coal-fired power plants. Her argument: as governor she swore an oath to protect the health and well-being of all Kansans, and allowing the coal power would go against that oath Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Only in LA | Drive-By Art

revisions Only in LA | Drive By Art

Art curator Peter Schulberg is reworking, rethinking and recycling the PVC billboards once again for this weekend’s launch of ReVisions. From January 12th to February 9th, LA’s skyline will be dotted with what appear to be a dozen 14’ x 48’ new billboards, which are, in actuality, old advertising billboards made new with works of art by some of the city’s most talented artists.

In a city where arts and culture often take a backseat to movies and plastic surgery, the idea of drive-by art is as eye catching as it is effective. Peter estimates that “in the first day, 750,000 Angelinos will experience the art – more than attend all of LA’s major museums in a month. By the exhibit’s end, the works will be seen an astounding 40 million times.”

The idea of turning billboards into art came to Peter after some discarded billboard vinyl literally landed on the doorstep of his Pico gallery. This heavy, inky material is usually tossed into a landfill by the truckload, where it’s left to rot (or not, since PVC can take up to a thousand years to decompose). ReVisions not only keeps this toxic PVC out of landfills but provides eye candy for those stuck in that most quintessential of LA experiences — traffic.

Brad Pitt Rebuilds New Orleans Because Someone Has To

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In an interview with Charlie Rose on the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt says, “I wish it was taken care of at a federal level, state level, even local level. But if this be the case where we got to hit it at a grassroots level, so be it.” Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Michael Moore Presents Norway Not So Sicko

michael moore sicko Michael Moore Presents Norway Not So Sicko

It’s too bad there’s no way for Norway to secede from the planet. At least Michael Moore’s version of Norway.

This clip shows a segment cut from Sicko, Moore’s condemnation of the U.S. healthcare system. According to Moore, Norwegians not only get a full year’s maternity leave, free cars when needed and the world’s lightest prison sentences, they evidently consider drinking beer to be an environmentally friendly act. The more you drink, the more you sewage you create, the more energy you create to heat your homes.

0 Michael Moore Presents Norway Not So Sicko

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Sustainable Development | Libya’s Green Mountain

libya resort1 Sustainable Development | Libya’s Green Mountain

As the US struggles to rein in its gluttonous appetite for energy, Libya, one of the world’s largest oil producing countries, has announced that it will create the largest sustainable development in the world. The development is the brainchild of Saif al-Islam, a son of the once-maligned Libyan president Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

EPA to Limit State Initiatives on CO2

co2 smog21 EPA to Limit State Initiatives on CO2

Eerily close to the touted “triumphs” in Bali and in the Energy Bill, comes a new edict from the Bush administration: the EPA will handle CO2 policy, not individual states. On the heels of the EPA denying California’s bid to limit vehicle CO2 emissions, EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson announced late Wednesday that “the Bush administration is moving forward with a clear national solution — not a confusing patchwork of state rules.”

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