Carnival of the Green #50


elephants
I‘m delighted to have the honour of hosting the 50th edition of the weekly Carnival of the Green, a multi-authored round-up of the past week’s news and ideas on the environment and sustainability. The Carnival was founded and is managed by City Hippy and Triple Pundit, and you can find out all about it (and where it will be hosted in future) at their sites. Last week’s carnival was hosted by Total Tactics, and next week’s will be hosted by Groovy Green. If you have submissions for the Carnival, send them to carnivalofgreen (at) gmail (dot) com.

Biofuels Not The Answer: The near impossibility of finding easy oil these days doesn’t stop oil companies from literally looking between a rock and hard place to extract it–with dire costs for the environment. Elsa at the greener side reports from a panel of green thinkers who tout biofuels as the answer. But is there enough will to pave the way for cleaner fuel on a massive scale? Experts say time is running out. Elsa’s article also provides more grim news on the environmental holocaust being created in Alberta by tar sands development.

Hydrogen Not the Answer, Either: Pablo at TriplePundit explains that, despite interesting developments by EEStor in hydrogen storage, the ‘hydrogen economy’ still faces large technology problems and infrastructure ramp-up challenges before it can become a reality.

When ‘Off’ is Not Off: Penny Nickel at Money and Values explains how unplugging appliances saves money and cuts pollution. Just turning off appliances that operate in ‘standby’ mode can consume 40% of the energy they consume when they’re ‘on’. So follow Penny’s advice and plug ’em all into a power strip with surge protection and then turn the power strip off.

Dealing with Environmentalists by Merging Them with Non-Environmentalists: Lancashire England’s Save the Ribble river group is justifiably worried that a move to merge the South Ribble Borough council with the Preston City Council will drown out environmental voices in the former in favour of the louder pro-development voices of the latter.

Killing the Antarctic Ecosystem to Feed Fish Farms: Kara Davis points to an article by Alexandra Cousteau at EarthEcho about aquaculture, the growing demand for krill, and what that means for penguins, seals and whales. ‘Factory trawlers’ in the Antarctic are sucking up huge amounts of krill as feed for fish farms, depleting whole areas of the Antarctic of a key animal in the ecosystem, and threatening everything in the food chain above it.

Getting Your Omega-3 Without Mercury, and Without Eating Fish: Biologist Sally Kneidel at Veggie Revolution considers this week’s new article in the Journal of the American Medical Association about mercury in fish.  Is it safe to eat?  Where does mercury come from?  And what are modern fishing fleets doing to our oceans?  The post includes links to sites that evaluate which fish are safest to eat, for health and for ecosystems.

Finding Diamonds Without Blood: Elisa at Hip & Zen just got engaged (congratulations!) and then got conflicted about the source of diamonds and other ingredients of her engagement ring. The story has a happy ending as an ethical jeweler was found.

Altria/Kraft Tries to Greenwash Their Coffee: Coffee & Conservation analyzes the new Yuban campaign, claiming to be Green by meeting the Rainforest Alliance’s minimum standard (30% RA-certified beans). But 30% is far short of 100%, and RA-certified is far short of Fair Trade, and the other 70% of this not-so-green product is who-knows-what from who-knows-where produced who-knows-how. Not good enough.

Seventh Generation Embraces Systems Thinking and Biomimicry: In an interview in Treehugger, Gregor Barnum, director at Seventh Generation (natural household products and cleaners producer) explains how they’ve adopted Otto Scharmer’s Presencing U and the principles of Biomimicry in product design and innovation.

An Environmentally Friendly University: Vihar at GreenRising describes the changes that Washington University (St. Louis) has made to lower its ecological footprint, reduce pollution, and conserve energy using solar sources.

Vote Yes on California Prop 87: Sludgie describes the vociferous and well-financed opposition to this proposition — which would tax energy consumption to fund renewable energy research — by Big Oil and other right-wing groups.

Flies Bad, CO2 Not So Much: David Ng at SCQ draws a whimsical analogy between flies and CO2, and contrasts public sentiment towards the two.

PVC Really Bad: PT at Why Travel to France explains all the reasons — dioxins produced in manufacture, carcinogenic effect, bioaccumulation, toxic additives, and prevalence in construction of homes and offices — why we should stop using PVC and mandate use of any of the many safer alternatives available.

Recycling Leaves, and Paper: Aaron at GroovyGreen tells you why you should mulch or compost your leaves instead of bagging them for removal, and Steve tells you how to make your workplace greener by reducing, reusing and recycling paper, and bringing in your own mug instead of using styrofoam.

…and Recycling Plastic Bags, Too: Nina at Queercents has researched what we can all do with the mountain of plastic bags we get from grocery and other stores.

Two Views on Elephants Driven to Madness: Josh Rosenau at Thoughts from Kansas comments on the NY Times Magazine article about the violence being perpetrated by elephants due to stress and social breakdown. He likens their behaviour to that of suicide bombers, and describes it as entirely rational, not psychotic behaviour. I agree with the analogy, but in my article earlier this week I ascribed the behaviour to the reaction of all creatures to extreme population stress (in this case due to reduction in their habitat). While Josh thinks neither the elephants nor suicide bombers are ‘crazy’, I think they both are, and for very similar reasons.

Is God Green?: The Evangelical Ecologist is tracking the responses from various religious groups and viewers to Bill Moyers’ PBS program on the Green movement in US religious circles. Grist is also following, and expanding, the debate. The Evangelical Ecologist also links to the Conservation Fund’s Carbon Zero Calculator.

Ten Ways to Take Better Care of the Land: My own contribution to this week’s Carnival summarizes the results of a seminar on effective land stewardship put on by our local conservation authorities.

Thanks to all the Carnival regulars and guests for the submissions, which make the host’s job easy.

And for new visitors to How to Save the World, if you’re just interested in my articles on the environment and sustainability (and not all my other ramblings on business, politics etc.), please bookmark this category page and come back and visit often!

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7 Responses to Carnival of the Green #50

  1. Al Tepper says:

    Magnificent carnival mon ami…NamasteAl

  2. Don says:

    50 already? Whew! Great work, Dave.

  3. Nick Aster says:

    Bravo! Nice work!

  4. Thanks for the congrats!

  5. chosha says:

    There’s some really interesting stuff there. I only discovered your blog recently and I’m enjoying it a lot.

  6. Dave Pollard says:

    Thanks, all. It was fun putting this together (though more work than I’d suspected).

  7. The only way to save the world is to present Jesus Christ to them!God thinks so much of this earth that He is going to burn it up!Let’s get people saved. Let’s worry about them and not some doomed planet!

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