Archive for January, 2010

It’s Time to Get Angry

It’s time to get angry. This is what John Kerry, not exactly the most extreme guy, is saying to us. Is it the best solution? This is what Kerry told advocates of climate legislation recently: “I want you to go out there and start knocking on doors and talking to people and telling people this has to happen. You know, if the Tea Party folks can go out there and get angry because they think their taxes are too high, for God’s sake, a lot of citizens ought to get angry about the fact that they’re being killed and our planet is being injured by what’s happening on a daily basis by the way we provide our power and our fuel and the old practices that we have. That’s something worth getting angry about.” (emphasis mine) As part of my Bachelor’s thesis in sociology and environmental studies, about 6 years ago, I studied the history of the environmental movement in great depth. Since then, I have been keeping my eye on things, on the bigger picture, as I work in different fields — natural and organic foods, city planning and sustainable development, alternative transportation, and, now, online journalism with a green tint. The ...

China to Ban Eating Cats and Dogs

Eating dogs and cats–which is an age-old delicacy in China–could soon be against the law. It’s the nation’s first law against such animal abuse. Currently, dog and cat meat is viewed as promoting bodily warmth. But if the law passes, people who eat either animal could face fines of up to $730 or 15 days in jail. Organizations involved the practice would face fines up to 100-times as much. Read more of this story »

Asian Carp Near Great Lakes: Are They So Bad?

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists with a bighead carp, one of two species whose entry into the Great Lakes is sparking widespread concern. Last week’s edition of Great Lakes Asian carp news brought both a U.S. Supreme Court decision and disclosure of the species’ environmental DNA in Lake Michigan.  But as members of Congress, state officials and Great Lakes advocates scramble to prevent a self-sustaining Asian carp population in the Great Lakes, a Minnesota commentator has challenged the prevailing wisdom, asking whether such a population would really be so detrimental to the Lakes and their resources.  Among other things, commentator Greg Breining argues whether the idea of a “healthy ecosystem” is valid and whether so-called invasive species are often a bad thing. Read more of this story »

MN Solid Waste Reform Could Sharply Reduce Greenhouse Emissions

A new Minnesota stakeholder report identifies 38 solid waste reform recommendations that could dramatically reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. A report submitted December 31 to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) outlines 38 ways the state could achieve a 20-year reduction of 52.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions through changes in solid waste policy and practices. Coordinated by the Minnesota Environmental Initiative (MEI), a nonprofit organization, the report contains 22 consensus recommendations from a roup of stakeholders and another 16 with majority support in the group. Read more of this story »

Killer Whales Are Evolving Into Two Different Species

Scientists have found that Killer Whales in the North Atlantic Ocean differ in both diet and genetic makeup. In fact, they’re in the process of splitting into two different species all together. Researchers examined the teeth of 62 whale skeletons, some that were hundreds of years old. They found that “type 1″ whales had longer teeth with significant wear in comparison to “type 2.” Type 2 whales fed on a combination of seals and fish. But type 1 whales stuck to dolphins and smaller whales, like that of Antarctic orcas. Read more of this story »