Archive for September, 2007

Even the Snowmen are asking.

 I spent the summer interning for Fox News in Boston. I was well-respected there and was given an amazing amount of responsibility and opportunities.  On one evening, I  was sent to interview Senator John McCain one-on-one. The interview was just after the Democratic YouTubedebate, and on the heels of the Republicans turn.

Many thought the YouTubeness made a mockery of the political process. So I decided to ask the presidential hopeful about it. How did McCain respond?

His face got red, he got serious, and he told me his disgust for the infamous “Snowman” and its ridiculousness.

 Whether it’s a snowman or a real person asking the questions, somebody has to.

Global Warming isn’t a challenge for the next presidential candidate. It’s an opportunity to do what’s right. It’s one of the hottest (no pun intended) topics of the 2008 elections. 

CLICK ON THE CANDIDATES BELOW to hear what they think.

The best way to figure out what your candidate wants for the environment might be to check out the League for Conservation Voters: The Heat is On website.

Who do you like???      Leave a comment.

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And the Emmy goes to…Earth!

 At the Emmy awards last week celebs didn’t walk down a green carpet– but, it wouldn’t have been all that surprising if they did.

The executives in charge of the awards show, FOX and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, launched an environmentally-friendly campaign to lower the carbon emissions of the entire event.

Celebs showed up in alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, then walked the red carpet created entirely of recycled plastic bottles.  The sun, water and wind powered the Shrine Auditorium in L.A.  Meanwhile, the after-party featured an array of local and organically grown foods.  Behind the scenes, stage lighting was reduced by 15%, and biofuel generators were used as backup power. The solar panels will be donated to a local school, plants and flowers will be donated and reused, and the left-over food will be given to a shelter.

Hollywood once again proves that “going green” isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also the latest trend. Is it meaningful?  Who cares!

Sure, the hybrid is the “cool” car to have, and maybe that new organic garden of yours is just to impress your neighbors. Perhaps An Inconvenient Truth is “accidentally” left on your coffee table, and Al Gore just “happens” to be your favorite politician. Yeah, ok.

Green is cool and Americans know it.  Besides, if Leonardo DiCaprio is doing it- why wouldn’t you?

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Smart Car, Smart Idea.

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What happens when you cross an environmentally-friendly idea with a work of art? 

You get the Smart Car.

Created by Mercedes, the Smart Car already boasts a waiting list of 20,000, even though its not due to hit the U.S. market  until early 2008.  The SmartCar’s base price is expected to be about $12,000 with a fuel efficeincy of 40 miles per gallon. 

 It’s hard to imagine that just 5 years ago the Hummer H2 was the hot new car.

The big question is whether the Smart Car will catch on with Americans.  For urban living, the size is an obvious advantage. Not to mention, it’s energy efficeincy is a positive for anyone. But will it fit the lifestyles of most Americans? The Home Depot runs? The soccer team carpool? Certainly, the Smart Car isn’t for everyone.

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In Europe, interest in the Smart Car is diminishing and the company is losing billions of dollars. There’s no guaruntee that it will be a complete success here either.  But what if it is?

The Smart Car could be a ground-breaking asset to the “Go Green” movement.  It’s a solution to some of our most pressing environmental concerns.  An environmentally-friendly product that is infiltrating our daily lives. It  sends a message to the American people that going “green” is here and happening.

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Arctic Ice Melt Opens Northwest Passage

Vessels and ships now have a new, faster route from Asia to Europe.  Who’s to thank? Climate change!

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The Northwest Passage goes through northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland.  According to the European Space Agency, the passageway is now ice-free.  Before,  it had been virtually impassable, challenging sea captains and explorers for decades.  The ESA is unsure when the pass will officially be open, but it is sure to cause a dispute.

 Russia, Norway, Denmark, Canada and the United States have already began to fight for the territorial right to the Arctic.  Russia caused controversy last month when they sent two small submarines to secretly place their national flag underneath the North Pole. Why? A study has shown that as much as 25% of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas could be within the region.  But don’t think it’s happening so fast.  Environmentalists claim that a potential oil spill in the region could be devestating for the local wildlife.

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Using the Northwest Passage would actually cut pollution. The ships would cut the distance of their trip, avoiding the standard Panama Canal route. But the reality of this situation is clear: arctic ice is melting at a rapid rate. The U.N. says that by the year 2070, all arctic ice will be completly gone.Is the arctic and the world ready for a major trade route?  We’ll see.

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Getting the word out, before it’s too late.

In March 2006, a groundbreaking environmental campaign was launched.  

The AdCouncil and the Environmental Defense teamed up to bring a series of  national public service advertising (PSAs) about Global Warming. The PSAs are being offerred by Ogilvy & Mather, New York, who were honored to create them pro bono.

“Global warming is the most serious environmental challenge of our time. It is more urgent and its dangers are more fundamental than most Americans realize. This campaign seeks to educate Americans about how quickly we must act, and give concrete steps that people can incorporate into their lives to fight global warming – today.”

-Fred Krupp, President of Environmental Defense

The PSAs make the viewer know that Global Warming is not only a serious issue, but an urgent one. The overall message: act now, and protect the future. The PSAs also direct the audience to StopGlobalWarming.com, a site designed to give concrete steps Americans can take to prevent climate change in their very own lives.

Global Warming isn’t as complicated as people make it out to be. It’s the little things that are going to make a difference. The difficult thing is convincing everyone that we have to act now. Start small, and dream big. I can only imagine these PSAs invoke SOMETHING inside.

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Bottle This.

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Bottled water is going out of fashion, and for a good reason. 

More than 8 billion gallons of bottled water is consumed every year. It’s an industry that every year brings in about $11 billion. Considering the wet stuff falls free-of-charge from the sky, something just isn’t right.

Well, if not for the pathetic nature of paying money for something that comes free naturally, maybe considering what we’re doing to the environment might help.

 Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled and head right to the landfill. It takes plastic anywhere from 400 to 1,000 years to decompose. More then 40 million barrels of oil is used to produce the plastic needed for the bottling.

“It would be like filling up a quarter of every bottle with oil.”

-Peter Gleick, water policy expert

So what about taste? And your health?

Since bottled water is less-regulated by the FDA than tap-water, in some cases, tap-water is actually safer than its bottled counterparts. According to a study, 25% of bottled water actually is tap water– sometimes further treated, sometimes not. Studies have shown there is no taste difference between the two.

The point is, bottled water doesn’t appear to be better for you, taste better and certainly not eco-friendly. And if you’re still drinking it, you’re out of the loop.

The mayor of San Francisco just banned all bottled water from city buildings.  Other cities, such as Salt Lake, are following suit. Many restaurants, many in New York City, have also capped their sale of bottled water.

So put down your Evian, your Fiji and your Dasani. This time, we’re heading to the tap.

 SOURCES: National Geographic News, MSNBC

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Finding Nemo just got a lot more difficult…

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I’ve always hated fishing. You can stand there forever–watching, waiting, waiting, waiting– and at the end of the day, you’ve still caught nothing.

  Well soon I might not be the ONLY one with that problem.

A study shows that seafood as we know it may not exist by the year 2048. A lack of biodiversity, caused by everything from overfishing to poor water quality, may threaten your Fish & Chips dinner, leaving you with a plate full of chips.

  Scientists believe that already 29% of our seafood supply has already diminished. The solution, they say, is to meet the interests of commercial fishermen with logical conservation policies. Simply put, it’s probably a better idea to leave some fish swimming now, so we’ll still have something to catch later.  

Those who propose that areas of the ocean be “off-limits” to humans say we’ve been doing the same thing with land for years– and it works.  With proper human action the biodiversity problem can be reversed.

As for your decision to attend next year’s family reunion clam bake? Boris Worm, one of the lead researchers for the project, seems to think there’s a lot more to worry about than the awkward encounter with your old Aunt Betty.

“All of these species end up in our bellies somewhere, so of course we have a lot of control over what is caught and how it is caught. We need to make informed choices on the fish we eat.”

-Boris Worm, marine researcher.

SOURCE: National Geographic News

 

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Polar bears ‘going to resort to cannibalism’

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We’ve heard about polar bears and their melting ice. We’ve heard about them dying. But polar bears eating each other?

It’s just one part of the never-ending predictions for global warming.  Just one more reason we should start taking this stuff seriously.

Research now confirms that by 2050, sea ice during the summer will melt to half the area it covered in the 1980s. (source)

“They’re going to drown, they’re going to starve, they’re going to resort to cannibalism, they’re going to become extinct.” 

-Kassie Siegel, Center for Biological Diversity

Once the ice dissapears, the bears will be stranded on land where a lack of resources will put their lives in jeapordy. Although we have heard of polar bears drowning due to a lack of sea ice before,  never have we heard that they might resort to their brothers, sisters and cousins for dinner. 

It seems as if the polar bears have become the “poster children” for global warming–perhaps even our guinea pigs. While us “human beings” haven’t endured any real and serious consequences from global warming, our mammal friends to the north have.  How will we fare against global warming? Well, judging by the way the bears are doing– I’d say we’re (excuse the pun) walking on thin-ice.

 Right now, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is demanding the Bush Administration protect the polar bears under the Endangered Species Act. You can go to their website to help support the cause. Also,  check out NRDC’s short video below and tell me the cute, fluffy little creatures don’t take away your heart.

 

 

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