On my morning constitutional, I listened to this enthralling podcast about environmental issues affecting the Galapagos Islands. Radiolab does a great job with such topics, in this case, making it sound as suspenseful and important as it is.
Millennials are far less likely to own a car, or to even make that a priority. Instead, we tend to opt for public transit, biking, or car sharing. While millennials don’t identify as vegetarians, either, we actually trend towards eating less meat – and we value the eating experience, which means that, though we tend to make less for our work (or sometimes nothing at all), a lot of us are still willing to spend a little more to go organic and local. Heck, even the fact that so many of us still live at home, or choose to live in shared houses or dorms rather than getting a place of our own, translates to a more efficient use of household water, electricity, and gas.
Which isn’t to say that millennials are making these choices exactly for the purpose of being green. We do it because it makes sense: Green living is more affordable, more enjoyable, and thus perhaps makes us more able to deal with the messes we’ve been left with. But, as long as things are starting to change, does it really matter what the motivation is? And can’t there be more than one motivation? Millennials seem more likely to recognize that the environment doesn’t exist in a glass bubble, that it’s tied in with business, technology, and what’s on your plate. Protecting the environment is not something out there and far away, but something right here that needs to be intelligently incorporated into our day-to-day.
A quote from the Grist article, 'No, we're not “environmentalists.” It's more complicated than that.' You can read the rest of it here.
- Want everyone else to buy into environmentalism? Never say “Earth” (Grist)
- 5 tips for creating a sustainability story that sticks (Green Biz)
There is a great discussion of Christmas Tree alternatives, like renting a potted Christmas Tree, in the comments section.
THE FRASER FIR IS THE IDEAL Christmas tree. Fragrant, strong-limbed, and long-lasting when cut, it has found its way to the White House’s Blue Room more than any other tree over the past 50 years. It is also a vector to the most destructive plant pathogen you’ve never heard of.
The shapely Fraser fir, a southern Appalachian native now farmed extensively in nurseries, is a common carrier (and victim) ofPhytophthora cinnamomi, a deadly water mold wreaking havoc on ecosystems around the world. When infected Frasers are replanted, the disease gets an opportunity to spread to new farms and neighboring plant life.
WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?
Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.
Or let’s talk water. We so often hear that the world is running out of water. People are dying from lack of water. Rivers are dewatered from lack of water. Because of this we need to take shorter showers. See the disconnect? Because I take showers, I’m responsible for drawing down aquifers? Well, no. More than 90 percent of the water used by humans is used by agriculture and industry. The remaining 10 percent is split between municipalities and actual living breathing individual humans. Collectively, municipal golf courses use as much water as municipal human beings. People (both human people and fish people) aren’t dying because the world is running out of water. They’re dying because the water is being stolen.
…Personal change doesn’t equal social change.
If you aren’t totally quaking in your boots at the news of millions of bees dead, yet again, you’re nuts.
this should be concerning a lot more people than it is
not only because bees are one of the most important animals in the world and their job is a lot more than gathering honey but also because they are what scientists refer to as an “indicator species”
this means that when their populations start dwindling and then rapidly dropping, humans need to watch their shit because that means that environmental factors are too difficult for THEM to live in, so it might be difficult for US to live in, too. bees basically act as an indication that humans have a lot to worry about and when they start dying like this it deserves a lot more than a few headlines.
I hate that like majority of white people will literally look at a pile of dead insect/animal and just be like “oh cool! instagramming this shit”
instead of like
/maybe this is why they summon demons.
It took three posts to find a way to incriminate white people or hamfist the white devil into some negative spotlight no matter how unrelated tumblr’s obsession with fair skin pigmentation is to the topic at hand
“In the 1930s when Paul Mueller, working for the chemical company Geigy in Switzerland, discovered that DDT killed insects, the economic benefits of a chemical pesticide were immediately obvious. Trumpeting the imminent scientific conquest of insect pests and their associated diseases and damage to crops, Geigy patented the discovery and went on to make millions, and Mueller was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1948. But years later, when bird watchers noted the decline of eagles and hawks, biologists investigated and discovered the hitherto unknown phenomenon of “biomagnification,” whereby compounds become concentrated as they are ingested up the food chain. How “could limits have been set on DDT in the early 1940s when we didn’t even know about biomagnification as a biological process until birds began to disappear?
Similarly, CFCS were hailed as a wonderful creation of chemistry. These complex molecules were chemically inert, so they didn’t react with other compounds and thus made excellent fillers in aerosol cans to go along with substances such as deodorants. No one anticipated that because of their stability, CFCS would persist in the environment and drift into the upper atmosphere, where ultraviolet radiation would break off ozone-scavenging chlorine free radicals. Most people had never heard of the ozone layer, and certainly no one could have anticipated the long-term effects of CFCS, so how could the compounds have been regulated? I have absolutely no doubt that genetically modified organisms (GMOS) will also prove to have unexpected negative consequences despite the benefits claimed by biotech companies. But if we don’t know enough to anticipate the long-term consequences of human technological innovation, how can its impact be managed?”
Excerpt From: Suzuki, David. “The Sacred Balance.” D & M Publishers, 2002. iBooks.
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Providence, RI: The “Green Team” joined “Camp Metal Head” for hands-on expressionism. Creativity ensues.
Watch and help ‘em win a $2k grant challenge!
The silence of the mainstream media compounds the environmental disaster with a human one.
You’d think a massive hurricane that wreaked havoc along the East Coast might force the high-profile Sunday morning TV shows to talk about climate change.
You’d be wrong.
It’s time for us to tell the Sunday talkshows: Talk about climate change.Sign FAIR’s petition today.