Tag Archives | Environmentalism

Fake Crowdsourced Ad Campaign Celebrates Shell Oil

As the energy giant pushes into the Arctic, the Let’s Go Public! Arctic Ready ad contest, involving user-submitted captions paired with photos of the pristine north, has drawn attention with a clever simulation of corporate social media engagement going off the rails:

Here at Shell, we’re committed to online social media. After all, it’s the fuel that lubricates the engines of internet communication.

Today, we want to take the Arctic Ready message offline, directly to the drivers who benefit from Shell’s performance fuels. That’s why we’re launching a new campaign (deadline this Thursday!), from which the best ads will be printed and posted in strategic locations worldwide.

So take a moment to add your own slogan to our beautiful new collection of images. The next place you see it might be your own rearview mirror. Because tomorrow is yesterday, accelerated. Let’s go.

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U.S. Coast Guard Creates ‘Protest-Free Zone’ Surrounding Shell Oil Drilling Area In Alaska

Odd how these protest-free zones always happen to coincide with where protest would be most necessary. PressTV writes:

The United States Coast Guard will establish and enforce “a 500-meter safety zone” around the Shell Oil Company’s drilling vessel Noble Discoverer as it drills exploratory offshore wells in the sensitive Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska beginning this July.

The ‘buffer zone’ would apply to all vessels, but the ‘special rules’ are clearly designed to make it more difficult for those trying to protest against the Shell’s oil drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas this summer.

“For any group or individual intending to conduct lawful demonstrations in the vicinity of the Noble Discoverer,” reads the USCG memo, “These demonstrations must be conducted outside the safety zone.” While acknowledging the negative impact on the “environment and indigenous people” a mid-ocean collision caused by environmental activists attempting to block or board the ship could have in the Arctic, the USCG report made no mention of what impact a massive oil spill in the area would have on the same.

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Futureconomics of Food

Vandana Shiva writes on the intersections of capitalism, the state, agribusiness, and a burgeoning organic movement in South Asia. Via Al Jazeera:

The economic crisis, the ecological crisis and the food crisis are a reflection of an outmoded and fossilised economic paradigm — a paradigm that grew out of mobilising resources for the war by creating the category of economic “growth” and is rooted in the age of oil and fossil fuels. It is fossilised both because it is obsolete, and because it is a product of the age of fossil fuels. We need to move beyond this fossilised paradigm if we are to address the economic and ecological crisis.

Economy and ecology have the same roots “oikos” — meaning home — both our planetary home, the Earth, and our home where we live our everyday lives in family and community.

But economy strayed from ecology, forgot the home and focused on the market.

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Why Libertarians Must Deny the Effects of Pollution

George Monbiot. Photo: SlimVirgin (CC)

George Monbiot. Photo: SlimVirgin (CC)

Matt Bruenig writes on his blog:

George Monbiot had an article in the Guardian on Monday about bastardised libertarianism and its inability to understand the real freedoms being fought for by environmentalists and social justice advocates. However, Monbiot’s treatment of environmentalism’s threat to libertarianism was a bit sloppy. He got sucked into the negative freedom and positive freedom debate, and although he worked his way to the correct conclusion ultimately, I felt like the clarity was lacking.

So I want to explain more clearly just how much environmentalists stick in the side of libertarian ideology. First, consider what libertarians of the sort Monbiot criticizes are really about philosophically: they favor a procedural justice account of the world based heavily on property rights. This is the newest face of libertarianism. Gone is the appeal to utility and desert. The modern libertarians try to prop up their political ideas almost solely through a rigid formalism of property rights.

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Florida Funeral Home Unveils New Body ‘Liquefaction’ Unit

resomatorThere are many things to consider when taking care of funeral arrangements: did the person want to be buried, cremated, or liquidated? This ‘alkaline hydrolysis” unit is thought to be more environmentally friendly than the traditional cremation process. BBC News reports:

A Glasgow-based company has installed its first commercial “alkaline hydrolysis” unit at a Florida funeral home.

The unit by Resomation Ltd is billed as a green alternative to cremation and works by dissolving the body in heated alkaline water.

The facility has been installed at the Anderson-McQueen funeral home in St Petersburg, and will be used for the first time in the coming weeks. It is hoped other units will follow in the US, Canada and Europe.

The makers claim the process produces a third less greenhouse gas than cremation, uses a seventh of the energy, and allows for the complete separation of dental amalgam for safe disposal.

Mercury from amalgam vaporised in crematoria is blamed for up to 16% of UK airborne mercury emissions, and many UK crematoria are currently fitting mercury filtration systems to meet reduced emission targets.

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Yesterday’s News Could Be Tomorrow’s Fuel

800px-World_newspapers_Everyday millions of newspapers are read and then throw out or, hopefully, recycled. Instead of turning those papers into other paper products, they may be able to be used for fuel. Via Discovery News:

Tulane University scientists discovered a strain of clostridia bacteria, dubbed “TU-103,” that can devour old newspapers to produce butanol, a substitute for gasoline.

Old editions of the Times Picayune, New Orleans’ daily newspaper, have been successfully used by the researchers to produce butanol from the cellulose in the paper. Cellulose is a structural material in plants.

TU-103 is the first bacterial strain found in nature (not genetically engineered) to produce butanol directly from cellulose. It is also the only strain yet found that can grow in the presence of oxygen. Keeping bacterial fermentation chambers air tight makes other strains more expensive to work with.

“This discovery could reduce the cost to produce bio-butanol,” said David Mullin, who’s lab discovered the bacterial strain, in a Tulane press release.

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Mushroom Death Suit

5934717321_bb03e77a6d_bSomeday the lifeless bodies of all of us may be laid into the cold earth zipped snugly in the outfit at right. Artist Jae Rhim Lee designed her mushroom burial suit to address how we part with the dead — “By trying to preserve the body we poison the living.” The garment is embedded with spores of toxin-cleaning, flesh-eating mushrooms that will consume the corpse wearing it, leaving the earth cleansed and renewed as we make our exit:

The first prototype of the Infinity Burial Suit is a body suit embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores. The embroidery pattern resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium. The Suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, a two-part makeup consisting of a mixture of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores and a separate liquid culture medium. Combining the two parts and applying them to the body activates the mushroom spores to develop and grow.

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Is The Internet Polluting The Planet?

indexIs your constant craving for coneing clips hastening the destruction of the world? People tend to think of internet usage as "virtual" or "magic" but, it isn't so. YouTube viewing alone pumps thousands of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day. Computer servers add to worldwide carbon emissions at the same rate as the aviation industry, and Facebook and Apple are powered largely by coal. In fact, I better stop typing right now. Via Hungry Beast:
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Al Gore’s New Reality Show: 24 Hours Of Reality

Al Gore has a new reality program, 24 Hours of Reality, set to air its first live-stream on September 14. In his continuing campaign to raise awareness about global climate changes this program is a new step towards provoking action. The program will run 24 hours around the globe in multiple languages and featuring scientists, executives, celebrities and citizens around the world. [More at The New York Times]
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An Environmental Advocate Faces Jail Time For Peacefully Derailing The Government’s Auction Of Utah Land

Photo: Nodar Kherkheulidze

Photo: Nodar Kherkheulidze

Environmental hero or another illegal tactic of a peaceful activist? Jurors are often told that they must come to a verdict based on the law and not their moral conscious. Should DeChristopher get a 4 1/2 year prison sentence, or should his trial lead to a reconsideration of the law? AlterNet reports:

Tim DeChristopher is scheduled to be sentenced in a Salt Lake City courtroom by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson on July 26. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $750,000 fine for fraudulently bidding in December 2008 on parcels of land, including areas around eastern Utah’s national parks, which were being sold off by the Bush administration to the oil and natural gas industry. As Bidder No. 70, he drove up the prices of some of the bids and won more than a dozen other parcels for $1.8 million. The government is asking Judge Benson to send DeChristopher to prison for four and a half years.

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