New and Cool
Test drive a new way to navigate this site.
New page: humor which (believe it ot not) is related to
New wiki page Culture Jamming Examples: "Phone Story" the iPhone app contains a mini-game exploring a different problem in the consumer electronics supply chain. How would you like to force children to mine precious metals, save suicidal workers from jumping to their deaths so they can labor another day, or find the cheapest way to dispose of mountains of e-waste—all while keeping productivity up so you can toss shiny trinkets to adoring consumers? Exxon hates your children needs support.
New Page: Awwwwwwwww (pictures of adorable animals).
Students to pitch viable ideas for positive environmental change UCSC startup weekend 11/16. see Design Challenges, Sustainability, Social Entrepreneurs, and creativity. For other funding see Scholarships
UCSC students get first-hand scientific experience while monitoring the elusive big cats as part of the Puma Project.(video). In the first published results of more than three years of tracking mountain lions in the Santa Cruz Mountains, UC Santa Cruz researchers document how human fragmentation of habitat affects the predators' habits. UCSC helps capture and safely release cougar near downtown. New research on hunting techniques 10/14. See Big Cats page.
11/16 update: sea otter hunting studied.
Julie Guthman (Kresge, '79, sociology), researches organic agriculture. audio interview on her new book Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism UC Press, 2011. Overview. Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California, the first social science study of organic foods in the United States, has been updated. 2015 (award). The powerful fumigant methyl bromide will be retired from California’s strawberry fields at the end of this year after more than 20 years of fierce debate over its effects and alternatives. According to new research published by UC Santa Cruz professor and food studies expert Julie Guthman, these debates often pit the health and well-being of farm workers against the economic viability of growers while overlooking the constraints and availability of farm land. 9/16.
Hillary Angelo, UC Santa Cruz assistant professor of sociology, argues in the journal Nature that while big cities appear to be islands of sustainable living, issues of social equity and global impacts are missing from measures of cities' environmental friendliness. 8/16 See Stewart Brand in Eco-heroes.
UC sells off $200 million in coal and oil sands investments whoohoo! If you want to get involved, or just learn more, contact FossilFree UC: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bus tracking in realtime at UCSC started by students of computer engineering Professor Katia Obrackza, who initially pitched it as a project for undergraduates looking for a senior design project. Another group of students on the project, working with electrical engineering Professor Stephen Petersen, had to figure out the best location for an array of base stations to receive the GPS signals.The web app piece—SlugRoute—was designed by Wade "Simba" Khadder, an undergraduate in computer science who took a prototype to a UCSC Hackathon. See Entrepreneurship. 4/16.
History of art and visual culture professor T.J. Demos, who is also director of the Center for Creative Ecologies will present Climate Justice Now!--Art Activism, Environment Today is the title of the 2016 Arts Dean’s Lecture Series--an array of free public talks running March 30 to May 25 at UC Santa Cruz. See Art.
Percolating ideas: Grad student Sarah Beganskas is studying what could become part of the solution to California’s water crisis: collecting storm runoff so it can seep into the ground instead of being diverted to rivers and seas. 4/16. See Water.
Ecosystems of California is a new comprehensive reference of California’s ecological abundance featuring contributions from 149 experts including 19 with ties to UC Santa Cruz. Co-edited by Erika Zavaleta and Harold Mooney. 1/16.
Mercury-Laden Fog Swirls Over California Coastal Cities cites Peter Weiss-Penzias.
Utopian Dreaming conference videos.
Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) internships. 12/15.
UCSC's Gabe Zimmerman died five years ago in the shooting that badly wounded Congressman Gabby Giffords. 12/15 update: Moved by Zimmerman’s commitment to public service, two UC Santa Cruz alums, Alex Clemens (Porter, '89, international politics) and Jonathan Klein (Merrill, '89, politics), created a scholarship fund in his honor. Now, Professor Emeritus David E. Kaun, a founding faculty member in economics, will match up to $20,000. The five Zimmerman scholarship winners to date are pursuing activities in social justice ranging from technology, medicine, and human rights. 12/15.
Sea lions exposed to algal toxin show impaired spatial memory: Permanent neurological and behavioral changes caused by the neurotoxin domoic acid may affect sea lions' ability to survive in the wild 12/15. See Marine Mammals.
Kristy Kroeker, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology with $875K Packard funding, plans to conduct large-scale studies of marine ecosystems to understand how these global changes will affect not only individual species but complex assemblages of multiple species (kelp and acidification) see Ocean.
Beth Shapiro. How to Clone a Mammoth.LongNow talk on rewilding (video) by Stewart Brand.see also TEDtalks on rewilding or de-extinction, including the Tasmanian Tiger and brooding frog. Pioneered by UCSC's Soule. carried on by Beth Shapiro. She will develop conservation genomics tools with a focus on species of special concern to California. See ReWilding.
Male elephant seals use 'voice recognition' to identify rivals, study by graduate student Caroline Casey and research biologist Colleen Reichmuth finds (video) 8/15 see Marine_Mammals.
UCSC research on starfish disease 11/13. Mysterious epidemic devastates starfish population off the Pacific Coast (video) PBS 1/14. You can help do citizen science research. More opportunities. LOE audio. Oregon 6/14. 5/15 update.
Bacteria inhibit bat-killing fungus, could combat white-nose syndrome.Bacteria found naturally on some bats may prove useful in controlling the deadly fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome, which has devastated bat populations throughout eastern North America and continues to spread across the continent. Joseph Hoyt, a UC Santa Cruz graduate student who leads the study. 4/15 see Wildlife.
A team of UC Santa Cruz students has advanced to the regional finals of the million dollar Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition and start-up platform for social good. Each year the Hult Prize, in partnership with President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, challenges students around the world to develop innovative social enterprises that aim to tackle pressing issues faced by billions of people. The winners receive $1 million in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community to launch their newly formed company. 3/15 see Entrepreneurship.
Hasti Afsarifard, put a 3D printer in spaceWhen the SpaceX Dragon containing a 3-D printer blasted toward the International Space Station last week, it was propelled by more than rocket fuel. It was boosted by the vision of Hasti Afsarifard, a UC Santa Cruz student. That dream sent her to Cape Canaveral, Florida, and it didn't end there. 10/14. See Entrepreneurs.
Climate changes during the 21st century are expected to alter the highest waves and strongest winds across U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands.
Scientists drill through half mile of Antarctic ice for data on ice sheet stability UC Santa Cruz glaciologist Slawek Tulaczyk is a chief scientist of the WISSARD project, which has just reached another milestone. 1/15 See Arctic.
UC goes solar! 10/14.
UC Santa Cruz biologist Nicole Thometz set out to quantify the energy demands of a growing sea otter pup, as it accounts for high mortality rates among female sea otters in some areas. 6/14 See also Marine Mammals.
Terrie Williams looks back at otter rescue at the Exxon Valdez spill 25 years ago. see [UCSC marine mammal research].
Divestment: UC Santa Cruz's Student Union Assembly (SUA) joined four other UC campuses in passing a resolution for divestment from fossil fuel assets in the $6.5 billion UC General Endowment Pool. See also McKibben in Eco-heroes.
UCSC alums: Hoyt Peckham has been awarded a 2014 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to expand on his work with coastal communities in Mexico to support sustainable fishing practices win award for turtle research and head NOAA: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has appointed UCSC alumna Kathryn Sullivan to serve as administrator for NOAA. 3/14. See Turtles and UC Slugs in Action.
UCSC astronomers have discovered a distant quasar illuminating a vast nebula of diffuse gas, revealing for the first time part of the network of filaments thought to connect galaxies in a cosmic web. 1/14.
Elliot Anderson, an Associate Prof. of Art & Electronic Media in the Art Department and Digital Arts and the New Media, is seeking student researchers to work with him on his "Silicon Monuments: An Augmented Reality Tour of Silicon Valley Superfund Sites" (http://www.siliconmonuments.org/). The project is described below. If you are interested, please contact Professor Anderson at: ewanders AT ucsc.edu. See also Volunteer Opportunities.
New device harnesses sun and sewage to produce hydrogen fuel. A novel device that uses only sunlight and wastewater to produce hydrogen gas could provide a sustainable energy source while improving the efficiency of wastewater treatment.
Robert Ludwig works on Renewable bioenergy: hydrogen production by direct photoconversion.
Matt Riese, philosophy alum made a hovercraft in the shape of a Delorean. He showed it at Maker Faire.
The Gabriel Zimmerman Meeting Room in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center was dedicated in honor of UCSC alum “Gabe”, killed at the January 8, 2011, shooting in Tucson, that left then Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) severely injured. Astronaut Mark Kelly, who spoke for his wife, remarked that Gabe, ran toward the victims when the gunman opened fire. He was the only legislative staff member ever killed in the line of duty. VP Biden also spoke (video).
Computer science major Radhika Mitra (though slightly flakey, bless her heart) founded a tax-deductible charitable organization called Renaissance Now to help artisans in developing countries. See Social Entrepreneurs
Don Rothman: "Avoiding the Humiliation of Silence in the Face of Cruelty and Injustice".VIDEO. Many students said his talk was a highlight of the Core course. Sadly, Don passed away in his sleep in early December 2012; he will be much missed.
TEDtalks amazing videos
Stories: (Sometimes literally UN-cool)
The world's largest artificial sun is now shining at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) The goal of the experiment, as the Guardian reported, "is to come up with the optimal setup for concentrating natural sunlight to power a reaction to produce hydrogen fuel." see Germany and Hydrogen.
In 1962, Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring,” her groundbreaking exposure of the environmental harms posed by the mosquito-killing pesticide DDT. Informed by her alarm over the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, Carson’s work challenged prevailing assumptions about chemical safety and helped birth the modern environmental movement. A new PBS documentary premiering on January 24 examines Carson’s writing, research and the challenges she faced as a woman taking on one of the country’s most powerful industries. Interview with William Souder (audio), author,"On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson." see Eco-heroes.
The Madhouse Effect by Michael Mann : The award-winning climate scientist Michael E. Mann and the Pulitzer Prize–winning political cartoonist Tom Toles have witnessed the manipulation of the media by business and political interests and the unconscionable play to partisanship on issues that affect the well-being of billions. The lessons they have learned have been invaluable, inspiring this brilliant, colorful escape hatch from the madhouse of the climate wars.(video talk). See Global Warming. 1/17.
According to Oxfam’s new report, eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity: The gap between rich and poor is far greater than had previously been estimated, with big business and the super-rich fueling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages, and using their power to influence politics. 1/17. see Economics and Food Scarcity.
Ecotopia Rising: Iceland's Upstart Pirate Party makes waves in election ally of Green, while the election didn't bring a Pirate revolution, it did see the emergence of new parties, a decline in support for traditional ones, and a record number of seats for women — 30 out of 63. 10/16.
World's First Wind-Hydro Farm Supplies Power Even When There's No Wind. Germany leads the world because of the Green Party inspired by Ecotopia.
Epistle to the Ecotopians: Ernest Callenbach (1929-2012), author of the classic environmental novel Ecotopia among other works, died at 83 on April 16th, leaving behind this document on his computer. It provides hope and guidance. Joanna Macy helps with despair.
In How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change, Oscar Nominated director Josh Fox (GASLAND) continues in his deeply personal style, investigating climate change trailer. 11/16 see Environmental Films.
'Brilliant' Climate Change Cartoon Goes Viral After Elon Musk, John Green Share It on Twitter see Comics and Global Warming.
Eco, a global survival simulator presents you with a tricky challenge: Develop a civilization capable of tackling a meteor strike, drought, or rising sea levels, but don’t destroy the environment. 11/16 see Gaming.
The upper house of Germany’s parliament, passed a resolution on Monday that calls for the elimination of vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel engines by 2030. 10/16 Germany has led because of the Green Party inspired by Ecotopia.
The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) is pleased to announce the Winner of the 2016 Fuller Challenge: the Rainforest Solutions Project (RSP), a collaborative effort between three environmental organizations, which played a critical role in developing one of the most extraordinary approaches to conservation, social justice, and indigenous rights in recent memory, resulting in a historically unprecedented multigenerational agreement. See Entrepreneurship and Forests.
Researchers Around the World Are Learning From Indigenous Communities—Here's Why That's a Good Thing 6/16, see also Native Americans.
'Threat Map' Aims to Highlight the Worst of Oil and Gas Air Pollution: 6/16 See Air and maps Two activist groups used government data to show 12.4 million people in the U.S. live within a half-mile of an oil and gas facility—and its pollution.
Bionic Leaf Turns Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel 10 Times Faster Than Nature: the idea of what the Harvard team call “bionic leaf 2.0” is an attractive one. It could deliver liquid fuels in convenient form that would make no difference to the planet’s overall carbon budget. In effect, it could bypass the vegetation stage. 6/16
An Elegant Tool Called Squidpop That Scientists Want to Crowdsource: The device is so easy to use, researchers are asking for a “squidpop blitz” for World Oceans Day.
Earth Week Events! See UCSC above.
For 28 years, the U.S. Forest Service allowed Nestlé to pump water out of the San Bernardino National Forest under an expired permit, virtually free of charge, for bottled water. See Plastic and Water.
Watch: Celebrate Some of the World's Most Incredible Animals Before They Go Extinct National Geographic Photo Ark Racing Extinction (video). 4/16.
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING Inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller. Filmed over 211 days in nine countries and five continents over four years, is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. *** See Global Warming.
Merchants of Doubt (Trailer) audio interview) based on excellent Oreskes book, see global warming "debate" 3/15. **** highly recommended Creating doubt five min. overview of fake "debate" history. (video).
In honor of fifth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster Interactive Map Details What You Need to Know About the World’s Nuclear Power Plants see Nuclear Power.
Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us' (The Overlook Press, June 2015) by David Neiwert, interview UpFront KPFA 7:00am March 9, 2016 Facebk. see Marine Mammals.
We have a climate deal in Paris COP21! Activists take the streets despite ban after attacks to push for accountability and improvements. Fossil Fuel Stocks Tumble, Renewable Energy Stocks Soar; Activist art see Art.
CA irrigating our crops with benzene and arsenic laden wastewater left over from fracking 1/16
More plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, warned the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in a report, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics 1/16.
Victory: Obama Signs Bill Banning Plastic Microbeads 12/15 CA bellweather: California Senate Passes Nation’s Strictest Ban on Microbeads see CA.
The Surprising Good News for Wildlife in 2016 scan includes Rockstrom.
‘Shrimp’ Made From Algae: The Latest in Fake Meat: New Wave Foods, a San Francisco-based sustainable seafood startup, is developing a lab-grown “shrimp” made from algae that could be as nutritious as the real deal. See Fishing and Entrepreneurship
The small coastal city of Morro Bay is considering a proposal that would put California's first offshore wind farm about 15 miles from the city's coast. The project would likely take years to pass the state's permitting process, but the project is already raising concerns about its environmental impact. California may soon be debating many such projects as Governor Jerry Brown signed a law last month that requires state utilities to receive half of their energy from renewable sources by 2030. 11/15. See also solar on Kit Fox. See Wind.
Monsanto Handed ‘Double Whammy’ by Mexican Courts Over Planting GMOs also GMO salmon approved for sale. see GMO's.
Jeff Goldblum, Ed Begley, Jr. Mock Fossil Fuel Industry in Funny or Die Video; Hidden Camera Prank Exposes Absurdity of Climate Deniers’ Arguments , alt link; a stirring climate denier anthem see Humor.
British journalist George Monbiot's “Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning" became a best seller in Europe and Canada but Monbiot could barely convince a publisher in the US to print it. (Audio interview) alt link. See Global Warming.
Personal Storage Industry = $22 Billion and Growing: Our Addiction to "Stuff" Knows No Bounds 10/15. see Consumption and solid waste.
Orcas: The California Coastal Commission has approved a $100 million plan to to double the size of SeaWorld San Diego’s orca tanks but there was one major condition: No more captive breeding. see Marine Mammals. Dolphin cell phone rescue (video).
6 Things to Know About the EPA’s New Pesticide Rules For the first time since 1992, the EPA has updated rules governing the use of pesticides, which will protect the more than 2 million workers who produce America's food. 10/15
California Senate Passes Nation’s Strictest Ban on Microbeads also Roundup pesticide (used with GMO's) 9/15 see Plastic.
China is helping Pakistan build the largest solar farm in the world. The Chinese company Xinjiang SunOasis took only three months to install a 100-Megawatt (MW), 400,000-panel pilot power project—marking the first solar power plant in Pakistan.
Citbank (America’s third-largest bank), recently published a report looking at the economic costs and benefits of a low-carbon future. ..because of savings due to reduced fuel costs and increased energy efficiency, the Action scenario is actually a bit cheaper than the Inaction scenario. 9/15
Solar-Powered Hydrogen Fuel Cell Project to Reduce Carbon Emissions at Hawaii Port.
Kimberly Levin’s gripping debut feature film RUNOFF is getting people talking about what goes into our food, the way we treat our land and water, and the ethical questions at the heart of everyday survival. 8/15.
Chloe & Theo: A Movie That Will Change the Way You Look at the World: the story of Theo, an Inuit from the Arctic, who travels from “the top of the Earth” to New York City with an important message for world leaders about the catastrophic impact climate change is having on his home. Upon arrival, he meets a fiery and fearless homeless girl Chloe and together they embark on an odyssey to save the world. See Films.
New Record-Breaking Solar Device Could Be Game-Changer for Powering Homes: Australian researchers have set a new world-record 22 percent conversion efficiency for artificial photosynthesis (hydrogen).
Amazing New Process Treats Wastewater, Captures Carbon and Makes Renewable Energy: An electrochemical reaction that absorbs more CO2 than it releases while creating renewable energy could transform emission-heavy industries. 8/15.
96 million WATER-SAVING SHADE BALLS RELEASED INTO LA RESERVOIR (VIDEO). Analysis of drought (audio) see Water.
OMG Bay Area forest clearcut: The largest San Francisco Bay Area forest clearcut in 100 years will begin in August. An estimated 450,000 healthy, mature trees in the Oakland and Berkeley hills and county parklands will be cut down and chopped into logs and piles of wood chips. In an additional effort to publicize the plan and rally the SF Bay Area community, the environmental art project, The TreeSpirit Project, will host a community rally and make an art photograph with attendees on July 18 at 7 a.m.
Coal is no longer king in America. That’s the latest findings from the U.S. Energy Information Administration; it lost its number one spot as the nation’s top electricity source for the first time on record this April. See Fossil Fuels 7/15. You should know that the EPA's Clean Power Plan is under attack.
Very unCool: (literally) 75 Percent of Animal Species to be Wiped Out in ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ says Stanford, UCB and Princeton study 6/15. see Wildlife.
The Yes Men did a talk at ESLP at UCSC. Their new (3rd) movie is The Yes Men Are Revolting launched 6/15. Community Studies graduate Jen Lopez ('07) talking about her career and working as a line producer with The Yes Men on their recent movie. video interview. see Culture Jamming.
Literally UNcool: Here's How Many Ridiculously Hot Days Your City Will Have in the Future 6/15. See Global Warming.
Uncool: Oil spill returns to its ancestral waters near Santa Barbara. Dangerous to volunteers who jumped in bravely to clean up when co failed 5/15 see Oil.
Standing Up by Sitting Down: Student Sit-Ins Demand Divestment: Swarthmore, Univ of Wa and nine other colleges with endowments totaling $72 billion have been beset by sit-ins since January, escalating the fossil-free movement. see Fossil Free UC and above. 5/15.
A study found that 60 percent of raw shrimp tested positive for bacteria, including salmonella, E. coli and listeria. In seven raw shrimp samples, scientists detected the antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, that could potentially lead to a dangerous infection. 4/15. See Food Safety.
A new film, The OceanMaker, 3D animated short film which highlights how precious our water resources are. The film, which has appeared in many film festivals including SXSW, is set in a dystopian future where the seas have vanished and a young female pilot has to battle sky pirates for the last of the remaining water residing in the clouds. see Water.
Yosemite National Park is one of America’s most beloved parks; filmmakers Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill hiked more than 200 miles to capture footage inside the park and the results are absolutely stunning. Their finished product is a time-lapse video called Project Yosemite.
Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah is one of the largest independent film festivals in the world, attracting some 50,000 attendees, created by eco-hero Robert Redford]; One of the standouts premiering at the festival is Racing Extinction. There have been five mass extinctions in the history of our planet and we may be in the midst of a sixth. We could lose up to half the world’s species and humans are to blame. Another must-see film that screened at Sundance is How to Change the World, about the founding of Greenpeace. See Environmental video documentaries.
Ford Motor Co. will soon unveil a sun-powered vehicle. The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with solar panels on the roof that allow the car to recharge itself. The vehicle’s total range is 620 miles, and it can travel 21 miles using only electric power from the sun. “By tapping renewable solar energy with a rooftop solar panel system, C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is not dependent on the traditional electric grid for its battery power" 3/15. see Electric Vehicles.
Certified Naturally Grown: A New Way to Identify Pesticide-Free, Non-GMO Food: Naturally grown farming, considered to be the grassroots alternative to certified organic agriculture, requires a national certification by the CNG. The CNG conducts rigorous oversight to assure that all food labeled Certified Naturally Grown is grown without the use of synthetic chemicals or GMOs, being used by a growing number of small farmers who cannot afford the expense of getting an organic certification from the USDA. 3/15.
New Study Says Climate Change Helped Spark Syrian Civil War (and thus ISIS?) NYT see Global Warming.
Beer Brewers Unite to Call for Action on Climate Change: Global warming could harm your beer.
Animals At 'Gunpoint' Posters Will Make You Rethink Your Next Purchase: Surfrider Foundation Europe has a simple message about consumer culture: "You buy, the sea pays." That's the motto behind a new ad campaign to combat the 5.25 trillion plastic particles currently polluting the oceans. 3/15.
Global Divestment Day: A Huge Success with more than 400 events in 48 countries spanning six continents, including UCSC, put on by Fossil Free, a project of 350.org— bringing people together to stop the fossil fuel industry in its tracks. Harvard is stepping up pressure.
The Real Junk Food Project, created a “Pay As You Feel” (PAYF) cafe, which asks customers to pay what they see fit for perfectly good food that, due to strict food labeling laws, would have otherwise been thrown out. 3/15 see Food.
Two Young Entrepreneurs Offer Way to Grow Food in Dead of Winter The converted shipping containers are “outfitted with vertical hydroponics, high-efficiency LED lights and an automated climate control system. 2/15. See Entrepreneurship.
Gov Jerry Brown inaugurated for an unprecedented 4th term, pledges major efforts to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels (while on the same day, the new GOP majority Congress doubles down on the XL Keystone pipeline which US #1 climate expert James Hanson says spells "Game Over" for the planet, with no reset button, despite the metaphor). Brown broke ground on CA bullet train. Brown was first governor in mid-70's, which is why CA uses half the electricity per person despite having a strong economy. His dad was also governor, and built our water canal system, probably also our roads, and oh yeah, the UC system. 1/15. See California and Mass Transit.
Toyota has announced that it will allow its competitors to use any and all of its 5,680 patents for hydrogen fuel cell cars, a move the company hopes will jump-start the widespread commercial production of cars powered by zero-emission hydrogen gas. 1/15 see Transportation.
Radical 'Shrooms: Bay Area Radical Mycology (BARM) is already conducting a couple of ongoing mycofiltration and remediation projects in partnership with the East Bay Municipal Utilities District — King Stropharia and oyster mushrooms, for instance, will capture and devour any E. coli that flow past them. BARM members meet once a month for potlucks, occasionally schmooze at fungi events, and generally share knowledge with one another and the world (last I heard, they’d planned a “Petri dish party” to help members do some DIY science). Bio-Hacking includes using shrooms to make furniture and building materials. PBS Newshour video 9/14. see Bio-mimicry.
A recent documentary, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, asks why most leading environmental organizations are ignoring a leading cause of environmental damage.] 10/14.
Satellite images reveal shocking groundwater loss in California 10/14. See CA and Water.
Really literally UNcool: Greenhouse Gas Levels In Atmosphere Surged To New High In 2013, World Meteorological Organization Reports, so More Than Half Of North American Birds In Trouble Thanks To Climate Change but Californians saved 17 billion gallons of water in July, enough to fill 26,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, see also Yosemite burns 9/14. Big action had 400K people in NYC, 4K in Oakland 9/21.video. Followed by more radical Flood Wall Street. See Activism.
Largest number of walruses seen ashore in Alaska is sign of ‘tremendous change’ in climate PBS Newshour video 10/14. see Marine Mammals.
“Pump the Movie" punctures the current petro-fantasy, a domestically significant, but globally marginal, increase in U.S. production of light-tight oil means the end to concerns about over reliance on petroleum 9/14 see Film and Oil.
Portugal filmmaker Gonçalo Tocha produced the inspiring short film The Trail of a Tale, which is a monologue of a letter from the future written to our recent past, telling us that the world, “It turned out right.” See also Good News
California Bans Plastic Bags . The bill, which passed both houses of the California State Legislature now heads to the Governor’s desk. If signed, California will become the first state in the U.S. to ban what advocates call “the most ubiquitous consumer item on the planet.” 9/14 see Plastic.
On World Water Day, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has released a study that maps for the first time the water resources available to support fracking in the world’s largest shale exploration areas. See Fracking. 9/14. US cities ranked by drought vulnerability. See Water.
Plastic bottle bridge: After a flood created a dam where one could cross the Nera River by stepping on plastic bottles at the point of Danube where it enters Romania, the cu.podu project was born, explained Radu Rusu of EcoStuff. The goal of the project is to do something big enough to draw attention to the enormous quantities of litter dumped every day in the rivers and oceans around the world, like other organizations are doing including 5 Gyres Institute, which just finished a three-week sail from Bermuda to Iceland and found microplastic particles in every surface sample collected during the trip. See Plastic.
How a Solar-Powered Water Wheel Can Clean 50,000 Pounds of Trash Per Day From Baltimore’s Inner Harbor 6/14 see Plastic.
Energy Game Changer? Scientists Turn Algae into Crude Oil in Less Than an Hour. They have taken 60 minutes to do what Nature does -– at great pressures and temperatures -– over millions of years. see Bio-fuels.
Hole In Ozone Layer Expected To Make Full Recovery By 2070: NASA because of international treaty that could be a model for global warming fight 12/13.
The End of the Conflict-Creating Oil Age Is Coming Into View -- Here's What the Future Looks Like, by Avery Lovins. 11/13. see Fossil Fuels.
Local singer-songwriter Vienna Teng, whose songs are hauntingly beautiful, has raised money for green efforts and walked her talk on merchandising; went back to school to study green business but has a new album, sample Landsailor ([lyrics) which speaks to heart and mind on green issues. see Music
Student Designed Water Filtration System Save Millions Of Lives 10/13. see also Green Design and Water.
Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" video.
Well, new and UNcool, but 15 Things You Should Know About the Major New Report on Climate Science 9/13. see Global Warming
Paper emergency shelter: Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda or Japan. Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served their intended purpose.(TEDtalk video).
LongNow talk on rewilding (video) by Stewart Brand.see also TEDtalks on rewilding or de-extinction, including the Tasmanian Tiger and brooding frog. Pioneered by UCSC's Soule. carried on by Beth Shapiro.
GOP EPA administrators William D. Ruckelshaus, Lee M. Thomas, William K. Reilly, and Christine Todd Whitman, call for climate action. 8/13
California utility customers installed a record-breaking 391 megawatts of solar power systems last year. That was a banner year for the nation’s largest photovoltaic rebate scheme, with installations up 26 percent compared with 2011.
16 year old makes plastic out of banana peels, wins Google contest.
Fast food giants make their food look imperfect so you’ll forget it’s hella processed. Junk food science: What kids see on TV can hurt them. See Food Safety and nutrition.
China warns it will execute serious polluters 6/13 also starts carbon trading. Indonesia to seed clouds, try to put out huge plantation fires. See Asia
NYC tp get a million trees: According to the Los Angeles-based environmental nonprofit, Tree People, “Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.” And they also help the economy by increasing property value by 15-percent, and commerce areas with many trees and landscaping around stores see an increase in business, according to studies.
Social entrepreneur Mick Ebeling shares how he and a team of collaborators built an open-source invention that gave the artist -- and gives others in his circumstance -- the means to make art again. The nerve disease ALS left graffiti artist TEMPT paralyzed from head to toe, forced to communicate blink by blink. Ebeling founded the Not Impossible Lab, a nonprofit that lets you help develop creative solutions to real-world problems TEDtalk.
Weather girl goes rogue video.
Amazing video from deep ocean includes bioluminescent and encephlapods by David Gallo TEDtalk.
This American Life host Ira Glass tells the story of writer turned activist Bill McKibben. McKibben is trying to create a divestment campaign modeled after the successful campaign against apartheid in South Africa. The campaign is designed recast the discussion of climate change with fossil fuel companies as the villains. alt link audio). A whole show on climate 5/13.
Frakalypse Now: DeSmogBlog partnered with Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mark Fiore to produce this spoof video in the vein of Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now." Making its debut in honor of Gasland 2, which features the details of the gas industry's psychological warfare scandal. See Fracking page.
Snitch On Your Local Power Plant, Win A Prize As part of their Ventus project, a team of researchers at Arizona State University will reward the person who can provide the most usable information about a power plant's location, carbon dioxide emissions, and other operational features with a trophy, author inclusion on a future research paper, and, according to their Web site, the title of "Supreme Power Plant Emissions GURU." 5/13 See Challenges.
A scientist made steel without releasing any greenhouse gases: MIT prof Sadoway started out with moon soil because was working on a grant meant to help figure out how to provide oxygen for future lunar settlers to breathe. And then, while fiddling with that problem — poof! — he made steel.
Google Earth GIFs, 'Timelapse' Project, Show Startling Impact Of Humans On The Planet, including ice loss 5/13.
Kayaking the LA: Revitalizing an Urban River. The film Rock the Boat follows a controversial kayaking expedition down the partially cemented Los Angeles River, an act of civil disobedience led by satirical writer George Wolfe, whose goal was to have the Environmental Protection Agency declare the river navigable so that it could gain protection under the Clean Water Act. Boating down the LA River became a political movement which lead to changes in federal policy and opened up public access to a long-neglected waterway.
Crowd sourced maps that advance human rights: In early 2008, villages and cities across Kenya were ravaged with violence following a disputed election. The election controversy became the pretext for ethnic clashes that displaced hundreds of thousands of people and claimed the lives of more than 1,200, some in grisly fashion. An ad-hoc group of tech bloggers based in Kenya decided to act. They built a software platform, called “Ushahidi” to shine a light on human rights violations and, bring much-needed attention and support to developing emergencies. Ushahidi means “bearing witness” in Swahili.
Comedians Andy Cobb and Mike Damanskis have a new video about the ExxonMobil oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas called Exxon - Energy Everywhere.
World's Oldest Hamburger? McDonald's Burger From 1999 Almost Looks New (VIDEO).
Scientists at the Belly Button Biodiversity Project wanted to engage the public. They started to culture the bacteria in people's navels as a way to remind them about the life living on their bodies. In the process, they discovered diverse organisms, some of them completely new to science. (audio). See also Citizen Science you can do.
U2 head man Bono on ending poverty has good news, including on Sub-Saharan Africa. G2 phones fighting corruption.
Trashswag allows people to post the location of these curbside treasures online, with photos, to alert other potentially interested parties of their find. See other peer-to-peer ways to reduce consumption.
Keystone XL Pipeline spill infographic.
Snow Leopard Raw Footage: Endangered Species Caught On Camera In China (VIDEO).
What cities are really made of (red pill warning)
Is Solar Energy the Next Great Crowdfunding Experiment? See also kickstarter and shared consumption.
Benh Zeitlin's BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, nominated for Beast Picture Oscar TM, whisks you to a surreal realm, where little girls and mythical animals coexist in a bayou called The Bathtub, all intertwined in the cosmic mesh of the universe. (interview).
Japanese Flying Squid's Abilities Confirmed, Speed Measured By Scientists.
Solar breakthrough, cheaper than coal. 1/13.
Whales adopting disabled dolphin is the feel-good story of the millenium 1/13
A new study shows that spending four nature-filled days, away from electronic devices, is linked with 50 percent higher scores on a test for creativity.
Where does your electricity come from? The answer might well surprise you.
Sea Monsters has hundreds of millions of years and cheesy but fun 3D] ***
Geoengineering: Testing the Waters By NAOMI KLEIN.
The Story of Change is the latest chapter of the Story of Stuff.
The Aviator is a satiric dystopian graphic novel. Flying his hi-tech airship around a world devastated by climate change and economic collapse, the hero of The Aviator encounters the scattered and often weird remnants of our civilization.
Algae street lamps absorb CO2.
Could clones save California’s endangered redwoods — in Oregon? also local group effort. See also The Man Who Planted Trees, by Jim Robbins, an environmental science journalist for the New York Times article Tree archive.
Mine Kafon; a bamboo tumbleweed that clears landmines.
Originally meant for hikers, the BioLite CampStove, which converts wood-burning fire into electricity to charge cellphones, could revolutionize disaster relief. review see Appropriate Technology
Energy from floating algae pods Call it "fuel without fossils": Jonathan Trent is working on a plan to grow new biofuel by farming micro-algae in floating offshore pods that eat wastewater from cities. TEDtalk 9/12.
Bill McKibben tells the story of how he and some writer friends and then six students built a movement 350.org 6/12. *** Do the Math Tour takes on the energy companies head on in a fight to the death.
Powerful video: She's Alive... Beautiful... Finite... ***
"Deep Intellect: Inside the mind of the octopus" by Sy Montgomery..." The common octopus has about 130 million of them in its brain. A human has 100 billion. But this is where things get weird. Three-fifths of an octopus’s neurons are not in the brain; they’re in its arms...“Meeting an octopus,” writes Godfrey-Smith, “is like meeting an intelligent alien.” Their intelligence sometimes even involves changing colors and shapes.
Google Launches Street View Underwater.
Poop and paddle demonstrates how sewage and rainwater can be converted to cattails and clean water. (video)
Humpback whale video off California coast.
Bulwer-Lytton bad writing prize for 2012.
Conservation drones used to fight deforestation (audio) 7.12
Waveglider collects data in ocean.
Google unveils Street View imagery from Antarctica, including South Pole Telescope, Shackleton sites. 7.12
Apple opts out of green standards. 7.12 (e-waste)
New short film on fracking by Gasland director. 7.12
University of Maryland students are flying high after unofficially shattering the world record for longest human-powered helicopter flight. 6/12 (video)
'The Clean 15' 2012 Shopper's Guide To Pesticides Ranks Fruits And Vegetables. 6.12
"Bananas," a musical journey by Saturn's Return on DDT and labor.
Welcome to the anthropocene (video)
A great fracking video rap: What the frack is going on? My water's on fire tonight.
Solar plane attempts transcontinental flight in preparation for world trip. 5/12
Secret Treehouse a solution to UCSC housing problem?
Thank You Ocean, a powerful one minute video about why it matters.
Colbert mocks group that blames immigrants for climate change. (video)
Ew! Eyeless shrimp and deformed fish now routinely caught in the Gulf after BP spill.
Octopuses have been discovered tip-toeing with coconut-shell halves suctioned to their undersides, then reassembling the halves and disappearing inside for protection or deception, a new study says. Not only are they incredibly smart, the can control the color and even texture of their skins and "morph." Another example. This once can open a glass jar. How they do it.
Online game: contribute your ideas to fight global poverty!
Donald Sadoway is working on a battery miracle -- an inexpensive, incredibly efficient, three-layered battery using “liquid metal." TEDtalk video. 3/12
"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" asks Regina Dugan, then director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In this breathtaking talk she describes some of the extraordinary projects -- a robotic hummingbird, a prosthetic arm controlled by thought, and, well, the internet -- that her agency has created by not worrying that they might fail. (TEDtalk video)
Deep ocean mysteries and wonders TEDtalk 3/12 (see his earlier talk too)
Ocean Giants: Epic new 3 hour PBS series on whales and dolphins.
Bike helmet vending machine supports bikesharing.
This week, in Antarctica, a team of Russian scientists drilled through the last of a more than 12,000-foot ice cover and into Lake Vostok, a reserve of liquid water that hasn't had contact with the outside world in 15-34 million years, looking for extremophile bacteria—semi-alien Earthlings that have evolved separately from the rest of their terrestrial kin. More.
Meet Brookesia micra, one of four newly identified species of ultra-small chameleons that live in Madagascar.
The oldest living thing on Earth is a massive "meadow" of sea grass growing in the Mediterranean between Spain and Cyprus. It's somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 years old and reproduces by cloning itself. Also, it's being killed by climate change.
A group of Yale students, poking around in the jungles of Ecuador, has unearthed a type of fungus that digests otherwise-unkillable plastics. 2/12
Renegade iphone apps show true costs.
"During the final leg of my Pole2Pole expedition (blog) on my way to the South Pole on an expedition that began in April, 2011...Currently kite-skiing through the unforgiving, icy terrain of Antarctica, I have maintained a climate neutral expedition through a combination of excellent planning and sheer willpower." Link.
UCSC SciCom student Amy E. West published an article Santa Cruz nonprofit hopes to make fuel from ocean-based plastic (also video with links). See Plastics Page.
In 2011 three young women swept the top prizes of the first Google Science Fair, doing important research on cancer and asthma. At TEDxWomen Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah described their extraordinary projects-- and their route to a passion for science. TEDtalk video.
2011 Top Google search: rare and endangered species slideshow of images.
Killer whale kills great white shark: According to National Geographic, "To prey upon the shark, the Orca has learned how to immobilize it by turning it on its back -- a state called 'tonic immobility.'"
TEDtalks countdown to the best of the year includes using lightbulbs for wi-fi data transmission, and a great talk by Naomi Klein on "Why We Are Addicted to Risk?" (includes the underlying myths that drive environmental and economic problems, in opposition to the Precautionary Principle).
US activist speaks up at Durban climate talks.
Occupy Wall Street has spread across the nation and world, objecting to how 1% of uberrich have large percentage of national wealth. Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies (TEDtalk video). But it also has a green component.
Graham Hill: Less Stuff, More Happiness (top TEDtalk of 2010).
Britta Riley wanted to grow her own food (in her tiny apartment). So she and her friends developed a system for growing plants in discarded plastic bottles -- researching, testing and tweaking the system using social media, trying many variations at once and quickly arriving at the optimal system. (TEDtalk video).
"Surfer nearly swallowed by whale"(video) near shore in Santa Cruz. article"A pod of humpback whales has been hanging out off the Santa Cruz coast, noshing on anchovies that flock to the area to feed on plankton. The woman found herself in the middle of a feeding frenzy called lunge feeding, which occurs when whales herd anchovies and shoot straight up out of the water with their mouth wide open to catch the fish."
Green majors have lowest unemployment: 7. Agricultural Economics—1.3 percent 9.Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology—1.6 percent. 10. Environmental Engineering 2.2 percent unemployed. 11/11
International Space Station Earth Video: Incredible Views Of Sea, Land And Desert (video)
UC Santa Cruz makes top 10 list of "greenest" schools in Sierra Magazine.
The Ig Nobel Prizes for science that cannot and should not be replicated. video. Humor for geeks. The mayor of Vilnius ran over a Mercedes parked in a bike lane USING A TANK? (video) He's just won an Ig Nobel prize, the coveted award for research (or, you know, a mayoral publicity stunt) that first makes people laugh, then makes them think.
Bamboo bikes (video).
Rescued whale dances (video).
Gobsmacking local talk on coal by Robert F Kennedy Jr. (video).
Striking lamps made from recycled materials (slideshow).
Interactive Global Warming maps from Union of Concerned Scientists.
Cal-Adapt was built specifically to address projections about climate change in California, designed by Google, in collaboration with the California Energy Commission, the U.S. Geological Survey, several California universities and others.
How Not to save the world (humorous short animated video)
Penn and Teller's humorous take on the subject of bottled water. (video)
Random Hacks of Kindness creates software for disaster relief etc.
Ten great walking cities (slideshow).
Ten new species, including glowing mushrooms and jumping cockroaches.
The Yes Lab (home of the Yes Men) recently put up a site called CoalCares.com, a parody suggesting that coal company Peabody is interested in doing something about the health impacts of coal on children. (How dare they!) Peabody responded, predictably, by threatening a lawsuit.More. [On the other hand, Children’s books publisher Scholastic is taking money from the coal industry to teach elementary students the benefits of coal.
Wedding dress made of plastic bottles.
Vertical garden out of an old wooden pallet would work great on dorm balcony.
Arcimoto fun three wheeled electric vehicle with motorcycle drivetrain.
Amazing video on pollinators. (Tedtalk)
Power Surge by PBS Nova explores green energy. 4/11.
Banana Slugs unpeeled (video).
Moby Duck (short article/audio) and longer interview with text excerpt. In 1992, a cargo ship container tumbled into the North Pacific, dumping 28,000 rubber ducks and other bath toys that were headed from China to the U.S. Currents took them, and news reports said some may have eventually reached Maine and other shores on the Atlantic. Thirteen years later, journalist Donovan Hohn undertook a mission: He wanted to track the movements of the wayward ducks, from the comfort of his own living room. It didn't work out that way, as you can tell from the complete title: Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them.
Envaya aims not just to help connect the 2 billion-plus people worldwide who currently have no access to the internet, but to help these populations build the foundations of civil society. It could also help super-charge the global environmental movement More.
Time Magazine's Top 20 green ideas.
Educational Apps for bird-, tree- and star-spotting, also flash cards.
In Carbon Nation, "director Peter Byck covers an impressively wide range of ground within his film's compact running time as he introduces us to a stirring cross-section of pioneers, researchers and innovators committed to helping the world reduce its carbon footprint."
How bikes can save the economy (or at least yours).
Mark Hertsgaard, who has spoken at College 8 a number of times, has a new book on global warming, and how we can cope. Radio interview 3/11.
Aquaponics combines fish with organic gardening.
Dog poo powers streetlight, fighting crime and global warming in one swell poop.
How Much Oil Is Left? simulation
Architect Kate Orff sees the oyster as an agent of change. She shares her vision for an urban landscape that links nature and humanity for mutual benefit. (Video TEDtalk)
Bjork's on a quest to see Iceland take back its geothermal resources.
How to Make a Toaster from scratch.
eBay is trying to help solve the e-waste problem with their Instant Sale program, a new way to sell electronics for cash or recycle them for free through their extensive network of electronics resellers...They’ll send a box for free shipping and deposit the money into your PayPal account. Even if the item has no value, you can still earn karma points by sending your gadget to them free of charge so it can be recycled.
The Tree Life Box contains a selection of tree seeds and their mycorrhizal fungal partners that have the potential to grow into a forest ecosystem. Designed by brilliant mushroom guy Paul Stamets (TEDtalk video).
How to get in on the clean tech revolution even if you don't have a technical background.
New wind turbines reduce bird fatalities.
Free Online environmental courses from Einztein
Fooducate, an iPhone app that uses a built-in barcode scanner to help you make healthier eating choices (including avoiding toxins)
Give the gift of life for ten bucks this holiday season, a malaria net.
HighDro Power is a device that acts essentially like a miniature hydroelectric dam—it harnesses the energy from wastewater running down the pipes of high-rise buildings and converts it to electricity.
Google Earth Engine is an online environment monitoring platform that makes available to the entire world a dynamic digital model of our planet that is updated daily. It stores petabytes of satellite data and allows high-performance tools to analyze and interpret this information that can then be visualized on a map, ranging from rainforest changes in the Amazon to water resources in the Congo.
Bart Weetjens is developing a new approach to the land mine detection problem: training giant pouched rats to detect explosives in minute amounts TEDtalk video
Wake up to the news spoken to you via your cell phone.
Ghost Redwoods, long a secret of our mountains. Can you find them?
UCBerzerkeley is building an artificial leaf, a super-efficient solar power source. (Audio)
Why not eat insects? Marcel Dicke wants us to reconsider our relationship with insects, promoting bugs as a tasty -- and ecologically sound -- alternative to meat in an increasingly hungry world. TEDtalk video
Ecologist Eric Berlow doesn't feel overwhelmed when faced with complex systems. He knows that more information can lead to a better, simpler solution. Illustrating the tips and tricks for breaking down big issues, he distills an overwhelming infographic on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan to a few elementary points. TEDtalk
The Story of Cell Phones (video) and what to do about them. Link
Software developer Nigel Leck grew tired of arguing about global warming. According to Popular Science, he made a computer program do it for him. His program scans the Twitter social network for statements that seem to deny climate change. It generates a response with links to scientific research. Check it out
Community Studies graduate Jen Lopez ('07) talking about her career and working as a line producer with The Yes Men on their recent movie. video interview. You can participate too: currently there's a design competition to counter the Chevron greenwash We Agree ads]
New tool maps and grades "food deserts" to lure supermarkets.
Are mushrooms the new plastic? (TEDtalk video)
A Google-funded project has discovered a large geothermal resource under West Virginia that could more than double the electrical generation capacity of the high-profile coal state.
New book on cell phone health risks. Previously: Cell phones may be hazardous to your health. The science is inconclusive, but some states want to require warning labels on cell phones. Yet another good reason not to text from your lap during class. update 5/10
"Emily James, a talented documentary filmmaker, is working on a new movie called "Just Do It," about "environmental extremism" -- activists who are willing to risk beatings and arrest to stop environmentally catastrophic projects. She's raising money to fund the film though donations, and will make it a free download when the editing is finished. They're looking for volunteers to help with everything from graphic design to making tea for the editors."More 10/10
Stephen Colbert appeared with United Farm Workers (UFW) President Arturo S. Rodriguez today to testify before Congress about a day he spent working in the fields, having taken up the UFW on its dare to American citizens "take our jobs."
Sea snot indicates Gulf stressed by oil.
DIY urban renewal: Better Block project was a two-day experiment in guerrilla placemaking. With about $1,000 and a lot of elbow grease, they completely transformed a two-block stretch of the neighborhood. They created pop-up stores in the empty storefronts, sidewalk cafés on the cracked concrete, bike lanes in the car-clogged streets. More
Monster Waves: Susan Casey, whose book The Wave (trailer) tells the story of great waves and those who seek to solve and ride them, says people were skeptical of 100-foot waves because weather patterns don't seem to predict them; she first became interested in learning about monster waves after hearing a story about the British research vessel Discovery, a 230-meter-long ship that became trapped in a vortex of giant waves for several days. Interview with Laird Hamilton.
Depave Portland: Since 2007, this all-volunteer squad of pavement-bashers has ripped the asphalt and concrete from 14 sites in the Portland area, making way for community gardens, sustainable schoolyards, and green space. Link
Big Green Boxes is "a new business that will transform unused warehouse space into year-round indoor growing centers. We'll use hydroponics and aquaponics, along with advanced low-energy lighting techniques and vertical growing methods, to produce the very freshest leafy greens for local consumption regardless of climate..." More
Seafood Watch's new dirty dozen fish that are bad for you and the planet (and better alternatives and data)
Fun mockumentary on the plastic bag.
Dung Beetle (car runs on guess what) and 8 other eco-wonders
Carbon Free Race around the world
15 Biggest Oil spills of all time (map)
New ice island breaks off (audio) 8/10
World's largest tidal turbine installed.
Carbon Warriors: climate expert David Kroodsma bicycled from California to the tip of South America. He then flew to the east coast of the United States, joined fellow climate activist Bill Bradlee, and the two biked back to California. Over the course of this journey, David gave 150 presentations about global warming, speaking in English and Spanish to audiences in 16 countriesFrom 2005 to 2007, climate expert David Kroodsma bicycled from California to the tip of South America. He then flew to the east coast of the United States, then biked back to California. Over the course of this journey, David gave 150 presentations about global warming, speaking in English and Spanish to audiences in 16 countries. David has authored a book, The Road to Tierra del Fuego. Similarly Link Marissa Muller, Solar-Powered Bicycle Pioneer During her 1,000-mile solo adventure on the roads of California, she visited 14 high schools, offering a seminar on solar and electric vehicles, and sparking a dialogue with the students to start brainstorming ways to combat our energy and environmental challenges. Though the ride is over, her goal of reaching 1,000 clean ideas is ongoing. Meet this amazing young woman and hear her message of clean power. Commonwealth Club talk 08/19/10 (possibly videocast). Roz Savage rowed a small boat 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean; will speak at Commonwealth Club 9.28.10.
The Plastiki has arrived in Oz! See below for Pacific Gyre links.
Adams, Douglas. Best known for the amazing Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, he also wrote Last Chance to See about endangered animals. Intro Ch. 1 password required. Warning, some animals were harmed in the production of this book ;) NEW! at UC talk based on Last Chance experiences.
iFixit, a free resource that provides comprehensive repair guides, troubleshooting tips and a community of technicians ready to help you fix your gadget, household appliance or vehicle.
WattzOn is a free online tool to quantify, track, compare and understand the total amount of energy needed to support all of the facets of your lifestyle, brought to you by Saul Griffith, who is doing really interesting work on high altitude wind electricity generation. Update video.
Craig Venter and team make a historic announcement: they've created the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by synthetic DNA. He explains how they did it and why the achievement marks the beginning of a new era for science. TEDtalk video
Got stuff to get rid of? Need free stuff? Freecycle.org
Infrastructure in the United States is under-funded and woefully outdated. NPR's Living on Earth’s Steve Curwood hears two different views on how to reform our ailing grid. Nick Rosen, author of “Off the Grid,” suggests decentralizing utilities, while Scott Huler, who wrote “On the Grid,” wants to stay plugged in and work to improve the system. audio and text
Global Brigades wins Chancellor Award. They do medical, dental, economic and water development in Third World countries, often during summer.
New California page mostly on climate change and energy issues.
GreenMuze has beautiful and cutting edge designs. For example, American designer Eric Stoddard’s solution to the problem of urban congestion is a sustainable three-wheeled, electric-assist HPV TrikE. Also algae-powered airships
Gulf Oil spill statsin realtime. SkyTruth uses remote sensing and digital mapping to educate the public and policymakers about the environmental consequences of human activities, and to hold corporations and governments to higher standards of accountability around the globe. This link is to Gulf Oil Spill. They also have an interactive tool, Spill Tracker. Another tool with video. See also fishing trawler sediment trails and oil sands.
New TEDtalk: how we ruined the oceans.
Peregrine Falcon cams have live feeds from San Jose and San Francisco. Soon the fledglings will fly, but for a few days they can go down but not up, which means volunteers are needed to make sure they don't get hurt. UCSC was instrumental in saving these birds, and by extension raptors in general. video on history of these efforts. Glenn Stewart teaches a class on falcons (see Cool Classes).
Update: David de Rothschild Sets Sail on Plastic Ship Plastiki PBS video interview to Pacific Gyre "Great Garbage Patch" Gyre slideshow. Track her progress. recent local audio interview and links. See also Solid Waste page. UCSC video of deep sea plastic. Capt. Moore video Sea Scavenger is a Bay Area group you can work with. 7/16 update audio.
Five Gyres project is sailing to all major subtropical oceanic gyres (North and South Pacific, North and South Atlantic, and Indian Ocean) in order to study the every growing problem of marine plastic pollution. See slideshow
Fun ThermoSTATS on global warming, epecially about CA
Geo-engineering is the idea that we can combat global warming by putting particles into the atmosphere. This idea has gone from wacko-fringe to more mainstream in the last few years. See for example Stewart Brand on the Eco-heroes page also audio discussion 4/15
e² is a critically acclaimed, multipart PBS series about the innovators and pioneers who envision a better quality of life on earth: socially, culturally, economically and ecologically. e2 design also available on snagfilms
Khanacademy.org Need help with chemistry, math and bio concepts?
Treehugger.com's annual Best of Green everything
Kevin Bales is the co-founder of Free the Slaves, whose mission is to end all forms of human slavery within the next 25 years. He's the author of "Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves." Slavery (27 million today) is an important factor in eco-destruction. TEDtalk video.
Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie's honeymoon he's enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain. TEDtalk.
PBS Global Focus special segment on Denmark, which bought wind energy industry the US abandoned and is now the world leader. Includes segment on Samso Island, which is now carbon neutral after ten year effort.
Just for fun Orange powered iPhone
How To Save The World With Your Old Cell Phone. Every day 450,000 cell phones are discarded in the United States. But there's a better way to get rid of them. With Hope Phones you can donate your old phone to help healthcare workers and medical clinics in developing countries. The not for profit service allows donors to print a free shipping label and send their old phones in for recycling. The phone’s value is then used to purchase usable, recycled cell phones for healthcare workers in various third world areas.
Raj Patel writer, activist, academic and author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System is a researcher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. His more recent book on economics is The Value of Nothing first chapter and video here, also covered in videoCommonwealth Club talk audio 1/10, (Realplayer)
Solar furnace melts steel (and incinerates hot dogs) video
Find good food by place via Eatwell Guide
Representing Earth is an NYU course that investigates the potential of recreating the earth in images, VR etc.
Blaise Agüera y Arcas is the architect of Bing Maps at Microsoft, building augmented reality into searchable maps. He's also the co-creator of Photosynth, software that assembles static photos into a synergy of zoomable, navigatable spaces.
Twenty-Five Stories from the Central Valley, an online exhibit, uses photos, theater, stories and sound to paint a vivid picture of the environmental toxins that “the other California” lives with every day. Women leaders give us a window into the little-known lives of people who are making this region safer for everyone. Their stories are shocking, sad, and inspiring.
Walkscore.com tells you how walkable a neighborhood is. Preservation Green Lab's Liz Dunn and Walkscore's Matt Lerner have recently been tossing around a cool idea: the JaneScore. It would be a metric that counts all the subtle features that make for a healthy urban neighborhood, as famously articulated by the late Jane Jacobs.
Goodguide to 70,000 products, including a way to to get info on how earth-friendly a product is by scanning barcode with your cell phone. Slideshow of best and worst companies. A similar UCSC project Social CostTracker.
Slideshows of 2009 Best and Worst in transportation, critters, Copenhagen etc
Avatar movie has a very strong environmental theme. 3D works really well.
Catalog Choice: The free service that lets you reduce unwanted mail. you can also opt out of having the Yellow Pages delivered, sometimes multiples by competing companies. You can do the same for junk snailmail.
Patchwork Nation divides the U.S. by county into 12 community types using demographic, political and socioeconomic data. Tracks 24 representative communities to see how economic trends play out at the local level. Analyzes national data by community type to give the big picture more context.
Here's an evolving argument map of the Copenhagen Climate talks (also video?).
Octopuses have been discovered tip-toeing with coconut-shell halves suctioned to their undersides, then reassembling the halves and disappearing inside for protection or deception, a new study says. Not only are they incredibly smart, the can control the color and even texture of their skins and "morph." Another example. This once can open a glass jar. How they do it.
Secret of Success TEDtalk.
Rising Ocean Levels interactive maps
Mannahatta Project. Eric Sanderson pictures New York -- before the City. 400 years after Hudson found New York harbor, Sanderson shares how he made a 3D map of Mannahatta's fascinating pre-city ecology of hills, rivers, wildlife -- accurate down to the block -- when Times Square was a wetland and you couldn't get delivery. TEDtalk video. Slideshow and site
In this image-filled talk, Yann Arthus-Bertrand displays his three most recent projects on humanity and our habitat -- stunning aerial photographs in his series "The Earth From Above," TEDtalk video. Download his amazing new movie Home.
Stewart Brand is a systems thinker par excellence. Brand, the center hub of the human network, has a new book, Whole Earth Discipline. video overview. He's putting the whole book online for free, with annotations and a reading list link. He makes some stands that are heretical to mainstream greens (pro-nuke and GMO). Those who heard Fred Turner's plenary talk last year will have some sense of how important Brand has been and continues to be. He lobbied to get NASA to release the first picture of Earth from space, predicting its iconic power to unite and inspire. Because of his work with Gov Brown, CA uses half the energy per capita as the rest of US (comparable to EU), and he's working on a 10K year clock. about clock)
Rob Hopkins reminds us that the oil our world depends on is steadily running out. He proposes a unique solution to this problem -- the Transition response, where we prepare ourselves for life without oil and sacrifice our luxuries to build systems and communities that are completely independent of fossil fuels. TEDtalk video.
"My company built an office building out of shipping containers in Providence, RI. It's called the Box Office, it's energy efficient, it upcycles 32 shipping containers, and will create incubator office/studio space in a neighborhood that needs it." time-lapse video